Today’s fast-paced and constantly evolving world of network and cable reality television demands an executive producer who’s a triple-threat — savvy and prescient in development; a confident leader in the field; a creative and collaborative storyteller in post. In his work in TV, two-time Emmy-nominated producer Scott Popjes has proven himself to be all three.
His experience is diverse – having worked in various production and post-production roles on projects ranging from full feature films and television (documentary & reality) to short films, movie trailers and film elements of theme park attractions. Scott has led on projects for Netflix, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, History, CMT, NatGeo, Spike, TBS, FYI, TLC, and PBS. His other endeavors have included award-winning short films as well as projects for Paramount Studios, Walt Disney Studios, 20th Century Fox, and ABC, among others.
“It doesn’t matter if the medium is TV, film, a movie trailer, or any other format, the idea is the same: communicating ideas and emotions to an audience. At any runtime or venue, you’ve got to stay close to that ideal.” At core a storyteller, his goal on every project — in any format — is to engage the audience with compelling narratives told through the eyes of interesting characters; And as executive producer, to inspire his team to do the same.
From his time at NYU’s film school, Scott has always been passionate about editing. He has edited a wide array of projects from hit reality shows and documentary format projects to theatrical and home video trailers and EPK’s to short and independent feature films. “Editing is writing and directing in post-production,” he says. “It’s where the story is refined and the project is ultimately shaped into its final form.” While his role as Executive Producer occupies most of his time, it isn’t uncommon to find him “in the chair,” bringing his editorial experience to his projects.
Filmmaking has been Scott’s passion since he picked up a super-8 camera in his elementary school days. This passion led Scott to NYU’s film school where he directed numerous short films. Since then, Scott has continued to put his directing skills to use on short films and in his work in reality television, directing everything from host segments and interviews to multi-camera reality and docu-follow programming. “Whatever genre I’m working in the focus always comes down to story, story, story,” he says. “And in a visual medium it’s all about how to visually communicate that story. As a director it’s my job to steer the cast and crew toward that end.”