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September 2015

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Page 18 of 51 17 POST SEPTEMBER 2015 Lesli Linka Gla er As a director, Lesli Linka Glatter has accumulated an insanely-impressive list of credits over a long and celebrated career in film, television and premium cable that includes such TV successes as The Newsroom, The Walking Dead, Justified, Ray Donovan, Masters of Sex, Nashville, Boss, True Blood, Mad Men, The Good Wife, Weeds, House, Heroes, The West Wing, NYPD Blue, ER, Freaks and Geeks, Amazing Stories, and Twin Peaks, for which she received her first Directors Guild Award nomination. As executive producer/director, she's the force behind Showtime's hit drama, Homeland, where she's once again received an Emmy nom- ination for "Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series" for her work on the show's "From A to B and Back Again" episode. She's previously received Emmy nom- inations for directing episodes of Mad Men and Homeland, and has won several Directors Guild Awards for her work on both series. Speaking exclusively with Post while on-location in Berlin for Homeland's Season 5, Linka Glatter discusses the series' success, her Emmy-nominated episode, TV today, and working as a woman in Hollywood. You've worked on a lot of different TV shows — which have different directors per episode — is it difficult to put your own stamp on an episode? "That's a great question. I think that's one of the wonderfully-exciting chal- lenges, especially when you're working in premium cable, where you're only making 12 episodes, so it's a novel that you have here. Each chapter of that novel is critically important. And we hire amazing directors — I'm lucky enough to be on the show full time as executive producer and director, and I direct four of the 12 episodes, but we hire amazing people and we want them to come in and bring all of themselves as directors to our show. Yes, there's a world they're coming into — we live in the world of a psychological thriller where there's a lot of anxiety, and they come in knowing that. But bringing themselves to the par- ty because that's going to make the best episode of storytelling. "I want people to come in and tell their story in the best possible way. When I'm here on the show full time, to me I want every episode to be fantastic. Not just the ones I direct, but that's the purpose of it. "I think what's happening now in television, in quote, 'this new golden age,' is absolutely thrilling. We're telling such wonderfully-complicated stories about interesting and flawed, and very compli- cated characters. This is the format to do that in now. "Today, we have to tell visual stories, and I think that's been a huge shift in terms of what one is seeing on TV. Now we're all seeing our storytelling on all kinds of formats — our computer,s our iPads, or in the movie theater. So we have to tell stories that are visually excit- ing and not just talking heads as I think TV was seen, and I think that's changed forever in the most positive and exciting way. My first real series I directed was Twin Peaks, which was an amazing, visu- al, director-driven story-telling situation." How would you describe Homeland's look or feel? "As I mentioned, it's a psychological thrill- er and we tend to use a lot of handheld cameras because of that [the series is predominantly shot on Arri Alexas]. The world is not in balance, and you feel that level of anxiety kind of in everything. We're dealing with a world where things are not what they appear to be. There are always two sides of the truth and I think we try to illustrate that in the visual story telling, as well as the narrative, and that's what makes it powerful. And each year we have done a complete reinven- tion. Last year, the story was set in Kabul Afghanistan and Islamabad, Pakistan, in the primal region. And that whole area and the politics there are complicated and not black and white, and you want to be sure you're representing it in a realistic way and you want to see both sides of the story. Each year, before the start of each season, the writers, as well as myself and Mandy Patinkin and Claire Danes, have a series of meetings with high-ranking people at the CIA and DNI, and they talk to us about what the state of the world is, which is incredibly com- pelling and also quite terrifying. So, that shapes the next season. So, every year it feels like it's a very different look. How the show is looking now, set in Berlin in Europe, dealing with the issues that are relevant there and what was happening last year, is completely different. For me, as a director, it's totally exciting and a wonderful challenge." How involved in the post process are you? "What I love about being a storyteller is, every step of the way, you're collabo- rating with the most incredibly-creative group of people, so I'm always excited when I get the first editor's cut to see what these amazing artists have put to- gether. I have a plan in my own mind, but I love being surprised with something I had never thought of. And that happens every step of the way. With shooting, with what actors come into a scene with, and I love that part of the process. You really get to take time and examine the footage and take it to the next step in terms of what the story is and how deep- ly you can go." Lesli Linka Glatter says Homeland reflects the world's current "out-of- balance" state.

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