A Pretty Great Season

So now that Designated Survivor has aired and my directing work for the TV season is over, I just wanted to take a minute to have a little recap (with pictures!) of what was an incredibly thrilling, tiring, and ultimately deeply satisfying last 10 months.

Over that time, I directed Criminal Minds, How to Get Away With Murder, The Catch, NCIS: New Orleans, Once Upon a Time, Scandal, and Designated Survivor. That’s seven episodes with a few of them happening back to back. Scandal was the only show I had directed before so the year was filled with meeting new great crews and casts and tackling new challenges and trying new approaches to telling the story.

Also a season of firsts:

  1. Directed a show for CBS for the first time (Criminal Minds and NCIS: NOLA);
  2. Directed the 15th ever episode of a show – the earliest I’ve ever done (The Catch);
  3. Directed a show in its first season for the first time (Designated Survivor);
  4. Two shows in Canada (Once Upon a Time and DS);
  5. Directing two different fictional Presidents and Washington DCs (Scandal and DS).
  6. Directed pigs, dogs, alligators, a snake, and of course children (the snake didn’t make the cut for NCIS: NOLA);
  7. Directed a show that I got hired to start the next day following unusual circumstances (Criminal Minds);
  8. Directed the 100th episode of Scandal;
  9. Directed a dual Emmy and Oscar winner (Viola Davis);
  10. First time using the “list” function on this blog.

Since I didn’t have a lot of time in between blog posts to add photos and to write in detail, I figured I’d do that now as a sort of photo tour of the past 10 months (all taken by me unless otherwise noted).

Criminal Minds (August 2016)

How to Get Away With Murder (September-October 2016)

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Murder Costumes.

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Reviewing lines with Aja Naomi King (“Michaela”) (Photo courtesy of ABC).

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DP Michael Price, who I met while shadowing 8 years earlier and finally got to work with on HTGAWM.

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Creepy alley backway we created at Sunset Gower Studios with a light on a condor, a shipping container, and a lot of smoke.

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Sunset Gower Studios, home of Shondaland Productions. Hollywood Sign straight ahead.

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A “homemade” “rickshaw” for the steadicam operator.

The Catch (October-November 2016)

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The incredible automobile showroom our production designer Jessica Kender made from an empty white showroom, which we filled with extras and luxury cars.

NCIS: New Orleans (December 2017-January 2018)

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Alligator wranglers are probably underpaid.

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Seriously underpaid.

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Lucas Black (“LaSalle”) and Shalita Grant (“Percy”) handcuffed so script supervisor Marta Goldstein gives Lucas a hand.

Once Upon A Time (January 2017)

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Minaty Bay, British Columbia, Canada. Also, Neverland.

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Storyboards, though I ended up not able to shoot this scene this way due to delays caused by snow (not to be confused with “Snow White” the character who didn’t cause delays).

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Seriously, Vancouver is beautiful. This is from the tech scout. It was totally snow covered by the time we shot in this location though, a week later.

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Our cool magic door portal, at night, dangerously close to not finishing the scene. But we did!

Scandal (February 2017)

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Scandal 100! (That is a CAKE everybody.)

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I’m a tiny head in this sea of tiny heads – the Scandal crew.

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Cast and producers during our midday party for Scandal 100.

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Shooting on the Truman Balcony set, the final scene of the episode.

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The church exterior for the wedding scene, St. Vincent’s in Los Angeles.

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The incredible floral design and set of the church interior for the wedding.

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One of the props made for the wedding scene. (No, I didn’t keep one.)

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Me working with Tony Goldwyn (“President Fitzgerald”) on our Santa Barbara hotel set that our incredible production design team built in the lobby of the old Hollywood Athletic Club. (Photo by Mitchell Haddad)

Designated Survivor (April 2017)

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Toronto. Or as we like to call it: “Washington DC.” This was our view from the freighter.

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This is how we got all the gear up onto the freighter.

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With some of the crew of knuckleheads of Designated Survivor, including in the back with me – Kal Penn (“Seth”) and Italia Ricci (“Emily”). (Photo by Joe Lazarov, middle)

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Kal posing with Kiefer Sutherland (“President Kirkman”) recreating a photo on Air Force One Kal took with actual President Barack Obama on the actual Air Force One.

Designated Survivor Promo!

Hello six readers – I haven’t had a chance to write an update after I wrapped Designated Survivor. I took the time to stay away from my computer and focus on basically nothing. I just now realize that it’s been about two weeks because – lo and behold – we’re almost upon the episode’s air date! Here’s the promo!