Joseph H. Guidry interview: ‘The Big Brunch’ director
Few directors in the reality competition space are as lauded as Joseph H. Guidry. The filmmaker has received three consecutive nominations from the Directors Guild Awards, including one this year for his work on the HBO Max series “The Big Brunch.” (Guidry won a DGA Award in 2020 for HBO Max’s “Full Bloom.”)
“HBO Max is a premium streamer,” Guidry tells Gold Derby in an exclusive video interview as part of our Meet the Experts: Directors panel. “The Big Brunch” – which Emmy Award winner Dan Levy created – is a series, Guidry says, that fits right in with the platform’s aesthetic.
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“There’s a certain style and formula that I and my team and my DP have acquired over the years since we’ve been working together for so long,” he explains. “But one of the differences that we felt makes this show [stand out] from the previous shows that I’ve done is the production company: Boardwalk Pictures and Andrew Fried, Mr. ‘Chef’s Table,’ So we took the documentary world and the way they do things and we took our reality competition format, and the world and the way that we do things, and we melded them together. And it wasn’t a perfect fit. There were different ways that we were used to doing things, but we were able to find something in the middle and work together and we created something super-duper special. And I love that experience that we had together. I love the fact that we were able to find the magic in the show.”
Debuting late last year, “The Big Brunch” finds 10 contestants competing to win $300,000 as they share “their stories and business dreams” with Levy and fellow judges Sohla El-Waylly and Will Guidara. Guidry is nominated this year for the show’s fourth episode, “Carb Loading Brunch,” where the contestants have to make brunch options anchored by some form of bread.
“This one actually stood out a lot because this was one of my favorite episodes,” Guidry says. “I love the show, I love all the episodes, but this one really hit home.” In the episode, chef Catie Randazzo, who is nonbinary, is voted off – but not before they’re able to share their story with the show and viewers.
“We were really starting to find our groove,” Guidry says of the episode. “I felt that this was the episode where things just started to all come together and make sense.”
All episodes of “The Big Brunch” are available on HBO Max.