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Michael Apted Receiving Another Honor: DGA Honorary Life Membership

Michael Apted Receiving Another Honor: DGA Honorary Life Membership
The Directors Guild of America is awarding Michael Apted its DGA honorary life member award on Saturday at its 70th Annual DGA Awards Dinner at the Beverly Hilton Hotel — the latest in a long line of honors.

The award is given in recognition of leadership, contribution to the guild and the profession of directing, and outstanding career achievement. Apted currently serves as DGA secretary-treasurer but he’s also received a Grammy, a British Academy Award, a DGA Award and the International Documentary Association’s highest

honor, the Ida Career Achievement Award.

By the order of Queen Elizabeth II, he was also made a Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George for his work in the film and television industries. In 2013, Apted received the DGA’s Robert B. Aldrich Award for extraordinary service to the Guild and its membership.

“Michael is a game changer for our guild and our industry,” said DGA President
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Michael Apted to Receive Directors Guild’s Honorary Life Member Award

Michael Apted to Receive Directors Guild’s Honorary Life Member Award
The Directors Guild of America has awarded Michael Apted its DGA honorary life member award in recognition of leadership, contribution to the guild and the profession of directing, and outstanding career achievement.

The award will be presented to Apted, who currently serves as DGA secretary-treasurer, at the 70th Annual DGA Awards Dinner on Feb. 3 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

“Michael is a game changer for our guild and our industry,” said DGA President Thomas Schlamme. “Whether having the foresight as a young man to conceptualize the revolutionary documentary series “7 Up” — still going on decades later — or guiding Hollywood through a digital revolution, he is a fearless, visionary leader, and we are all the beneficiaries.”

Schlamme noted that Apted has served as either president or co-chair for every major new media and Svod negotiation.

“Michael has skillfully navigated the DGA through times of great change, setting the path for our members and our industry to flourish. His search
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Hollywood Insider Michael Apted on Combating Sexual Harassment, Working With Actors, Cinematographers

Hollywood Insider Michael Apted on Combating Sexual Harassment, Working With Actors, Cinematographers
Variety speaks to British director Michael Apted, who has served as president of the Directors Guild of America, and as a governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He talks about his approach to working with cinematographers, how he gets the best out of actors, and how Hollywood should respond to the sexual harassment crisis. Apted heads the jury at Camerimage, a film festival dedicated to the art of cinematography. The event wraps on Saturday.

Apted has received numerous accolades for his films. The “Up” documentary series, which has followed the same group of people since they were 7 years old, has won two BAFTAs.

His Hollywood movies have included “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” which won an Oscar for Sissy Spacek, and was nominated in six other categories including best picture, “Gorillas in the Mist,” which was nominated for five Oscars, and “Nell,” which earned Jodie Foster an Oscar nomination. His other pictures
See full article at Variety - Film News »

25 underrated political thrillers

Rebecca Clough Jan 13, 2017

Samuel L Jackson, Colin Farrell, Kirk Douglas, Denzel Washington and more, as we explore underrated political thrillers...

Ask someone for their favourite political thrillers and you’re likely to get a list of Oscar-winning classics, from JFK to The Day Of The Jackal, Blow Out to Argo. But what about those electrifying tales that have slipped under the radar, been largely forgotten or just didn’t get the love they deserved? Here are 25 political thrillers which are underappreciated but brilliant.

See related Star Wars: Episode IX lands Jurassic World director 25. The Amateur (1981)

Generally, the first hostage to get shot in a heist movie is considered insignificant; luckily this time the young woman killed by terrorists has a devoted boyfriend who vows to avenge her death. Charles Heller (John Savage) already works for the CIA, so he’s able to use secret information to blackmail his bosses into
See full article at Den of Geek »

Oscar-Winning Production Designer Paul Sylbert Dies at 88

Paul Sylbert, who shared an Oscar for production design for Warren Beatty’s “Heaven Can Wait” and worked on notable films including “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” died Nov. 19. He was 88.

Producer Hawk Koch, who worked with him on five films, said “Paul was one of a kind. He was as smart and well-read as anyone I have ever come in contact with, and he was respected by all that knew him. Aside from the work, he loved music, literature, opera, and friends.”

Sylbert shared shared a second nomination for the 1991 Barbra Streisand film “The Prince of Tides.”

He was the identical twin brother of fellow production designer Richard Sylbert, who died in 2002.

Paul Sylbert’s career began with a production designer credit on an early TV show, CBS’ “Premiere,” in 1951 and work as a set decorator on the CBS series “Suspense” the following year and stretched through
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Oscars diversity: former Academy president Hawk Koch writes open letter to industry

Veteran Hollywood producer says ‘industry of creative people’ must find a way to boost opportunities for people from non-white backgrounds

A former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has challenged the body which organises the Oscars to help increase diversity in the wake of the current row over all-white lists of nominees.

Hawk Koch, a producer of movies such as Source Code and Gorky Park who was president of the Academy from 2012 to 2013, said efforts should be made in Hollywood to include all under-represented groups in every area of the industry.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Former Academy President Hawk Koch Issues Diversity Challenge to Industry

Former Academy President Hawk Koch Issues Diversity Challenge to Industry
Hawk Koch, producer of films such as “Source Code” and “Gorky Park,” served as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2012-13. In this open letter, he issues to a challenge to members of every branch of the industry to find a way to create more opportunities for diverse talent.

I am a former President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and volunteer on several committees, although I am no longer on the Board of Governors and have no governing powers. After working for more than 50 years in the entertainment business, I have an abiding passion for the work we do. This personal letter arises out of that passion.

Lately I – along with many others – have been thinking long and hard about the dearth of diversity within our industry. I say “our industry” because I don’t believe this is just an Academy
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Oscar-Winning Composer James Horner Dead At Age 61

Braveheart, Aliens, Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, Apollo 13, Wolfen, Legends Of The Fall, Krull, Battle Beyond The Stars, A Beautiful Mind, Titanic. The list goes on and on.

The prolific Oscar winning composer James Horner has died in a plane crash at the age of 61. (June 22, 2015). Variety confirmed the news Monday evening.

Brilliant Composer James Horner, friend & collaborator on 7 movies has tragically died in a plane crash. My heart aches for his loved ones.

Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) June 23, 2015

Listen to samples of his genius. James Horner will be profoundly missed.

From James Horner’s bio (Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency):

Having composed the music for more than 130 film and television productions, including dozens of the most memorable and successful films of the past three decades, James Horner was one of the world’s most celebrated film composers.

He earned two Academy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards for
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Independence Day: the film that defined modern summer movies

Independence Day was released in the Us 18 years ago today. Ryan looks at its ongoing impact on how summer movies are made and marketed...

Feature

In 1990, Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin were Hollywood outsiders. Devlin was a young New York-born actor who'd appeared in a few TV shows and movies, such as the 1985 comedy, Real Genius. Emmerich was a German filmmaker whose credits consisted of low-budget films such as The Noah's Ark Principle (1984), and Hollywood-Monster (1987). Emmerich's 1990 film, Moon 44, was about pilots defending mining colonies with space-faring helicopters, and featured a glum-looking Malcolm McDowell.

Dean Devlin was also among Moon 44's cast, and it was here that he forged a partnership with Emmerich: Devlin hated Moon 44's dialogue, so he went and wrote his own. Within two years, they'd made their first film together - Universal Soldier, written by Devlin, directed by Emmerich, and produced by Carolco.
See full article at Den of Geek »

Forceful: J.W. Rinzler talks about Return of the Jedi & Original Star Wars Trilogy

Trevor Hogg chats with author J.W. Rinzler about a space opera which established a moviemaking empire for George Lucas....

“Right after finishing the Episode III [Revenge of the Sith] book, somewhere around 2005, I knew that the 30th anniversary was coming up and that there had never been a real making of Star Wars [1977] book,” recalls Lucasfilm Executive Editor and Writer J.W. Rinzler. “There was almost no advance publicity. The Making of Star Wars got a couple of big reviews early on and people got excited. For me, I was trying to bring to it the feeling I had gotten from reading The Jaws Log when I was a kid; I found it to be an inspiration because the book told the story of production and not just how they did all of the trick shots.” Rinzler notes, “I don’t like it when writers get between the subject and the reader because
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

TV Review: ‘The Challenger Disaster’

TV Review: ‘The Challenger Disaster’
A shared Discovery/Science Channel telecast, “The Challenger Disaster” approaches the 27-year-old tragedy like an elaborate jigsaw puzzle, with William Hurt cast as the eccentric physicist who put the pieces together. Daring to focus on the painstaking aspects of scientific inquiry, the movie approaches the story with enough time having passed to feel fresh, emerging as a small but engaging international production – one that feels pretty timeless in its look at cover-your-ass bureaucracy – helped by first-class casting that in addition to Hurt includes Bruce Greenwood and Brian Dennehy.

Hurt plays Dr. Richard Feynman, a brilliant California physicist, avowed atheist and cancer patient who, in the wake of the Challenger explosion (tastefully dealt with via video in the first five minutes), is enlisted by a former student to join the presidential commission assembled to find out what happened.

Reluctant at first, once there Feynman becomes the proverbial bull in a china shop,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Rip 'Harry Potter' actor Richard Griffiths

While modern audiences will remember Richard Griffiths as Uncle Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter franchise, the 65 year-old actor was also one the most highly respected stage actors of his generation. He passed away on March 28th following complications from heart surgery.

While stage work was where he learned his craft, he made the successful transition in the early 1970s into television. In the early 80’s he began a string of supporting roles in films like Gorky Park, but it was his role in the 1987 cult film Withnail and I, where he played lecherous Uncle Monty that, that would bring him more recognition to a wider audience. He parlayed that into other supporting roles in Hollywood like King Ralph, The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear, Guarding Tess and Sleepy Hollow.

In 2001, he debuted as Uncle Vernon in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, a role he would reprise five more times,
See full article at doorQ.com »

R.I.P. Richard Griffiths

65-year-old legendary British actor Richard Griffiths has died after complications following heart surgery.

Though widely known for his role as Harry's pompous uncle Vernon Dursley in the "Harry Potter" films, Griffith's career has been one of much acclaim and some stunning films, and shows such as his starring role as Henry Crabbe in the mid-1990s TV series "Pie in the Sky".

Films he has worked on include "Withnail and I," "Gorky Park," "Sleepy Hollow," "The Naked Gun 2 1/2," "Stage Beauty," "Venus," and "Hugo".

He also scored multiple awards for his work on the stage play of "The History Boys," and reprised the role for the film adaptation.
See full article at Dark Horizons »

Richard Griffiths Dead: 'Harry Potter' Star Dies at 65

Beloved British actor Richard Griffiths, perhaps best known to American audiences as Uncle Dursley in the "Harry Potter" films, has passed away at the age of 65 due to complications following heart surgery. A star of stage and screen, he will be greatly missed, but leaves behind a hugely impressive body of work that will be studied and enjoyed for generations. While the "Harry Potter" role might be his most famous (especially internationally), Griffith's list of credits is staggering, appearing in every conceivable genre and in every type of role. He had roles in "Superman II," "Ragtime," "Chariots of Fire," "Gandhi," "Gorky Park," "Guarding Tess," "Sleepy Hollow," "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," "Venus," "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" (playing King George II, powdered wig and all), and "Hugo." Besides "Harry Potter," his most beloved role might be that of another uncle -- Uncle Monty in cult British comedy "Withnail and I.
See full article at Moviefone »

How Granada TV chairman Sir Denis Forman changed my life

Producer and director Michael Apted pays tribute to the former Granada TV chairman who died last week

When I joined Granada in 1963, I was part of a small group straight out of university (which included Mike Newell) chosen by Sir Denis Forman, in his role as head of programmes, to train at the company. It was the place to be – ahead of the field in current affairs, drama, light entertainment and comedy. I doubt any of us has any idea of how lucky we were to be asked to join.

Granada was a small company, with neither the space nor resources for serious training, so ours was on-the-job. I did news, some small documentaries, football matches, church services, World In Action, then on to Coronation Street and eventually into drama, working with some to the best writers of their generation: Jack Rosenthal, Arthur Hopcraft and Colin Welland. In those early years,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

How Granada TV chairman Sir Denis Forman changed my life

Producer and director Michael Apted pays tribute to the former Granada TV chairman who died last week

When I joined Granada in 1963, I was part of a small group straight out of university (which included Mike Newell) chosen by Sir Denis Forman, in his role as head of programmes, to train at the company. It was the place to be – ahead of the field in current affairs, drama, light entertainment and comedy. I doubt any of us has any idea of how lucky we were to be asked to join.

Granada was a small company, with neither the space nor resources for serious training, so ours was on-the-job. I did news, some small documentaries, football matches, church services, World In Action, then on to Coronation Street and eventually into drama, working with some to the best writers of their generation: Jack Rosenthal, Arthur Hopcraft and Colin Welland. In those early years,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Oscar Update: 29 Weeks to Go, Isaac on Coens' 'Davis' and Hawk Koch Elected President

With the redesign of the site just around the corner and the changes I've made to the backend structure of the site I have had to delay the opening of my Oscar predictions section for this year since I would have to do double the work. However, with the announcement of the Toronto and Venice Film Festival line-ups and the Telluride Film Festival also just around the corner, we are obviously wading into the season so it only makes sense to at least acknowledge that fact with a few links and tidbits concerning the Oscar race and I think I'll just make this a regular thing going forward. In case you missed it, the redesign will be launching on August 25 (or perhaps even the 18th should things continue to progress as they have) and I will begin posting my first round of Oscar predictions the week of September 18, after returning
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

Hawk Koch elected new AMPAS president

Hawk Koch elected new AMPAS president
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has elected producer Hawk Koch as its new president.

The group’s board of governors elected Koch to its top office Tuesday for a one-year-term. He served as first vice president of the film academy last year and has represented its producers branch as a governor for nine years.

Koch’s credits include Losing Isaiah, Gorky Park and Source Code. He succeeds film executive Tom Sherak, who served three consecutive terms as president.

Read more:

The Oscars new home is the Dolby Theatre

Academy Award voters are old, white, and male
See full article at EW.com - Inside Movies »

Producer Hawk Koch Elected New Academy President!

HollywoodNews.com: Producer Hawk Koch was elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tonight (July 31) by the organization’s Board of Governors. This will be his first term in the office.

Koch, who is beginning his ninth year as a governor representing the Producers Branch, has served as first vice president of the Academy during the past year. He previously served three one-year terms as treasurer and one term as vice president.

In addition, Public Relations Branch governor Cheryl Boone Isaacs was elected first vice president; Producers Branch governor Kathleen Kennedy was elected to one vice president post and Writers Branch governor Phil Robinson was re-elected to the other vice president post; Public Relations Branch governor Rob Friedman was elected treasurer; and Executives Branch governor Robert Rehme was elected secretary.

Koch’s producer credits include “Losing Isaiah” and “Gorky Park.” He recently served as executive producer
See full article at Hollywoodnews.com »

Academy Governors Elect Hawk Koch as New AMPAS President

Academy Governors Elect Hawk Koch as New AMPAS President
Good-bye to Tom Sherak, who leaves behind his unpaid job as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as he has served his full nine years as a Governor.  And hello to a new AMPAS president as Tuesday night the Board of Governors elected veteran producer Hawk Koch ("Gorky Park," "Source Code") for his first one -year term. Hawk was able to gain more than 50% of the votes from somewhat less than the usual 43 members; the Academy has yet to replace screenwriter Frank Pierson, who died last week. Koch, 66, who also heads the Producer Guild of America, lobbied hard for the job. But he has only one year left to serve as a governor representing the Producers Branch, after serving as first vice president of the Academy during the past year. He previously served three one-year terms as treasurer and one term as vice president. Koch is
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »
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