Picard needed that patient and introspective cinematic style of Culpepper to kick things off.
Stephen Williams (Watchmen, Lost) will direct and executive produce the first four episodes. Hanelle Culpepper (Star Trek Picard, Kung Fu) will direct the final four episodes.
“Kevin Hart’s career is one defined by courageous creative risks and Wesley Snipes is a legendary talent – together they are truly a dream team,” Newman said. “I am absolutely thrilled to be working with these two. As always, I am grateful to Netflix for their continued support, as well as to Charles Murray, Stephen Williams, and Hanelle Culpepper for their creative partnership.”
Interestingly, in both Culpepper’s Picard episode “Remembrance” and in Discovery’s “Forget Me Not,” memories, dreams, and events that only take place within the mind literally take center stage. In other words, Culpepper is a director who is experienced with taking stories that occur inside a character’s heads, and then showing us what that might look like.
“Forget Me Not” is just the kind of solid mid-season Discovery episode you want to have…quiet character beats were well played by director Hanelle Culpepper, without descending into the indulgent melodrama Discovery too often leans on.
“…we hope to raise the awareness, not just of the projects themselves, but also of the importance of telling stories of black women with integrity.”
Actor Kat Graham and filmmaker Hanelle Culpepper discuss the Black female narrative and black storytellers in film over the period of Hollywood’s history. These are some of their favorite films over time.
“I wanted it to feel inspired by where Picard was on his emotional journey. He was living in a vineyard; he felt trapped. So I wanted to have a little bit more of a static frame, and then go handheld once his world is rocked [in the pilot]. We switch to handheld cameras pretty much as much as possible after that. It’s “Star Trek,” we have to get those big, cinematic shots with drones and cranes and stuff, but we always wanted to not forget that it’s really a character-driven series with Picard at the heart.”
I said “if I want to be a director, I need to direct!” so I stopped working full-time and embraced that I would be a starving artist and started directing. I remember that day when I stopped working full-time and became a starving artist was April Fool’s Day, and I was like, “ok, hopefully this will pay off and it’s not a sign! I feel like the universe just started opening up once I committed 100% to doing this thing that I wanted to do.”
“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.