FO­CUS

WHO RUN THE SHOW? KARI SKOGLAND’S RE­SUMÉ IN­CLUDES VIK­INGS AND THE HAND­MAID’S TALE. HERE, THE VETERAN DI­REC­TOR AND SHOWRUN­NER SHARES SOME IN­SIDER IN­TEL.

ELLE (Canada) - - Contents -

Short-story col­lec­tions to savour, a must-see art ex­hibit and a fe­male di­rec­tor tells all.

1) What her job ac­tu­ally en­tails. “On some shows, like The Hand­maid’s Tale, I’m sim­ply one of the di­rec­tors they’ve brought in. Some­times I cre­ate the idea for a show and sell it; other times I showrun, which means I’m the over­all per­son who over­sees ev­ery­thing. It also de­pends on what stage of pro­duc­tion we’re in. When I’m prep­ping, I’m con­stantly com­mu­ni­cat­ing with the team about cre­ative so­lu­tions. I also meet with ac­tors for cof­fee so we can get a lan­guage of trust go­ing on both sides. When we’re shoot­ing, I’m avail­able to all the crew. I’m not there to solve their prob­lems, but I am there to en­cour­age their cre­ative spirit.” 2) The dial is mov­ing on get­ting women work­ing be­hind the scenes in Hol­ly­wood—but

way too slowly. “I think, like, 7 to 9 per­cent of di­rec­tors are women. Peo­ple say they can’t find fe­male di­rec­tors, but the rea­son for that is there’s no ac­cess, no en­try point. They don’t ap­pear overnight—you have to cre­ate a space where they can grow and be dis­cov­ered. It re­quires ad­vo­cacy on the part of the big play­ers. Peo­ple are start­ing to take risks. There’s no way The Hand­maid’s Tale would have got­ten made three or four years ago, and I hope it’s giv­ing peo­ple the con­fi­dence that these sorts of unique, fem­i­nist sto­ries work and that peo­ple—men and women—want to watch them.” 3) Work­ing in TV is not for the faint of heart. “Peo­ple should know that it’s in­tensely hard work. You do a lot of sac­ri­fic­ing. Ear­lier in my ca­reer, I had to travel to Eu­rope a lot. That meant pulling my daugh­ters out of school, for ex­am­ple, and drag­ging them with me. And if you saw the of­fices and ware­houses we work in, you’d see it’s not glam­orous.”

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