‘Across America, assholes abound’
Wm.C. Roman 1971
‘Especially in show business…’
John L., 2015
Recently, I heard a fellow DGA brother tell film students a great insight into our business. When he was a young 2nd Assistant Director he was talking with his 1st AD about another AD they would hire for the production staff. The 1st made it clear who they should hire—but noted– they are not the best person available for the job, they are the best person for the job who can work well with us. [Read more]
The only way to capture the modern audience is to mount TV shows that have detail, texture and tone to engage them, keep them entertained and most importantly—make them want to come back to watch next week. Good scripts given a proper staging, letting actors look their best—these things make a difference in the way the audiences perceive the quality of the show and their desire to continue watching.
I’ve had the great good fortune to produce for Dick Wolf for many years on numerous projects. Luckily, I had worked in the industry for almost 20 years before I met Dick, so I had already made my rookie producer mistakes, like pushing the Director of Photography to make daylight on way too... [Read more]
During my years in NY producing Law & Order Criminal Intent, I had many a hairy and stressful episode, but a few do stand out. You should always be wary of episode titles, like ‘On Fire’…
Criminal Intent was basically Sherlock Holmes of the NYPD. Our lead actor played a very strange, very smart and very entertaining detective who always (almost) got his man. The structure of the show moved to an extensive final, climactic scene; we always called it the ‘aria’ –a last scene that ran 7-10 pages with our hero and the suspects leading to the reveal of the killer. The brilliant Rene’ Balcer, L&OCI’s original Showrunner, always created a structure that used one main set, or world we would inhabit, and that would be the same place we would stage the aria. [Read more]
As any Producer recognizes early in their career, you must choose who you hire very carefully. I learned how important it was to put together crews who could not only function together, but thrive and enjoy the work. As an old AD, I had suffered all I wanted on sets where people mostly just yelled at each other. I knew I would not let that happen when I could hire crew.
The wise, old Director taught me– “Casting is 90% of my job. I get that right, the rest is easy.” He was right. As Producers, we are after the same thing. If we assemble the proper group of technicians and artists, give them a script and set the goal, the rest is just day to day management... [Read more]
The Director always has their chair. It’s a sign of their authority as well as their comfort. The AD never sits during the production day. Their position is standing next to the Director and running the set. At the Director’s elbow...
As fate and luck would have it, I got an education in the field from many different Directors who taught me in different ways. You could not buy the experience today at any cost.
By 1978, American movies were rocking the world and film schools like USC and NYU had already earned their impressive reputations. Their graduates went directly into the film and TV industry [Read More]