Barclay & Butler Take San Francisco

May 1, 2004
On May 1, the Bay Area members gathered at the San Francisco Presidio to attend "Episodic Television Directing," presented by director and DGA Third Vice President Paris Barclay and director and DGA Alternate National Board Member Bob Butler.

Sponsored by the Executive Committee of the SFCC, the 5½-hour program covered the nuts and bolts of directing and included such topics as working with actors, key issues with producers and staff, effective use of the director's team, dealing with writers, and a director's preparation.

Each attending member received scores of mixed script pages to illustrate various points about the video clips shown. Butler's clips and script pages were from his films Turbulence, White Mile and The Brotherhood. Barclay's clips and scripts included NYPD Blue and The West Wing.

The morning was given over to Butler's experiences and theories of direction, balanced by Barclay's sometimes contradictory views. Using clips from several features and TV shows that he directed, Butler demonstrated ways that the words of the script became images on the screen.

Following a buffet lunch, Barclay showed some clips and both directors offered opinions of the theories behind the work seen. The Seminar was more-or-less a roundtable discussion, as questions were fielded and horror stories discussed and analyzed. Both directors gave informative viewpoints derived from their extensive experience and laced them with humor.

The event was well attended and attendee evaluations showed praise for both content and quality of this Seminar. A similar seminar is planned for November of this year, covering "Commercial Directing." Director member Jon Francis, who participated in a seminar as a guest presenter in the past, has agreed to work with director member Elma Garcia on the syllabus for that seminar.

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