FROM I LOVE LUCY TO SHÕGUN . . . AND BEYOND

Tales from the Other Side of the Camera

PREFACE

How did the scrawny kid standing in the middle of the tennis courts at Alhambra High School end up standing in the middle of the Roman Colosseum with Gregory Peck and Christopher Plummer? How did he go from looking through the lens of an old 35mm camera to looking out the window of Gina Lollobrigida’s bedroom?

It was an exciting journey that led me to direct over three hundred fifty episodic television shows, forty Movies of the Week, and eleven miniseries, while working with over twenty-five Academy Award-winning actors and actresses.

“Director” means you are the problem solver. As Captain of the Ship, you must think on your feet and be able to turn on a dime, because you are who everyone is looking to for the final word . . . especially when things don’t go quite as planned.

Having directed some of the greatest, funniest, most neurotic, generous, deranged, and brilliantly talented film and television stars of all time, the echo of “What Could Possibly Go Wrong?” followed me every step of the way.

There is no greater truth than this: Fact is far more interesting than fiction—and sometimes much harder to believe!

Come with me as I take you on a journey that is in essence a trip through the most dramatic growth in television’s history, from the sets of some of TV’s earliest shows and most outstanding dramas to Made for Television movies and miniseries. This is the story of how I went from an apprentice film editor to a sought-after director, embracing the challenges, the life-changing moments, and the grace of the people who believed in me along the way.

I hope that, perhaps in some small way, some of these tales will inspire you to be persistent and to keep your eye on the lens of the life you dream about.

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