Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Interview with 'The Hills' and 'The City' Creator Adam Divello

excerpt from an arctile by Jim Halterman at thefutoncritic.com
Jim Halterman: The obvious first question is what prompted you to end 'The Hills' after this sixth season.
Adam DiVello: I think we all thought it was time. The kids on the show have all gone to different places in their lives and their celebrity lives were becoming much bigger than their personal lives and I think we owed it to the fans and owed to the people who have been with us since the beginning. Hopefully, we'll always leave them wanting more.
JH: There are a lot of big personalities on the show and some seem to have handled the celebrity well and some maybe not as well. How do things from where you sit?

AD: Everyone handles fame differently and I can't think of another reality show that has been on this long with the same cast and they have been under the spotlight for many, many years. I think for the most part they have all handled it really well from my perspective and though I'm not in their shoes I applaud them at how some of them have handled it. You look at somebody like Lauren Conrad who came out of it and she's moving on with other projects and she has handled it really well. As far as the other kids, I think they've really stayed true to who they are. They kept their head on their shoulders and have stayed the same people that they were when we met them, which I think makes them very special and so much fun to watch. JH: Can you talk about when you first created the show and how you decided on the tone and how the stories would be told on the show?
AD: I think it was back in the day when the idea was floating around to do a reality show in a high school in Laguna Beach. I think it was 'How can we do this and how do we approach it?' We got a great team together in the way it was shot and edited together and I think it changed reality in a sense by taking out those confessionals where the kids talk to the camera. It made our jobs more difficult as producers and storytellers by not having that crutch but I think it gave you the feeling that you were looking in with this voyeuristic feel; you were watching a documentary about these kids and it felt like a scripted series and I think that's what kind of started it. For me, when we were wrapping up 'Laguna' it was such an incredible experience and it made me move out here from New York and I kind of changed my life at that same time. I think when we left 'Laguna' and did 'The Hills' I really wanted it to be this fish-out-of-water show with the girl from the beach who comes to the big, glamorous city and how she's going to navigate the waters. I think we nailed it. I think Lauren was a great choice because she wanted to work in fashion and she wasn't coming here to be an actress and I think that there was a relatability here that the audience responded to. JH: When did you realize that 'The Hills' had gotten so big that it was impacting popular culture with so much attention not just on the show but everyone on it?
AD: [Laughs.] When we got the cover of Rolling Stone was a high point, for sure. I think that it was probably around season three when we started to blow up in the tabloids. I think what had happened was whether it was between cycles or when we weren't shooting and the show wasn't on the air but the stories were living in the magazines every week and the interest in these kids was continuing even when the show wasn't airing. That's when you get to point where 'Oh my God, this thing has taken on a life of its own.' Certainly the magazines and tabloids have helped over the years. You see little snippets of what happened in their lives and then you tune into the series whenever it reappears on air and think it's a full story. I think, for me, when I shot the pilot when we were standing at the Roosevelt Hotel and Lauren was working for Teen Vogue and Heidi crashed the party and she brought Audrina and the guys and Lauren got yelled at by her boss and she was looking out over the pool at the water and I thought 'We have something here. This is going to be special. I think people are going to hitch their wagons to the stories and to this girl's plight in LA.' JH: Since you had lived in New York before heading to Los Angeles, how was it to return to the East Coast to do 'The City?'
AD: I consider myself a New Yorker. I lived there for 12 years before I came out to do 'Laguna' and 'The Hills' and for me I always knew in the back of mind that I wanted to do a show in New York, as well. When I came out to do 'The Hills' I was in love with LA and I think an ingredient in that show was Los Angeles as a city in itself and I think we showed it with that love that we all had for the city and I knew I always wanted to do the same for New York. Whitney was born here in Los Angeles and grew up in a suburb here called Brentwood and she lived in a bubble in a sense so to have her move to New York City and deal with everything that goes on there seems like a no-brainer to me and it seems to be working. I'm extremely proud of that show and I love what it's done and where it's going this season. We definitely hit our stride this season.
Click here to read the entire article
credit - Jim Halterman at thefutoncritic.com
~Kelli at Hills Freak

my mini photo homage to season one : )

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