Michael has previously worked on such shows as Law and Order: SVU, CSI, Chicago Fire, Elementary, and GoT’s chief Emmy rival, Breaking Bad. The fact that Michael is directing the first two episodes of Season 5 says a lot about the show’s faith in him to set the tone for the new season, which promises lots of changes after the events of Season 4.
GoT, with its medieval fantasy setting, is certainly much different than the modern, mostly police-procedural type shows Michael has done in the past, but he insists it’s all the same behind the camera.
“The methodology, the method is the same, it really is,” Michael revealed at a Behind the Lens event. “You’re looking for an honest, not precious, not put-upon way of portraying the scene. The way that every one of the film sets that I direct runs is…You come in, and you read the material, as a group. Then we put it on its feet and [...] you just guide actors, you don’t tell them what you want and very often if you trust them, you’ll get something better than what you ever imagined in your head beforehand. So if you listen and work together — it’s the most collaborative part of the filmmaking process, is the director and the actor relationship.”
It sounds like Michael is a “puts the actors first” type of director, which, given how incredible GoT’s cast is and how well they know their characters, sounds good to us.