Credits: In Case of Emergency, Kyle XY, Rodney, Hope & Faith, If Only, 8 Simple Rules... for Dating My Teenage Daughter, According to Jim, Black Knight, Ladies Man, Action, 10 Things I Hate About You, Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane, The Hughleys, Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place, Ellen, Dharma & Greg, Soul Man, The Jeff Foxworthy Show, In the House, The John Larroquette Show, Blossom, Nurses, Living Single, It's a Living
Bio: Gil Junger studied Television/Film at the University of Texas in Austin. He began his career working as a "gopher" on the television show Soap. After a year, Gil became the editor of Soap and stayed with the show for four years, eventually shifting to Benson. After a couple years he became the associate producer of Benson. He oversaw post on Benson and other Witt-Thomas-Harris shows. While producing It's a Living and Empty Nest at the same time, Gil's focus shifted from producing to directing. He began his directing career on Nurses and has remained steadily working since then. His feature career started with 10 Things I Hate About You. He has made three features and around 600 episodes of TV.
1) What were you doing before you "made it"?
Working very long hours as a production assistant and dating a hell of a lot.
2) What was your "big break" and how did you get it?
Being able to direct Ellen. After doing the Ellen one hour "coming out" episode, it opened up my feature career.
3) How does your career today stand up to your previous expectations?
Better and more exciting than I had imagined.
4) What do you find most rewarding about your profession?
The ability to touch people. Make them laugh or cry, based on ideas that come from my brain.
5) What are the pitfalls of your profession and how do you deal with them?
People seem to enjoy it when someone doesn't do well. Because of the insecurities on this business, some people don't appreciate direct honesty. It is also easy to get pigeonholed as someone who can do one thing well and only one thing. It seems you need to constantly prove your skills.
6) What is your personal philosophy, method, or style toward your profession?
I don't have a specific style. I genuinely enjoy my craft and have tremendous respect for both actors and writers. I try to avoid material that I don't believe in and attempt to be honest about my feelings about a script or a performance. Treating others with respect I think is key in any talent related field. Everyone deserves to be "heard." At the end of the day, especially in film, there needs to be one voice, (the directors) that has the last word. After thirty years in the business I feel I still learn new ideas, approaches, and styles on every job. That is what keeps it so exciting.
7) What advice would you give to someone trying to "break in" to your profession?
Read scripts. See how they evolve. Watch how the great directors, writers work. Be willing to give 120% of yourself when first starting. Don't expect things to come to you. You must earn them. This is a very competitive business where drive and desire account for a lot.
About "A Storyteller's Journey" Series
There are many trails you can choose when you're determined to scale a mountain, but as long as you keep climbing, they will all reach the top.
"A Storyteller's Journey" maps the paths others have taken before you. Writers and filmmakers tell you in their own words what they were doing before their ascent, the obstacles they faced along the way, and what they discovered at the summit of their ambitions.
I hope their insights and experiences will educate, motivate, and inspire you with your own goals. Whether you follow their footsteps or forge your own way, just remember that no rules for success will work if you don't.