Here’s one of those Friday Questions that not only became a whole post, but required a guest blogger to answer it.
Andy (not Ackerman) asked:
What is it like for someone (such as Andy Ackerman) to work on two shows simultaneously with such different approaches to comedy?
Andy directed FRASIER and SEINFELD simultaneously, among others.
For those who don’t know, Andy Ackerman is an Emmy winning director who directed 87 episodes of SEINFELD. He has also directed pretty much everything else. He directed the pilots of both ALMOST PERFECT and BIG WAVE DAVE’S, and directed every episode of BIG WAVE DAVE’S – all six of them.
Oh, and he was one of my mentors. I learned directing by watching him on WINGS.
Anyway, I reached out to Andy to see if he would answer the question and he graciously did. It’s a great answer and also tells you a lot about his personality and approach to life. Here's his answer:
That's an interesting question from your reader. Here's a possible thought:
I've never really approached a given show as being that different, even though they are different. I suppose, for me, it would be akin to my approach as a parent. Meaning, I've four children, all with their own individual voices, sensibilities, tones, styles, personalities, etc. I may adjust to each one accordingly, when dealing with them one on one. But in the end, regardless of that individual child, I'm still the same parent/guide/coach/director.
So, to very loosely use that analogy, I basically approach either given show the same way, because I am, well, me. In other words, I just jump in, be myself, and implement whatever contributions I can to help the script, actors, and final product be the best/ funniest it can hopefully be. Whether I'm a parent, or director, or just dealing with day to day life, I rely on my instincts. Frankly, your instincts can be your greatest tool.
It seems to have worked out. My kids are pretty funny.
Again, my thanks to Andy Ackerman. One day we’re going to reboot BIG WAVE DAVE’S and he’ll be my first call.