The rise of prestige television and the big money being pumped into the market by streaming options like Netflix and Amazon have swept a bunch of big-name film-types into the world of television. Actors like Matthew McConaughey and Kevin Spacey are popping up in front of the camera, and even some of the behind-the-camera auteurs are getting into the act. One of the more recent directors to give the brave new world of the internet a try is Woody Allen, who signed on to create a new series for Amazon back in January.
And guess what. IT IS GOING GREAT!
(It is not going great.)
From a lengthy, wide-ranging interview with Deadline:
I don’t even know what a streaming service is; that’s the interesting thing. When you said streaming service, it was the first time I’ve heard that term connected with the Amazon thing. I never knew what Amazon was.
Now, in a way, this doesn’t matter. Allen will make the show like any other television project. The “streaming” thing is just the method of delivery, which is entirely up to the people at Amazon. But still, the showrunner of a streaming series on Amazon getting four months into the project without knowing what streaming is or what Amazon does, well, that’s just funny.
Amazon kept coming to me and saying, please do this, whatever you want. I kept saying I have no ideas for it, that I never watch television. I don’t know the first thing about it. Well, this went on for a year and a half, and they kept making a better deal and a better deal. Finally they said look, we’ll do anything that you want, just give us six half hours.
“This is our offer.”
“I have no ideas, and I don’t know where I’d begin.”
“We’ll double it.”
“I don’t even watch television.”
“This is a bad idea.”
“ALL OF THE GOLD IN THE LAND FOR THREE HOURS OF LITERALLY ANYTHING.”
But I’m sure it’s improving by now.
I have regretted every second since I said OK. It’s been so hard for me.
I’m like a fish out of water. Movies I’ve been doing for decades, and even the stage stuff, I know the stage and have seen a million plays. But this…how to begin something and end it after a half an hour and then come back the next time. It’s not me.
I’m sure most of this is just Woody Allen’s pessimistic nature running amok. His first comments upon signing the deal were, “I don’t know how I got into this. I have no ideas and I’m not sure where to begin,” so it’s not exactly new, either. But if you’re Frank Amazon, who I’m assuming is the CEO of Amazon, you probably don’t feel to great about this right now.