Emmy-winning director Paris Barclay has a reputation as "TV's busiest director" when it comes to single-camera shooting. He's shot more than 150 episodes of television, with some of his most acclaimed work on the drama NYPD Blue. And although NYPD Blue was the show that won him both his Emmy awards, it was a different procedural that he notes as the most challenging and the most fun to work on: Cold Case. In an interview with the Archive of American Television, Barclay explained what made Cold Case such a different experience for him:
"Cold Case is a highly unusual procedural in that half the show is unique every time. The regular cast members, the detectives, do only four days of shooting, when they’re investigating the crime. Then there’s three days in which you create a totally different look for a completely different period with a completely different cast of characters, telling the story of the murder that’s revealed slowly over the course of the hour."
In this way, Cold Case was part procedural, part period anthology, offering fresh scenes and fresh characters in every single episode. Barclay directed nine, starting with the series' second episode "Gleen." That episode is set in the 1980s, and it tracks Lilly Rush as she investigates the backyard murder of a heavily made-up '80s housewife. His favorite episode "Colors" took him to the 1940s, but he had a hand in recreating episodes from the '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, even episodes that took place just a few years back required more creativity from the director than other shows he'd worked on, from The West Wing to Sons of Anarchy. He said in the interview, "I keep thinking I’m going to run out of tricks when I go to Cold Case to do different times. ... It’s really, really challenging and really fun to do."
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