Megan Amram sat down with Solzy at the Movies to discuss the upcoming Peacock series, Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin.
The musical comedy series is based on the hit Pitch Perfect franchise that ignited a cultural phenomenon. Joining Adam Devine and Flula Borg are newcomers Sarah Hyland, Jameela Jamil, and Lera Abova. What you need to know about the show is that Bumper Allen (Adam Devine) moves to Germany in order to revive his music career after learning that a song became a big hit in Berlin. The series is filmed in Germany and brings everything we love about the films to the small screen. Will Bumper become the a capella superstar along the way? You’ll just need to tune in and find out!
Make sure to set your calendars for an aca-exciting time on November 23 when Peacock launches Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin.
Megan, it is so great to see you again!
Megan Amram: Good to see you. Let’s just catch up for five minutes.
How are you?
Megan Amram: I am good. I saw you on my list of interviews today and I was very excited. How are you doing?
I’m doing well. I’m gonna be back in LA next week.
Megan Amram: Well, there you go. We should hang out.
When you started creating the series, did you reach out to Kay Cannon at all to get her binder on Bumper?
Megan Amram: I did. Yes, so Kay has been a friend of mine for many years. But also, I, as a female comedy writer, have looked up to her for many years, too. When I first got attached to this show, I reached out and just was like, I want to do honor to the characters that you have created and if you have any input or concerns or anything, let me know. She was really excited by that. I am very excited for her to see the show. I hope it did do honor to it.
How did you decide on Berlin of all places?
Megan Amram: Berlin was sort of backed into Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman. It was their idea on a very basic level to do a spin-off of Pitch Perfect that was maybe a little off the beaten path. They had been toying with the idea of first of all, centering it on Bumper. But then, also, the movies have a Germany connection. There’s a German avcapella group. Flula is, of course, German and is a German singer. But then, also, Germany in real life is obsessed with a capella. It’s like the country besides America that I think has the highest interest in acapella. It kind of just—there were these pieces that all seemed to fit and it was my project to make it into a cohesive story.
You’re stepping into a showrunner position after previously writing for Parks & Recreation and The Good Place. How did those series prepare you for the role?
Megan Amram: That is a great question. I have to give my former boss and mentor Mike Schur so much credit. He’s not just an incredible writer and manager but I really think he’s a great teacher. It was important to him—as I worked on Parks and Rec and The Good Place, two shows that he show-ran—to prepare some of his writers for this kind of responsibility. At The Good Place, I was given the opportunity to help run the room when he was busy to get some of the practice I needed for these skills to become a show runner. I felt very well trained before I did this.
What were the challenges of running a show during a pandemic?
Megan Amram: Well, I have not gotten Covid and do not want to get Covid. I think it is not good and so I was obsessed with Covid safety. I think that both a challenge and then an asset in some ways is that my entire writers’ room was over Zoom. The thing you lose from that is you’re not like goofing around quite as much but what you gain is that we were incredibly efficient. Three of our writers lived in New York. They didn’t have to move here. They could Zoom. But then our set, when we were shooting in Berlin, Covid safety was super important, tested all the time. And then also, Germany took Covid very seriously while we were there, which I appreciated.
Was there ever any thought given to featuring some of the Bellas from the original trilogy?
Megan Amram: From the onset of this show, we never were going to feature the Bellas. It was something that Elizabeth and Max felt strongly should be saved for the movies. But also, I was really excited to be able to dig into the characters of Bumper and Peter and then these new characters without too much of the Pitch Perfect lore hanging over our heads. I think if we were to get a season two, there’d probably be more Pitch Perfect references and characters who might come in, but I think for season one, I just wanted to establish it as its own thing.
Alright, thank you so much and hopefully, I’ll see you again soon.
Megan Amram: Yeah, it was so good to see you.
Peacock will launch all six episodes of Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin on November 23, 2022.
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