Jake Kasdan exposes the “The TV Set”

In the new film, The TV Set, writer-director Jake Kasdan explores the trials and tribulations of creating a pilot episode of a television show through the eyes of a TV writer, Mike Klein (played by David Duchovny). It’s a dramadey that exposes the foibles of network politics and compromise. Kasdan, who is the son of director Lawrence Kasdan, draws on his own raw experience in producing network television pilots. After directing episodes for cult shows like Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared, he’s decided to bring his journey in television to the big screen. The following clip from the movie makes a pitching session look creepy and unnerving:


I’m not sure if this is heading into satire territory but assuming Kasdan knows how to cover that ground fairly well, this film should be an interesting peek into the behind-the-scenes of bringing a television show to birth. I’m always a bit of a sucker for those types of stories. Speaking with Martin Grove of The Hollywood Reporter, Kasdan says: 

"This is an idea that I had a long time ago, I'd made some television pilots. A lot of my friends had made television pilots. I'd been around that world a lot and that process and I'd heard people's stories and had my own experiences. It sort of seemed eventually like everybody kind of had the exactly the same experiences. On a million different kinds of projects, the drama and problems and would always be kind of the same to the point where they started to seem a little predictable. I thought it made for a potentially (funny movie because of) the circumstances of (how) shows are made as well as the language that people use when they're talking to each other and all of that. The theater of it was amusing to me. So it's something I'd been thinking about for a long time possibly as a movie that could be entirely improvised, but then I just sat down to write a few scenes and it brought the whole script pretty quick. It came from my own experience and the experience my friends had had in sort of living in that world a little bit for a long time. It's not really satirical. It's just crazy. I thought it was funny just trying to cast it in the most realistic way I could (to show) what that (world) is actually like."

Going the indie route and getting the film fastracked into production, Kasdan opted to shoot in HD on a quick 23 days in LA. And he looks like another director warming to the idea of working in HD, again speaking to The Hollywood Reporter:

"I really enjoyed it and I'm sort of converted. Shooting on HD is good for comedy because you can let it roll and let people do multiple takes again and again. For me, I find that you see exactly what it looks like when you're on the set and that's something that I always like."

The film is being released by THINKFilm, an indie distributor. The TV Set also stars Sigourney Weaver and Ione Gruffudd. Kasdan’s next project is Walk Hard which he co-wrote with Judd Apatow (40 Year Old Virgin) and stars John C. Reilly as a music legend in a fake biopic. He’s previously also directed Orange County and The Zero Effect.

Directors, Filmmaking, Interview

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