Unto the Breach

Very short update alert. I wanted to make sure I posted at least once more this month, and I’ll try to do a few these next coming weeks.

SVUopeningTomorrow morning I head to New York in advance of directing Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Episode 8, Season 16. In standard television fashion, the script is currently being written and I haven’t seen it yet so I couldn’t inadvertently spill the beans about it even if I wanted to. I’m going in early so as to not shock the system but instead steadily ease into living in New York for this month. Officially my prep starts the middle of next week, but I’ve been doing a variety of things to prepare myself for the show.

For the last month or so I’ve been reading scripts of the current season (which just premiered last week) leading up to mine so I have an idea of the storylines leading up to my episode. I’ve also been doing a lot of logistics, figuring out the best way to relocate my home office workflow so I have a somewhat seamless transition to the workspace in New York (doing so requires a couple of suitcases worth of stuff). Perhaps most importantly I’ve been trying to brush up on my creative chops – re-reading old scripts and looking at previous prep work I’ve done or consulting previous notes or books I’ve found helpful in the past.

I’ve also been “reverse engineering” directed scenes from episodes, envisioning the shotlist and the plan the director may have had before executing it. Particularly helpful was watching the season premiere (directed by Alex Chapple whom I shadowed last year) and following along with the script, one I had read beforehand.

All of this is very film nerdy and probably not the way other people prepare to work. But for me, I love to study before I go unto the breach again. At some point, however, you just have to switch off your targeting computer and trust your instincts.

More from New York next.