How TV Is Increasingly Breaking the Rules

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The rules of TV are changing in that, increasingly, there are no rules. On this week’s episode of the Vulture TV Podcast, we examine the formal experimentation on shows like Joe Swanberg’s Easy and HBO’s High Maintenance, how much Louie has influenced this sea change in form, and why “television has always been very good about staking out this middle ground between the novel and the short story.”

Plus, High Maintenance cinematographer Dagmar Weaver-Madsen describes the complex process of shooting the third episode of the series, which is presented from the perspective of a dog. Listen to the full discussion, and read a few highlights from our interview below:

On how they shot it:

“We really wanted to get into the POV of the dog … so mostly it becomes about, how do we show what the dog is seeing without going into a straight POV? And then you cut to the dog with a certain kind of energy, and then that makes the audience infer something about what the dog might be thinking … on set it sounds a lot like, Bowdie, Bowdie, Bowdie, come over here, look over here!”

On hiding trainers around the set:

“Some of our moves were quite complex. We’re using a Steadicam and we need him to move from one room to another, pause, look at something, look somewhere else, so we had to hide multiple trainers around the set.”

On the hardest scenes to shoot:

“Some of the trickier sequences were any time he was off-leash in public because Bowdie loves chasing squirrels. So in addition to having trainers, there’s a whole team of people just out of frame making sure they’re going to grab him and get him before he runs off. There’s an entire invisible army surrounding him." 

Tune in to the Vulture TV Podcast, produced by the Slate Group’s Panoply, every Tuesday, on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts. And please send us your burning TV questions! Tweet us @Vulture, email tvquestions@vulture.com, or leave us a voice-mail at 646-504-7673.