Many of you know David Petrarca, one of our best friends and virtual uncle to Lucy. He went down to Australia this week to give the keynote speech at the Perth Writers Festival, and though no actual transcript of his talk exists, a couple of sentences were taken out of context to set the entertainment blogosphere atwitter.
David has directed Studio City, “Big Love”, “Eli Stone”, “True Blood” and just about everything else. His highest-profile gig, however, were two of the best episodes of “Game of Thrones”, which prompted somebody in the crowd to ask him about illegal downloads.
I haven’t talked to him other than FB chatting over the last few days, but it sounds to me like he said something akin to “at this point, downloads can actually raise the profile of a show and create buzz.” I’ll take his logic further, to say that if you show isn’t being illegally downloaded, you haven’t really made it.
He further said that downloads had certainly not affected the success of the show, which by any measure, is most certainly true – even while being the most illegally downloaded show in modern torrent history.
Of course, these offhand comments got turned into headlines in the L.A. Times like ‘Game of Thrones’ Director Says Piracy Helps HBO Series Thrive, leading to a terse statement by HBO and then a clarifying salvo from David himself.
I don’t want to get into the ethical complications of this, because that’s an elephant in the room worth ignoring for now. But I’ll tell you this: nobody directs a show like Petrarca. I don’t know anybody more exacting, more professional, and with better taste.
Be a prima donna on set, be an asshole, be careless, and he will make your life hell. But if you’re working hard and hit your marks, you’ll have a friend for life. He brings gorgeous shows to bear, under the wire, and under budget. And if these silly, out-of-context comments lead somebody to second-guess him, it will truly be their loss.
with Lucy, August 2006