The new docuseries 7 Days Out, which is now available for streaming on Netflix, describes the days before six major events. Director Andrew Rossi and executive producer Joe Zee shared the ups and downs of the process with The Hollywood Reporter, as well as what makes this docuseries so unique compared to the plethora that are on Netflix, let alone elsewhere. The series may seem simplistic in concept, but in actuality it resembles nature and its manner of a “natural, organizing principle to a week,” according to Rossi. In its first season, the series will cover the seven days prior to such major events as the Cassini mission’s end, the League of Legends Championship, Chanel’s Spring 2018 Haute Couture fashion show, the Westminster Dog Show, the Kentucky Derby, and the re-opening of New York’s Eleven Madison Park.
Andrew Rossi directed The First Monday in May, a documentary that covered the fashionable 2015 Met Gala and Joe Zee served as the creative director of Elle magazine, as well as editor-in-chief of Yahoo! Style. With their joint background in fashion, it is no surprise that they had a much easier time documenting Chanel’s fashion show. As Rossi told the HR: “I think Joe really opened the door with Chanel in a huge way. I also was lucky enough to have filmed with Anna Wintour in The First Monday in May, and I think that from what I understood, the folks at Chanel liked that movie.” Despite this open door, Zee added that there was still some level of difficulty: “It still took months for us to really get through all of the discussing and the negotiating. It wasn’t something where I just made a phone call and it happened overnight.”
Concerning the other events that were chronicled, Rossi described the trust-building process necessary in order to create an authentic body of work. “It is an incredible challenge to form the bonds of trust that are needed to get really meaningful windows into people’s approaches to these challenges in such a short amount of time,” he stated. “I just think that somehow we did that dance of trying to parachute into people’s lives and have the empathy to be able to connect with them and to give them space, but then on the other hand also push enough to be there for those moments that can be really nail-biting for them.”
Even though each of these events seems so distant from the others, Rossi and Zee both agree that all of them show differing aspects of life and how everything is cyclic in nature. “There’s this countdown that naturally takes place in the last seven days,” Rossi philosophized. “That exists in the world of parties, it exists in the world of curation for museums. Even literally, the orbit of the Cassini probe around Saturn.” Zee concurred, adding that: “we all, at the end of the day, have big events that we’re all invested in, whether we’re planning our own wedding, whether we are getting together Christmas dinner. Whatever it is, that week going into it, we all feel that anxiety, we all feel that sort of stress and then we also feel that elation as it comes together.”
In this way, the creators of 7 Days Out were able to formulate a unique take on the docuseries genre, capturing the raw, genuine inner aspect of the shiny exterior surface to which audiences would normally be exposed while also curating material that would relate to all regardless of interest or background.