Bobby! Poor sweet Bobby, I don’t if I can take much more of him being torture. And Jury? Wow. Jax is making some pretty rash decisions, who do you think is the rat? And how about Abel? He is starting to be a force to be reckoned with! Gemma has her hands full. With so much going on in this episode, I decided to sit down with Director, Writer and Producer Charles Murray to discuss his directing debut on Sons of Anarchy!
I heard this is your television-directing debut, what is the difference from shooting your recent feature, “Things Never Said” and your episode of “Sons of Anarchy?”
The biggest difference was money. “Things Never Said”, all in, cost $300k shot over 20 days and Sons of Anarchy was shot in seven for a few million. The budgetary constrictions of the film became the time constrictions of the episode. But talking to actors and dealing with camera and crew is the same no matter how you slice it if you’re trying to do quality work.
Can you talk to me about the process of directing an episode of Sons of Anarchy, what does the director’s prep entail?
Prep is making sure every fine detail that’s in a script is brought to life as close to how your writer or show runner envisions it. So, prep has to be thorough. You don’t want to end up on set wondering where a prop is, or why costumes don’t have the appropriate shirt. Each meeting is probably enough to make you say, “I’m gonna go home and take a nap” after each, but you get into the rhythm and before you know it, it’s time to shoot.
You are also a writer on the show, what was like to transition from the writers’ room to the director’s chair?
I’ve always felt directing was a natural extension of writing. If you were to read a script out loud and guide people around you’d be directing, so it never felt like something that was foreign to me. The biggest difference I guess would be that this is the first thing I directed I didn’t write.
Finally, What was your favorite scene to direct in “The Separation of Crows”?
Favorite? Each one was special because it was my first episode, ya know? All of the actors/actresses gave their best and I was able to direct as a fan, watching each take unfold. The fan boy in me has this to say though, I’ve been wanting to work with Jimmy Smits since he was Victor Sifuentes on LA LAW — ’cause I LOVE Jimmy Smits. And that came true with this episode. So, I’m happy.