Ken Girotti: Nurses, Fortunate Son And Pure

Director Ken Girotti on Nurses, Pure and his latest show Fortunate Son.

DGC Ontario’s Ken Girotti is a prolific director known for his work on both Canadian and U.S. productions. Ken recently directed episodes of Nurses (airing on Global) and teamed up with his Pure collaborator Andrew Wreggitt for Fortunate Son (airing on CBC). We caught up with Ken to discuss his latest work and his ongoing creative collaboration with Andrew.

Can you talk more about directing your latest shows Fortunate Son and Nurses?

Both shows were a delight to work on and both showrunners are wonderfully collaborative. Nurses is probably the more “commercially” accessible of the two shows, but Adam Pettle always found ways to deepen characters and let me tell the story visually. We worked closely on crafting a pilot that was intelligent and visually unique.

I’ve known Andrew since the TV Movie Mayerthorpe (for which Ken won a DGC Award) so, like Adam, he’s a friend as well as artistic collaborator. Fortunate Son, by virtue of its theme, period and deep serialization required a decidedly different approach. And shooting half of an eight-episode series in one block made it feel like we were on a long journey together.

A scene from one of Ken Girotti's shows

What was it like having Pure picked up by Super Channel and getting a second season?

A total shock! We all knew it had continued percolating with Cineflix but the actors’ options had lapsed and we all thought it was done. What a delight to get back in the sandbox on that show with Michael Amo and that cast! The little show that could… and did!

You’ve worked with Showrunner Andrew Wreggitt on both Pure and Fortunate Son. Can you speak more on your ongoing creative collaboration?

As I said, Andrew and I first worked on Mayerthorpe together. That film was probably the most fulfilling creative experience of my career so when I found out Michael had brought him in to work on Pure, I was delighted. And when Andrew called me to produce and direct his mini-series Fortunate Son with the guys at Seven24, it was like getting the band back together. An offer I couldn’t refuse.

What’s your favourite show you’ve directed?
Mayerthorpe has a soft spot for me, but I’ve had so much fun on so many: Vikings, Rescue Me, Orphan Black etc, etc…and now producing on a lot of what I direct is like an adrenaline shot. Hopefully the favourite is yet to come!

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