I’ve always hated the American version of The Office. Before it even aired, I hated it. In my opinion Ricky Gervais did two perfect seasons of the show in the UK, and then Steve Carell dug it back up and ruined it. American TV has an obsession with milking every living drop out of a good concept. It’s as if nobody realizes that having a goofy comedy turn into something where two of the main characters get married and have a kid probably isn’t a good idea. The show is supposed to be about a bunch of miserable misfits! Nobody’s supposed to be happy, that’s not funny! It should never have gone nine seasons, and everybody knows it.

I use this example a lot when I’m thinking about my own creative output. I’ve never wanted to continue any episodic project I’m working on just because it still has an audience. I want to be inspired by the work I’m doing from start date to finish date. This is why I’ve decided to stop producing Behind The Barriers. For me it’s time to move on to different things, and different projects. I absolutely loved the four years I produced the show, but I wouldn’t know where to go from here. The concept and aesthetic of the show has always been the same for me, and I wouldn’t want to change it. And I think four years of that concept is the right amount, in the same way that Ricky Gervais probably thought that two years of The Office was the right amount. BTB has taken up a massive amount of my attention over the past four years, and I’m excited to give that attention to some new endeavors. I know BTB TV will go on, and maybe there will still be a show called Behind The Barriers, but this fourth season was the final Sam Smith season.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been a fan and supported the show over the years. Making BTB has been a great joy for me and it wouldn’t have been possible without everybody tuning in. I also want to thank Jeremy for doing this whole thing with me, all this time. We will always be friends, and maybe even collaborate again somewhere down the road.

What now?

kabushVOWell, right now I’m near San Francisco recording the final piece of voiceover for Working Dogs with Geoff Kabush. Working Dogs is a film that I’ve been working on since the spring of 2010. It’s about Geoff’s life and cycling career, and also about the lives of a pack of sled dogs. It’s been a long and hard road to get this thing done, but now it’s finally shaping up. When I first started this film, I wanted it to be my most ambitious and creative project to date, and it definitely lives up to that. Its tentative release is May of this year.

I also plan on doing various commercial and documentary work going into the spring and summer. If you want to keep tabs on the progress of Working Dogs, or just keep tabs on whatever other projects I get into, check back here periodically.