Aaron Guzikowski, scripter of hard-edged features “Contraband” and the upcoming “Prisoners,” had never worked in television before his series “Descendants” was picked up for a six-episode first season. But that’s all right, as the series’ home, the Sundance Channel, is almost as green to the original series game as he is.
“It’s kind of a small operation, so it isn’t such a big machine — at least not yet. It’s more like four people in a room rather than 13,” Guzikowski says of the channel. “It’s made it less of a shocking transition (from film to TV), in a really good way.”
“Descendants” seeks to apply a taut, theatrical thriller approach to a tale of a sheriff split between two small towns, one of which is home to the roughly 5,000-member Ramapo Indian tribe, who live in secluded mountainous areas of New Jersey.
Guzikowski was intrigued by the uneasy sister-city relationships that often exist around Native American-populated regions, where, he says, “they sometimes kind of clash, yet they need one another.”
Even with two features opening this year, Guzikowski is enjoying the immer- sion of a TV gig.
“Right now, just trying to give my whole brain to it. I like the idea of being devoted to one story and really living in this world — it’s almost like Method writing,” Guzikowski says.