When Jason Katims was working on “Friday Night Lights,” the show shot in Austin, Texas, so his writers’ room didn’t need to be on a particular lot in Los Angeles. He ended up at Tribeca West, and that is where his company, True Jack Prods., has remained. “Recently when we wrapped on ‘Rise,’ I looked around and it hadn’t been painted in 10 years and there were too many pictures — it was too much stimuli, in a way,” Katims says. “So we changed it around and tried to minimize a little bit.”
It’s a Dog’s World
Katims’ company is named after his family’s Labradoodle, and he has often been gifted items depicting Jack’s likeness. This Scotch tape sculpture is the most recent addition, made by Mary Blanchard, who worked in the art department on “Rise” and spent the whole season crafting it. “It’s a beautiful piece, but it also represents to me the kind of work and dedication people have when they’re making film and television — the amount of time and care that goes into it,” Katims says.
When “Friday Night Lights” wrapped its first season, the cast signed special Panthers branded footballs. Katims originally kept his in a case as more of a decorative item, but soon enough it began to call to him. “I like to be able to pick it up and toss it around,” he says. “I made the choice to have it how it’s more meaningful to me — out and able to use it.”
Max Burkholder, who played Max Braverman on Katims’ family drama “Parenthood,” gave him an engraved pocket watch when the series wrapped, which he still keeps close. “Taking on [Max’s] storyline was a little overwhelming,” Katims admits, adding that depicting Max as autistic was inspired by what he was going through with his son. “I had mixed feelings about doing it, [but] some of those stories became some of my favorites.”
The pilot of Katims’ medical drama “Pure Genius” mentioned a 3D printer, and the technology excited the cast and crew. “The reality of what it looked like was a lot less cool than what it looked like in the show,” Katims admits. Still, they held a special photo shoot to immortalize themselves in figures. He keeps it next to a non-3D printed figure of his dog for fun with scale.
No (Guitar) Strings Attached
Katims admits he used to have trouble writing in his office because it was “too easy to distract” himself, so he prefers a calm workspace over one full of visual references. Mobility is also important to him — he is never without his laptop, for example, and he likes to be able to pace or “noodle” on a guitar as he works on a script. “It’s also kind of nice to have a guitar when you get stuck on long calls,” he says. “If I’m on a long call where I don’t have to be the person driving it, [I] can mute the call and play and have a nicer feeling.”