1st Edition

The Art and Craft of TV Directing
Conversations with Episodic Television Directors

ISBN 9780367152451
Published August 2, 2019 by Routledge
164 Pages

USD $44.95

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Book Description

The Art and Craft of TV Directing offers a broad and in-depth view of the craft of TV Directing in the form of detailed interviews with dozens of the industry’s most accomplished episodic television directors.

Author Jim Hemphill provides students with essential information on the complexities of working in episodic TV, highlighting the artistic, technical, and interpersonal skills required, and exploring a variety of entry points and approaches to provide a comprehensive overview of how to begin and sustain a career as a television director. The book discusses how to merge one’s personal style with the established visual language of any given show, while also adhering to tight budgets and schedules and navigating the complicated politics of working with showrunners, networks, and producers. The book also features interviews with a range of directors, from feature directors who have moved into episodic TV (Kimberly Peirce, Mark Pellington) to directors who have made the transition from other disciplines like acting (Andrew McCarthy, Lea Thompson), hair and makeup (Stacey K. Black) and stunts (David M. Barrett).

This book provides unprecedented access to the experiences and advice of contemporary working episodic television directors, and is an ideal resource for students studying television directing, early career professionals looking for advice, and working directors looking to make the transition from feature directing to episodic TV directing.

Table of Contents



Chapter One – Bethany Rooney (Arrow, Bull, The Originals)

Chapter Two – Kurt Kuenne (The Blacklist)

Chapter Three – Stacey K. Black (The Closer, Macgyver, Midnight Texas)

Chapter Four – Norman Buckley (Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, The Perfectionists)

Chapter Five – Anthony Hemingway (American Crime Story, Underground)

Chapter Six – Lauren Wolkstein (Queen Sugar)

Chapter Seven – James Hayman (The Sopranos, NCIS: New Orleans)

Chapter Eight – Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries, Riverdale, Roswell)

Chapter Nine – Michael Dinner (L.A. Confidential, Justified)

Chapter Ten – Joanna Johnson (The Fosters, Good Trouble)

Chapter Eleven – David M. Barrett (Star Trek: Discovery, Blue Bloods)

Chapter Twelve – Andrew McCarthy (The Family, The Blacklist)

Chapter Thirteen – Kimberly Peirce (Dear White People, I Love Dick, Six)

Chapter Fourteen – Mark Pellington (Blindspot, Cold Case)

Chapter Fifteen – Karen Gaviola (NYPD Blue, Lucifer, Magnum PI)

Chapter Sixteen – Lea Thompson (The Goldbergs, Mom)

Chapter Seventeen – Bryan Spicer (Hawaii Five-0, The Man in the High Castle)

Chapter Eighteen - Kevin Dowling (The Son, Bosch, The Americans)

Chapter Nineteen - Michael Katleman (China Beach, Zoo, Quantum Leap)

Chapter Twenty – Mary Lou Belli (NCIS: New Orleans, Famous in Love, Station 19)

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Jim Hemphill is an award-winning screenwriter and director whose films have screened at the Sundance Film Festival, American Cinematheque, and other prestigious international art houses and festivals. He has written about movies and television for numerous publications including American Cinematographer, Film Comment, Filmmaker Magazine and Film Quarterly. He is a programming consultant at the Egyptian and Aero theatres in Los Angeles and works as a visual historian at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


"A terrific read! Jim mixes his encyclopaedic knowledge of film and TV with his true passion for the craft. The result is a series of illuminating interviews as valuable to the professional as they will be to the novice."

Christopher Silber, Executive Producer, NCIS: New Orleans

"Jim Hemphill digs deep into the nuts and bolts of episodic direction, and in doing so shines a light not just on the mechanics of television production, but on the craft of directing itself, in all of its wonderful and malleable forms."

David Lowery, Director, The Old Man & the Gun, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints


"Author and filmmaker Jim Hemphill demonstrates a nearly encyclopedic critical appreciation of individual directors’ styles and an exhaustive enthusiasm for contemporary TV... The 20 Q&As making up Jim Hemphill’s The Art and Craft of TV Directing mine a rich vein of first-person creative experience from craftspeople whose jobs demand that they be articulate about process to begin with."

Bruce Bennett, Film Comment September/October 2019 issue


"If you’re a moviemaker who thrives in high-energy environments, racing against the clock to beat a deadline, then TV directing might be for you. Hemphill’s collection calls for a reassessment to the old adage that TV is a “writer’s medium” and encourages future moviemakers to consider the lessons that can be gained from directing television."

Izzy Stroobandt, Moviemaker Magazine, Summer 2019 issue