Dreamworks Dragons: Race to the Edge is now available to view on Netflix. If you aren’t already watching you should be! For those who are fans of the new show or want to know more about the minds behind the show we got to talk to director Elain Bogen about helming the first two episodes. As a mom and woman in the industry she shared with us her excitement for the show, how motherhood influences her and her favorite things about Berk.
Q: Tell us about yourself and how you came onto Race to the Edge
Elaine Bogen: I started on the Dragons franchise way back when I started at Dreamworks. I story boarded on the first feature film and then between then and now I worked on various different projects. I made the switch over to TV when Riders of Berk and Defenders of Berk started and I story boarded on those series. The second season is when I started directing. Between that there was Dawn of the Dragon Racers the half hour special that went along with the second feature. I worked on that with John Sandberg then I jumped right in to this new Netflix series directing and I was lucky enough to be able to direct both pilot episodes.
Q: Would you say parents are considered during the production stages of the show and do you work from a mom’s POV or perspective?
I think innately always. I never like to bring up the fact that I’m one of the only women directors on the show or around but its always innate. I try to keep a fair balance on my story team as well. I’ve been lucky enough to have sort of a 50/50 balance of men and women working on my crew with me. I try not to typecast. Some artists are stronger than others in certain areas. It’s all kind of a fine balance with that sort of thing. I’ve been lucky in that I’ve been on a team that doesn’t treat me like the only woman director on the show. I’m mainly treated as a crew member which is the goal.
Q. What excited you about the first two episodes that you wanted to tackle?
The series on its own is such a departure and it’s offering new content and a new look. So many new locations and new dragons which we will be introducing that the two pilot episodes set up. They were when I actually got to go in and play around with the new look and environments and just explore what we’re going to be able to create with the new series which is fantastic. Right off the bat you start the first pilot episode with an escape sequence with Dagur who’s returned and that is sort of the propeller that brings the kids into their adventure in the first and second episodes. As they go on that adventure right away we introduce a new dragon that we’ve never seen before. Things like that are really great to be able to explore and just find new and exciting ways to introduce new characters.
Q. Will future episodes open up to more female roles as opposed to just one female? For a series to be viable shouldn’t both genders be equally represented?
I can’t be specific but I can say yes. I agree much like in real life. Going with Netflix our content has been able to grow and breathe a little bit as far as the limitations that were put upon us in the first couple series. Even visually and creatively the stories are going to expand and get a lot more in depth as far as characters and environments we are seeing. We’re able to sort of push the envelope with that kind of thing because we know as Netflix drops 13 episodes at a time it will allow the rest to get more creative with really big scope, character arcs and storyline that will run through the whole series instead of just being very episodic modular episodes. They’re all very related and woven together as a series so it’s more of a serial film than it is an episode based series now. And I think that base it really going to help build up the relationships between everybody which is meant to lead into the second dragons feature.
Q. Who’s your fave character to work with?
I’ve always had a soft spot for Snotlout and I think its sort of because he can never quite catch a break with Hookfang. They have that sort of love/hate thing going on. I just think its adorable and its very realistic. I remember having pets as a kid and the struggle of communication of humans vs. animals is something that I’ve always found funny and kind of interesting. I like those guys.
Watch Dragons: Race to the Edge on Netflix!