Behind the Scenes in Hollywood: Cynthia Childs


About two years ago, I interviewed some amazing friends who work behind the scenes in Hollywood. They were (and in some cases, still are) responsible for the creatures in Lord of the Rings and Narnia, the clothes on True Blood, the girls on America’s Next Top Model, the “look” of Itty Bitty Titty Committee, and Tyra Banks‘ production needs. Jealous? Yeah, me, too.

Well, it’s been too long since we pulled back the curtain on Tinsel Town, so over the next few days, you’ll meet a few more talented women who help bring you the shows you know and love. Beats working a desk job. And… action!

Cynthia Childs, Supervising Producer

Surrounded by The Real L Word storyboards

If you think shaping and telling stories for reality shows is easy, think again. Cynthia Childs knows a thing or two about making the most of what you’ve got, having story produced shows like Project Runway, Top Chef and oh yes, The Real L Word: Los Angeles, for the production company, Magical Elves.

Given the popularity and criticism RLW garnered during its ground-breaking first season, I just had to get Cynthia’s reaction to all of it, and try like hell to get a scoop about Season 2. Are there any real elves at Magical Elves, Cynthia?

Cynthia Childs: [laughs] No, but there are ghosts on the floor above me, which really terrifies me.

AE: No way.

CC: Yeah. It’s not just one sighting, but thankfully, they’re not on my floor. I don’t doubt it for a second, though. This place is absolutely haunted.

AE: It’s almost 9PM and you’re still at work. Just you and the ghosts.

CC: I’m on a new series for NBC right now, so we’re discovering the format and going to focus groups and all the sort of stuff that comes with a new series. I’m committed. I love the Magical Elves, and I just want to do the best job I can. 

AE: What show is it? What’s it about?

CC: I’m on America’s Next Great Restaurant. It premieres in March on NBC. In the style of Top Chef, we’re taking 10 people with a simple idea for a restaurant in the fast/casual category, like Chipotle or Panera Bread. These people are not restaurateurs, necessarily – they just have an idea.

The winner gets part ownership in the first three restaurants in [what will hopefully become] a national chain. It’s a totally unique prize. After the season, people will be able to go to the restaurant.

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