Behind the Scenes of the Lifetime Television Event: ‘Five’

Bringing together five directors to tell five stories about the impact of breast cancer, the Lifetime television original movie “Five” is an anthology of films delving into the impact of the disease on individuals and their loved ones.

With a story arc that weaves throughout each of the individual films, “Five” takes viewers through each title characters struggle with the disease from diagnosis through the different stages of the illness.

The directors include Demi Moore, Jennifer Aniston, Penelope Spheeris (“Wayne’s World”), Patty Jenkins (“Monster”), and Alicia Keys.

An all-star cast includes Academy Award nominee Patricia Clarkson, Golden Globe Award winner Bob Newhart and Emmy and Golden Globe winner Tony Shalhoub, as well as Rosario Dawson (“Sin City”), Josh Holloway (“Lost”) and Emmy nominee Jeanne Tripplehorn (“Big Love”).

While the directors and the cast changed for each film, one constant on the set was Script Supervisor Kelly Akers.

The Script Supervisor works closely with the on-set director to ensure proper shot coverage and continuity and is responsible for making sure that the actors interpret the script properly. Taking detailed notes of each scene, the Script Supervisor, or “Scripty” as the position is often referred to, provides guidance for the editing team as well.

Akers came to the project via a line producer that she has worked with in the past.

The films were not shot in succession so it was a possibility that Akers might not be able to participate in all of them.

“I interviewed to work on a movie outside of L.A. and I really wanted to get it,” Akers revealed. “When I didn’t the job on the on-location film I was initially upset. But, then, when I realized that that meant I would be able to work on all of the films on ‘Five’, I was happy about that.”

While working with each of the individual directors, Akers found that each woman had her own unique approach to completing her film. “Each director had their own process and their own eye,” disclosed Akers. “They each come from a different area of the creative process — two are actresses, two are directors and one is a singer — and it was great to see how they handled all of the technical aspects as well as leading the actors through the emotions called for in each scene.”

When discussing the mood on the set, Akers said, “This project was different from anything else I’ve ever done. The subject matter really struck a chord with everyone who worked on this project. It was very emotional every day. It’s a delicate subject matter, but everyone really but their strength into creating the best possible project.”

“Throughout the entire shooting process,” continued Akers, “it really felt like everyone that was working on this wasn’t in it for the money or the prestige. It was really about the cause and getting the word out in a high profile manner.”

Revealing what she hopes people will gain from watching “Five”, Akers summarized this way, “There was a lot of blood, sweat and tears that went into this project and I really hope that people will take something away from these films. I hope that people will be more aware, get mammograms early and learn that there is hope and that breast cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence.”

“Five” premieres Monday, October 10, 2011 at 9e/8c on Lifetime. Please check your local listing for encore showings of the film.

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