Saturday, October 22, 2016
  • Friday, Aug. 19, 2016
Short Takes for August 2016
Reed Morano
Schreier Directs Francis And The Lights' "Friends"

Director Jake Schreier of Park Pictures breaks down the fourth wall in Francis and the Lights “Friends,” a music video featuring Bon Iver and Kanye West. The clip leads in with an understated cameo by West and captures Francis Farewell Starlight’s stylized moves, topped off with a choreographed duet section with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. Moving from a softly lit white room where the characters dance through empty space onto the contrasting darkness and hot lights of a stage--and back again--the video elevates the one-shot approach. 

Schreier is a former Francis and the Lights band member and longtime video collaborator. The NY-based band also created the original soundtrack for Schreier’s debut feature film Robot & Frank which won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

AFI Alumni/Emmy Nominees
Twenty-two AFI Conservatory alumni collectively received a total of 20 Primetime Emmy nominations this year--up from the 14 nominations garnered in 2015. Altogether, 50 AFI Conservatory alumni worked on the programs in the running for Emmy Awards.

Homeland executive producers Lesli Linka Glatter (AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women [DWW], Class of 1982) and Gideon Raff (AFI Class of 2003) scored an Outstanding Drama Series nomination for the second year in a row. Glatter earned an Outstanding Directing nomination as well. The creative team behind Mr. Robot--creator/executive producer Sam Esmail (AFI Class of 2004) and executive producer Steve Golin of Anonymous Content (AFI Class of 1981)--also received an Outstanding Drama Series nomination. Esmail earned an Outstanding Writing nomination for the series, which recently launched its second season. Unreal co-creator/writer/executive producer Sarah Gertrude Shapiro (AFI DWW, Class of 2012) also earned an Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series nomination.

In the comedy categories, Transparent, produced by Rick Rosenthal (AFI Class of 1973), earned its second consecutive Outstanding Comedy Series nomination. Alumni Allison Jones (AFI Class of 1981) and Steven Rasch (AFI Class of 1988) both picked up noms for Veep--for Outstanding Casting and Editing, respectively.

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story executive producers Dante Di Loreto (AFI Class of 1991) and Brad Falchuk (AFI Class of 1994) picked up an Outstanding Limited Series nomination, and the series’ editor Adam Penn (AFI Class of 2003) also earned an Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing nom.

AFI alumni were nominated for many other series and programs including The Amazing Race, Born This Way, Confirmation, House of Cards, South Park, The Voice, Who Do You Think You Are? and What Happened, Miss Simone?

Additionally Unreal: The Auditions--a web series ancillary to the Lifetime series co-created by Shapiro--earned an Outstanding Short Form Comedy or Drama Series nomination. The series featured episodes directed by Amy Barrett (AFI DWW, Class of 2015), whose work on Unreal: The Auditions was the first assignment as part of Lifetime’s Broad Focus initiative which this year began offering job placement for DWW alumnae throughout A+E Networks.

People On The Move....
Reed Morano will direct the first three episodes of Hulu Original’s The Handmaid’s Tale, a drama series based on the award-winning, best-selling novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood. Depicting life in the dystopia of Gilead--a totalitarian society in what was formerly part of the U.S.--The Handmaid’s Tale comes to Hulu from MGM Television and is created, executive produced and written by Bruce Miller, with Warren Littlefield, Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears, and Ilene Chaiken serving as executive producers. Atwood is a consulting producer for the series. Morano will also serve as an executive producer on the first three episodes; the show is slated to go into production in Toronto this fall. The 10-episode series will premiere in 2017. Morano made her directorial debut with Meadowland. She also DP’d the movie which earned her an Independent Spirit Award nomination. Morano has been directing select episodic television including AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, and Showtime’s Billions while prepping her next features to direct in early 2017. As a DP, Morano has had numerous films at Sundance over the past eight years including The Skeleton Twins, Kill Your Darlings, Shut Up and Play the Hits and the Oscar-winning Frozen River. She is repped by WME. Morano also directed via Pulse Films a Down syndrome PSA which recently earned her inclusion in Saatchi & Saatchi’s New Directors Showcase....