Limetown – From Podcast to Picture: The Origins | Facebook Watch

Limetown – From Podcast to Picture: The Origins | Facebook Watch


So Skip and I met in film school. We both went to NYU’s
Tisch School of the Arts. I asked Skip to produce
my senior thesis film and it was one of those things that after we worked together, it was like “Oh, we should do this, we
should just work together we should try to do
this as professionals.” And then it only took
us what, like 10 years? (laughs) – A decade later. – And there was a day I was
riding the subway in New York and I was listening to a
podcast, I think I was listening to Radiolab and I looked around
and noticed that everyone was wearing headphones. Everyone was listening to something. And it was just sort of one
of those moments when like “This is an audience,
there’s an audience, there’s an audience here that we
could do something with.” And so it was this idea of, “We should do a fictional podcast.” So we were trying to figure
out what the best story to tell was for the format, and
Skip was reading World War Z at the time, which was
actually an oral history of a fake event, but it’s sort
of based on the Studs Terkel approach of journalism, of
telling these sort of broad historical stories through these really intimate oral histories. So then it was just a matter
of figuring out what the story we wanted to tell was. And then one day, I don’t
know why, I just called Skip and I was like, “A town disappears.” And he said, “Why?” I said, “I don’t know.” – [Skip] But that ain’t enough. – Yeah but that was how
we started the process of figuring out what this show was. – I think we had a really
clear idea of what the ending of the story was gonna be. – Yeah. – We knew what the arc of the
whole season was gonna be. And we knew the characters and so we just started writing questions. And we’re like, “Okay,
so who is our guide?” “What is her occupation?” “What’s her backstory?” “What exactly were they
working on in Limetown?” And we just listed off 100
questions we could think of about the story,
knowing what the outcome is and then just spent months
answering those questions. – Are you scared of Limetown? (laughs) – Yeah, of course, it’s like
a graveyard with no bodies. – So in August of 2015, we
just decided to put it out ourselves, and then we were
fortunate enough to be featured on the new and noteworthy
section of the podcast homepage. – And then it all of a sudden became real. – Yeah. – Very fast. – Really fast. – And within a few weeks,
it was the number one show on iTunes and there were
millions of listens. – I felt like we needed to
make like a public announcement at some point, like “This
is a fictional show.” Like we had one person say, they were like “I’m on my lunch break I’m
gonna drive to Limetown.” – They were in Tennessee. – Yeah they were like – They were like already
there or they were in Sparta. – And “Yeah I’m gonna drive to Limetown.” And I think we immediately were like “This is a fake show, this
is fake, this is fake.” – Don’t go anywhere! (laughs) It was, as Zack said, t
was never our intention to mislead anyone or to
manipulate people into thinking it was real, but it was our intention to make it feel super realistic. – No, it wasn’t until we met
with our agency afterwards. And I think it was like, right after we’d finished the podcast and they were like “What do you guys want to do next?” And it was just sort of like,
“Why don’t we do a TV show?” like “Haha, let’s do a TV show.” And they were like, “Okay.” And it was a moment of
like, “Wait, that’s it?” “Now we do it? Okay, great.” – It’s so obviously a bigger
world that we didn’t get to explore in the podcast. The podcast is just Lia’s broadcast. And there’s so much happening
to her and around her during that first season, that we don’t even get to touch on. And that was always
the most exciting thing about turning it into television. – The idea of Jessica Biel
coming onto our show was honestly something that we’d never thought
about, because it was like “Why would someone that
big be on our show?” (laughs) Like it’s just like, it was like I think the name was floated, it was like “Alright, sure, Jessica Biel.” – Okay, haha. – Yeah like, and then it sort of like actually started happening. Like she actually was interested
and actually wanted to talk to us about the show, and it
was like, “What? Alright.” – There were like a couple
moments in the course of production and pre-production
where I would call them like, “Stop everything moments.” And that was definitely one
of them, where it’s like “Literally everything else
needs to stop and we just need to focus on making this happen if it’s a real possibility.” She had such a grasp of
Lia already and ideas for who Lia was. And she was saying all the
things we had been thinking about but then pushing it further. So she was like, “Lia is
obsessive, and she’s wreckless.” And I remember in my notes,
she said something like “Lia’s the kind of character
who would break her own finger in anger.” And we were like, “Yes,
that’s exactly who Lia is.” It fit what Lia was, but we
hadn’t necessarily considered that yet, and it was, at
that point, it was like “This is..She has to be Lia Haddock.” – Do, not, scare, me. – Probably the most interesting
part and the exceptional part of the Limetown production
is that we did what’s called “Crossboarding,” and that
basically means that if over the course of the whole season you’re looking at all your scripts. So all your scripts are ready
before you start production. There are seven scenes in Lia’s apartment. You’d shoot all those out on,
you know, day one and two. If there are 25 scenes in
APR you’ll shoot all of those for the next two weeks. Which means in the course
of any given day, you could be shooting across six episodes. And it’s hard on the crew. Mostly hard on the director and the lead. So for us, in that case,
it’s Rebecca Thomas who is our director who had
to direct every single episode for this to work. And for Jess, because
they have to keep track of the emotional state of the character. – And just both Becca and
Jess were always prepared every day for what was
happening in a deep way. Because our show was about
a female protagonist, it’s her story, it was really important to us
that our director was a woman and sort of, that this story
was told with that perspective. Now that we’ve talked about
the podcast, please tune in to watch the TV show on October 16th.

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