Monday, 5 January 2009

Stephanie Savage - Queen of Teen Genre

Mention the name Stephanie Savage and you will be greeted with blank looks but if you drop names such as The OC and Gossip Girl you will get a different reaction. Stephanie Savage is the lady behind these two fantastic programmes - forget Josh Schwartz – this Canadian native is it. Stephanie wrote and produced The OC and is currently working as writer and executive producer of Gossip Girl. Her first gig in Hollywood was working for Drew Barrymore’s production company, Flower Films, and she went on to work on the script for Never Been Kissed and Charlie’s Angels. It was here where she met Joseph McGinty Nichol aka McG who was directing the movie and the two of them became inseparable. Five years later Stephanie and McG decided it was time to move on and formed their own production company, Wonderland Vision and Sound.

They hooked up with Josh Schwartz and came up with the concept for a show that would showcase the lives of young people in Orange County. McG, an OC native wanted to convey the contrasts between the Republican values, wealth and gated communities that is very Reagan-esque and, the epicenter of California skate-and-surf culture. During an interview with The OC Insider, Stephanie stated, “You have these really cool bands like No Doubt, Social Distortion and Sublime coming from there and that was the kind of scene that McG grew up in, so we thought that was really interesting. I mean if you go down there, it's like a mixture of country clubs, rock clubs, and there's dads golfing with their sons and kids partying in the streets, and it just seemed like a really great world to explore." That show became known as The OC and went on to become one of the most popular teen shows on TV and set the look for reality shows such as Laguna Beach and The Hills.

The OC ended in 2007 and by then Stephanie had already left Wonderland to concentrate on writing but she was not idle for long because that very same year she was hard at work with Schwartz on Gossip Girl. Alloy Entertainment had approached Schwartz about turning the popular book series by Cecily von Ziegesar into a show. After reading the books his first response was that he would do it only if Stephanie came onboard, “She's really tapped into young women and what's exciting for them. I knew the material was a little female-weighted for someone as ignorant of the female species as myself, and Stephanie would have great insight into it," explained Schwartz.

Gossip Girl is a glossy show about the lives of teen socialites who descend on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The huge success of the books along with the huge fan base that Schwartz had built up over the years meant that expectations for the new show were very high. However, the show fulfilled its potential and has been dubbed by New Yorker magazine as the greatest teen drama of all time. Whilst Stephanie shared production creds with Schwartz, Gossip Girl is all hers and it is she who steers the show. Stephanie describes her role in Gossip Girl as making a magazine show every week and setting the trend.

The 38 year old is still based in LA and writes full time and having secured her name in teen TV, Stephanie has now turned her attentions to the big screen. She is working on a film called The Au Pairs, which is based on a book by Melissa de Cruz. If it is anything like Gossip Girl, I am sure it will be a corker.

Picture taken from LA Times and Seat 42F respectively.

5 cool comments:

Fashion Addict said...

Oh, Savage is really talented at writing and producing. I'm literally hooked with Gossip Girl and the script is amazing in many ways.

allaboutattitude said...

i really loved that show ...

Secretista said...

My first time seeing this fab lady.

coco said...

In the first picture she looks so much like the woman that plays Tommy's wife in Brothers and Sisters.

lisa said...

Great post! I loved The OC and I'm desperately hooked on Gossip Girl now. If anything she touches indeed turns to gold, I can't wait to see her future projects.