"Gerard Lee and I went to film school together," Campion says. "I think what makes us work well is that we are not the least bit precious about criticism. We see criticism as a time saver: 'OK, you hate that idea? Great, I'll drop it.'"
"Top of the Lake" was Campion's first television project since her 1990 "An Angel at My Table," yet it remains thoroughly cinematic, even debuting at last January's Sundance Film Festival, where its seven hours were consumed in a single sitting.
"Comparing film with television pacing didn't come into my calculations because I hardly watch television," she says. "What I really wanted to do was have the space to explore the relationships, characters and atmosphere and yet keep the narrative. I guess we were going for depth rather than pace."
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