HBO and David Fincher seemed like they had put together a strong partnership. The network had picked up his dramas Utopia (with Gone Girl scribe Gillian Flynn) and the 1950s L.A. noir Shakedown (with L.A. Confidential author James Ellroy) along with the half-hour comedy series Videosyncrazy (formerly known as “Living on Video”), which took place in the burgeoning music video industry of the 1980s.
Videosyncrazy revolves around Robby (Charlie Rowe), a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed college dropout who drives to Hollywood to become a big-league director and lands his first job as a production assistant at a company that produces music videos. The show also stars Jason Flemyng, Kerry Condon, Elizabeth Lail, Corbin Bernsen, Paz Vega, and Sam Page. THR adds that the show is supposed to be along the lines of Entourage and follows “directors, record executives and crew members, many of them who dabble in drugs.”
The network picked up Videosyncrazy at the beginning of May, and Fincher had already set to work on directing the first four or five episodes. However, Deadline now reports that HBO has halted filming after getting a look at what Fincher put together. “While word is that some cast members had been told that the show is not going forward,” reports Deadline, “I hear that the series is not dead but taking a break.” Fincher is now going back and trying to decide on the series’ creative direction, which might involve new cuts or retooling the script.
While Fincher has his two dramas cooking at HBO, he chose to move on this one first, and it’s from an original idea and also from his past. Fincher not only got his start in music videos; he was also one of the key figures in the form’s development with his groundbreaking work and helping to form the production studio Propaganda films.
I doubt that HBO will scrap Videosyncrazy despite halting production. It would be one thing if Fincher had only done a pilot, but now that they’re at least 4 or 5 episodes in, that would be a bit of a write-off. Additionally, HBO probably wants to stay in the Fincher business when he has two other series in development for them. While they may not be completely happy with what they’ve seen from Videosyncrazy so far, they probably don’t want to push the director away. Hopefully, both sides will come to an agreement, and production will resume soon.