Creativity 50 2011: Paris Barclay

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Like David Fincher and Michael Bay before him, Paris Barclay got his start directing music videos. But rather than follow his fellow music-video veterans to the big screen, Barclay has quietly become one of TV's most trailblazing -- and prolific -- directors.

An episodic TV director for nearly 20 years, Mr. Barclay's brings an innate cultural awareness to shows like "Glee," "The Good Wife," "CSI" and "Sons of Anarchy." He's also the vice president (and first African-American council member) of the Directors Guild of America, and an openly homosexual, outspoken gay-rights activist.

He's come a long way from his only feature film to date -- the 1996 Wayans brothers spoof, "Don't Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood" -- and recently receiving a Voice Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for his work on "In Treatment."

How does he stay so in-demand? By being budget-conscious, for starters. "I'm famous for doing a lot of episode No. 2s," he recently told NPR. "After someone has spent millions on the pilot, I'm the person they call and say, 'OK, we're doing the second episode and we only have $2.95. But we want it to look exactly like the $10- to $20-million pilot!'"

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