Swiftly following its official premier last week, Apple TV+ original comedy Dickinson was the subject of an exclusive cast and creator panel as part of Today at Apple in London’s Regent Street.
Screen Times were in attendance for the panel which followed a brief glimpse of the shows first gorgeous, playful episode. Series creator Alena Smith, star and executive producer Hailee Steinfeld and Tony Award-winning actor Jane Krakowski sat down with Sunday Times Entertainment editor Scarlett Russell for a brief chat about the show, Emily Dickinson and plucking chickens for David Gordon Green.
Q: Congratulations on this amazing programme. Alena, I know this is something of a passion project for you, so tell me how the idea for the show came about.
AS: Well, I actually used to write poetry in high-school and I always liked Emily Dickinsons poems. When I was in my early 20’s I read a biography of hers and was so surprised at how much the story of her coming of age and her early twenties resonated with me and where I was in that point in my life. I guess she was sort of trapped in her circumstances, yearning for something bigger and finding ways to express the infinite in the very very small. That really appealed to me and just stuck with me. About a decade later I had the weird idea to make a half hour TV show about Emily Dickinson.
Q: For anyone who might not be that familiar with Emily Dickinson’s poetry can you explain why its so prominent today and yet so radical at that time as well?
AS: Emily Dickinson wrote almost 2000 poems. It’s one of the greatest bodies of work in the English language – certainly in American literature. The irony is that almost none of that work was ever published or recognised or even seen whilst she was alive. She wrote her poems and sowed them into little books and hid them. They were discovered after she died.
What’s so incredible about her work is that she reinvented the rules of poetry in private. She was sort of an outsider artist I think and she had these poems that on the surface seemed simple – sometimes like nursery rhymes – but have these dark paradox’s embedded in them with these incredible images that we take from in the show and use as jumping off points for storylines and plot as much as we use the facts of her life.
Q: Hailee, If I can come to you. How do you get involved in this project and was it something you instantly knew you wanted to do?
HS: Yes. I read the first two scripts and after the first one I knew. It was so special and so different. I was mainly incredibly intrigued as to how they were going to pull it off. Because its so different and it is this period piece driven by non-other than her incredible poetry and complimented with her modern sense of thinking and this contemporary urban soundtrack. There were so many elements about that I was in love with. Having conversations with Alena shortly after I read the first two scripts any feeling was just completely reinforced. She had such a clear vision for this project and knew exactly what she wanted it to be and we did it.
AS: We were so incredibly lucky to get Hailee who is in almost every scene of this five hour long first season. [Hailee] is the anchor and the engine of the whole show. She just has gifts that go so far beyond what you would imagine someone of her age of possessing. Of course also her whole musical side is so important to this show where we use our contemporary soundtrack to show Emily’s inner-life doesn’t fit in with the confinement’s of her time. When Hailee wrote a song for us we were just blown away by how exciting it was for us all to be responding as artists to the work of Emily Dickinson.
Apple have started to roll out its new ‘under the sea’ screensavers to Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K users.
Produced in partnership with the BBC’s Natural History Unit and shot in 4K HDR, the new additions to Apple’s ‘Aerial’ screensavers offer multiple stunning looks at the underwater world.
Joining last years shots from space taken by the International Space Station and panoramic vistas shot around the world, the underwater clips round out what has fast become a signature feature of our favourite set-top box.
The beautiful footage which includes barracuda, palua coral and jellyfish is also joined by a handful of new shots from the International Space Station.
The complete list of new additions follow:
- Space: Atlantic Ocean to Spain and France
- Space: Australia
- Space: Caribbean
- Space: Nile Delta
- Space: South Africa to North Asia
- Sea: Barrucada
- Sea: Bumpheads
- Sea: Jacks
- Sea: Kelp
- Sea: Palau Coral
- Sea: Palua Jellies
- Sea: Sea Stars
- Sea: Seals
To make sure you receive the new ‘Aerial’ screensavers promptly, simply hop into the screen saver settings and change the ‘Download New Video’ preference to daily.
Whilst you wait to for the download to appear, you can view all the new screensavers on demand by visiting the personal blog of Benjamin Mayo. Our esteemed friend hosts an archive of Apple TV’s signature screensavers which you can visit by clicking (Here).
With Apple TV+ mere weeks from launching, it was inevitable that Apple would make their presence felt at last nights Emmy Awards. The Emmys celebrate the previous years television accomplishments and with big names and big money being funnelled into the production of TV shows by the likes of Netflix, Amazon Video and HBO you may not be surprised to learn that not one award was taken home last night by a show available over-the-air.
Apple’s heads of Worldwide Video Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht will be more than aware that the company will want a healthy dose of nominations at next years awards show, with the hope that critical acclaim is forthcoming for the company’s original content lineup.
Joining the new 15 second spots for ‘Dickinson’, ‘For All Mankind’, ‘The Morning Show’, ‘See’ and ‘Snoopy in Space’ were the first teases for ‘Servant’ and ‘Truth Be Told’.
‘Servant’, from visionary M.Night Shyamalan received two creepy spots which whilst not giving away much, set the kind of foreboding tone expected from the writer/director. The supernatural show starring Lauren Ambrose, Toby Kebbell, Rupert Grint and Nell Tiger Free follows a Philadelphia couple in mourning following a tragedy that creates a rift in their marriage whilst inviting a mysterious force into their home.
Truth Be Told stars Octavia Spencer and Aaron Paul in a true-crime thriller with the teaser highlighting the two leads. Octavia Spencer plays a podcaster who reopens her investigation into a murder. With doubts and new evidence coming to light after her original evidence leads to a conviction, she is forced to reevaluate her investigation which made her a media sensation.
Both shows will premiere in the weeks following the launch of Apple TV+.
You can view all the new spots that debuted during last nights after the jump.
Apple TV+ Original Dickinson has followed last weeks debut at the Tribeca TV Festival with a second trailer to celebrate the release of new Hailee Steinfeld single ‘Afterlife’.
The new trailer introduces new cast members whilst giving a better taste of what to expect from the modern take on the American authors life.The show also stars Wiz-Khalifa as Death and Ella Hunt as Susan Gilbert, the Apple TV+ original looks set to explore a popularised theory about the eponymous poet.
Promoting her new single ‘Afterlife’; Hailee Steinfeld told Apple Music’s Zane Lowe:
The singer and actress spoke about the TV project and her executive producer role:
“It’s been so incredible working with Apple on this project as it’s a new venture for them and for me as-well. I’ve never really done anything before in the TV space. A lot of how this all works is new to me to”.”I’m executive producing the show which is my first time filling that role. I wanted to show up in a way that wasn’t just as an actor. I wanted to be a part of the decision making processes and see things through from the beginning, middle and – to the – end.”
On Rap star Whiz Khalifa being unveiled as a cast member earlier this week, Steinfeld had this to say:
You can watch Hailee Steinfeld’s Beats 1 world exclusive interview in full, as-well-as the new trailer for the modern period piece below.
Dickinson is part of the launch lineup for Apple TV+ which launches on November 1st in over 150 countries at $4.99/month.