What’s Happening Now?

Hello, six followers! I swear, I’m intending this to be an annual update, but a more frequent one. But that’s what’s been happening. How? I don’t know how. Just fatigue/apathy/general forgetfulness.

Anyway, what’s happening now, you ask? Or better – what’s been happening since I last posted? Boy, a lot it turns out.

The windmill on the “Alexandria” set of The Walking Dead at sunset.

Let’s see, when I last posted a year ago I was directing two episodes of The Walking Dead. Those two episodes – 1107 “Broken Promises and 1108 “For Blood” – aired way back in fall 2021. The were part of a kinda midseason finale though not midseason because this final Season 11 of The Walking Dead is broken up into three eight-episode triads. Trimesters, if you will.

If you’re into the convenience of streaming and the relative inconvenience of subscribing to 75 different services, look no further than AMC+ for both of those episodes:

After The Walking Dead – a show and universe I’ve been a part of for a few years now – I directed a new show for the first time. Both new for me and technically new for everyone, though not really.

This is how we shoot driving scenes for real on Bosch: Legacy. Actual stunt driver on top, actors “drive” below in the car. Camera mounts around the car.

Bosch: Legacy from Amazon on their new free streaming service Freevee (briefly called IMDBtv) is mostly the same as the original highly popular Bosch on Amazon Prime Video – especially according to this New York Times review. The series and the episode just came out, last week on Freevee and Prime Video, so take a look if you haven’t – I directed Episode 6.

As seen on Detective Bosch’s desk at Hollywood Division, now on Private Investigator Bosch’s desk.

It was a joy to direct the show last August. I loved the original Bosch – Amazon’s first scripted and longest running show – and was very excited when I was invited to join the team here in Los Angeles. I guess it went well because I’m going to direct the Season 2 premiere starting in July. Very much looking forward to that.

After Bosch: Legacy, I returned to New York City in October 2021 to direct something for the first time there since 2015. Back then, I directed my second episode ever and second episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. This time, it was a different Dick Wolf show – FBI for CBS, Season 4 Episode 8.

There were a lot of really wonderful people I knew from SVU back in the day who were now helming the ship at FBI, including Alex Chapple – the first director I shadowed as an NBC Directing Fellow in 2013 (on SVU actually) and is now the excellent producing director on FBI. I had a lot of fun being in New York in October and we got to do some crazy things like this complex roof-to-roof chase sequence that I had a lot of free reign in designing how I hoped it would look. It turned out really nicely thanks to some great stunt-special effects-art department collaboration. (And yes stellar directing. Obviously.)

To finish the calendar year, I returned to one of my old haunts – Austin, Texas – for the Season 7 finale of Fear the Walking Dead. It was the final episode shot in Austin for FTWD after four seasons there (relocating to Georgia for the Season 8), so it was bittersweet. There are a number of Austin-area-based crew members who were working with me on that show for the last time. Just one of the all time best crews I’ve had the good fortunate to work with. First time I got to direct a season finale and it was full with the usual challenges and some unique ones given that it was the last episode of the season. It will air when this current Season 7 concludes, which I believe will at the beginning of the fall.

A “walker” on screen from The Walking Dead Episode 1107. Also how I looked while recovering from COVID.

Then, the calendar flipped and it became 2022. I began the year with a bout of COVID. Which is the way most of greater Los Angeles began 2022. Fortunately, I recovered in time to direct the second-to-last ever episode of The Walking Dead, my the third episode in Season 11. More stories to come about that (hopefully!) because it was quite a task directing the penultimate episode of one of the most iconic shows in television history.

Okay! That brings us up to now! I’m in the middle of what is one of the longer spells between episodes I’ve ever had, so I’m trying to take advantage of this time to write. Hence the updating of this – it helps me procrastinate in a productive manner. So for that reason don’t be shocked, six readers, if you see an update again sooner than later.

Epic smoke from our special effects team for The Walking Dead Episode 1108
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Undead Again

At this pace, I’ll give a solid half dozen updates a year if I’m lucky.

Anyway, I’m back from my two month sojourn in the wilds of Georgia directing The Walking Dead. I can’t say too much more because loose lips sink ships – or get you in trouble with AMC Studios.

Regardless, it was a lot of fun and the season begins August 22. I believe my episodes will air in October so I hope to update this blog again between now and then.

For now, here’s a teaser clip for Season 11 that’s pretty cool but reveals very little.

More updates hopefully soon for real, including a little more info about my next gig coming up in August – which I’m very excited about.

Dead Again

Wow, I’m really really behind updating what I’ve been up to. I realize now that I completely forgot to add a promo for 9-1-1: Lone Star that aired a few weeks ago. Well, here it is (was)!

This teaser is both purposefully scant with details about the episode and also be necessity. They had to put out this teaser far before we were finished even shooting, and certainly before editing. Anyway – already aired on Fox so… go check it on Hulu if you missed it, six readers!

And now in Atlanta in prep on a couple episodes of Season 11 of The Walking Dead again. I really enjoy working in the TWD universe so it’s really nice being back on “The Mothership.” It’s nice to be working again pretty steadily after the film and TV industry all but shut down for the better part of 2020. It feels like things are really on the upswing industry wide.

I’m sure I’ll be late on posting something in the future, so enjoy vague promises of keeping up-to-date on things in the future! Meanwhile, here’s some spoiler-free local color:

From our local coffee shop. Will report back if it’s as good as it purports to be.

9-1-1 Promo!

I can’t believe I turned in the cut for this episode just last week. They turned it around/are turning it around very fast! Anyway, I wrapped episode 407 of 9-1-1 a couple weeks ago, turned in the cut last week, and started prep on its sister show 9-1-1: Lone Star last week as well. So it’s all 9-1-1-Verse for me to start 2021.

Here it is – enjoy!

First Post of 2021 Feels Similar to Posts in 2020

Well so far, 2021 looks a LOT like 2020. But kinda maybe worse? Still a 2020 hangover.

I’m writing an update now instead of actually shooting, which I should be doing but for the pestilence. I start prep on 9-1-1 in December and we were supposed to start shooting this past Monday. Over the holidays, the governor and State of California strongly encouraged productions to halt for a few weeks because the extremely troubling rate of infection right now Los Angeles County in particular.

So, I’m in a holding pattern. I believe I’m finally starting to shoot on Monday, but there’s a likely chance that that will change as well. Whatever happens, whenever it happens, I’m eager to direct this show for the first time. I directed its sister show 9-1-1-: Lone Star as you may know, my six readers, that aired about a year ago this time.

It seems much much much longer than that! Since starting to direct television in the fall of 2014, this is the longest stretch I will have gone between gigs – 10 months, give or take. It’s been strange!

Anyway, more non-update updates for 2021 I promise you! In the meantime – they’re already airing promos for this season of 9-1-1! Take a look!

Fear The Walking Dead Again Again

Hello six readers! Tonight! On AMC! The third episode of Fear the Walking Dead airs! Here’s the trailer! Exclamation points!

It was untitled when I directed it but they’ve since named it “Bury Her Next to Jasper’s Leg” which I think is a great title. (I had a pretty good one in mind but it contains spoilers so I shouldn’t share it now.)

This was the last episode of television I directed before everything shutdown because of the pandemic. It’s also one of the most technically challenging and was a massive amount of fun. Take a look, six readers!

New Dispatch from The Void

There is almost no reason it’s been four months since my last update, except that I guess there isn’t a whole lot to update. I did have this episode air yesterday (Sunday) and forgot to update the blog with the teaser promoting The Walking Dead: World Beyond:

I directed this more than a year ago (when the show was still without title) and had a blast working on it. It was the earliest in a show’s existence that I worked on – I arrived as they just wrapped the pilot and got to direct the third ever episode.

It’s already aired so if you’re up for finding it on AMC or AMC’s streaming app, take a look!

Other than that, I managed to finish a pilot script and a series concept, am booked to direct two shows starting in late December (huzzah!) and finally cleaned two of the three drawers in my office cabinet. I intend to spend the next four months or fewer cleaning the final one.

Oh, and make sure you’re registered to vote: http://www.iwillvote.com because, you know, it’s SOON.

More hopefully sooner than four months. At least one more update this year is my plan.

Greetings from The Void

Updating this blog from The Void. Nothing much to report other than global pandemic, police riots, and the industry I work in shuttered indefinitely. (Well, I guess not quite indefinitely…)

My work has mostly been writing, trying to write, watching movies for a small movie club and virtual gathering I started, and attempting to update my portfolio website – which has happened to some extent. Still about four or five episodes short but not bad considering that my computer stopped working.

Also, my computer stopped working. (As did our fridge, toaster oven, and dishwasher – 2/3rds of them are back and working again!) So that halted any progress in doing things like making a reel (I should do that right), resume editing on a long overdue short film, and gave me an adequate excuse to stop writing until the computer was repaired.

Good news is the computer is repaired. As is the dishwasher. The bad news is, well, everything else. But I think I’ll be able to get back into a writing groove. I’m acting under the assumption that production on episodic TV in the US isn’t going to resume in full force for quite some time so I’ll get a chance to really really focus, concentrate, and come up with the best excuses not to be writing I can come up with.

Oh, speaking of writing. There is one major thing that happened to us. The release of this book!:

My wife and frequent film collaborator Valarie Kaur wrote this and it just came out yesterday (June 16). You can find it at your independent book seller if they’re open or sales or at Barnes & Noble or Amazon – or audio book (Audible, SoundCloud, etc) if you want to hear the author read it herself! A tiny amount of the book is devoted to our time making Divided We Fall: Americans in the Aftermath and also running the Yale Visual Law Project, but you should buy it because it is a rich collection of stories from her life and how to enact social change.

We didn’t a chance to enjoy a book tour so we’ve been getting the word out ourselves. That means you, six readers – please get a copy if you haven’t already and enjoy reading it in The Void.

Don’t worry, we didn’t take all the available copies.

Fictional Apocalypse Only Slightly Worse than Current Actual Apocalypse

Looks like I haven’t really updated this site since our non-zombie version of the apocalypse started. As of this writing, still no signs of the undead so that’s a good sign but don’t get complacent everybody.

For those of you interested in how we create a fictional one, here is a short behind-the-scenes segment from the episode of The Walking Dead I directed that aired … when did it air? What is time any more? Was that this month? March? Boy, we’re stuck in a really strange and boring version of Groundhog Day. Anyway – this reveals how we accomplished some of the feats of cinematic daring and also shows me only a few times, mercifully.

Anyway – I’ll try to gather my thoughts about this time and what it means for our industry (as if I know) or at least what it means for my upcoming work. Gathering my thoughts would require more than just the few minutes per day that I have to my own thoughts and not tending to the thoughts of one or both of the tiny humans in our home.

But I’m cobbling those thoughts together and they’re going to be amazing!

Will update again soon. Be safe and disinfect everything.