If you’re looking to make your film/show a success the best thing you can do as a creative is to get as much filmmaking advice as you can find. Enter This Is Us. This popular hit show is sweeping the world and winning hearts with its compelling story.
The premise of the show is about connection and how our lives affect the community around us. It follows several people with the same birthday and gives us an in depth look into the struggles each of them face.
In 2017 This Is Us took home several awards including People’s Choice Award for Favorite New TV Drama, a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama, and many more. This year they’ve already taken home Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
What makes this show so successful, both with the critics and the general public? It’s all about us. (Yes, I went there.)
THE SUCCESS RELIES ON US
The beauty of this show is how many people identify with the characters. I know I’ve identified with several of the struggles they’ve faced in the two seasons the show‘s been running.
In the first season, I identified with the character of Randall in several ways. There’s a moment where he has a breakdown at work. The stress of his life is overwhelming and he does everything he can to ignore it and push through. But ultimately he spirals out of control and ends up needing to take a break from work.
Late last year, I experienced something similar. And while it was too difficult to process what was happening to me, it became much more clear when I was able to process this through Randall’s struggle. It made me realise I couldn’t ignore the stress of my job and the several personal things I was going through. The best way forward was to talk about it. To get help.
I wouldn’t have been able to realise this as fast without This Is Us helping me out and showing me it was ok to ask for help.
People everywhere are talking about how the show has helped them through their own crises. And when it came time to promote the second season the creators of the show took a brilliant move by showcasing several individuals who were impacted by different characters and moments of the show. They then surprised them during these interviews by having the cast walk out to greet them.
THE SUCCESS RELIES ON THE CREATORS
What makes this show impactful is how much the actors, writers and crew believe in the story their telling. The passion for the story of This Is Us is evident in every post they share, whether it’s the actors of the show professing the impact it’s having on them, or the creators talking about their genuine affection for the cast.
They’re not just telling the story of a community of people standing beside each other, they’re living examples of it.
During award season last year creator Dan Fogelman was championing This Is Us winners on his twitter and when cast member Justin Hartley was married last year, everyone was celebrating and congratulating him. Yes, this is becoming more of an expectation for film creatives to promote their work. But I’ve never seen it done with such genuine, heartfelt posts. Just look at these three consecutive tweets from Fogelman!
The beauty is, they know they’re creating something every creative dreams of. They’re really living the dream – getting to craft a beautiful show and enjoy every touching experience it brings to those of us who are watching it.
As an independent filmmaker, I want to soak up all I can from what these creatives are doing. It’s because of their vulnerability to tell such thought-provoking stories and to do it with integrity, reliving their own experiences in some cases which makes the show such a success. The viewers are spellbound because of their tender and brutal honesty.
It’s an inspiration for all the dreamers and creatives out there to not only create something innovative but something a community can relate to too; take a page out of their book and create something with conviction and honesty.