The release of the trailer for Showrunners couldn’t come at a more perfect time — right on the heels of the trailer for Page One, about the media desk of The New York Times. Page One covers the now age-old battle between print and new media. Ignoring the fact that Page One seems an odd title for a movie largely about one desk (the title references the meeting had every morning at the Times to discuss the important stories of the day, featured on the hardcopy first page and homepage of the site), these films are not that different.
They follow people (white men, by the looks of the trailers) talking about the changing landscape of their given area in media. Arguably, Showrunners looks a little sexier than Page One; it interviews the writers and creators of our most popular television shows. And of the two, television is probably the more flourishing of mediums.
These trailers probably wouldn’t have made a dent outside of small nerd circles, except for the popularity of documentaries like The September Issue, which followed the making of Vogue‘s largest issue ever. They could even be said to be attempting to gain the respect of films like Valentino: The Last Emperor, or Bill Cunningham New York, both of which look at the legacies of cultural and media figures in shifting times. Of course, these films really looked at fashion figures in the fashion world, and thusly they have much more going for them. They are, at face value, visually arresting before even a single thing happens.
Perhaps the larger audience for these movies outlasts their presence in theaters. It’s truly Netflix Instant that’s allowed documentaries of all mundane topics to thrive, for those that are fascinated by the minutia of their fields. Just ask anyone who just watched The Pixar Story, or Helvetica. Oh wait, just ask me.