When I started, I made a list of 100 things I would not do – anything that would compromise my integrity – I didn’t listen to them, I let them do the work on their own. That did not work for me. Eventually, I found that if I was really committed to doing something, I couldn’t take anybody else’s direction; if they wanted to do the same thing, no one could do it better, no matter how good they were.
Do actors get away with having more money than producers?
I mean, they certainly do. I had a production company for three or four years, and there were days after the show had wrapped in which the company didn’t have any money. There were plenty of writers and directors who had just left the show. It was the norm.
It’s a lot of fun to sit back and watch people do their thing. But you get that sense in the industry that it’s all about the talent. I don’t care who gets the money, but there’s a time and a place and only certain people deserve the money. The only people who should be paid are people who have done the work, and it’s not just about going, ‘Well, if you didn’t want to do the job, I don’t have to hire you.’
Did you learn how to use social media as a producer?
We were on our way, but I was thinking at the time, ‘Why are we making a show about a guy who buys these kids tickets and sits in their car after school? I don’t want that guy on my show, man! I don’t need that kind of guy on my show!’ I wasn’t saying I knew the answer to it, but I was saying I felt at the time… like, ‘What’s wrong with me? Why is so much my business?'” That’s not how you handle social media. That’s not how you handle having people come to you with stories. So, I stopped doing it! [Laughs.]
This season, was there anything you learned to make TV better on The Good Place — beyond putting more cameras all over the place and better storytelling?
We had a really successful pilot, and people thought we were trying to be something else. But it helped us figure out what our target audience was. What was the most loyal? Was it the one that didn’t like us because we wanted everything to be real? The people who loved it, the ones who gave
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