Magical Elves, aka Jane Lipsitz and Dan Cutforth, are responsible for putting together some of your favorite reality shows. (And if you saw the Katy Perry movie this summer, that’s theirs, too.) But when I caught up with them at the CBS/Showtime party at TCA this week, I asked them for some intel on Season 3 of The Real L Word and the first season of their latest hit, Fashion Star.
Photo from Alexandra Wyman/Getty
AfterEllen.com: Why did you choose to keep Romi on the show when you found out she was dating a guy? It’s a very different way to go for a show called The Real L Word.
Jane Lipsitz: Well I think Romi was one of our main characters on the show and I think we always wanted to explore bisexuality on the show and Ilene, we’d talked about that since the very beginning. We wanted to support Romi, that was the choice she was making and so that’s why. It’s about her life. It’s about all the girls’ lives. She was feeling in love and so that’s how we started out the season.
Dan Cutforth: We weren’t shooting when we heard that Romi was seeing a guy and so we sprang into action and got cameras down there. Because, as Jane said, it was a story we’d wanted to tell for a while and we found out it was happening. We had to get down there and had to shoot it.
AE: Some people like to point out how the show cuts together scenes from different months. Is that the reality of reality television or is it specific to this show?
JL: We shoot over the course of like — we shot from November until April and so whenever you shoot, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours of footage and you need to compress it down, you end up — we stick to the essence of the truth that happened, but it may not have been on that day.
DC: For the most part, most of the show was shot in a specific space of time about eight, nine weeks. Some scenes that happened earlier and ultimately we’re just trying to tell a story, it’s not like you’re distorting the facts, it’s true to life and the chronology of what happened. Certain things that did happen you have to kind of mix up so it wouldn’t make sense in another way.
Photo from David Livingston/Getty
AE: It was hard to watch Kacy and Cori go through their loss this week. How did you decide to keep them on? Was it a story felt like you needed to tell?
JL: I think we felt — obviously we respected everything they were going through and if they wanted to do the show, we wanted them to do the show, but if they didn’t, we understood one hundred percent. But it was so powerful and it was really important.
AE: Anything else you can tell us about this season? Any secrets?
JL: We’re not big on revealing secrets because Showtime doesn’t like that. But the season finale’s amazing.
AE: Were you guys happy with the winner of Fashion Star, Kara Laricks? She was my favorite from the beginning, sexuality aside. Do you look for different sides to people, like sexuality, when you’re casting for the new season?
JL: I think we’re looking for a mixture of great designers and great characters. We don’t look for this type, this type, this type. We started casting and these are clothes for America so it’s really important we get designers that the American public wants to buy.
Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty
AE: So you were happy with the winner?
DC: Absolutely! She’s so talented. Truthfully, she was the favorite from the beginning. Everyone felt she was the person to beat and so approved.
JL: I actually think we found a new voice in the community, which is really hard. We did a lot of seasons of Project Runway and it’s definitely hard to find a new point of view and she was amazing.