Modern Family’s Steven Levitan Interview

October 7, 2009 by
Filed under: Crew 

Movie Line has an interview with Modern Family‘s Steven Levitan. Here are some interesting Q&As:

How is running Modern Family different than the shows you’ve run in the past? How have you modified the process?
Well, I’m running it with Christopher Lloyd, so that’s automatically different. We’re sharing the leadership so we have to constantly check in with each other and sometimes battle it out, you know, “Which way are we going to go here?” But otherwise, you hope to make fewer mistakes with time but there are always new mistakes to be made. I’m not as freaked out by all of this as I was at the beginning. It’s becoming more natural to me. We’re just trying to get as far ahead as possible. I always say, that breaking stories is like Indiana Jones and the big ball. You try to get as far ahead as possibly but by the end of the season, that boulder is right behind you.

How long does it take to shoot an episode?
Five days.

Did you have a sense while writing the pilot that ABC was the best place for the show?
We wanted to do a show about family and we thoughtABC was the right place for it. We pitched it around and several people wanted it. ABC wanted it the most and we took it there. We’re not really good at filling orders. We feel like it’s got to come from our hearts and what we want to write about and then you find the right place for it.

And when you pitched it, did you already have the script?
Actually, for the first time ever, for me, I did a Key Note presentation on the computer because we had so many characters. I thought it would be too confusing otherwise for people to keep it all straight. So I used actors that I wanted or liked or pictures of people that looked like what was in our heads and we took it in and said, “This is our show,” and did a five minute Key Note.

Wow. A PowerPoint.
Yeah, the Mac version of PowerPoint. It was cool. We pitched it three places and three places wanted it. It worked.

The biggest concern was, where does this have the best chance of succeeding. ABC, NBC and CBSwanted it. We didn’t pitch it at FOX. And Steve [McPherson] really wanted it and you know, he’s an old friend, and the series just felt like ABC.

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