Drama Directors Masterclass – With Paul Riordan

On Monday this week Alex had an anxious moment in Redmonds Building reception waiting to meet Paul Riordan – a drama director who was coming in to deliver a drama directors Masterclass to level 5 students on the drama module.

She told me, ‘What made this meeting a bit nerve wracking was that it was 13 years since we had last met – the last time was Paul’s graduation from Media Professional Studies in 2000. Would we recognise each other and  would I look a hundred years older than last time ?!!! Needless to say Paul didn’t look any older and was far too polite to say anything different about me – phew.

Paul is now an award winning drama director who is currently directing Hollyoaks and he shared his career experiences of the the past 13 years since graduating – a career that covers directing soaps and drama series. His Masterclass was rich with anecdotal experiences and insightful guidance for those producing drama for the first time.
Clips from his showreel included some great examples of how to shoot drama with the emphasis at all times on storytelling.
The clip of the famous Hollyoaks bus crash that ploughed into an orangery during a wedding reception was very dramatic and totally engaging as the whole scene was planned and produced by Paul and he was able to deconstruct each segment explaining the many elements such as: green screen, locked off shots, visual effects, pyrotechnics, and CSI.

To finish the session Paul generously gave out his email address to those who would wish to contact him for advice on careers etc.
What seemed so inspiring about Paul’s visit is that students commented on how achievable their TV directing ambitions now feel after hearing about Paul’s career since graduating from LJMU’s Media Professional Studies.

Last thoughts – well if any of level 5 students return in 13 years to do a Drama Director’s Masterclass that means I’ll have another anxious moment to face wondering if an alumnus recognises me because by then I’ll be a hundred and five years old!! Or maybe it will be ok because I’ll still have dreads just that they’ll be grey ones!!’

image[1]Alex and Paul at the Liverpool Screen School.

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