The Reason the ‘LulaRich’ Documentary Was Only 4 Episodes
The LuLaRich documentary on Amazon Prime Video captivated viewers who might otherwise have no interest in LuLaRoe dresses or leggings. In only four episodes, LuLaRich explained how LuLaRoe recruited sellers and employed a multi-level marketing system. The filmmakers interviewed the founders of LuLaRoe, former sellers and whistleblowers. But, why only four episodes?
LuLaRich documentary producers Blye Faust and Cori Shepherd Stern spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet by Zoom on Nov. 16. They explained why 4 episodes was enough to tell the LuLaRoe story, even though they had much more material available.
4 episodes was enough for the ‘LuLaRich’ documentary
In four episodes, the LuLaRich documentary explained what LuLaRoe was and what they sold. They explained how sellers received product and recruited other sellers. Then it showed the downfall, how LuLaRoe saturated the market so people could not make money after they’d invested thousands.
“There could’ve been a lot more, but that being said, we wanted to tell a tight story,” Faust said. “I think what we felt was that there was plenty of material to churn through a few more episodes. But at the same time, in order to tell the story that we wanted to tell and do it in a tight, cohesive entertaining fashion, that four was the right number to ultimately end up at. Certainly, there are a lot of juicy bits left on the cutting room floor.”
4 episodes of ‘LuLaRich’ also kept the show light
There are some tragic stories in the LuLaRich documentary, people who lost everything. The filmmakers were sensitive to them, but also embraced the sense of absurdity to a lot of the proceedings. Kelly Clarkson and Katy Perry gave private concerts for LuLaRoe. Some sellers were sent moldy leggings. There was room to laugh in four episodes of LuLaRich.
“I think one of the things that we found with LuLaRich is when you can have some humor and levity in things, then it is really appealing to an audience, or can be if done right,” Faust said. “I think that’s one of the things that’s important for us. We do have those projects that are dead serious and they’re commercial serious dramas. But at the same time there’s something about the times right now where we’re all looking for a little bit of escapism. So it’s nice to be able to find some stories too that have some real social worth and impact, but at the same time can help people escape a bit too.”
4 episodes still couldn’t answer everything
The LuLaRich documentary leaves viewers puzzled about some elements. Although LuLaRoe founders Mark and DeeAnne Stidham gave the directors an interview, they never quite took stock of their company or their own relationship.
“One of the things is just trying to figure out how much of it is really them and what they’re saying versus how much of it is a performance and how performative are they being, and what are their aims each personally at heart vs. what they’re saying,” Faust said. “We can‘t put words in their mouth. They clearly felt like they had a truth to share and that that truth was different from everybody else’s.”
LuLaRoe did step up to rectify the saga of the moldy leggings. However, the randomness with which sellers received product remained an issue.
“Think about it in terms of inventory control,” Stern said. “Inventory is a whole science, what to order, when and all of that. You don’t have to worry about any of that major piece of your business in terms of inventory forecasting. If you just are like whatever we get, that’s what you’re getting.”