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Directors behind some of HBO’s biggest TV prestige projects — Susanne Bier (“The Undoing”), Tim Van Patten (“Perry Mason”), Derek Cianfrance (“I Know This Much is True”) and Misha Green (“Lovecraft Country”) —  discussed how they approach their work and its impact on their respective show’s storytelling during Variety‘s FYC Fest.

As the TV medium has become more cinematic, the role of the TV director has also risen in importance, mirroring the traditional leadership role that a feature film director enjoys. During the “Meet the Makers: HBO’s Behind the Lens” panel, the directors spoke about their ability to put their unique stamp on projects, which they say helped drive the shows to ultimate success.

Bier noted that she approached “The Undoing” — which stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant — as if she were directing a six-hour long movie, as opposed to a six-episode television series.

“I had a conversation with [executive producer] David Kelley because I was like, ‘This is really not out of ill will, but the only way I can do a great job is if I kind of take it upon me. Then it becomes my vision. And I mean, I think he was very, very excited and happy about that,” Bier said. “Any successful show is a result of a writer’s singular vision then being transferred onto a director’s singular vision. Because otherwise, I just don’t think it’s going to succeed. I think it’s going to be a whole lot of messy stuff, which is not really a cohesive point of view.