Back in The Saddle

Happy 2019, seven readers!

I started the year the way I started 2015 – sleep-deprived yet grateful and excited, emerging from new-baby haze. It’s been a great nine weeks of paternity leave and watching Child The Second progress from newborn to slightly more cognizant newborn. And, like in 2015, I go out of town for my first gig.

I just returned to Austin to direct episode 506 of Fear The Walking Dead. It has been one of my favorite shows to work on and I’m excited for the opportunity to relearn how to direct to work with the same great people and do it again.

The last two years have been incredibly productive as a director and I hope for more of the same. Also looking forward for some pockets of time to write and develop new ideas and concepts. So I guess that’s sort of a resolution – carving out those pockets of time even when it seems like there isn’t any.

More updates to come from Austin and FTWD Season 5! 

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Final Post of 2018 Just Barely

A variety of events unfolded during the time of my last post until now.

Firstly, that episode of Criminal Minds did indeed air as promised by TV Guide.

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Proof

Secondly, I was directing Proven Innocent in Chicago, my original hometown, heading into a final week of what was a really wonderful shoot.
Thirdly, during that week of shooting, I had a new flight booked for me every day in the event I had to quickly get on a plane to make it in time for the arrival of New Human #2 in our family.

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Also proof.

Fourthly, I wrapped all but a couple of scenes, got on a plane early on my final day of shooting (in the snow!), and arrived in Los Angeles without having missed New Human #2 arrival.

Fifthly, 24 hours later, New Human #2 arrived.

Sixthly, I promptly entered a rift in the space and time continuum, brought about by the arrival of New Human #2.

spacetime-2-1
Something like this.

Which brings me to now. I write to you from inside the rift.

Here in the rift, as it might be in your sliver of the multiverse, 2018 is ending. I’m taking a break … well, now only one month remaining I guess … before I direct again. It was a truly wonderful and crazy year, one in which I suddenly moved back to Los Angeles in between directing 7 shows, found a new agent, having NBC pass on our pilot and then re-developing our pilot for NBC.

Oh, and there was the arrival of New Human #2.

So yeah. Pretty good year. We’ve had a few good ones in a row. Hope I can keep it rolling for 2019.

I’d like to say my resolution is to write more frequent posts next year but I’m so certain to break that one that I shouldn’t even resolve to do it and just hope for the best.

Happy End of 2018 and Happy Beginning of 2019 and New Life.

Criminal Minds 1407 Promo and Not Exactly Status Update

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!

Homeward Bound

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.

Criminal Minds 1407 Recap-ish

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.

The Good Doctor Episode 205 Shoot

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.