MONDO EXTRAS

The Steve Sicherman Interview

WC: And it came before all the other candid reality shows we're buried in now.

SS: That's right! We actually beat Survivor to the screen by a couple of months. Of course, Survivor tapped into something in the zeitgeist that we certainly didn't. But still, I'm proud of that show and really enjoyed it.

WC: How did it happen that you got into comedy from there?

SS: I was really happy at MTV, but an agent friend called to tell me there was a job opening in comedy at 20th Century Fox. I'd always felt the most logical next step would be to Fox, either studio or network side, since that seemed more in line with my sensibilities coming out of MTV. Plus, I'd written and developed comedy in the past, including some stuff for Fox, so I was pretty comfortable with it. Anyway, I had a couple meetings with the head of comedy, he gave some material to do coverage on -- I think a cut or two and maybe a script. We set a time to talk a few days later, and apparently he liked my take on the material. I had a follow-up meeting with the Presidents of the studio, and a few days later, I was offered the job. I gave my two weeks' notice at MTV, finished up there on a Friday, and started at Fox the following Monday.

WC: For you, what's the biggest difference between working in reality and working on a scripted show?

SS: Working in reality is very reactive. The cast dictates the action as much as anyone, while scripted is much more controlled by the producers. That's not to say producers don't have control in reality -- I mean, they cast it and edit it and make up the rules, so they do. But overall, their control is more on the bigger picture, whereas in scripted, producers are able to control more of the minutiae, too. On Survivor, you know there will be an immunity challenge and someone will get voted off. But who wins and who gets the boot is up to the contestants. And whatever drama that comes as a result is up to the cast and to the quick thinking of the producers and crew who both have to discern what is and isn't relevant story, and then react quickly to it.

Scripted is much more at the producer's control, in that pretty much every word, every prop, every bit of wardrobe is set in advance. Obviously, the actors are huge and can make all the difference between a show that's really fantastic and a show that's just okay. But it's just a much tighter framework that they're operating in in the scripted world, which is part of why the good actors are so really special -- because they can do incredible things in a tight structure.

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The Steve Sicherman Interview

WC: And it came before all the other candid reality shows we're buried in now.

SS: That's right! We actually beat Survivor to the screen by a couple of months. Of course, Survivor tapped into something in the zeitgeist that we certainly didn't. But still, I'm proud of that show and really enjoyed it.

WC: How did it happen that you got into comedy from there?

SS: I was really happy at MTV, but an agent friend called to tell me there was a job opening in comedy at 20th Century Fox. I'd always felt the most logical next step would be to Fox, either studio or network side, since that seemed more in line with my sensibilities coming out of MTV. Plus, I'd written and developed comedy in the past, including some stuff for Fox, so I was pretty comfortable with it. Anyway, I had a couple meetings with the head of comedy, he gave some material to do coverage on -- I think a cut or two and maybe a script. We set a time to talk a few days later, and apparently he liked my take on the material. I had a follow-up meeting with the Presidents of the studio, and a few days later, I was offered the job. I gave my two weeks' notice at MTV, finished up there on a Friday, and started at Fox the following Monday.

WC: For you, what's the biggest difference between working in reality and working on a scripted show?

SS: Working in reality is very reactive. The cast dictates the action as much as anyone, while scripted is much more controlled by the producers. That's not to say producers don't have control in reality -- I mean, they cast it and edit it and make up the rules, so they do. But overall, their control is more on the bigger picture, whereas in scripted, producers are able to control more of the minutiae, too. On Survivor, you know there will be an immunity challenge and someone will get voted off. But who wins and who gets the boot is up to the contestants. And whatever drama that comes as a result is up to the cast and to the quick thinking of the producers and crew who both have to discern what is and isn't relevant story, and then react quickly to it.

Scripted is much more at the producer's control, in that pretty much every word, every prop, every bit of wardrobe is set in advance. Obviously, the actors are huge and can make all the difference between a show that's really fantastic and a show that's just okay. But it's just a much tighter framework that they're operating in in the scripted world, which is part of why the good actors are so really special -- because they can do incredible things in a tight structure.

Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22Next

Comments

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