DGC Ontario Director Aleysa Young is known for her work on sketch and half hour comedies such as Baroness von Sketch Show and Workin’ Moms Aleysa’s latest show New Eden will premiere on New Year’s Day on Crave. We caught up with Aleysa to discuss Workin’ Moms’ International Emmy nomination and working on New Eden.
Workin’ Moms is nominated for its second International Emmy, how does it feel for the show to be getting that kind of recognition?
I am so proud of Catherine and the entire cast and crew. It’s always nice when Canadian shows are recognized abroad, but it’s especially great when it’s a show you’ve worked on. Since Workin’ Moms hit Netflix, I have friends from Singapore to Berlin messaging me about how much they love the show. It’s wholly unexpected, but fun knowing it’s being watched somewhere with German subtitles.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve taken going from commercials to directing sketch comedy to half hour television?
The longer the format, the more community you create. I shot eight episodes of New Eden over the summer, and it was so comforting and fulfilling coming to work every day to a family of familiar faces. You have time to build a short hand with your collaborators. I realize this is the norm for most, but coming up in commercials, where a shoot is usually a day or two, the bonds are more short term. That said, you learn to make fast friends, and how to communicate efficiently.
On her ongoing creative collaboration with DGC Ontario Production Designer Chris Crane…
Chris Crane is a phenomenal talent and collaborator. We worked together on New Eden, a satirical true crime doc set across three decades from the ’70s — ’90s, where authenticity was key. We pulled hundreds of references for every detail and every element he and his team created, from sets to graphics and they were pitch perfect and beyond expectation. His work always feels authentic and lived in. I appreciate his attention to detail and the way he leads his team. He also has great taste, and that counts for a lot.
Do you have any advice for aspiring female Directors?
Being a woman is an asset, not a disadvantage. There are so many funding, festival, and shadowing opportunities geared towards levelling the playfield. It’s annoying and ironic that we have to be segregated in order to be considered equal, but until then, take advantage of the gender parity wave. That said, you still have to work twice as hard to prove that you deserve to be here.