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Write On: 'Masters of the Air' Co-Executive Producer and Writer John Orloff

February 18, 2024
2 min read time

“I always go back to theme. Why are you writing this story? What is that final couple of minutes of the movie and what do you want the audience to feel? I kind of always build backward from that in some ways. In a movie, how do I make the 118 minutes preceding those two minutes build to those last two minutes? To me that’s a really good film. And anything that's not helping build to those last two minutes, throw it out!,” says John Orloff, co-executive producer and writer of Masters of the Air, the new nine-part series streaming on AppleTV+. 

In this episode, Orloff talks about being an un-produced writer and the unusual way he landed the job writing for HBO’s Band of Brothers. 

He learned a lot from Executive Producer Tom Hanks:

“One of the things [Tom Hanks] said to me is, ‘We're going to reveal character through procedure.’ That means how you get a plane ready to go, it means pushing buttons, how you do all that stuff. I will take you back to Apollo 13. That is about three guys in a room the size of a bathtub – just pushing buttons. And yet we know and care about them. And so, the procedures of getting an airplane in the air was an opportunity to remind the audience that okay, there's no magic buttons to push in 1943 to get an airplane in the air… Let's capture that and let's explain that to the audience early on in the first episode or two and then they'll know that that happens every time,” says John. 

For a deeper dive into the show Masters of the Air, now streaming on AppleTV+, listen to the podcast. 


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