We can’t help but be inspired by a creator and director who, five years after bringing his vision for a highly dramatic, mildly disturbing series about two plastic surgeons to television, clearly still has as much personal impact on the show as he did in 2003. The acknowledgement is even more notable given the slate of projects Murphy is juggling. Murphy ensures nip/tuck continues to leave viewers with mouths agape, this season upping the Hollywood factor for Drs. Sean McNamara and Christian Troy as they moved on to Rodeo Drive and became consultants on a sad state of a reality show. And when Murphy gets behind the lens, the plot often takes those wickedly subtle versus over-the-top turns we crave.
Allen Coulter, Damages, FX Networks: When you direct the pilot of one of cable’s most compelling new series, people notice. The skill of seasoned director Coulter in pacing the overt action, allowing viewers to continually delude themselves into thinking they’ve got it figured out, earned him an Emmy nomination this year.
Dan Klores, Black Magic, ESPN: Klores’ savvy in putting the lens not only on the players and coaches of Historically Black Colleges and Universities but also on the social context in which they rose to prominence turned what could have been merely an informative documentary into one that resonated with viewers and members of Congress alike.
Steven Lawrence, Down the Barrel, ESPN: California surfer-cum-filmmaker Lawrence elevates the landscape of POV cinematography with his visually stunning doc, filmed in 16mm and hi-def, while bending stereotypes with his focus of four unique pro surfers.