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How Courteney Cox and Her Team Relied Upon ‘Experimental Production’ for Pregnancy Docuseries Amid Coronavirus

As ”9 Months“ finishes its second season Thursday, Cox and fellow executive producer Ari Mark spoke to TheWrap about the lessons of letting subjects self-shoot

Facebook Watch’s “9 Months With Courteney Cox” premieres its second-season finale Thursday, capping another season that was self-shot by the pregnant subjects in what executive producer Ari Mark calls an “experimental production model.”

“Even though the series is very much self-shot, we still rely on a team of producers to manage the couples and embed in their day-to-day,” Mark told TheWrap ahead of the finale for the show, which had the benefit of already being largely self-shot before the coronavirus pandemic hit and halted so much other television production. “So when the pandemic shut down the face-to-face producing we had to rely even more heavily on our very own experimental production model. Ensuring families self-shot correctly, beefing up our post-production system and training to ingest and organize thousands of hours of footage, not to mention remote editing…”

Mark, co-founder of AMPLE Entertainment, went on, “We had to bet on ourselves and trust that the COVID-safe machine we built could handle an arcing TV series. I believe it did that and more.”

Cox, also an executive producer on the docuseries, praised the self-shooting, expectant parents who participated: “I’m always surprised and in awe of the genuine, raw and intimate moments these people have captured without being self-conscious at all. It takes me hours just to send a congratulations!”

As for what the show’s hands-off style can teach producers as the pandemic continues, Mark said, “If this series proves anything, it’s that less is more. Leaner crews and smaller footprints aren’t just safer, but allow for producers to build trust and capture more observational content.”

Season two showcased ten families with various challenges, from battling infertility to life-threatening illnesses and disabilities.

“It was important to us to introduce couples who were facing a completely new set of challenges. We wanted to highlight a diverse range of topics and obstacles that might occur during a pregnancy since no journey is the same. I was so proud of the new couples that were a part of this season,” Cox said.

The finale is available Thursday on the “9 Months With Courtney Cox” Facebook Watch page.