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DGA Awards Write-up & Award-o-Meter

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By Peter Caranicas
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen won the DGA’s Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for No Country for Old Men (Miramax Films and Paramount Vantage) at the annual Directors Guild of America Awards Dinner at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles on January 26.
Following a welcome from DGA President Michael Apted to an audience of more than 1,500, actor/director/comedian Carl Reiner hosted the ceremony for the 21st time.
There was no shortage of star power among the presenters, who included: Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men), DGA Secretary-Treasurer Gil Cates, Kristin Chenoweth and Chi McBride (Pushing Daisies), Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose), Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood), Adrian Grenier (Entourage), Emile Hirsch and Hal Holbrook (Into the Wild), Helen Hunt (Then She Found Me), Jon Kilik (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), John Larroquette (Boston Legal), Debra Messing (The Starter Wife), Ellen Page (Juno), Anna Paquin (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee), Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone), Tilda Swinton and Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton), Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty) and 2006 DGA Feature Film Award winner/DGA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Martin Scorsese.
Only six times since the DGA Award’s inception in 1949 has the winner not gone on to receive the Academy Award for Best Director. This is the Coens’ first DGA win.

Unit Production Manager: Robert J. Graf
First Assistant Director: Betsy Magruder
Second Assistant Director: Bac DeLorme
Second Second Assistant Director: Jai James

Other DGA winners:

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television/Miniseries
Yves Simoneau, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (HBO)
Unit Production Manager – US: Chrisann Verges
First Assistant Director – US: Cas Donovan
Second Assistant Director – US: Adam Martin

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series Night
Alan Taylor, Mad Men – “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (Pilot)” (AMC)
Unit Production Manager: Scott Hornbacher
First Assistant Director: Mark McGann
Second Assistant Director: Maggie Murphy
Second Second Assistant Director: John Silvestri
Second Assistant Director/Location Manager: April Taylor

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series
Barry Sonnenfeld, Pushing Daisies – “Pie-lette” (ABC)
Unit Production Manager: Gabriela Vazquez
First Assistant Director: Chris Soldo
Second Assistant Director: Greg Hale
Second Second Assistant Director: Renee Hill-Sweet

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Musical Variety
Glenn P. Weiss, The 61st Annual Tony Awards, (CBS)
Associate Directors: Gregg M. Gelfand, Robin Mishkin Abrams, Ken Diego, Ricky Kirshner
Stage Managers: Garry W. Hood, Peter Epstein, Andrew Feigin, Lynn Finkel, Doug Fogel, Jeffrey Gitter, Dean Gordon, Arthur Lewis, Tony Mirante, Jeff Pearl, Rose Riggins, Lauren Class Schneider

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Reality Programs
Bertram Van Munster, The Amazing Race – “Episode #1110” (CBS)
Segment Director: Evan Weinstein
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Daytime Serials
Larry Carpenter, One Life To Live – “Episode #9947” (ABC)
Associate Director: Teresa Anne Cicala
Stage Managers: Alan P. Needleman, Keith Greer
Production Associate: Anthony Wilkinson

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children’s Programs
Paul Hoen, Jump In (Disney Channel)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement In Commercials
Nicolai Fuglsig
Production Company: MJZ UK
Tipping Point, Guinness – BBDO
It’s Magic, JC Penney – Saachi & Saachi NY
First Assistant Director: Thomas Smith
Second Assistant Director: Kate Greenberg
Journey, Motorola – AMV BBDO

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary
Asger Leth, Ghosts of Cite Soleil, Sony BMG Feature Films

The 2008 DGA Service And Career Achievement Award Recipients were:
Jay D. Roth – DGA Honorary Life Membership Award
In Recognition of Service to the Directors Guild of America and Outstanding Creative Achievement.

Liz Ryan – Frank Capra Achievement Award
For an Assistant Director or Unit Production Manager in Recognition of Career Achievement in the Industry and Service to the Directors Guild of America.

Barbara J. Roche – Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award
For an Associate Director or Stage Manager in Recognition of Career Achievement in the Industry and Service to the Directors Guild of America.

Venue: Hyatt Regency Century Plaza
Parking: Post-event lines for the valet. Self-parkers got soaked in the rain dashing for the garage (why don’t they cover that bridge?).
Drinks: In addition to red and white wine, there were two bottles of Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin at each table.
Food: Good presentation, hotel quality.
Attire: Black tie and other
Show Length: Average
Host: The inimitable Carl Reiner, in top form.
Best Quote of the Night: Ellen Page: Hats off to the commercial directors “who make us buy things that we don’t really need at all.”
Swag: Little gold director chairs
Low Point: Sean Young’s rude interruption of nominee Julian Schnabel. She yelled “Get on with it!” when his speech started slowly, rattling the director of The Diving Bell and The Butterfly. “Why don’t you finish my speech,” he retorted. But he finished it himself and she was escorted from the room and later checked into rehab.

Written by Peter Caranicas

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