Alan Poul Interview: ‘The Eddy’ director
Director Alan Poul may have decades of experience on television but “The Eddy” was a fascinating new challenge for him. While typically a meticulous planner, the improvisational style of “The Eddy” forced him to do away with shot lists and storyboards in favor of a much more collaborative creative process. Poul normally goes into a project as a director “with a sense of exactly what I want from a scene and exactly how I’m gonna get that out of a scene,” he explains in a new interview with Gold Derby, “On ‘The Eddy,’ you have to take everything you know and throw it out and say, ‘Okay, I know what the heart of the scene is and now I’m gonna collaborate with camera and with the actors to make that happen.'” Watch the exclusive video interview with Poul above.
Directing the final two episodes of the Netflix limited series, Poul used his own background working in character-driven series like “Six Feet Under” to explore characters and relationships in deeper ways than previously explored. “I think the attention to character and performance is something that I am very focused on on every show that I make,” he states, also noting that these final two episodes were also quite plot-driven. “It was striking the right balance to keep the spontaneity and vérité aspects that had become the signatures of the show while still being able to make the big moments play big.”
Poul, who is also an executive producer on the series, had the responsibility of executing several climactic moments, including Elliot (Andre Holland) and Julie (Amandla Stenberg) performing together. This was one of many musical sequences Poul was tasked with directing without a shot list, an experience he found scary but also quite fulfilling. Another difficult scene to pull off was the very last one, where Elliot and his band walk through the street performing and interacting with strangers. “The acoustics are not great out in the street and we had the members of the band playing instruments and singing and dancing and interacting with people and so to do all that while trying to get usable tracks was probably the biggest challenge of the two episodes for me,” he says. “You are flying without a net and that was something that now having experienced that style, I would definitely like to delve more into that direction.”