Whatcha Been Watching?


In this new recurring segment, I’ll be discussing with people here at the office what they’ve been watching this past week! It’s a conversation among ourselves about the stories that we are consuming, recently. As storytellers, we are constantly inspired by the works of other artists in our film community, and we can’t help but love some of the great movies, television, and web content that is offered to us. In these discussions, we’ll explore the types of stories that are inspiring us to create more engaging content and how we yearn to keep growing as storytellers. Let’s find out what we’ve been watching this week; starting with me!


Benton Olivares | Writer and Content Development
I’ve been slowly working my way through The Night Of, the limited series on HBO. I’m only on episode three, but I’ve been completely captivated by the show. I’m not usually a fan of procedural dramas, but I decided to give it a try since HBO has a track record of pumping out quality work.

It’s shot like a suspense thriller – it reminds me of NBC’s Hannibal, which I loved, but only got three seasons. There’s great attention to the details in each frame. The visuals show you exactly what you need to see and nothing more. It’s not afraid to dwell on the quiet moments because that’s where the bulk of each character is revealed. I don’t want to get into too many spoilers, but in the pilot, you meet the main character, Naz (played by Riz Ahmed), as he finds himself in an incriminating situation. Every nuance of his character is revealed in the actions he takes in order to escape the crime scene, and it causes the viewer to sympathize with a person charged with murder – whom we often don’t get see humanized.

I’d highly recommend the show if you’re a person who enjoys slow-burning crime procedurals. John Turturro gives a reserved, yet meaty performance as a lawyer looking to win his first big case. The cinematography is gorgeous – you could take every frame from the show and hang it on your wall. I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of this meticulous, well-crafted show turns out.


Jay Putnam | Business Development
“Over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to watch more web series. It’s an exciting medium to watch smaller scale productions produce well-made, well-written, creatively stunning stories. Each of them has the potential to experiment with story structure and newer production methods, which, seems to me, is becoming a testing ground for higher productions.

One, in particular, is High Maintenance, written by a husband and wife. It follows one character called The Guy in New York. You get very honest, unique performances and storylines that would not be as easily produced on network television. There’s no creative oversight; they’re usually self-funded (for instance, High Maintenance only had a six-person crew). People don’t have to be as risk-averse, so these artists can take risks on passion projects; the web allows for those types of projects. It’s become a really great place for me to learn about how filmmaking and creativity are adapting in the digital space.”


Ellie Sights | Manager of Workflow and Development
“I’ve been trying to get through Narcos: Season 2. I really loved Season 1, and I’ve heard Season 2 is even better, so I’m excited to get through it. I love those Netflix shows that are a bit edgier in nature.

I also watched Ray Donovan on Showtime, and I was obsessed with it. I’m fascinated by really complex characters, and Ray Donovan is extremely flawed. But, you find yourself rooting for him. I think it speaks to great writing and making him identifiable on some level. Not everyone is a homicidal Hollywood fixer, but some people have gone through some amount of family drama and trauma.”


Penny Wardlaw | Financial Advisor
“I’ve been watching a lot of Seinfeld re-runs, so I’m not really watching anything current. It’s an easy show to go back to, and I’ve been wanting to stay upbeat and positive, recently. I’m not committed to anything right now. Seinfeld is a show that obviously revels in being a show about nothing; I think it’s a brilliant reflection of our daily lives. Of course, I only wish my life was as funny as Seinfeld!

I’ve been watching Band of Brothers, slowly but surely, and it’s a heavy show. That’s why I can’t watch it too fast… And that’s probably why I’m watching Seinfeld. It’s to combat the severity of Band of Brothers. It’s a phenomenal show, though, because of how detailed everything is; it’s like I’m actually there during World War II. It’s a great exploration of brotherhood, honor, and sacrifice.”


Harrison Riggs | Editor
“Around this time, I like to watch horror or suspense films, and I try to watch as many old films as possible. For instance, I watch a lot of Hitchcock films Rear Window, The Birds, Psycho. I also watched Nosferatu, which was one of the first silent horror films. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is on Netflix, and it’s one of the first movies with a twist.

It puts me in the mood for October, and it’s cool seeing horror films, which are the epitome of a magic trick, to me. They show you what you what you need to see before scaring the crap out of you. Every shot is selected because it reveals just the right amount of information for the audience. Camera movement and blocking are done in such an artful way, like dutch angles. I enjoy writing those types of films, and it makes me creatively construct a shot or image that gives away just the right amount of information.”


Thanks for tuning in for this first installment of ‘Whatcha Been Watching?!’ We can’t wait to share with you what else we’ve been watching in our next post. Tell us about what you’ve been checking out this week by liking, sharing, and commenting. Be sure to check out our new releases: Sean Davé’s newest music video for Bronze Radio Return’s “Only Temporary” and the promo video Apartment Shark directed by Matt DeLisi for Sony Pictures’s The Shallows.