‘Room 104’: Mark and Jay Duplass Are Saving Filmmakers By Bringing Them to Television

IndieWire | 12/18/2018 | Staff
joyy (Posted by) Level 3
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You can take the filmmaker out of indie film, but you can’t take indie filmmaking out of Mark Duplass. The co-creator of “Room 104” has a niche at HBO: He makes the genre-shifting, episodic anthology series cheap and fast. So fast, in fact, the next season is already done.

“Here’s the scoop on Season 3 — we already shot it,” Duplass said in an interview, weeks before the Season 2 finale aired. “We have shot it, we have edited it, and we have delivered it. We did two seasons back-to-back because it was going to be so much cheaper.”

Duplass - Crew - Episodes - Row - HBO

Duplass said that’s why the crew shot 24 episodes in a row; now the first 12 have aired, it’s up to HBO as to when the next set drops. Duplass is already hard at work writing Season 4.

It may not replace outgoing HBO juggernaut “Game of Thrones,” but Duplass is filling the premium network’s programming quota with the experimental, inexpensive, and innovative “Room 104.” The anthology series has a simple premise: Each week brings a new story with new characters inside the same cheap motel room. Directors like Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Gaby Hoffman, Megan Griffiths, Natalie Morales, Liza Johnson, and Josephine Decker have all checked in for a half-hour (or more), establishing the series as a hub for indie filmmakers with short-form stories to tell.

Duplass - Episodes - Quarter - Cost - HBO

Duplass said he makes episodes for “a quarter” of the cost typically expected for HBO series, and he’s able to deliver high-quality at a lower cost because “Room 104” isn’t conceived, written, produced, or released like your typical television show.

Mahershala Ali in “Room 104”

Duplass - Lot - Pitches - Fellow - Producers

For one, Duplass doesn’t take a lot of pitches. Fellow producers Jay Duplass, Mel Eslyn, Tyler Romary, and showrunner/E.P. Sydney Fleischmann create a “think tank” to kick around dozens of ideas so they can start...
(Excerpt) Read more at: IndieWire
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