Working on House of Cards seems like a Producer’s Dream.
Ars Technica has a great article on Netflix’s House of Cards. The themes mentioned in the article parallel my own thinking, but I couldn’t help notice that there was no “network notes” nor FCC rules, leaving David Fincher to take the story where it goes.
House of Cards is interesting because the producer is very mainstream, and not from the “Internet Production World”. This is, in fact, old style TV with limits removed (more HBO than NBC) and without network interference:
Beyond what’s on screen, there are significant new TV business practices looming with House of Cards, first and foremost being Netflix’s hands-off approach. Netflix isn’t producing the show; it’s simply operating as the company licensed exclusively for its service. So Willimon and the creative team had “virtual complete control and freedom.” Unlike nearly all new scripted television, they weren’t even getting formal notes from their ‘network’ in this instance.
As long as there’s some creative discussion to help hone the director’s vision, this has got to be a dream job for most directors.
This is TV that is meant to be watched on the screen in the corner, usually with other people. Netflix outbid “the expected players”:
Back in 2011, the reigning champs of streaming video turned heads by outbidding outlets like Showtime and HBO for an original series called House of Cards.
The future of Television probably looks much like the present, except there will be many more types of funding: Netflix, Amazon, Google (YouTube), are already funding Television style and quality production. Branded programming is starting to boom as well where the funding body is a brand, but it’s still entertainment.
Meanwhile House of Cards is probably a little dark for my viewing tastes, but I wish Netflix well, particularly with the innovative all-at-once release of the first 13 episodes. I love to binge on new shows (or shows that are new to me).