Posted on Thursday, December 18th, 2014 by Russ Fischer
Hot on the heels of the confirmation that David Fincher and James Ellroy are working together on an HBO show comes the news of another project that Fincher will do for the big cable network. Fincher will direct the pilot for an HBO music video show called Living on Noise, described as a “half-hour HBO project about music videos in the 1980s.”
(Update: The title may actually be Living on Video; see an early and spoiler-free plot report below.)
The Wrap has the news. Fincher, of course, got his start as a director making music-related projects. Early on, there was the Rick Springfield concert film The Beat of the Live Drum, then a series of increasingly more high-profile music videos for the likes of Sting, Madonna, and Michael Jackson.
This doesn’t sound like a documentary series in the vein of HBO’s Sonic Highways, created with Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters, but a dramatic series reportedly rooted in the 1980s music video scene. Fincher was talking to Playboy not long ago, and mentioned “this TV show I’m doing about music videos in the 1980s and the crew members who worked on them.” That would seem to be Living on Noise.
The timeline for production of this show is unclear. In addition to Shakedown, which is the James Ellroy project, and Living on Noise, Fincher is also working on a new version of the UK series Utopia for HBO, partnering with Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn. Fincher will direct all of the first season of Utopia.
Update: Deadline contends that the current title is Living on Video, and that the pilot is written by Rich Wilkes and Bob Stevenson based on Fincher’s idea. The site’s report also fills in the blanks about the story:
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Set in 1983 Los Angeles, Living on Video centers on Bobby, a wide-eyed guy who drops out of college and drives to Hollywood with dreams of directing a sci-fi epic. He lands a job as a PA for a company making music videos. In the vein of HBO’s Entourage, the series revolves around the players of the then-exploding music video industry — directors, record executives and crew members, many of them dabbling in drugs — through the eyes of the newcomer.