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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“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
James Gray

“I’m an unusual producer because I control the destiny of a lot of the films I’ve done. Most of them are in perfect states of restoration and preservation and distribution, and I aim to keep them in distribution. HanWay Films, which is my sales company, has a 500-film catalogue, which is looked after and tended like a garden. I’m still looking after my films in the catalogue and trying to get other people to look after their films, which we represent intellectually, to try to keep them alive. A film has to be run through a projector to be alive, unfortunately, and those electric shadows are few and far between now. It’s very hard to go and see films in a movie house. I was always involved with the sales and marketing of my films, right up from The Shout onwards. I’ve had good periods, but I also had a best period because the film business was in its best period then. You couldn’t make The Last Emperor today. You couldn’t make The Sheltering Sky today. You couldn’t make those films anymore as independent films. There are neither the resources nor the vision within the studios to go to them and say, “I want to make a film about China with no stars in it.”Then, twenty years ago, I thought, “OK, I’m going to sell my own films but I don’t want to make it my own sales company.” I wanted it to be for me but I wanted to make it open for every other producer, so they don’t feel that they make a film but I get the focus. So, it’s a company that is my business and I’m involved with running it in a certain way, but I’m not seen as a competitor with other people that use it. It’s used by lots of different producers apart from me. When I want to use it, however, it’s there for me and I suppose I’m planning to continue making all my films to be sold by HanWay. I don’t have to, but I do because it’s in my building and the marketing’s here, and I can do it like that. Often, it sounds like I’m being easy about things, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. It’s just that I’ve been at it for a long time and there’s lots of fat and security around my business. I know how to make films, but it’s not easy—it’s become a very exacting life.”
~ Producer Jeremy Thomas