Going Again

Well, five readers, Day 1 is about to begin. Early morning pick up will come get me and take me out to the location. We have an ambitious and long day planned, including an added challenge of perhaps dealing with the elements.

I’m going to try to give day-by-day recaps like I did last time, possibly in haiku form again. This time around, I’m probably less anxious than before but still there are nerves. I guess that helps prove that I’m alive and human.

And, like last time, I’m incredibly grateful for being given the chance to play with great actors and a great crew. It’s fun coming back to a place where they are happy to see you. Don’t get me wrong, it’s going to be a lot of work – but also a lot of fun. As I wrote last time I was about to start, the assistant director yells, “Here we go,” which is informal code for everyone to get ready because the camera is about to start rolling.

After the director yells cut and if he or she wants to take the shot again, they yell “going again” to everyone knows to get ready for another one.

So here we go – going again!


Snow Day

Actually, I'd venture that few people in the Northeast are this happy right now.
Snow day!

I haven’t had a snow day in probably 25 years! But I have one now, as do pretty much everyone in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, etc. That includes us at Law & Order: SVU. So, five days into prep on my episode, everything comes to a halt.

Not that kind of tandem.
Not that kind of tandem.

Prep has been smooth thus far. The enhanced challenge of this episode was the fact that it is paired with another SVU episode shooting at the same time – known as a “tandem.” During tandems, they split up the crew into two units and the actors have to bounce between two episodes. It’s an incredible feat of scheduling between the two units and their more than capable assistant directors and producers. Not to mention the writers who will often modify scenes for location ease or actor availability if requested by an AD or producer.

Could be worse. We could be in the yellow.

So the Snowpocalypse-induced schedule change would be tough enough for just one episode. Now, the delicately woven tapestry between the two simultaneously filming episodes has unraveled and the diligent and resilient production team at SVU will have to weave it all over again, and quickly – we’re back on Wednesday (for now).

So make that two enhanced challenges for this second time on the show. I’m just happy to be here.

Anyway, the day off gives me a chance to continue my own prep work in anticipation for beginning the shoot on Friday. We have a great guest cast and script, which I’ll discuss when it’s appropriate to do so.

But for now, I go out and build a snowman.

Day Zero, The Second Time

By virtue of recent life events (i.e. new human arrival), a quick scroll down this here modest blog makes it appear as if I just recently left New York and wrapped up directing my first Law & Order: SVU episode, went home for the airing, and came back right away.

And while it sort of feels like that – in part because of the space-time vortex mentioned in a previous post – it’s been just a shade under three months.

Here are important differences: 1. It is freezing in New York.

Visual approximation of me in New York right now.

That’s basically it. Though I haven’t started work yet so the differences will continue. But I’m going to try to do a day-by-day recap like I did last time, at least while I’m in production.

I’m incredibly grateful to have been asked back this season and to try a new script and some new ideas and to work with a new writer. (Though, my script is written by Ed Zuckerman who is anything other than a new writer.) So it’s going to be fun again, regardless of the weather, for this SVU #2.

They say the sequel is never as good as the original, with rare exceptions. So I hope I can follow up my television directing debut with a solid second showing. What I mean is that I’m hoping to pull of at least a Back to the Future Part II, if not The Godfather: Part II or The Empire Strikes Back. Just not a Jaws 2.

New Things

Okay, so it’s been a month since I’ve updated this site but this time I have a brand new reason that I’ve never used before. Here it is: we created a new human. Almost totally from scratch. I know it sounds like science fiction but it turns out to be science fact.

Arrival of human child on December 3 has delayed the updating of this site. Tragic, I know. I’ve been in the standard space and time vortex that comes quickly on the heels of such a creation and only now just emerging from it.

Good thing, too, because I’m headed out to New York in a couple of weeks for my second episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. It seems like just yesterday the first one aired, but it turns out that was November 19.

Illustrated representation of my current daily existence.

Which, for most people, was about six weeks ago but for me actually feels like it happened in a different dimension of space-time.

Anyway, it’s the start of a great new year, I know it. This time I know it. Maybe it’s the sleepless delirium talking, but hear me out. Last year, 2014, was a year of labor, bringing into the world new things, new work, new home, new human life. This year is a year of those things growing and flourishing – a year of birth and growth.

Let me embed a video here by my closest friend and sometimes collaborator Tom Halloran, singing in his bedroom studio a rendition of The Zombies‘ “This Will Be Our Year” – this sums up my feelings and hope for the future nicely.

This will be our year, took a long time to come.