Paris Barclay: A TV Insider With An Outsider Instinct

January 6, 2011  |  

(NPR) — In a dimly lit production room in Hollywood, television director Paris Barclay intently scrutinizes a scene from the HBO show In Treatment. Sprawled over a lumpy brown couch, as if in therapy himself, he narrows his eyes in disapproval as editor Joe Hobeck takes him through a sequence, shot by shot. Barclay directed this episode, and he’s one of the series’ executive producers.  “Ewww!” Barclay shouts. “Wait, wait, what’s the shot that’s happening when he gets up and it becomes a nothing shot?”  Barclay knows from shots. If you’ve watched even a moderate amount of television in the past 15 years, you’ve seen his work. He has directed such old-school favorites as ER and NYPD Blue as well as the most talked-about newbies, including Glee and The Good Wife. He has directed episodes of The West WingHouseLostCSIand many more, collecting multiple Emmys and Peabody awards along the way. Barclay is the vice president — and first African-American officer — of the Directors Guild of America. And he’s an openly gay man, married with two kids. He’s busy.

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