I’ve been incredibly delinquent in writing anything about my experience directing in Chicago on Proven Innocent. But, needless to say, it’s been really wonderful being home and directing with a mostly Chicago based workforce. It’s been a blast.
In the meantime, tonight my newest episode of Criminal Minds airs on CBS! Here’s a very very short promo. Tune in, six readers!
Wrapped up Criminal Minds 1407 post recently and had a few weeks to do life-related activities. But now, I’m heading out for the next gig.
This one is in Chicago and I’m insanely excited. First of all, the show is Proven Innocent and I’m directing the seventh-ever episode. Has a great cast including Russell Hornsby, who I directed in Grimm and met 18 years ago when I was a casting assistant on Gideon’s Crossing. Also stars Kelsey Grammer, so it’s going to be a lot of fun.
Second, the show intersects with criminal justice and reform in a way that is compelling and engaging.
But I’m mostly excited about getting a chance to direct in my hometown for the first time! Aside from some documentary shoots with no crew and my days 20 years ago as an audio and production assistant for a small video company, I’ve not had the chance to work with a Chicago crew in my hometown. Even the character in the show’s fictional home is in La Grange, which is where I lived from age 1 day to 1 year before my folks moved to Darien – where I lived for 20+ years after that. The production offices are less than five minutes away from my father’s old office at UIC.
It’s going to be a lot of fun. Just hope I don’t get distracted by seeing so many family and friends and experiencing the city I love and/or eating too much great food I’ve missed. So apologies, seven readers, if I don’t post frequently. This time my excuse is: busy eating.
Well I didn’t do my usual day-by-day or block-of-days haiku-style recap of my Criminal Minds shoot. There were a number of factors for my delinquency. First and foremost being that while I was shooting we were moving into a new home. (Unsolicited advice: please don’t do this.)
Second – we had a relatively challenging first week of production. Four straight days of location shooting in Downtown Los Angeles, then Koreatown, then at a local university that were very intense. Even more so than usual, with a lot of stunts, extras, and limited daylight. So each day was a sprint in the first week.
The second half of the shoot last week was mostly on stage or on sets built in our studio parking lot so we had a lot more control and a lot lighter workload.
Anyway – wrapped my third episode of Criminal Minds and tonight it’s the show’s 300th episode ever. Which is truly amazing. Not sure what will happen later this season or beyond – they have 15 in what is usually a 22-episode run per season – but I’ve enjoyed my time learning and working with a really great team of actors and crew.
On to post and scant updates to follow.
I just realized that I hadn’t updated this space. Quick update then to say – hey, seven readers, I’m directing Criminal Minds! Again! Third time with the great crew and cast in Los Angeles. Lots of complex scenes this time too. More details and perhaps photos to come.
Well, I didn’t document individual shoot days on The Good Doctor, and we just wrapped. Just wanted to write a quick update. Production went relatively smoothly. No long days, only one location day and the rest in the studio. It’s nice to work on a show like that every now and again. I guess when you work on a show that mostly takes place at a hospital, you’re mostly shooting in sets made to look like hospital sets.
It was a lot of fun, working with medical consultants and filming “surgery” as something new and different for me. The crew was incredible and the cast was as well. And I finally had a chance to work with my long-time director mentor and advocate Mike Listo.
On to post and hopefully the episode will come together nicely. Then – on to Criminal Minds for my third time.
Just arrived in Vancouver to direct episode 205 of The Good Doctor. It’s a great show, just starting Season 2 on ABC. Although it’s the first time I’ll be directing it, there’s an odd sense of deja vu.
In 2017 I directed two episodes of Once Upon A Time here in Vancouver also. The Good Doctor is housed in their exact same office. Same stages, same offices, different sets. It’s very disorienting.
I’m extremely excited to do the show, in part because it will allow me to play out an alternative timeline in where I went to medical school. But also because I get to work with my long-time friend and mentor Mike Listo. I shadowed Mike on Boston Legal and Harry’s Law many years ago, and he’s an incredible and prolific director and producer.
Now, years later, I get to work for and with him on a really meaningful and moving show. I hope he doesn’t regret hiring me by the end of it.
Also – here’s a trailer for the second half of the season for Fear The Walking Dead. (Spoiler: the first scene in the trailer comes from the episode I directed so that’s cool.)
More cryptic updates to come.
Okay, so I guess some time has passed since I wrote that last update. Basically, since I wrapped my episode of Fear The Walking Dead, I went back to Austin to shoot one more day. Then I was asked a few weeks later if I could come direct second unit/re-shoot/insert unit to help them wrap up FTWD Season 4.
That was last week – and it was interesting. I hadn’t shot any thing like that before except for my own work – and definitely not for five episodes worth of shots spread over three days. It was a fascinating exercise in extreme attention to detail, precision, and collaboration with a small (well, TV small) crew to get very specific on a photo double’s hand as it holds something or close on a wall cracking or grabbing a knife or hands tied or feet or well you get it it’s very detailed and needs a trained professional to navigate so enter yours truly. Basically, we watched a lot of clips on a tablet and tried to match the lighting, location, angle, and action as best we could … over and over and over again. Like I said – it was interesting!
So now I can say I’ve officially wrapped Fear the Walking Dead and can continue onward with barely updating this blog. No TV directing jobs until August so back to the ol’ drawing board/blank Word and/or Final Draft document for me.
I’ll attempt to at the very least update this blog again before the end of the year.