By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

65th Annual DGA Awards Feature Film Nominees Announced

LOS ANGELES, CA: On January 8, 2013, DGA President Taylor Hackford announced the five nominees for the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2012.

“DGA members have chosen an incredibly rich and varied group of filmmakers to nominate for this year’s Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film Award. These directors represent the highest standard of filmmaking, and their films are a testament to artistic achievement, innovative storytelling and the passion that filmmakers share with their audiences,” said Hackford. “Being nominated by their peers is what makes this award particularly meaningful for directors, and I congratulate all of the nominees for their outstanding work.”

The winner will be named at the 65th Annual DGA Awards Dinner on Saturday, Febnuary 2, 2013, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland.

The nominees are (in alphabetical order):

Argo
(Warner Bros. Pictures)

Mr. Affleck’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager:  Amy Herman
  • First Assistant Director:  David Webb
  • Second Assistant Director:  Ian Calip
  • Second Second Assistant Directors:  Clark Credle, Gavin Kleintop
  • First Assistant Director (Turkey Unit):  Belkis Turan

This is Mr. Affleck’s first DGA Feature Film Award nomination.

Zero Dark Thirty
(Columbia Pictures)

Ms. Bigelow’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager:  Colin Wilson
  • First Assistant Director:  David A. Ticotin
  • Second Assistant Directors: Ben Lanning, Sarah Hood
  • First Assistant Director (Jordan Unit): Scott Robertson
  • Second Assistant Directors (Jordan Unit):  Jonas Spaccarotelli, Yanal Kassay
  • Second Second Assistant Director (Jordan Unit):  Tarek Afifi
  • Unit Production Manager (India Unit): Rajeev Mehra

This is Ms. Bigelow’s second DGA Feature Film Award nomination. She won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for The Hurt Locker in 2009.

Les Misérables
(Universal Pictures)

Mr. Hooper’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager:  Patrick Schweitzer
  • First Assistant Director: Ben Howarth
  • Second Assistant Director:  Harriet Worth
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Dan Channing Williams

This is Mr. Hooper’s second DGA Feature Film Award nomination. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for The King’s Speech (2010) and was previously nominated for the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television/Mini-Series for John Adams in 2008.

Life of Pi
(Twentieth Century Fox)

Mr. Lee’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager:  Michael J. Malone
  • Unit Production Manager (Taiwan):  Leo Chen
  • First Assistant Directors:  William M. Connor, Cliff Lanning
  • Second Assistant Directors:  Robert Burgess, Ben Lanning
  • Unit Production Manager (India Unit):  Sanjay Kumar
  • First Assistant Director (India Unit):  Nitya Mehra
  • Second Assistant Director (India Unit):  Ananya Rane
  • Second Second Assistant Directors (India Unit):  Namra Parikh, Freya Parekh
  • Second Assistant Directors (Montreal Unit): Derek Wimble, Renato De Cotiis

This is Mr. Lee’s fourth DGA Feature Film Award nomination. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for Brokeback Mountain (2005) and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) and was nominated for Sense and Sensibility in 1995.

Lincoln
(Dreamworks Pictures/Twentieth Century Fox)

Mr. Spielberg’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager:  Susan McNamara
  • First Assistant Director:  Adam Somner
  • Second Assistant Director:  Ian Stone
  • Second Second Assistant Directors:  Eric Lasko, Trevor Tavares

This is Mr. Spielberg’s eleventh DGA Feature Film Award nomination. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film three times for Saving Private Ryan (1998), Schindler’s List (1993) and The Color Purple (1985). He was also nominated in this category for Munich (2005), Amistad (1997), Empire of the Sun (1987), E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (1982), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981),Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and Jaws (1975). Mr. Spielberg was honored with the DGA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.

The DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film has traditionally been one of the industry’s most accurate barometers for who will win the Best Director Academy Award.

Only six times since the DGA Awards began in 1948 has the Feature Film winner not gone on to win the corresponding Academy Award.

The six exceptions are as follows:

  • 1968: Anthony Harvey won the DGA Award for The Lion in Winter while Carol Reed took home the Oscar® for Oliver!
  • 1972: Francis Ford Coppola received the DGA’s nod for The Godfather while the Academy selected Bob Fosse for Cabaret.
  • 1985: Steven Spielberg received his first DGA Award for The Color Purple while the Oscar® went to Sydney Pollack for Out of Africa.
  • 1995: Ron Howard was chosen by the DGA for his direction of Apollo 13 while Academy voters selected Mel Gibson for Braveheart.
  • 2000: Ang Lee won the DGA Award for his direction of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon while Steven Soderbergh won the Academy Award for Traffic.
  • 2002: Rob Marshall won the DGA Award for Chicago while Roman Polanski received the Academy Award for The Pianist.

The winner in the Feature Film category will be announced at the 65th Annual DGA Awards dinner and ceremony on Saturday evening, February 2, 2013, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland.  The DGA Awards will be hosted by director/actor/producer Kelsey Grammer.


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“The Motion Picture Academy, at considerable expense and with great efficiency, runs all the nominated pictures at its own theater, showing each picture twice, once in the afternoon, once in the evening. A nominated picture is one in connection with which any kind of work is nominated for an award, not necessarily acting, directing, or writing; it may be a purely technical matter such as set-dressing or sound work. This running of pictures has the object of permitting the voters to look at films which they may happen to have missed or to have partly forgotten. It is an attempt to make them realize that pictures released early in the year, and since overlaid with several thicknesses of battered celluloid, are still in the running and that consideration of only those released a short time before the end of the year is not quite just.

“The effort is largely a waste. The people with votes don’t go to these showings. They send their relatives, friends, or servants. They have had enough of looking at pictures, and the voices of destiny are by no means inaudible in the Hollywood air. They have a brassy tone, but they are more than distinct.”All this is good democracy of a sort. We elect Congressmen and Presidents in much the same way, so why not actors, cameramen, writers, and all rest of the people who have to do with the making of pictures? If we permit noise, ballyhoo, and theater to influence us in the selection of the people who are to run the country, why should we object to the same methods in the selection of meritorious achievements in the film business? If we can huckster a President into the White House, why cannot we huckster the agonized Miss Joan Crawford or the hard and beautiful Miss Olivia de Havilland into possession of one of those golden statuettes which express the motion picture industry’s frantic desire to kiss itself on the back of its neck? The only answer I can think of is that the motion picture is an art. I say this with a very small voice. It is an inconsiderable statement and has a hard time not sounding a little ludicrous. Nevertheless it is a fact, not in the least diminished by the further facts that its ethos is so far pretty low and that its techniques are dominated by some pretty awful people.

“If you think most motion pictures are bad, which they are (including the foreign), find out from some initiate how they are made, and you will be astonished that any of them could be good. Making a fine motion picture is like painting “The Laughing Cavalier” in Macy’s basement, with a floorwalker to mix your colors for you. Of course most motion pictures are bad. Why wouldn’t they be?”
~ Raymond Chandler, “Oscar Night In Hollywood,” 1948

“Film festivals, for those who don’t know, are not exactly the glitzy red carpet affairs you see on TV. Those do happen, but they’re a tiny part of the festival. The main part of any film festival are the thousands of people with festival passes hanging on lanyards beneath their anoraks, carrying brochures for movies you have never and will never hear of, desperately scrabbling to sell whatever movie it is to buyers from all over the world. Every hotel bar, every cafe, every restaurant is filled to the brim with these people, talking loudly about non-existent deals. The Brits are the worst because most of the British film industry, with a few honourable exceptions, are scam artists and chancers who move around from company to company failing to get anything good made and trying to cast Danny Dyer in anything that moves. I’m seeing guys here who I first met twenty years ago and who are still wearing the same clothes, doing the same job (albeit for a different company) and spinning the same line of bullshit about how THIS movie has Al Pacino or Meryl Streep or George Clooney attached and, whilst that last one didn’t work out, THIS ONE is going to be HUGE. As the day goes on, they start drinking and it all gets ugly and, well, that’s why I’m the guy walking through the Tiergarten with a camera taking pictures of frozen lakes and pretending this isn’t happening.

“Berlin is cool, though and I’ve been lucky to be doing meetings with some people who want to actually get things done. We’ll see what comes of it.”
~ Julian Simpson