Hit FX show “Pose” was nominated for Breakthrough Series – Long Form at The 2018 IFP Gotham Awards this week at Cipriani Wall Street.
Creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Steven Canals were in attendance. They shared the nomination with their executive producers Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Alexis Martin Woodall, and Sherry Marsh.
The Knockturnal: So tell me how did the show come about?
Steven Canals: Well, I wrote an original draft of a pilot called Pose in 2014 when I was a graduate student at UCLA studying screenwriting.
The Knockturnal: And your show got made?
Steven Canals: And it got made. So it was a long road. It was two years of going in and out of executives’ offices, pitching it and being told there’s no value in this narrative. And then I met an incredible producer in Sherry Marsh who introduced me to Ryan Murphy who said we’re going to make it.
The Knockturnal: That’s awesome. And how has it been to collaborate with Ryan? He’s such industry veteran and a pretty brilliant guy.
Steven Canals: He’s incredible. It’s a master class to sit in a room with him and break story with him and to watch him direct an episode of television. It’s been amazing. He has been a friend and a mentor. He’s really shepherded this project in a really beautiful way and I’ve learned so much.
The Knockturnal: So you actually went to film school. How did that impact you?
Steven Canals: Well, I mean, the thing that I learned while I was at UCLA, was story first, right? The importance of character and the importance of theme and being really passionate about the story that you want to tell because that’s going to resonate with an audience. So those have been the important lessons. Then obviously working with Ryan, he’s taken that jewel and he’s just refined it. In addition to that, he has also taught me how to produce TV. So I was highly focused on the writing process while at UCLA. In working with Ryan, I’ve learned how to go from page to screen, which is beautiful.
The Knockturnal: And the show has been so well received. How gratifying is that?
Steven Canals: It’s so gratifying. You know, like I said, after two years of being told there’s no value in the story, to finally have someone say yes and to have the audience respond so beautifully to our show and to know that it is resonating, it’s beyond words.
We also spoke with MJ Rodriguez on the red carpet. She stars in Pose and presented the IFP Gotham Audience Award.
The Knockturnal: Your show is nominated today. How exciting is that?
MJ Rodriguez: Extremely excited. We got a good nomination for all of us. I think the team deserves that, honestly. Teamwork makes the dream work, baby.
The Knockturnal: This is an important New York awards show. What does that mean to you?
MJ Rodriguez: I’m from Jersey, but you might as well say I’m from New York. It’s a huge monument. It’s more than validating, just being in a place where you never thought you would be in a million years and be surrounded by such amazing actors and film directors. The list goes on. I’m a newcomer to all of this. I’m excited.
The Knockturnal: The show’s been so beloved and well received. How has that been for you?
MJ Rodriguez: It’s been a joy ride. Like I said, it’s been something that I never could have dreamed of. I’ve just been riding the wave as much as I can. I’ve just been blessed that for a girl who comes from north New Jersey who is from a place of poverty, you never think you would get to a point like this and just to be surrounded by people who are like-minded and who are like you and who understand the real picture. It’s validating.
The Premier Sponsor of the 2018 IFP Gotham Awards was The New York Times, and the Platinum Sponsor was GreenSlate. The Official Water Partner was FIJI Water, the Official Chocolate Partner was Lindt Chocolate and the Official Wine Partner was Robert Hall Winery.