If you could give your younger self some career advice about directing, what would it be? Have you ever felt a sense of “imposter syndrome” or self doubt after reaching a certain level of success?
These were some of the questions answered by five of today’s top TV directors when they joined Gold Derby’s special “Meet the Experts” group roundtable panel with 2022 Emmy contenders. Watch our full group chat with David Paul Meyer (“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”), Mimi Leder (“The Morning Show”), Emily Mortimer (“The Pursuit of Love”), Reggie Rock Bythewood (“Swagger”) and Ken Olin (“This is Us”) above. Click on each name above to view that person’s individual interview.
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“Whenever you think about your favorite film or show, you’re really thinking about those key moments,” Meyer reveals. “Whatever it was. A piece of dialog or some shot. Just think about those moments. It starts with a script, but so many choices as the director come from how you make those moments that you’re probably visualizing in your head. How do you make the audience feel that moment as well?” Leder follows up, “When I’m directing I get really emotionally involved. I think it’s really important to follow your instincts. There’s often a lot of noise. You can’t get to those ‘moments’ unless you’re in the moment. Cut out all the noise and follow your heart and your gut.” Mortimer encourages actors like herself to get behind the camera, stating, “I would encourage any actor who is wondering about directing to do it. Because whether you’re a director, a writer, an actor, we’re all storytellers.”
Bythewood would tell young directors not to shy away from having something to say. “Quite often in the industry you can get hit up about that,” he admits. “You can take a couple of hits for having something to say. Sometimes you might feel embarrassed by that. But having something to say can be your super power. So I would encourage all filmmakers to cherish that, to cherish their voice.” Olin adds, “I think I would have told myself to calm down a little bit. You really can’t do good work when you’re so incredibly anxious and tense. If you give yourself a moment, you’ll figure it out. You won’t figure it out if all you do is hear the noise.”
Meyer is a three-time Emmy, two-time Directors Guild and one-time Producers Guild Awards nominee. His career has also included several comedy specials for Trevor Noah and Jordan Klepper. Leder is a two-time Emmy winner for “ER” among her 10 career nominations. Her career has also included “L.A. Law,” “China Beach,” “The Peacemaker,” “Deep Impact,” “The West Wing,” “Nashville,” “Shameless” and “The Leftovers.” Mortimer was a BAFTA nominee for “The Pursuit of Love” and Independent Spirit Awards nominee for “Lovely and Amazing.” Her career has also included “Match Point,” “Lars and the Real Girl,” “Shutter Island,” “Hugo,” “The Newsroom” and “Mary Poppins Returns.” Bythewood is an Image Awards winner for “Gun Hill” and a nominee for “Notorius.” Other projects have included “New York Undercover,” “Dancing in September” and “Shots Fired.” Olin is a four-time Emmy nominee for producing “This Is Us.” Other shows have included “thirtysomething,” “Freaks and Geeks,” “The West Wing,” “Alias,” “Brothers and Sisters,” “Sleepy Hollow” and “The Man in the High Castle.”
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