Ray Farkas has produced and directed prime time news and entertainment programming
for ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS, and has won three Emmies ("Marriage License Bureau,"
CBS, 1989; "The New Civil War," ABC, 1991; "Catch-22," The Learning Channel, 1997).
His work has been nominated ten times by the National Academy of Television Arts
His company, Off Center Production, has developed two series pilots: "Interviews
50 Cents," which originally aired as news magazine segments on ABC -- and "Ira's
People," a mixture of crime and humor, which appeared on Court TV in March 1999.
His stories have a quickly identifiable look through extensive use of long lenses,
wireless microphones and foreground composition. He believes in conversations
-- not interviews, eavesdropping -- not intruding, no lights, and keeping the
camera far away from his subjects. He is devoted to time, place and context -
little things, not big things, that televiion can do better than any other medium.
But seldom does.
Farkas began his career with United Press International as a writer, then worked
24 years with NBC News, Washington, on the Huntley-Brinkley Report and NBC Nightly
News as well as "Today" and the various incarnations of NBC magazine shows in
the 1980s. For the last thirteen years he has been an independent producer, delivering
a series of stories to prime time CBS and ABC magazines ("West 57th," "Street
Stories," and "Day One"), Fox ("America's Most Wanted"), while also producing
and directing documentaries on the politics of abortion for ABC ("Peter Jennings
Reporting: The New Civil War"), a study of life in baseball's minor leagues for
PBS ("Diamond Life"), the silent movies for American Movie Classics ("Long, Long
Ago") and The Learning Channel ("Great Books: Catch-22").
Additionally, Farkas has produced and directed a 30 minute special for National
Geographic "Explorer," a series of vignettes for the "ABC2000" millenium program,
two series for "Entertainment Tonight" and videos for Monsanto, Boeing and MCI.
A four-part series Off Center produced for American Movie Classics, "Unscripted
Hollywood" aired in 1995, and a film preservation promo with Julia Louis-Dreyfus
played for six weeks in all United Artists theaters, Fall, 1995. Two signature
segments for Sports Illustrated aired during the 1996 Olympics on NBC, as did
five signature stories for MSNBC's "Edgewise" in 1996-97. Off Center also completed
a hidden camera segment for an ABC pilot ("The Grant").
Farkas is a graduate of Lehigh University and lives in Washington, D.C. He is
a member of The Directors Guild of America.