Posts Tagged ‘Friends’

Director James Burrows on Makin’ His Way in the World Today

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Director James Burrows is practically synonymous with popular television comedies. Burrows got his start in television under the tutelage of Jay Sandrich on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, went on to direct episodes of The Bob Newhart Show, co-created Cheers with Les and Glen Charles (and directed almost all of the series’ episodes), directed episodes of Taxi, Friends, Frasier, and the entire series run of Will & Grace.

Burrows stated that one of the biggest laughs he’s ever seen on television occurred when he was directing Friends:

Watch James Burrows’ full interview here to hear his tales of Taxi, Cheers, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and other TV favorites.

About this interview:

In his three-and-a-half hour Archive interview, James Burrows discusses his early years working as a stage manger under his father, playwright/director Abe Burrows, and outlines his years directing for the stage in regional theater. He recalls his break into television directing, working at MTM Productions on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and describes directing Fay, The Bob Newhart Show, Laverne & Shirley, and Phyllis. He details working with the cast and creative team behind Taxi, and directing the majority of the series’ episodes. Burrows chronicles the eleven-year run of Cheers, which he co-created with Glen & Les Charles, and for which he directed nearly every episode.  As one of the pre-eminent directors of sitcom pilots, Burrows shares what he looks for in selecting a pilot and explains what drew him to directing the pilot episodes of Night Court, NewsRadio, and 3rd Rock From the Sun. He talks of working on the early seasons of Frasier, Friends, and Caroline in the City, and speaks of the joy of being the sole director of the hit series, Will & Grace. Gary Rutkowski conducted the interview on December 17, 2003 in Los Angeles, CA.

“Five” Premieres Tonight on Lifetime!

Monday, October 10th, 2011

From Marta Kauffman and fellow executive producers Jennifer Aniston, Paula Wagner, Kristin Hahn, Kevin Chinoy, and Francesca Silvestri, comes Five, an anthology of five short films “exploring the impact of breast cancer on people’s lives.” Known primarily for her comedies (she and writing partner David Crane co-executive produced Dream On, and co-created Veronica’s Closet and Friends), Kauffman shared a few words about incorporating humor into Five in her Archive interview:

“I’m working on a project for Lifetime … with Jennifer Aniston – she’s also executive producer. We’re doing five short films about breast cancer that will all air in one night, which I am very excited about. They’ll bring humor to a pretty dark subject … It’s a drama because it’s breast cancer, but there will be comedy in it.”

Jennifer Aniston, Alicia Keys, Demi Moore, Patty Jenkins, and Penelope Spheeris directed the films, and Patricia Clarkson, Rosario Dawson, Kathy Najimy, Tony Shalhoub, Jeffrey Tambor, and Archive Interviewee Bob Newhart are among the stars. Five airs tonight at 9pm/8c on Lifetime.

View Marta Kauffman’s full interview with David Crane here:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/david-crane-and-marta-kauffman

The one where “Friends” creators tell their story: Marta Kauffman & David Crane’s interview now online

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

The writers and co-creators of Friends and Dream On shared their story with the Archive in 2010. The longtime writing partners were interviewed together, and individually about their past and current projects. David Crane was recently nominated for and Emmy for Outstanding Writing for Episodes, which he briefly discusses. Their complete interview is now online at emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/david-crane-and-marta-kauffman

On the effect Friends had on American pop culture:

“At a certain point the show tells you what it wants, and you know you’re going in a certain direction and you had no idea that this arc would be so powerful and you have to go with it… When you do a show, your intention is not to affect American culture or to have people start wanting to wear their hair like this or dress like that.”

On what Friends means to them:

David Crane on advice to aspiring TV writers, from his solo interview:

On why their writing partnership was successful:

ABOUT THIS INTERVIEW
David Crane and  Marta Kauffman were interviewed for three hours in Burbank, CA. They spoke of how they began writing together, their partnership with Kevin Bright, and the creation of the popular series Friends as well as Dream On and other series and pilots they worked on together. They spoke in great detail about Friends; its development, cast, and writing process. Crane and Kauffman were also interviewed separately, speaking about their early influences as well as more current solo projects. The interview was conducted by Beth Cochran on October 7, 2010.