Lemarze Smith, writer/director of the new series RELATIONSHIPS (streaming on Tubi), tells us about shooting a series during the pandemic, whether shows like “In Treatment” inspired the series, and what’s coming up in future episodes.
Where do you hail from sir?
I am from right outside of Detroit, MI a small city called Oak Park, MI. It’s what they call the other side of eight mile I lived between eight and nine mile.
And was the pandemic as punishing on you, as an entertainment industry professional, as it was most others in the game?
Well Relationships is our second project here at MikeMarze Entertainment and we did get started later then we attended to due to the pandemic. Once we moved to Florida and things start opening, we took all the precautions to keep everyone safe while filming.
Are you back at it even more so now?
Yes, we are currently in pre-production on our second film (third project) Champion.
How different is it, with all these covid protocols and changes?
It’s just about taking more precaution to keep the cast and crew safe.
I believe the pilot was shot first, a while back. Can you talk a little about the journey of the series for me?
We shot this a very untraditional way; we didn’t shoot it episode by episode. We shot seven episodes in two weeks with scenes out of order. So, we could be shooting scene five from episode four day one, than the next scene could be scene 7 from episode 2. I think it was really fun to shoot it that way and the cast definitely stayed on their toes and ready to work.
How much of an inspiration are, say, shows like “In Treatment” and “Why Did I Get Married?” to “Relationships”?
I didn’t grab inspiration from either show, no disrespect to those shows but my idea for Relationships came when a friend asked me to help him write a show, which I won’t mention right now. I created the character Charlie, and he didn’t think the character fit with his show, so I took Charlie and started building a world around him and I also used some other ideas from things I wrote in the past like for example. The scene where Charlie first meets his therapist, I wrote that in 2012 while I was deployed in Afghanistan. That was the first scene I wrote but at the time it wasn’t meant for Relationships.
Are any of the characters based on any of you?
No none of the Characters are based on me.
Any plans for season two yet?
I’m six episodes deep into season two I’m thinking of going twelve episodes. In season we learn a lot more about Romania and why she was in therapy. We see Lindsey go through a traumatic life changing experience. We dig a bit deeper into Angel’s past and what causing her issue’s. It’s a lot more expanded on the Wilks family in general. We are doing more character development and taking these guys and gals on a wild crazier ride in season two.