Leeds Trinity University students were given an exclusive opportunity to quiz one of Hollywood’s top producers live via Facebook Video Chat on Monday evening (31.11.15), when the University hosted a special ‘live from Hollywood’ Q&A with Emmy Award-winning Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul Producer, Stewart A. Lyons.

Students gathered with Tom Donnelly, Associate Principal Lecturer in Film, Media and Television at Leeds Trinity University, to question Stewart live from his home in LA, where he has just ‘wrapped’ on his latest television production, Snowfall.

Although well-respected throughout Hollywood, Stewart is also one of the key figures in the development of the New Mexico television production industry, which is now one of the leading production centres outside of Hollywood.  Stewart answered students’ questions on the changing landscape of US television, explaining that the model of film doesn’t work financially anymore, and that telling a human story over 50 hours through a series is much more effective.

Students were also keen to explore Stewart’s views on what the producer calls the rise of ‘auteur television.’ He described it as quality TV, which is moving to the UK and that people are more likely to sign up to subscription TV, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, for a series.

Stewart added:

“Television’s new golden age; some say it started with The Wire others say The Sopranos, but many have argued that the production of Breaking Bad allowed television to reach a level of artistry that many thought impossible. As Line Producer of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul I enjoyed connecting with Tom’s Leeds Trinity University Film and Television students to discuss this and other “auteur television,” production and producing, and Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul related questions.”

Tom Donnelly comments:

“It was enormously satisfying to be able to bring Hollywood (in a virtual sense) to Leeds Trinity University via this live Q&A with Emmy Award-winning Producer, Stewart A. Lyons. To have our students be able to talk directly with, and ask questions of, such a highly acclaimed Hollywood Producer was a privilege and a ‘not to be missed’ opportunity for my Film and Television students.

“At Leeds Trinity University, and within Film and Television, we pride ourselves on offering an innovative curriculum that includes genuine engagement with current industry practice. This event was a perfect example, and it was to Stewart’s credit that he took time out of his very busy schedule to pass on his considerable knowledge and experience to our students in this way.”

An expert on television production in New Mexico, Tom recently met and interviewed Stewart in Albuquerque, New Mexico while researching his upcoming book Beyond Hollywood – Breaking Good: Film and Television Production in New Mexico.

Stewart A. Lyons is best known as Line Producer for the multiple award-winning Breaking Bad and as Co-Executive Producer and Line Producer of series one of its spin-off, Better Call Saul. However, these critically acclaimed shows are just two of the 33 television series, 24 pilots and dozens of features and television movies Stewart has worked on in his career as a producer, director, writer, production manager and assistant director.