By Peter Caranicas
Ships have their captains and films have their directors. On February 7, the Directors Guild of America announced its 2003 Outstanding Directorial Achievement Awards and the recipients of its 2004 Lifetime Achievement Awards at a ceremony hosted by Carl Reiner that attracted 1,750 guests.
The DGA’s Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film once again served as an accurate barometer for the Academy Award for Best Director. The 2003 award went to Peter Jackson for New Line Cinema’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Also recognized was Jackson’s directorial team: UPMs Nikolas Korda and Zane Weiner; first AD Carolynne Cunningham; key second ADs Guy Campbell and Marc Ashton.
Mike Nichols took the prize for 2003 Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television for HBO’s Angels in America. His team: UPM: Jan Foster and Patricia Doherty Hess; first AD Mike Haley; second AD Amy Lauritsen; second second AD Jennifer Truelove; DGA trainees Nate Grubb and Peter Koob.
For 2003 Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series Night, the award went to Christopher Misiano for the 25 episode of NBC’s The West Wing. The rest of the team: UPM Dylan Massin; first AD Douglas S. Ornstein; second AD Catherine Bond; second second AD Cary Jones.
Timothy M. Van Patten took home the 2003 Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series for the “Boy Interrupted” episode of HBO’s Sex and the City. Team members: UPMs Jane Raab and Margo Myers; first AD Bettiann Fishman; second AD Peter Soldo; second second AD Andrea O’Connor; additional second ADs Jesse Nye and Mikki Ziska.
The award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Musical Variety for 2003 went to David Mallet for NBC’s Cher —The Farewell Tour. Associate director/stage manager was Robert Grossman. In the category of Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Daytime Serials for 2003, Larry Carpenter copped the prize for “Episode 8849” of ABC’s One Life to Live. The team: ADs Danielle Faraldo, Tracy Casper Lang and Mary Ryan; stage managers Alan P. Needleman and Richard A. Manfredi; production associates Teresa Anne Cicala and Anthony J. Wilkinson.
The award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary for 2003 went to Nathaniel Kahn for HBO/Cinemax Documentary Films’ My Architect.
And in the spot arena, the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials for 2003 was awarded to David Fincher, producing through Anonymous Content, and directing three spots: Nike’s Gamebreakers, out of Wieden & Kennedy, with first AD Bob Wagner and second AD Maria Mantia; Nike’s Speed Chain, with first AD Bob Wagner, second AD Michael A. McCue; and Xelebri Phones’ Beauty for Sale, with first AD Bob Wagner, second AD Michael A. McCue, and second second AD Maria Mantia.
The prize for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children’s Programs for 2003 went to Kevin Lima for ABC’s Eloise at Christmastime. First AD was David Wechsler.
DGA’s Lifetime Achievement Award was granted to Mike Nichols for distinguished achievement in Motion Picture Direction. Larry Auerbach received an Honorary Life Member award. The Robert B. Aldrich Award went to Jeremy Kagan. The Frank Capra Achievement Award for an AD or UPM went to Stephen Glanzrock. And the Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award for an AD or stage manager was received by Peery Forbis.
By Peter Caranicas