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‘Documentary Now!’ EPs On Playing Up The Real – The Contenders Emmys Video

Documentary Now!

When Documentary Now! producers are choosing which docs to tackle next, “the first thing is always can we do it? Can we make it seem funny and real at the same time? There is also the budgetary thing,” said Fred Armisen, one of IFC mockumentary series’ creators and executive producers, during Deadline’s recent The Contenders Emmys awards-season event.

Also taken into consideration, “is there enough for the performers, so these seem like real characters?” added Armisen, who was joined on the network’s panel at the Paramount Theater by series co-creator/EP Rhys Thomas and EP Alex Buono.

Documentary Now!
Rhys Thomas/IFC

Speaking of performers, the series is known for featuring A-list actors including the likes of Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, Michael Keaton, Owen Wilson and Michael C. Hall among others. But the celebrity aspect isn’t what the show is trying to be about.

“The goal is always to maintain the reality of the film and the documentary,” Thomas said. “You do have to be careful with casting known entities because sometimes they’ll bring the baggage of who they are, so your investment in the reality of the character can be mudded by it.”

Another goal is to really fool people. “We have this real hope that someday in the future people will think these are real documentaries,” Armisen said.

Click the video above to see more of the conversation.

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