Famed director inspires Mid-Pacific film students - Mid-Pacific Institute

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Famed director inspires Mid-Pacific film students

Posted on October 23, 2017 by Scot Allen

Famed Hollywood director and producer Gary Shimokawa spoke with the Mid-Pacific students in Paul Faber's film production class about screenwriting, producing, directing and acting on Friday, October 20. The class also viewed and analyzed an episode of All in the Family that Shimokawa directed back in the 1970s.


Director Gary Shimokawa and Mid-Pacific teacher Paul Faber.

Though the cultural references presented a challenge to the students, they were able to appreciate the clever writing, quick camera work and overall fine production standards seen in the show, often called one of the most influential television shows ever made. The show dealt with topics not often seen on prime time TV: homosexuality, gender, racism, war, the economy, women's rights, abortion, suicide, birth control, education, child custody and old age. And, it managed to do so via comedy.

Shimokawa directed and produced numerous hit television shows including "Welcome Back, Kotter," "Good Times," "All in the Family," "Archie Bunker's Place," "The Facts of Life," "Night Court," "ALF," "The Golden Girls" and more. He won two Directors Guild of America Awards for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Comedy Series for "The Golden Girls" and a Peabody Award for Best Comedy Show of the Year for "Archie Bunker's Place." He is a member of the Directors Guild of America as well as the Coalition of Asian Pacific Entertainers.

Shimokawa is a graduate of USC, where he earned his BA in Comparative Literature. In his 40-year career he directed more than 700 shows. He has taught in film schools since 2003, when he started at USC as an adjunct professor; he then moved to Loyola Marymount University, and eventually became a full-time professor at NYU-Tisch. He was an Artist-in-Residence in UH West Oahu's Creative Media department in 2015.