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Saturday saw not one but two separate special events with Mitchell Hurwitz take place in Austin, Texas and luckily I had remote ears attending both. The first was a panel discussion called “The Art of Storytelling,” also featuring Ron Howard and Steve Zaillian, and the second was the clearly-titled “Conversation With Mitchell Hurwitz.” Both saw some talk of the upcoming Arrested Development film.

Hurwitz explained the origins of the TV show’s style like this: Ron Howard approached him and asked for something in a verite style, but they soon curbed their enthusiasm for explicitly mockumentary language to avoid comparison with the BBC’s version of The Office, which was just taking off as Devlopment was in development.

For the film, Hurwitz is apparently tempted to change the style completely, but Howard wants it to remain the same. Even if that does end up being the case, Hurwitz did promise that the film would be more “polished”.

The major justification given for the camera and editing styles was that watching comedy isn’t about camera angles and fancy shots. That rationale doesn’t add up with me… why wouldn’t they use a more ‘invisible’ style, then? It’s impossible for me to forget the presence of the camera when watching Arrested Development.

Hurwitz said he is finding the writing of the film easier than with a 22 minute episode because he has a natural inclination and skill to delve deep into detail.

Over at the other event, Hurwitz confirmed that he would not only be writing but will also be directing the feature film himself. The only major plot information he could be pushed for was that the film would be set, to a large extent, in prison. Now, that confuses me a little (and bear in mind that I’m not a hardcore Arrested Development fan by any means) but I thought all of the prison plotlines were tied up at the end of the second season?

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