Every time a movie star tries their hand at directing, audiences watch with bated breath. Here are ten stars whose filmmaking efforts landed them a place at the Sundance Film Festival.
RECTIFY creator Ray McKinnon discusses fascinating characters, the South and the silver lining of life on death row.
Q: A lot of characters persecute Daniel, but the show always seems to give us a chance to see things their way. What’s the key to finding that balance?
A: I certainly think a lot of characters have made judgments and have prejudices and preconceptions about Daniel… persecution’s a little too strong of a word. But the other words that I used feel appropriate to the characters, when I think of Teddy, or even Bobby Dean in a way. And I don’t know about balance, but as far as seeing things their way, I think if you’re trying to create three dimensional characters, each character like human beings have a subjective viewpoint of the world, and that’s what we tried to understand better. Teddy’s a great example of that, trying to understand what motivates Teddy, how he sees the world. He sees the world differently than Daniel. I think Teddy believes in law and order, or he did certainly in the first season. I think that has changed over time. But if they say Daniel did it and Daniel went to a jury and the jury found that he was guilty then that’s what Teddy believes is the truth, and so Teddy goes about his life verifying things he already believes in, affirming that, and when those things get challenged it’s very difficult for Teddy to deal with that. So I think the balance maybe you’re talking about is trying to make the characters not two-dimensional but three dimensional, where they have a point of view and oftentimes–even with Teddy–that point of view could be valid. Because Daniel could have killed Hannah Dean. We don’t know that answer yet.
Q: Do you sympathize with all the characters that much, or are there exceptions? Senator Foulkes… or Trey?
A: I don’t know if I sympathize with Trey, but …
Production designer Hugh “D.G.” Moody talks prison sets, contributing to character backstories and hiding Easter eggs.
Q: Is there any overarching design philosophy on RECTIFY that you keep in mind at all times?
A: Primarily the muted color palette and realistic locations. The show’s hyperrealistic, so sometimes we find locations and they’re just perfect. Most of the time, they’re not quite right. Sometimes you don’t know what exactly’s not right about it, but after you spend some time in the space you can usually identify it and identify how to change it to fit the world we’re trying to create.
Q: You’re responsible for every last detail of people’s living spaces. How do you figure out each character’s taste?
This week, Forbes grills RECTIFY showrunner Ray McKinnon on his creative process and influences, while The A.V. Club celebrates the series’ “inspired” used of sets and props. See what everyone is talking about, watch the entire first episode of RECTIFY Season 2 right now.
Clayne Crawford, who plays Ted Talbot Jr. on RECTIFY, discusses his theory about how Ted and Tawney met, his directorial aspirations and life on his 50-acre farm.
Q: Some fans see Teddy as the bad guy on RECTIFY. How do you seem him?
A: I see Teddy as a guy who never really had a true family unit… knowing that he came into the Talbot family around 10 or 11 and was never truly accepted by his sister and had that looming cloud hanging over the family’s head with Daniel being incarcerated. And then my little brother Jared was born not too far after, so I think Teddy is a guy craving attention and love as a result of that experience.
Q: Teddy is very devoted to Tawney. What has the writer told you about their back story and how they met?
RECTIFY’s Adelaide Clemens (Tawney Talbot) talks about how she relates to Tawney and trusting people before judging them.
Q: Are there aspects of Tawney that personally you relate to?
A: There are so many traits of Tawney that are very similar [to me]. I think she had to think for herself a lot in her childhood and also find community. She grew up as a foster child, so the church is literally a source of stability and a community and something to latch onto. Just personally, from moving around a lot, wherever community is offered, I’ll take it.
Q: You’ve played characters with a darker side in movies like Generation Um… and The Great Gatsby. Has it been fun to play a less jaded character?
Abigail Spencer, who plays Amantha Holden on RECTIFY, talks about the key to her character’s style and working alongside co-star Aden Young (Daniel Holden).
Q: Amantha is a very unusual name. Do you know how Ray came up with it?
A: Ray and I have never spoken about this, which is so funny. But I heard through someone who heard that Ray has a friend who has a daughter named Amantha and the character is named after the daughter… And I was surprised, I was like Oh, a human is actually named this? Actually there was a version of the script in Season 2 that explains the name, but the scene got cut, so we will continue to ponder the origins.
Q: Amantha’s style on RECTIFY is adorable. Does Amantha’s style match your personal style at all? Is there anything from her wardrobe that you’d like to steal?
Counting the days until RECTIFY Season 2? Here’s a handy guide of things to do in the meantime.
RECTIFY composer Gabriel Mann discusses supporting a subtle story and working in different genres through other shows like Modern Family and Arrested Development.
Q: What does RECTIFY‘s score say about the show?
A: I hope that it’s actually not saying a whole lot. The characters in RECTIFY are so carefully drawn that my job really is to support what they’re saying, doing, viewing. I guess you could say that the music in general is about the overall feeling of Daniel’s situation, his emergence from prison and the starkness and the loneliness of that experience. I mean, the music’s not all stark and lonely. There are moments of levity and beauty. I hope the music is not telling us too much, rather than just supporting and reacting to the characters and the town and the family relationships.
Q: Say you’re composing for a specific scene. Do you work from the script, from a rough cut or something else?
6 Questions With Executive Producer Melissa Bernstein (“Rectify,” “Breaking Bad” and “Halt and Catch Fire”)
Executive producer Melissa Bernstein discusses unconventional storytelling, connections between RECTIFY and Breaking Bad, and her latest project Halt and Catch Fire.
Q: How did you originally get involved with RECTIFY?
A: Mark Johnson, who I produce with, has known Ray McKinnon for years, and checked in with him periodically and got very lucky on timing. He checked in with Ray very shortly after he’d finished writing the pilot for RECTIFY on spec. And Ray agreed to share said pilot with Mark, who shared it with me that same evening. We read it within 24 hours and immediately fell in love with it. It was just so specific and beautifully written, and it was really in a setting that was so fresh and unique. We asked Ray if we could produce it and developed it for a year or so at AMC. And AMC ultimately had a different mandate at the time, so we just kept pushing and pushing and found a home at Sundance, where it belonged!
Q: Has this ten-episode season been more or less challenging than doing six episodes last year?
SundanceTV announced today that production has commenced on the highly anticipated sophomore season of its original drama series RECTIFY. The hour-long drama was created and written by Ray McKinnon (THE ACCOUNTANT, THAT EVENING SUN, MUD), who also serves as executive producer on the project under his shingle Zip Works. Production will once again take place in Griffin, GA. The ten-episode second season will air in Summer 2014.
Sundance Channel’s critically acclaimed scripted series RECTIFY will return for ten new episodes in summer 2014. The haunting story of a man released from prison after spending nearly two decades on death row, RECTIFY has been overwhelmingly well-received by critics and has landed on numerous year-end top ten lists.
In advance of the upcoming Golden Globe® and guild nominations, Sundance Channel will give the awards community a thought provoking “For Your Consideration” campaign that explores some of the risk-taking questions raised by the network’s first original scripted series, RECTIFY.
FROM THE PRODUCERS OF AWARD-WINNING BREAKING BAD, THIS PROJECT IS SUNDANCE CHANNEL’S FIRST WHOLLY-OWNED PRODUCTION
PREMIERES SIMULTANEOUSLY ON SUNDANCE CHANNEL GLOBAL
Further solidifying Sundance Channel’s commitment to high quality scripted programming, the channel today greenlit original scripted series RECTIFY with a six episode order. The hour-long legal drama was created and written by Academy Award winner Ray McKinnon (The Accountant) who also serves as executive producer on the project. The series represents the first wholly owned Sundance Channel scripted production. In addition, it will be the first project to premiere simultaneously on Sundance Channel in the United States and on Sundance Channel Global in countries throughout Europe, Asia and North America.
Veteran producers Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein of production company Gran Via will also serve as executive producers. This marks the second project for Johnson and Bernstein with AMC Networks. The first is AMC’s Emmy Award-winning series, Breaking Bad.