The joy of independence
Producer Steve Knapman was blunt when TV Tonight asked about producing East West 101 for SBS and The Strip for Nine.
East West 101 deservedly snaffled the AFI Award for Best Miniseries, Telemovie and Short Run from Bed of Roses, Rain Shadow and Valentine’s Day.
In a slim category, it was SBS’ only award for the night, and sadly one that wasn’t featured in the broadcast by Nine.
Producer Steve Knapman says the series, currently in production on series two, doesn’t rely on tricks for its storytelling.
“There’s no real secret,” he said. “It’s research. It’s getting real advice from people with the life experience who are doing the job. So we’ve got a lot of detectives to talk to.
“The second thing is we shoot with a lot of cameras. We try to cast and shoot in such a way that keeps the truth in front of the camera. We don’t like theatrical, we like it real. And we’ve kind of evolved a team of people who an deliver that to us. We shoot very fast. There’s not a lot of time to think, and that brings a certain truth and energy to the material.”
But perhaps the most awkward question and answer in the Media Room was in regard to Knapman-Wyld’s other television series, The Strip.
TV Tonight: You’ve had a critical hit with a very grass-roots series with East West 101 for SBS and then a more glam series with The Strip for Nine, which hasn’t fared quite so well. How do you compare producing something for SBS versus something for Nine?
Steve Knapman: Well, on SBS we make our show.
TV Tonight: Meaning?
Steve Knapman: We make our show on SBS.