On Directing

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01Roger Michell2012021320130708

In the first essay of the series, Roger Michell reflects on the mix of emotion he feels on the first day of any production, and beckons us to follow as he travels to the location of his 2012 film Hyde Park on Hudson.

A James Cameron film. A Rupert Goold production. The director has become an acclaimed and authoritative figure - even a star in his own right - but the job itself remains the subject of speculation: what does a director actually do? And what is the mysterious 'process' that sees them from idea to first night? In this Essay series, five innovative practitioners of stage and screen reveal the daily grind of a craft which, despite books and interviews on the subject, remains opaque.

Roger Michell's career has spanned theatre, television and film. Earlier in his career, he worked at the Royal Court and the RSC, where he eventually became a resident director. He continues to divide his time between theatre and film, and recent stage productions include Rope (The Almeida) and Tribes (Royal Court). For BBC television he directed The Buddha of Suburbia (1993) and Persuasian (1995). Some of his films include Notting Hill (1999), Changing Lanes (2002), The Mother (2003), Enduring Love (2004), Venus (2006) and Morning Glory (2010), as well as Hyde Park on Hudson (2012).

The series is produced by Sasha Yevtushenko.

First broadcast in February 2012.

In the first essay of the series, Roger Michell reflects on the mix of emotion he feels on the first day of any production, and allows us to accompany him as he travels to the location of his most recent film Hyde Park On Hudson.

Roger Michell's career has spanned theatre, television and film. Earlier in his career, he worked at the Royal Court and the RSC, where he eventually became a resident director. He continues to divide his time between theatre and film, and recent stage productions include Rope (The Almeida) and Tribes (Royal Court). For BBC television he directed The Buddha of Suburbia (1993) and Persuasion (1995). Some of his films include Notting Hill (1999), Changing Lanes (2002), The Mother (2003), Enduring Love (2004), Venus (2006) and Morning Glory (2010).

Later this year he will direct Richard Nelson's Farewell To The Theatre at the Hampstead Theatre, and then Joe Penhall's new play Birthday at the Royal Court. His latest film Hyde Park On Hudson, starring Bill Murray as Roosevelt, will be released in cinemas this year.

Roger Michell explores the emotions that go with starting a film, as he begins his latest.

02Emma Rice2012021420130709

In the second of five essays, the theatre director Emma Rice explores the role of the director as storyteller, and elaborates on the undertaking that transforms a text into a fully-fledged production.

Emma Rice is the Joint Artistic Director of Kneehigh Theatre. For Kneehigh, she has directed for The Red Shoes (2002 Theatrical Management Association (TMA) Theatre Award for Best Director); The Wooden Frock (2004 TMA Theatre Award nomination for Best Touring Production); The Bacchae (2005 TMA Theatre Award for Best Touring Production); Tristan & Yseult (2006 TMA Theatre Award nomination for Best Touring Production); Cymbeline (in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company for The Complete Works festival); A Matter of Life and Death (Royal National Theatre production in association with Kneehigh Theatre); Rapunzel (in association with Battersea Arts Centre); Brief Encounter (tour and West End; Studio 54, Broadway); and Don John (in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Bristol Old Vic). She was nominated for the 2009 Olivier Award for Best Director for Brief Encounter.

Emma's latest work includes Oedipussy for Spymonkey; Steptoe & Son; the West End production of Umbrellas of Cherbourg; Wah! Wah! Girls for World Stages in association with Sadler's Wells and Theatre Royal Stratford East; and, in spring 2013, The Empress at the RSC.

The series is produced by Sasha Yevtushenko.

First broadcast in February 2012.

Emma Rice is the Joint Artistic Director of Kneehigh Theatre. For Kneehigh, she has directed for The Red Shoes (2002 Theatrical Management Association [TMA] Theatre Award for Best Director); The Wooden Frock (2004 TMA Theatre Award nomination for Best Touring Production); The Bacchae (2005 TMA Theatre Award for Best Touring Production); Tristan & Yseult (2006 TMA Theatre Award nomination for Best Touring Production); Cymbeline (in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company for The Complete Works festival); A Matter of Life and Death (Royal National Theatre production in association with Kneehigh Theatre); Rapunzel (in association with Battersea Arts Centre); Brief Encounter (tour and West End; Studio 54, Broadway); and Don John (in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Bristol Old Vic). She was nominated for the 2009 Olivier Award for Best Director for Brief Encounter.

Emma Rice's most recent production The Wild Bride is currently on tour in San Francisco before moving to New Zealand.

Kneehigh Theatre's Emma Rice explores the director's role as a storyteller.

03Bartlett Sher2012021520130710

Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher explores how a director must search for the play's 'inward sound' when creating theatre.

Bartlett Sher has been nominated four times for the Tony Award, winning it in 2009 for the Broadway revival of South Pacific. Sher was previously the Artistic Director at the Intiman Playhouse in Seattle and is now Resident Director at the Lincoln Centre in New York. His recent work in the UK includes the ENO production of Nico Muhly's opera Two Boys.

The series is produced by Sasha Yevtushenko.

First broadcast in February 2012.

03Bartlett Sher2012021520130710

Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher explores how a director must search for the play's 'inward sound' when creating theatre.

Bartlett Sher has been nominated four times for the Tony Award, winning it in 2009 for the Broadway revival of South Pacific. Sher was previously the Artistic Director at the Intiman Playhouse in Seattle and is now Resident Director at the Lincoln Centre in New York. His recent work in the UK includes the ENO production of Nico Muhly's opera Two Boys.

The series is produced by Sasha Yevtushenko.

First broadcast in February 2012.

Bartlett Sher has been nominated four times for the Tony Award, winning it in 2009 for the Broadway revival of South Pacific. Sher was previously the Artistic Director at the Intiman Playhouse in Seattle and is now Resident Director at the Lincoln Centre in New York. His recent work in the UK include the ENO production of Nico Muhly's opera Two Boys. His production of South Pacific will tour across the UK in 2012.

Bartlett Sher examines the importance of rhythm when creating theatre.

04Josie Rourke2012021620130711

, the Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse, reminds us that working in theatre isn't always plain sailing. In her essay, she looks at what happens when disaster strikes and things go wrong. It's in these situations that a director is truly tested.

Josie Rourke trained with directors Peter Gill, Michael Grandage, Nicholas Hytner, Phyllida Lloyd and Sam Mendes. Before coming to the Bush she worked for five years as a freelance director and was the Associate Director of Sheffield Theatres and Trainee Associate Director at the Royal Court. At the Royal Court she directed Loyal Women by Gary Mitchell. She was the tour director of The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler. For the Royal Shakespeare Company she directed Believe What You Will and King John.

Rourke was the Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre between 2007 and 2011, where she also directed many of its hits including Nick Payne's If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet. In 2011, Rourke directed a production of Much Ado About Nothing at Wyndham's Theatre, starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate. She became Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse in January 2012 and her first production as director was George Farquhar's The Recruiting Officer.

The series is produced by Sasha Yevtushenko.

First broadccast in February 2012.

looks at what happens when things go wrong in the production of a play.

Josie Rourke, the Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse, reminds us that working in theatre isn't always plain sailing. In her essay, she looks at what happens when disaster strikes and things go wrong. It's in these situations that a director is truly tested.

Rourke was the Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre between 2007 and 2011, where she also directed many of its hits including Nick Payne's If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet. In 2011, Rourke directed a production of Much Ado About Nothing at Wyndham's Theatre, starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate. She became Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse in January 2012. Her first production as director is George Farquhar's The Recruiting Officer which runs at the Donmar between February and April 2012.

Josie Rourke looks at what happens when things go wrong in the production of a play.

05 LASTMike Figgis2012021720130712

In the final essay of this series, Mike Figgis reflects on the lessons he learned while working on big studio films in Hollywood and on how those experiences shaped his own approach to directing.

Mike Figgis is an Academy Award nominated film director, writer, and composer. His films include, Suspension of Disbelief (2013), Love Live Long (2008), Cold Creek Manor (2003), Hotel (2001), Miss Julie (1999), One Night Stand (1997), Leaving Las Vegas (1995), The Browning Version (1994), Internal Affairs (1990) and Stormy Monday (1988).

The series is produced by Sasha Yevtushenko.

First broadcast in February 2012.

Mike Figgis is an Academy Award nominated film director, writer, and composer. His films include, Cold Creek Manor (2003), Hotel (2001), Timecode (2000), Miss Julie (1999), The Loss of Sexual Innocence (1999), One Night Stand (1997), Flamenco Women (1997), Leaving Las Vegas (1995), The Browning Version (1994), Mr. Jones (1993), Liebestraum (1991), Internal Affairs (1990) and Stormy Monday (1988).

Mike Figgis is currently in pre-production on his latest film which he is due to start filming in London later this year.

Film director Mike Figgis reflects on the lessons he learned in Hollywood.