The No Film School Podcast

How Directors Joe Wright and Owen Harris Built the Dystopian Worlds of 'Black Mirror’

Oct. 24, 2016

With an imagination like Charlie Brooker's at your disposal, translating language into imagery is "like butter." If you aren’t familiar with the anthology show, Black Mirror got its start on Great Britain’s Channel 4 way back in 2011. It may best be labeled as “dystopian tech-fi,” in that it deals with technology that exists in our modern world, but could slide into some dark purpose. It's easy to see how society could slip into anyone of the nightmarish scenarios which Brooker creates, and that's what makes the series so effective. After two seasons with Channel 4, Black Mirror would go on to become a sensation in the United States thanks to millions of binge watches on Netflix. So when Channel 4 announced they would no longer be produce the show, it only made sense for Netflix to pick it up and fund a new season themselves. The season premiered on October 21. This episode of the No Film School Podcast is broken up into two parts. The first is an interview with Joe Wright who directed the episode “Nosedive.” Mr. Wright has directed some high budget adaptations including Atonement, Pride & Prejudice, Anna Karenina, and most recently Pan. Among other things, we discussed his transition from big budget picture to streaming TV and actors are the most important tool at your disposal as a filmmaker. Next, Producer Jon Fusco talked with Owen Harris, director of the “San Junipero” episode. No stranger to the series, Mr. Harris also directed the classic Be Right Back episode back in Season 2 about a grieving widow who uses computer software that allows you to "talk" to the deceased. We discussed the differences between directing for anthology and episodic TV and his open collaboration with writer/creator Charlie Brooker.

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