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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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Tsangari: With my next film, White Knuckles, it comes with a budget — it’s going to be a huge new world for me. As always when I enter into a new thing, don’t you wonder how it’s going to be and how much of yourself you are going to have to sacrifice? The ballet of all of this. I’m already imaging the choreography — not of the camera, but the choreography of actually bringing it to life. It is as fascinating as the shooting itself. I find the producing as exciting as the directing. The one informs the other. There is this producer-director hat that I constantly wear. I’ve been thinking about these early auteurs, like Howard Hawks and John Ford and Preston Sturges—all of these guys basically were hired by the studio, and I doubt they had final cut, and somehow they had films that now we can say they had their signatures.  There are different ways of being creative within the parameters and limitations of production. The only thing you cannot negotiate is stupidity.
Filmmaker: And unfortunately, there is an abundance of that in the world.
Tsangari: This is the only big risk: stupidity. Everything else is completely worked out in the end.
~ Chevalier‘s Rachel Athina Tsangari

“The middle-range movies that I was doing have largely either stopped being made, or they’ve moved to television, now that television is a go-to medium for directors who can’t get work in theatricals, because there are so few theatricals being made. But also with the new miniseries concept, you can tell a long story in detail without having to cram it all into 90 minutes. You don’t have to cut the characters and take out the secondary people. You can actually put them all on a big canvas. And it is a big canvas, because people have bigger screens now, so there’s no aesthetic difference between the way you shoot a movie and the way you shoot a TV show.

“Which is all for the good. But what’s happened in the interim is that theatrical movies being a spectacle business are now either giant blockbuster movies that run three hours—even superhero movies run three hours, they used to run like 58 minutes!—and the others, which are dysfunctional family independent movies or the slob comedy or the kiddie movie, and those are all low-budget. So the middle ground of movies that were about things, they’re just gone. Or else they’re on HBO. Like the Bryan Cranston LBJ movie, which years ago would’ve been made for theaters.

“You’ve got people like Paul Schrader and Walter Hill who can’t get their movies theatrically distributed because there’s no market for it. So they end up going to VOD, and VOD is a model from which no one makes any money, because most of the time, as soon as they get on the site, they’re pirated. So the whole model of the system right now is completely broken. And whether or not anybody’s going to try to fix, or if it even can be fixed, I don’t know. But it’s certainly not the same business that I got into in the ’70s.”
~ Joe Dante

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