RICHARD CLAYMAN’s multiple award-winning career has spanned 30 years as a director, producer, writer, executive, and actor in television, theater, and film. Projects on which Richard has directly worked have won dozens of Emmys, Golden Globes, and many other awards. Richard started at 18 as a radio DJ, talk show host and sportscaster. Soon after, he had his first job in television, assisting the producer of THE JOHN WOODEN SHOW. After just three weeks the producer left and Richard, though a novice to the business, jumped at the opportunity. For the next two years he learned on the job, producing, directing, and writing some 200 events, documentaries, and specials, including RAMS and RAIDERS football, USC TROJAN football and basketball, and DAVIS CUP tennis. Richard received an Emmy nomination for THE JOHN ROBINSON SHOW, and also found time to continue broadcasting, hosting pre-game shows for the USC Football Radio Network and the WFL SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SUN.
But sports began to wear thin (imagine anything wearing thin at 21 years old!) and Richard joined Norman Lear’s Embassy, Tandem and TAT Productions, working under the head of production. Within a year, his boss had moved on, and Richard again stepped in. For the next four years, he headed production on such shows as ALL IN THE FAMILY, MAUDE, ONE DAY AT A TIME, THE JEFFERSONS, GOOD TIMES, SANFORD & SON, MARY HARTMAN MARY HARTMAN, FERNWOOD 2NIGHT, PALMERSTOWN USA, DIFF’RENT STROKES and THE FACTS OF LIFE. He also produced, directed, and wrote, including the first TV spots for Lear’s PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY. As Vice President in Charge of Production, Richard was responsible for all series and pilots of what was at the time Hollywood’s biggest videotape production entity by far.
Yet Richard yearned for a more creative life. So at 26, having completed a $100 million deal to move Lear’s companies to a new home at Universal Studios, Richard turned down lucrative offers from other studios such as Paramount and began to pursue his dream of writing and directing. Knowing that in order to direct he had to understand acting, Richard joined an acting workshop and for the next ten years lived that difficult yet rewarding life. While still actively producing, writing, and directing, he also performed in 14 plays, starred in a feature film, did TV work and ran his own acting workshop for five years.
Finally, it was time to make a film. WHISTLESTOP GIRL, a 47-minute short written and directed by Richard and starring Anthony Geary of GENERAL HOSPITAL fame, won the Gold Award at Worldfest Houston and then became the surprise hit of the Independent Feature Film Market in New York. Widescreen, black and white, taking place in 1963, literate – no wonder it was a surprise. The New York Times called it “A home run,” and WHISTLESTOP GIRL turned out to be the only film of over 400 at the IFFM which actually signed a distribution deal before the market’s end.
While continuing to write screenplays and coach a long list of successful actors, Richard turned to theater, directing his ROCKY MOUNTAIN SUNDAY at the Beverly Hills Playhouse. The play garnered 11 Dramalogue Awards, including BEST DIRECTOR for Richard. Following this, Richard co-wrote and directed VINCE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF LOMBARDI, the one-man show starring John Pinero. After a rave review by Mike Downey of the Los Angeles Times, VINCE sold out for 4 months in Los Angeles and has since toured the country, including the Super Bowl in New Orleans, the 2,000-seat Weidner Center in Green Bay, the 2,200-seat Civic Center in Madison, consecutive annual engagements at the 1,500-seat Pabst Theater in Milwaukee and the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame Ceremonies in Canton, Ohio. During this period, Richard also produced and/or directed such TV series as IN THE NAME OF LOVE (Lifetime Cable), THE JERSEY (Disney Channel), THE CRAYON BOX (Random House/Polygram), the Showtime pilot HUTCHINGTON SQUARE (Chiodo Bros. Productions), the comedy pilot THE WASHINGTON-BYRNES REPORT (CNN), the live action/puppeteering pilots SKWIDS (Nickelodeon), and LUNCHTIME (Disney Channel).
Richard also has taught at film schools, including currently at the UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SCHOOL OF CINEMATIC ARTS.
In late 2006, Richard launched CLOUDWALKER VIDEOWORKS, a division of his CLOUDWALKER FILMS, INC. Richard serves as writer, producer, and director on all CVW projects.