It came as no surprise when HBO’s Watchmen was nominated for all of the Emmy’s that is was. The amazing limited series was created by Damon Lindelof. It is still probably one of the most talked-about series from the past year. And I’m sure will continue to be talked about for years to come.
Steph Green is one of the series directors who was nominated for an Emmy. Having directed episode five, Little Fear of Lightning; Green certainly helped in catapulting this show into the success it had. And, Green was kind enough to stop by to speak with us on this nomination. As well as some of the background story about the show. Green and I had spoken over the phone, but what you see below is our conversation transcribed. Have a look!
This is Tia Fabi from Geek Vibes Nation. Here with Steph Green. Emmy nominated director of Watchmen. How are you Steph?
Steph: I’m great. Hi, Tia. Great to be here.
Tia: Absolutely. First, congratulations to being nominated – especially for a series that was highly talked about, incredibly popular. How does that feel?
Steph: Such a surprise. I was so thrilled. I anticipated. And I wanted to see Nicky and Stephen’s names there. Um, for their exceptional episodes. The fact that I’m also able to be on that list is such an honor.
Tia: That’s awesome. I think HBO Watchmen has broken records how many nominations it’s racked up. So, that’s awesome. So, you directed episode five (Little Fear of Lightning), my question is, before coming on and directing that episode – had you previously seen the movie version of Watchmen?
Steph: Yes, I have.
Tia: Did any of that go into directing this episode?
Steph: I really admired the film and felt it was incredible with how much it recreated the graphic novel. It was quite amazing. Damon and the team at Watchmen were trying to do something different with the source material. We were trying to be less of a carbon copy of. So, by in large, I felt we were making our own version. The exception was the first act of my show was set in 1985 and that at the time is the end of the graphic novel. For the carnival scene when Wade steps out, we were able to pull from the graphic novel. We were able to place more Easter eggs in. Use the graphic novel in more detail for that sequence.
Tia: That’s cool you were able to do that. Just so we can get more insight into the process when you were brought in did you know you were going to film the fifth episode? Did you have a choice? What was the process?
Steph: I knew I was going to be episode five. I knew Nicky was going to do the first two. I felt it was really exciting to be involved in that point. It was revealed after the content of the script that I would be responsible for. I felt so excited once I found out.
Tia: While you filming that episode, is there a particular day that stands out in the filming process?
Steph: There’s so many amazing days. One day I got to show up to all these twins and twin animals that have been chosen for photographs. I wanted to take one of the puppies home with me. Just sheer delight. Then there were these huge epic days – creating the funhouse then destroying it. Then designing Wade’s love story. Creating something intimate. Every day, I can remember feeling there was just never a dull day. It was all exceptional. I would love to do it all full-time.
Tia: It being HBO, you have this massive studio behind you. You are afforded more to play with. Did you feel like you were given more to play with when you were working on Watchmen?
Steph: Definitely. What you find there is a sense of adventure. We’re of course shown not to be wasteful. It’s like a place where dreams can be made. HBO will try to facilitate it and try to make it work. That’s not always the case. I mean, constraints be wonderful as well. I worked on The Americans which did not have that resource level. The Americans was a show that worked with constraints beautifully. We felt, though; like we were making feature films every episode [for Watchmen].
Tia: Why do you feel Watchmen resonated with people as much as it did?
Steph: I do think we are able to enjoy this show at multiple levels. At the entertainment level, it works. We love to be entertained – we look for education in our entertainment. I feel privileged. I think the Emmy’s has helped bring an audience to that. But, even Damon will say this show is not his – he’s a collaborated on it. We feel it was a group effort. Politics is another way we tell stories with each other. Damon asked himself ‘where is the tension in our society? What’s going on right now’? We decided to be bold.
Tia: It obviously worked out due to all of the awards! Now, I believe Damon had said he didn’t want to do a second season and HBO doesn’t want to move forward with a second season unless it’s with Damon. What do you think about the decision to keep Watchmen as one season?
Steph: I think Damon told the story that was in him to tell. I’ve heard him say he’d love to see someone else take up the torch. I think that could be interesting. I hope some version of that can happen. There’s more richness to be found in the source material. But, he says that for now. There was so much pressure and expectations. For now, he’s told the story. I heard him say in a recent podcast that if he’s sitting around ten years from now he’d go back to it. It’s not never – just not right now.
Tia: I’m sure HBO or some other studio would be super happy to take him up on it ten years from now. If that were the case, if they called you up and asked you back – would your answer be yes?
Steph: Absolutely. I would be so interested even if there were another iteration with a different showrunner. I have a lot of love for the material and interested in what could be next.
Tia: Would you have any ideas of where you’d like to go with the story?
Steph: I could watch Sister Night or any of these characters for ten seasons. I think that’s, for me; I’m a very character-driven director. I feel like I could watch these actors and characters forever. Each of them. They’re so great.
Tia: If you could, do you have an idea of another comic book series you’d love to adapt?
Steph: Oh wow. Not off the top of my head. I really am interested in Star Wars. I’ve never done anything with Lucas. I’d love to work in that work as it’s very creative with a lot of great characters. That’s definitely on the wishlist.
Tia: The Mandalorian would be a great series to have your touch on it.
Steph: Yes, indeed.
Tia: Is the Emmy’s going to be physical or virtual?
Steph: They’re still figuring out how it’s going to work. I’m comfortable with camera crews coming over. That feels very safe. I think some people will go to studios, but only with safety protocols in place. I’m very curious about how it’s going to come together.
Tia: Do you have any upcoming projects?
Steph: Currently producing The Dropout with Kate McKinnon.
There you have it guys! Green was very lovely to speak with. And as huge fans of the show Watchmen, Geek Vibes Nation was delighted to have Green speak with us. We can only hope she continues directing amazing stuff. And that Disney gives her a call for some Star Wars related content.
A girl with too many fandoms to count.