Broad City

Broad Appeal: An Evening with the Directing Team from Broad City

February 5, 2019 An Eastern Region Special Projects Committee Panel Discussion

On February 5, DGA members gathered in the boardroom of the Guild’s New York offices for the Eastern Region Special Projects Committee’s panel discussion, Broad Appeal: An Evening with the Directing Team from Broad City. The evening featured Broad City Director/Executive Producers and stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, Director/Executive Producer Lilly Burns and Director John Lee.

Based on their web series of the same name, Broad City is about two best friends (Glazer and Jacobson) who try to navigate their 20s in New York City where things never go as planned.

The evening kicked off with a welcome from Eastern Region Special Projects Committee member Gary Donatelli. Then in a conversation moderated by Director Bob Balaban — who has also appeared in the series as Glazer’s father — the panelists spoke about what it takes to bring the acclaimed Comedy Central series to the screen, illustrated by clips from the show. During the discussion, they shared their experiences of crafting the Critics’ Choice TV Award-nominated series and covered topics including: casting guest stars, directing when you are required to act in the episode and juggling various roles on the program, and the transitions the show made from web series to a longer format series for cable and from each episode being a one-off to a show with continuous arcs.

Following the moderated portion of the panel discussion, the panelists took questions from the audience.


About the Panelists:

Ilana GlazerDirector/Executive Producer/Star Ilana Glazer
On Comedy Central’s critically acclaimed drama Broad City, Glazer plays Ilana Wexler, a fictionalized version of herself. She also serves as a writer and executive producer of the show and has directed three episodes. Glazer joined the DGA in 2017.


Abbi JacobsonDirector/Executive Producer/Star Abbi Jacobson
On Comedy Central’s critically acclaimed drama Broad City, Jacobson plays Abbi Abrams, a fictionalized version of herself. She also serves as a writer and executive producer of the show and has directed three episodes. Jacobson joined the DGA in 2017.

 

Lilly BurnsDirector/Executive Producer Lilly Burns
In addition to her work on Broad City, Burns has also directed an episode of the series Search Party and is in pre-production on an episode of the series Florida Girls. Burns has been a DGA member since 2017.

 

John Lee Director John Lee
In addition to his work on Broad City, Lee has also directed episodes of the series Delocated; The Heart, She Holler; Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter; Gigglefudge, U.S.A.; The Last O.G.; and the feature Pee-wee’s Big Holiday. Lee has been a DGA member since 2010.

 

Bob BalabanDirector Bob Balaban (moderator)
In addition to his long resume as an actor, including portraying Glazer's father on Broad City, Balaban's directorial career includes the feature films Parents and The Last Good Time; the documentary We the Economy: 20 Short Films You Can't Afford to Miss; the movies for television The Brass Ring, Invisible Thread and Fishkill; the pilot for the series Tales from the Darkside; and episodes of the series Eerie, Indiana; Oz; The Twilight Zone; Nurse Jackie; Alpha House and Graves. A DGA member since 1985, Balaban was nominated for the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television/Mini-Series for his 2006 film Bernard and Doris and again in the same category for his 2009 film Georgia O'Keeffe, which also earned him an Emmy nomination.


About the Committee:

Special Projects is the educational and cultural arm of the Directors Guild of America. It provides opportunities for creative exchange with programs for members and industry colleagues to celebrate the history and achievements of its members, advance their professional skills, and prepare them for the technological changes of the future. The Eastern Region Special Projects Committee is chaired by Raymond DeFelitta. The Committee Members are Ted Bogosian, Gary Donatelli, Daniel Hank, Dennis W. Mazzocco, and Susanna Styron.

Pictures

photos by Marcie Revens

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