Lenny Abrahamson in “Conversations With Friends” and “Ordinary People” – Deadline

Conversations with friends And Ordinary people They would have attracted a “small audience” if they were presented as features rather than TV shows, according to director Lenny Abrahamson, who said show makers should trust audiences to enjoy “arthouse TV.”

On the eve of BBC Three / Hulu Conversations with friends Oscar nominee released room And sincere The director spoke about how the independent film and high-end TV sectors have evolved dramatically in the past decade, blurring boundaries and allowing “classic theater” to hit the small screen.

“The wisdom a decade ago was that high-end TV should be sexy to keep people from changing the channel, but it’s remarkable now how people are prepared to commit to something thoughtful and exciting to implement,” he told Deadline.

Lenny Abrahamson
Inda Bo / BBC

“we’re done Ordinary people or Conversations with friends As a long feature it would have had a small audience. It’s really hard to get these movies to stay in movie theaters and the audience tends to basically go out to see the bigger pillars of support now.”

Abrahamson praised general television audiences for being “far more progressive than distributors, filmmakers, and producers think.”

“Our intuition was to trust them but beforehand Ordinary people We’re still concerned that the audience is going to be too specific and that people might not give it enough time.” “I think we had the advantage of being a little quieter.”

The show was an inspiration, as BAFTA award winnings and skydivers Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar Jones catapulted to stardom, and Element Pictures’ Conversations with friends It is the second broadcaster and producer created by Sally Rooney. Both were taken out by Abrahamson, with Leanne Willham taking over directing the second block of Ordinary people Hetty MacDonald and directing episodes six through 10.

Starring Jemima Kirk, Joe Alwyn and newcomers Alison Oliver and Sasha Lane as Frances and Bobby, the series follows a pair of Dublin’s spoken word poets. At one of their shows they meet Melissa (Kirk), an older writer who is infatuated with them, and Frances then begins spending more time with Melissa’s husband (Alwin), which turns into a secret but passionate affair.

Abrahamson approached Wilham after liking the BAFTA nominee Billy, The 2017 film that follows a woman’s life over five days, focusing on emotional intimacy.

Speaking to Deadline, she expected more TV sitcoms and Abrahamson’s Art House approach to taking it up on her.

“simple TV”

Lenny has talked about ‘lean-in TV’ and that’s what we do; she added, ‘giving viewers a space to ask their own questions.’ ‘This lends itself to the originality that I enjoy as a director.’

Abrahamson praised the casting team for “not reducing characters to a set of prescriptive traits and descriptions” when researching leads.

While there are many similarities with Ordinary peopleThe team shifted from digital photography To photograph Abrahamson said Conversations with friends It is “a cooler and perhaps more naturalistic style”.

“This is a story about coming of age told through complex relationships, which is different from the ideal love story, so these things pile up. Conversations with friends its own thing.”

“You have to invent things that don’t look like they’re invented. We’ve created sequences and dialogue that puts characters on their feet on TV. We hope you do it in a way that makes people believe that what was said could have happened in exactly the same way in the novel.”

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