Paris Barclay is one of the most reputable TV directors of Hollywood with an impeccable three-decade-long trajectory. A two-time Emmy award-winner, Barclay has directed episodes on a number of incredible shows including Scandal, Empire and The Good Wife. In advance of his VIFF Creator Talk on Saturday, October 6, 2018, we’ve rounded up 5 reasons as to why he’s so respected in his industry.
His versatility as a director can’t be matched
Barclay has the ability to masterfully direct multiple TV genres; his filmography includes more than 150 credits as a director, including shows like Glee, Law and Order, Clueless, ER and NYPD Blue. His skills have been recognized with six Emmy nominations, two Emmy awards, and many nominations for other awards. Actors and producers had expressed their admiration for Barclay’s vision and flexibility. Variety magazine described him as a, “highly adaptive force with the ability to control both TV detectives and scene-stealing Gleesters.”
He’s also a producer
His musical theatre background helped him start his career as music video director and producer for artists such as Bob Dylan and Janette Jackson. After working as a TV director for a while, he produced the acclaimed TV show NYPD Blue; this gave him a unique understanding of the industry. According to television critic Matt Zoller Seitz, Barclay is one of the few producer/directors who can, “manage and drive the medium [of television] as well as a writer/showrunner can.”
He was elected as the President of the DGA (Directors Guild of America) for two terms
In 2013 he became the first African-American and the first openly gay President of the Guild. He was re-elected in 2015 to continue with his outstanding presidency. For him, the best part of being president was to carry on the legacy of the people he long admired such as Robert Wise and Gil Cates. He was very happy to help members the same way he was helped by the Guild when his rights were getting trampled at some point in his career.
He is advocates for inclusion
During his Presidency at the DGA, Paris fought for the diversification of the Board by creating opportunities for new voices and advocating for gender equality. In his opinion, the film industry should be able to tell stories that reflect society in America and in other countries as well.
Most of his Assistants have gone on to become successful filmmakers in their own right
Paris Barclay takes great pride in being a mentor for all of his assistants. A good example is Kevin Williamson went on to become the writer for blockbusters Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer. Williamson was also the creator and executive producer for The Vampire Diaries. Other successful people who have also assisted Barclay in the past include Josh Barry, head of TV department at Prospect Park, Sam Martin, a former HBO executive, and Jason Clotfelter, now co-president of Sony Television.
DGC Master Class: Paris Barclay
When: October 6, 2018 at 3:00pm
Where: The Cinematheque – 1131 Howe St, Vancouver BC