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David Simon and Tom Fontana

After more than a decade of reporting crime from the streets of Baltimore, how did a career journalist like David Simon learn to navigate a TV writers room? The outcome was in no small part due to the indispensable guidance of veteran TV producer Tom Fontana. Together, they brought Simons realistic characterization to Homicide: Life on the Street. Separately, the two would go on to create series that defined HBO and stand out as part of the TV revolution: Oz and The Wire. Join Simon and Fontana as they reflect on their earlier and vastly different experiences in the realm of 90s broadcast TV. Moderated by Beau Willimon (creator, House of Cards) Recorded at ATX Television Festival on June 11, 2016.

Service: Spreaker
Publshed on: Aug 02, 2016
Duration: 55:14

Not included in any channel

Q: When you deal daily with dysfunctional systems, how do you maintain optimism about your writing?
48:26 to 48:39
13 seconds
Simon: The role of institutions in society - The Wire is not about a Libertarian doomsday
48:58 to 50:53
1.9 minutes
Fontana: The internal spirit, consistency, and compelling nature of despicable characters
50:45 to 51:44
59 seconds
Q: How do you know how far to push characters into the realm of evil before they become unrootable for the audience?
51:52 to 52:09
17 seconds
Fontana: It's not about good or bad characters, but about "what's my next move"
52:10 to 52:40
30 seconds
Simon: People live in the moment, not in moral frameworks, they live in a world of pragmatic obstacles they have to overcome.
52:41 to 53:40
59 seconds
Q: How do you go from the writing to what's on screen re storyboards, etc.
54:44 to N/A
30 seconds