PAUL THORNTON SIRMONS, first assistant director (seasons 4 through 6), in an e-mail to DFCF President THOMAS J. PUCHER:
[The parts in brackets were edited for publication purposes.]
July 12, 2007
I would be happy to talk to you about "Falcon Crest", which was my first show as a First Assistant Director. Earl Hamner is my favorite person in the film industry, period. In 20-some years working in the industry, I've never worked with a finer, more honorable man. Wish he had been my dad, as well as my boss! My first big show as a second assistant director was "The Waltons", which is where I first got to work for Earl, and then did a pilot for a TV series called "Thorpe" after that for him as well. Later came "Falcon Crest".
I am currently the Film Commissioner for the state of Florida — have been for two years, appointed by then-Governor Jeb Bush and working under current Governor Charlie Crist. So I'm not in Los Angeles, but occasionally do get out there. [...]
"Falcon Crest" was a great learning ground for me. I also worked many episodes with director Reza Badiyi. I hope you have talked to him, because he directed more episodes of "Falcon Crest" than any director, I believe, except maybe Harry Harris.
Please give Earl my deepest thanks and best regards, as the career that evolved for me was launched in many ways by his guidance and my desire to emulate the type of shows he does, the quality he puts in them, and the respect he shows all who work for him.
All the Best,