Where There's a Will (Smith), There's a Way


Aug 16 2021 • 34 mins

In March of 2020, as Will Smith is filming the biopic "King Richard," the emergence of COVID-19 abruptly shuts down all production. With unusual downtime and an urge to uplift his audience amid looming uncertainty, the actor meets with his production team at Westbrook Media to find a creative solution. What if they created a variety show with Will as the host – from his house? Smith had never hosted a variety show, and Westbrook Media had never done anything like it – not to mention during a pandemic, where the full production crew can't be on set, and those on location must follow strict safety protocols. But they take on the challenge, and in only a few weeks Snapchat offers a lucrative deal to launch the show as soon as possible. In the final episode of season 3, host Gabriela Cowperthwaite tells the story of the making of what became the hit Snapchat show: "Will From Home." A show developed in an entirely new way, where Will Smith's garage becomes the set and the people he interviews aren't with him but in their own homes and garages. Behind the scenes, it's the amazing work of a team of enterprising producers, writers, editors, and leaders who discovered during the making that many age-old industry practices need to be more inclusive and collaborative – even after the pandemic. Throughout the episode, Gabriela, a film director herself, shares her experiences of working in film production during this time and offers insights on teamwork lessons that are here to stay. You'll hear from Gila Jones, COO of Westbrook Inc., and Lukas Kaiser​ SVP and Head of Content. You'll also hear from Dawn Manning, Head of Physical Production, Ashley McCollum,​ SVP, Revenue & Strategy and Dana Z. Currier​ SVP, Operations.

Teamistry is an original podcast from Atlassian. For a transcript of the episode and other extras, check out www.atlassian.com/blog/podcast/where-theres-a-will-smith-theres-a-way. To listen to episodes from all three seasons of Teamistry, go to www.atlassian.com/blog/podcast