“Picard” is the first “Trek” series in decades to advance the story forward (as opposed to prequels that explore events that took place long before “The Next Generation”), and it has quite an awards legacy to live up to.
Each CBS All Access series has now carved out its own independent timeframe (with seemingly little room for Marvel-style crossovers). Picard occupies the twenty-fourth century, and with Discovery disembarking for the thirty-second century, Strange New Worlds has the twenty-third to itself. Stylistically, director Hanelle Culpepper shot the Picard pilot in warm colors to contrast the bluer hues that dominate Discovery.
Hanelle Culpepper directs the upcoming Star Trek: Picard, a CBS All Access series coming up next year, Culpepper is an African American woman from Birmingham, Alabama. She has years of experience in action packed film production and directing, and she’s a recipient of many awards. Say what you want -‘inclusion and diversity’, ‘CBS game to appeal to broader audience’, or whatever in between. The point is, opportunity only meets those who are prepared, and Culpepper is.
I was excited to speak on this WonderCon virtual panel:
“A talented collection of female filmmakers talks about the current and future release of their projects, as well as how advocacy groups like ReFrame, Glass Elevator, and Women in Film: LA are helping women working in the industry, to not only cope with an uncertain present, but change the landscape as it reforms, and thrive as productions begin anew. ”
Click here to watch.
The American Film Institute’s AFI Movie Club has daily selections of favorite films new and old to watch during quarantine. Guests who have introduced AFI Movie Club film titles include: J.J. Abrams, Halle Berry, Jack Black, Hanelle Culpepper, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Cynthia Erivo, Jeff Goldblum, Hugh Grant, Morgan Freeman, Taylor Hackford, Neil Patrick Harris, Eva Longoria, Helen Mirren, Elisabeth Moss, Brad Pitt, Natalie Portman, Emma Roberts, Alicia Silverstone and Sharon Stone.
Christina M. Kim will write and executive produce. Martin Gero will executive produce via Quinn’s House along with Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter of Berlanti Productions. Hanelle Culpepper was to direct the pilot and will co-executive produce. Warner Bros. Television will produce.
Hanelle Culpepper…made history earlier this year for directing the first three episodes of Star Trek: Picard on CBS All Access. It marks the first time a female director launched a new Star Trek series in the franchise’s 53-year history. She had just started production on The CW’s Kung Fu reboot, which she’s co-executive producing as well as directing, when the industry suddenly ground to a halt.
Refinery29 Presents: Below The Line — Meet The Hollywood Women Shaking Things Up Behind The Camera. Watch the first episode with Hanelle Culpepper here.
“I knew that I wanted to work in the film industry when I was at Lake Forest College. I got a fellowship to get a PHD in Economics at the University of California, Riverside. While I was in that program, I decided that my heart was still in film and T.V., so I dropped out and switched to the University of Southern California. From there, it was a matter of working on various film projects. I worked in every position from P.A to producer to A.D to Grip so that I could learn, work my butt off and be ready for opportunities. Ultimately, it was while working at the Sundance Institute that I was really inspired by the filmmakers who were not waiting on Hollywood to give them a break. They were going out and making their movies and making it happen. I knew if I wanted to be a director, I had to start making movies. So, I stopped working full time and made my first short film. And things started opening up to me once I committed 100% to my true passion.”
Click link to download, full interview on page 6.
When production does resume, people widely expect behavior to change. ‘I think everyone will return to work with a heightened attention to cleanliness,’ said Hanelle Culpepper, who directed three episodes of the recent ‘Star Trek: Picard,’ via email. ‘I would continue the standards we put in place in response to COVID-19 before the shutdown — elbow bumps instead of hugs (which is very hard for me because I’m a hugger); wrapping food individually at craft services; providing hand sanitizer stations throughout the set, and emphasizing that anyone who feels sick should stay home without any negative repercussions.’