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Norman Buckley: Sweet Magnolias and Real-Life Restaurant Scenes

Norman Buckley
Home / Podcast / Episodes / Norman Buckley: Sweet Magnolias and Real-Life Restaurant Scenes

My amazing guest today is Norman Buckley, the director whose latest show Sweet Magnolias is currently streaming on Netflix.

In his career as a director and editor, Norman worked on some shows which have become phenomena in their own right, like Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl, The O.C., and Chuck.

Sweet Magnolias has been a big success, and Norman hopes it will continue into the next season. What I particularly like about this show is how the scenes at the restaurant are true to what I have experienced over the years as a chef.

Today we talk about how Norman got into film and TV industry, how he transitioned from editing to directing, and as he grew up in Fort Worth, what he likes and misses most about Texas.

Open your eyes, look at the society you live in, and consider your privilege. It’s a difficult conversation, but I’m glad that we’re having it. – Norman Buckley

Time Stamps:

1:30 – Introducing our guest today.
3:05 – Where Norman grew up and where he and his siblings live now.
6:30 – Norman’s favourite restaurant in Fort Worth and what he misses from Texas.
10:30 – In what ways Texas is still traditional.
12:40 – What Sweet Magnolias is about, and how it genuinely portrays the restaurant world. 18:45 – Norman’s memories of working in a restaurant as a young guy.
22:30 – What the future holds for Sweet Magnolias, and how long it tool to make the show.
27:00 – Other shows Norman was working on.
33:46 – Why and how Norman transitioned from editing to directing.
37:40 – How he works with actors.
41:15 – The difference between background artists and day players, and why directors cannot speak to them.
50:45 – Patrick’s experience with being an extra in a Bollywood movie.
55:22 – How actors prepare for a role and how much space for improvisation there is on the set.
57:45 – The importance of having a strong ego and a small ego as a director and leader on the TV set.
1:05:15 – What’s coming next for Norman and how his older work is being revived on streaming services.
1:11:00 – How Sweet Magnolias celebrates the idea of community, inclusion and diversity.

Resources and Mentions:

Sweet Magnolias (2020)
Pretty Little Liars (2010-2017)
Gossip Girl (2007-2012)
“Chuck” – Pilot (2007)
The O.C. (2003-2007)
The Tree of Life (2011)
Joe T. Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant
Texas Real Food

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