Greg Whiteley on Emmy-nominated Netflix series ‘Cheer’ — and the drama on and off screen

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Gabi Butler, one of the subjects of Netflix’s Emmy-nominated “Cheer,” appears with her teammates. Photo courtesy of Netflix.

The Emmys are on the horizon, though this year’s ceremony will be virtual.

One series with many shots at a win is “Cheer,” directed by Greg Whiteley. The show is up for six nominations, including Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program. It also received nods for directing and cinematography.

“Cheer” was acclaimed when it came out this January for its depiction of a grueling and often overlooked sport. Forty kids were vying for a place on the mat as Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, sought its 14th national championship.

Whiteley has made a career out of directing films that find compelling characters in competitions for young adults. He also created Netflix's “Last Chance U,” which follows competitive junior college football programs that gives troubled kids a shot at getting their lives on track. 

Whiteley also talks about how he cast “Cheer” with very little information on the competitors, and he gets into the drama that happened on and off-screen.

Credits

Guest:
Greg Whiteley - Documentary filmmaker, director and executive producer of “Last Chance U” and “Cheer” on Netflix - @gregonepotato

Host:
Kim Masters

Producer:
Kevin Tidmarsh