The Directors Guild of America honored outstanding achievement in directing for film and television tonight at the DGA Awards. Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water won the award for Best Feature while Reed Morano walked away with the award for Dramatic Series for The Handmaid’s Tale. Jordan Peele also won big with the First-Time Feature Award for Get Out.
Along with his Golden Globe and PGA award, Del Toro’s DGA win makes him the favorite for Best Director at the Oscars — but Peele’s win still makes him a strong contender.
The evening also included a speech from Directors Guild President Thomas Schlamme as he talked about combating sexual harassment. Host Judd Apatow also had his own opening remarks — which weren’t heard in the press room. But from what we gathered, he addressed the #MeToo and Time’s Up movement and, of course, cracked a joke about Weinstein. From there, he kept the night going as the ceremony’s cruise director, celebrating outstanding filmmakers of the year.
Director Michael Apted received the DGA’s honorary life member award while other HBO won big with Jean-Marc Vallee winning for Big Little Lies and Beth McCarthy Miller for Veep. Matthew Heineman who took his second DGA Award home for his documentary City of Ghosts.
Read the full list of winners below. You can also read how it all went down on the live blog.
OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN FEATURE FILM
GUILLERMO del TORO
The Shape of Water
(Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Unit Production Manager: J. Miles Dale
Production Manager: Dennis Chapman
First Assistant Director: Pierre Henry
Second Assistant Director: Tyler Delben
The Handmaid’s Tale, “Offred”
MOVIES FOR TELEVISION AND MINI SERIES
JEAN MARC VALLÉE
Big Little Lies
Vallée’s Directorial Team:
• Unit Production Managers: Barbara A. Hall, G.D. Fienberg
• First Assistant Director: David Ticotin
• Second Assistant Director: Christine Danahy
• Second Second Assistant Director: Bob Riley
• Additional Second Assistant Directors: Bryan Landrine, Rob Burgess, Allison Rushton, Mallory Squeo
MARTIN de THURAH
Festival, StubHub – Goodby Silverstein
• First Assistant Director: Charles Conner
Machines, StubHub – Goodby Silverstein
• First Assistant Director: Charles Conner
Mad World, WealthSimple – WealthSimple In House
• First Assistant Director: Jey Wada
• Second Assistant Director: Curtis Smith
BETH MCCARTHY MILLER
McCarthy Miller’s Directorial Team:
• Unit Production Manager: David Hyman
• First Assistant Director: Dale Stern
• Second Assistant Director: Jeff Rosenberg
• Second Second Assistant Director: Yarden Levo
• Additional Second Assistant Director: Chalis Romero
OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT OF A FIRST-TIME FEATURE FILM DIRECTOR
Unit Production Managers: Marcei A. Brown, Rick A. Osako (Fairhope Unit)
First Assistant Director: Gerard DiNardi
Second Assistant Directors: Ram Paul Silbey, Marc Newland (Fairhope Unit), Jack McKenna (New York Unit)
Second Second Assistant Director: Maggie Ballard
Location Manager: Kurt Enger (New York Unit)
City of Ghosts
MasterChef, “Vegas Deluxe & Oyster Shucks”
Smith’s Directorial Team:
• Associate Director: Anna Moulaison
• Stage Managers: Drew Lewandowski, Brady Hess
VARIETY/TALK/NEWS/SPORTS – SPECIALS
The 89th Annual Academy Awards
Weiss’s Directorial Team:
• Associate Directors: Ken Diego, Eve Adair, Susan Kopensky, Lori Margules, Robin Mishkin Abrams, Michael Polito
• Stage Managers: Gary Natoli, Rita Cossette, Dave Cove, John Esposito, Valdez Flagg, Chris Hines, Alissa Levisohn Hoyo, Arthur Lewis, Roxanne Lozano, Ron Paul, Tammy Raab, Jason Seligman, Jackie Stathis, Cheryl Teetzel Moore, Debbie Williams, Ari Woog
VARIETY/TALK/NEWS/SPORTS – REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING
DON ROY KING
Saturday Night Live, “Host: Jimmy Fallon”
King’s Directorial Team:
• Associate Directors: Michael Mancini, Michael Poole, Bob Caminiti
• Stage Managers: Gena Rositano, Chris Kelly
Anne with an E, “Your Will Shall Decide Your Destiny”
The show is kicking off as we speak, with the traditional clip reel of this year’s film and television.
Anthony and I will be with you through the night; assuming we don’t nod off at any point. But that would be very unprofessional.
Damien Chazelle, last year’s DGA winner and Oscar winner is here to present the final award. While it’s becoming more common for Oscar’s director winner and best picture winner to differ, DGA’s top winner & Oscar have synced for the since 2013.
You’re sat right next to me. Talk to me.
The last time that Oscar and DGA’s didn’t sync was 2012 when Affleck was overlooked by the Academy for Argo, but took the DGA, and then Ang Lee won the Oscar for ‘Life of Pi’
DGA President Thomas Schlamme is delivering his opening remarks.
He thanks UPMs, ADs, Associate Directors and Stage Managers. “If your director wins tonight, please come up on stage and accept the award with them; it’s your award too.”
He’s talking about the DGA’s work on residuals, piracy, and other union-y matters.
The DGA is determined, he says, to ensure workplaces are places members can go to work without fear of sexual harrassment.
“This is not just a fight by women for women. They didn’t create this problem. It’s a fight for everyone for a better world for everyone.”
Big cheers from the room.
He thanks Vice President Betty Thomas; 50% of the Guild’s board is women.
He introduces Apatow, master of ceremonies. “Trainwreck. 40-year-old Virgin. Not just nicknames for Donald Trump and Mike Pence. But two great films of our MC. He is ethical and honest, but despite that, he is a success in show business.”
The press are not hearing Apatow’s remarks. They have been blocked from the press room feed. But Deadline is all-knowing…
This is an unprecedented step. Deadline learned Apatow knew his speech would be silent backstage, though it’s unclear if the edict came from the DGA or from him. The speech would be, “personal remarks to the room” is all press were told.
“My comments are very different from Tommy’s. Ae we ready? Are
you going to be supportive?”
He begins by joking about Harvey Weinstien’s robes: “It’s
the costume of Jabba the Hutt”
Said Judd Apatow…
“What Harvey Weinstein runied was robes…If I wear one now, my wife is like eewww.” says Apatow.
Actress/comedian Aisha Tyler is in the room and has a hot take on Apatow’s intro…
And yes, I’ll be chiming in remotely, folks :)
“Dunkirk, an amazing movie — I saw it on my phone at Chipoltle” quipped Apatow.
“What happens when women direct movies? You get Lady Bird. You get “Mudbound. You get Wonder Woman.’ You get a man directing a movie, you get ‘The Emoji Movie’..with a character who is a literal piece of sh**” joked Apatow.
““There is nothing in this for me at all. . .if one moment I talk like matt Damon and try to explain sexual harassment, I am f…. . .I just do this because I am dead inside and [need to feel something].”- Apatow on hosting the DGAs.
“I guess I’m not going to be working with Harvey” – Apatow ends his monologue which was cut off in the back media press room, but heard for all the ticked press to hear in the ballroom.
While I love Apatow’s stand-up, I don’t know why the DGA had to cut the audio back here. I would argue Brad Garrett’s roasting duties as host at the WGAs a few years back was far more blue. Even Patton Oswalt at any awards show for that matter. I’m not saying Apatow wasn’t funny…just don’t get the censored part.
Winner Children’s Programs — Niki Caro for ‘Anne With an E, “Your Will Shall Decide Your Destiny”
“Guillermo sees the world different from us,” says Richard Jenkins presenting the DGA nom to del Toro with Sally Hawkins.
This was Niki Caro’s first DGA Award nom…and win!
“Why can’t the creature get the girl?” — del Toro’s response per Jenkins after Creature from the Black
“He is a teacher, someone who gives every ounce of their soul to their work.” — Hawkins on del Toro.
“Trying to describe words for del Toro is impossible, which is why I’ll stop talking,” says Hawkins.
Guillermo comes to stage. “I don’t know if i’ll ever get used to coming on stages, but this means the world to me, coming from our peers. We’re chairmakers, we make things people can sit on and like, but nobody can explain how we do it.”
He’s going to town on this chair analogy.
“This movie was full of many reasons why it shouldn’t work, and those are the reasons why it works. For you to tell me to continuye doing these insane fables I’ve believed in for 25 years means the world to me.” He breaks up as he dedicated the awards to his mother and father. “You believe in me and my monsters all the time.”
“We will screen all the nominated commercials tonight. It’s perhaps the first time time you’ve seen them without fast forward through them.” – Apatow on the commercial noms.
Pamela Adlon presenting Variety/Talk/News/Sports, “Back in the day talk was something TV did in the morning…now sports is polarizing drama. News anchors make us cry more than the cast of ‘This Is Us’ and talk show co-hosts are the Walter Cronkite’s of our time”
Don Roy King wins for variety/talk/news/talk/sports — scheduled programming for SNL when Jimmy Fallon hosted.
For Variety/Talk/News/Sports — specials the winner is Glenn Weiss, 89th Annual Academy Awards.
Weiss is recapping the BTS of the Oscars snafu last year with best picture. He gives props to his stage manager to saving the day.
Weiss gives props too to the college professor he had who taught a course in maintaining cool under pressure.
FUN FACT: This is Weiss’s fourteenth DGA Award nomination and his eighth win!
John Singleton is on stage to present the Frank Capra Achievement Award to Dwight Williams, the AD, production manager and producer. “It takes courage and character to manage the circus, and I’ve seen Dwight manage many, many circuses for me. A couple of elephants and a few clowns. I won’t say what actors were the clowns and the elephants; we’ll keep that to ourselves.”
Williams: “Clearly it would be impossible to sum up a career in the next 47 seconds.” So he speaks of the future, urging the room “to bring forth films that speak to the human potential. We have the potential to listen to each other and understand each other and unique around the goals and values we have in common.”
Williams: “At this moment in history we desperately need films that champion the American Dream, that celebrate Americans putting aside their prejudice and struggling together on this planet we all share.”
A stirring speech getting huge applause in the room.
Apatow is back. “I feel like the night is going well. I don’t know where those people are going back there. Is this a bathroom run, when I get on?” He talks about the LA fires. “I evacuated. We thought the house would burn down, it didn’t. Then you fight about what to take. My wife was like, ‘We got to take the kids wife from when they were little.’ Looking back it’s not that good.”
Apatow: “I said to my wife, ‘You must have something you want to take,’ she said, ‘I don’t need anything.’ ‘Photos?’ ‘It’s all on the cloud.’ I’m like, ‘Something from your life?’ She’s like, ‘A charger?'”
Marcus Henderson is presenting Jordan Peele with his DGA nom. He is joined by Betty Gabriel, Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford
Bradley Whitford: “This does not happen. It is a 4.5 million budget. 23 days of shooting and he knew exactly how he was going to cut it. A first time director right out of the game comes with a voice. It does not happen. Jordan does it with relentless kindness, collaboration and joy.”
Whitford: “The liberals out there who didn’t get a chance to vote for Obama for the third time: you haven’t lived until you’ve been told, as the president [Obama], through Jordan, to hit your goddamn mark.”
Betty Gabriel: “He wanted to make a horror film that spoke to black people,reflecting the paranoia that they have in this country”
Huge cheers for Gabriel in her presentation to Peele.
“Thank you DGA for recognizing the artistic merit of a horror movie. In this case, the horror of being married to Bradley Whitford,” says Catherine Keener.
Jordan Peele is the only director nominated tonight for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film AND Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director.
Her speech is all about stabbing Bradley Whitford. She loses it. From behind her, he says, “What the f–k is going on?”
Keener: “Jordan Peele, we salute you for holding up a mirror to the often terrifying reality of American life.”
Peele is also up for best first feature directorial tonight.
Big cheers for Peele.
If you’re not familiar with DGA Awards protocol we should explain: each of the nominees for Feature Film Award get their own medallions and presentations through the night. We should probably have mentioned this before the Shape and Get Out presentations…
Peele: “I just signed Garret Morris and Angela Lansbury for the sequel of Get Out. Get Out 2: Driving Miss Rosy.”
Peele, “Membership into this guild alone, and the fact that I can even be called director is a dream I’ve been working toward my entire life.” He also threw shoutouts to his directing team.
Says Peele, “A cry for justice can come in many forms. The horror genre is my favorite form. I want to talk about horror. It hasn’t gotten the respect it deserves. Horror gives us a way to deal with our fears.”
“The fact that I had never seen a film that addresses the fear of the African American experience…we were in a sunken place” says Peele.
Peele: “The fact this cry for justice has been heard is at the very least a step in the right direction.”
They’re playing the nominated commercials in between awards. Since the DGA doesn’t go out live on television, it’s a nice reminder of the commercial breaks at the Globes and Oscars. But at least these ones are all good enough to be nominated for a big award… A touching Procter and Gamble ad just played.
Apatow on Peele: “For years he told me he was making a horror film and he never told me what it was about. I was like, ‘What’s that going to be? The Human Centipede?’ I had no idea he was going to make, like, the greatest horror movie ever. Very inspiring.”
Apatow reached out to other directors on how to be a better director.
JJ Abrams is first. Apatow asks what’s an F-Stop. “What do the lenses do? They have numbers.” “How come my assistant never brings salsa with my Pollo Loco?” Abrams retorts dryly. “You directed Star Wars, you directed Star Trek. Are you going to remake Star Man? Dickie Roberts: Child Star? The Fault in Our Stars?” He says no to all. “Why did you cut Felicity’s hair?”
“You directed Star Wars. Are you going to direct a remake of Starman?” Apatow asks JJ Abrams.
“I can direct a Star Wars.” – says Apatow.
“I’ll tell Kathy Kennedy about that,” says Abrams.
Aisha Tyler presenting Reality Programs. She joined DGA last year. She got pretzel bread at her table and her name on the back of her chair.
“So far my dues are working out” she laughs.
Outstanding achievement in directing for a Reality Program: Brian Smith, MasterChef “Vegas Deluxe & Oyster Shucks”
“Have you guys noticed in the best picture category, everyone gets one of those big gold coins. So people who later lose tonight, will think that they won.” says Apatow.
Christine Lahti presenting best Doc
“I’d like to remind them they did not all win. Just because you got a big coin doens’nt mean you won. Don’t deceive yourself.”
I feel good that my belated reference to the “big gold coins” (actually silver medallions) was earlier than Apatow’s.
Christine Lahti celebrates the courage of Doc nominees in the TimesOut and MeToo movement.
Best Documentary: “City of Ghosts,” Matthew Heineman.
This is Heineman’s second DGA Award nomination. He previously won in 2015 in this category for Cartel Land.
Heineman: “In this era of fake news, where facts seem to be malleable and journalism is under fire, I think it is so important to celebrate groups that are corageously speaking truth to power.”
He dedicates the award to Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently.
Up next – Sam Rockwell presenting to Martin McDonagh for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri. Unfortunately, McDonagh was overlooked by the Academy, with Paul Thomas Anderson getting nominated for Phantom Thread
“City of Ghosts is a difficult, but necessary watch” says Apatow.
That’s the *American* Academy, the British Academy (BAFTA) did right by him…
Rockwell was directed by Martin McDonagh three times…
Rockwell, “I couldn’t say No to Martin even if it meant being eaten by rats.”
“Opening a Martin McDonagh script is like opening up a Christmas gift” says Rockwell.
Rockwell: “His writing is astounding, his directing is amazing and nuanced and subtle. He’s funny and fearless.”
David Mamet, Kenny Lonergan, Sam Shephard — Rockwell, puts McDonagh up with these guys on a Mount Rushmore. He also recounts the filmmaker’s inspiration for Three Billboards: riding the bus through the south 20 years ago.
McDonagh: “As Sam knows, I’m not very good at this kind of thing. In fact, that put me off directing. Apart from being a bit thick, I was quiet and shy. I thought being a director was shouting through bullhorns and being a bully generally. Until I found out that you could have your First AD do that.” Big laughs.
McDonagh: “I realized I didn’t want to hear stories made by bullies. If there are girls and boys out there too quiet and shy, and even too vaguely alcoholic to be a film director, don’t worry about it.”
McDonagh won an Oscar for the live action short title “Six Shooter”. He was later nominated for his original screenplay for In Bruges before landing best picture and screenplay noms for Three Billboards.
He gives a huge shoutout to his First AD Peter Kohn.
And his actors. “One of the easiest actors to love and to care about is Sam Rockwell.”
McDonagh: “I hope you won’t be out of my price range when you win the Oscar this year,” he quips to Rockwell. “But I do know I wouldn’t be in the room tonight if it weren’t for Frances McDormand. To be associated, especially in this tumultuous year, with a woman like this makes me proud.”
McDonagh’s “Hangman” play is playing in NYC at the Atlantic Theater Company until March 7.
Apatow shows his Skype video interview with DGA nominee and Oscar nominee Greta Gerwig.
Apatow poking fun at Peele’s ‘pointing’ photo as if the director is saying “WTF is that?!”
Apatow speaks with Peele…in his Skype video. He asks Peele if he makes funny scary noises before yelling ‘Action’
“If you do a Get Out 2…what about Jews?” asks Apatow
Apatow asks Gerwig on the spelling of Saoirse’s first name: “Is she f..ing with us??”
“Just is hitting home runs tonight,” exclaims Don Mischer who is presenting the Franklin Schaffner award to Jim Tanker.
We’re half way through the show.
First Time Feature is up. Kimberly Peirce presents. “They can be crazy, inexperienced, obsessed, desperate, ready to rob a bank, ready to rob themselves, to tell their story. I was once like that.” She tells the story of Boys Don’t Cry.
This is a really long speech, but I like her tux, so I’ll allow it. Also it’s a good speech dedicated to the tenacity of first time directors.
Obviously Patti Cake$ should win. Because it’s brilliant. Except so is Lady Macbeth. And Get Out. And Wind River. And Molly’s Game. Can we have a shoutout for how strong this category is this year? What say you, Tony? Favorite?
Not Patti Cakes!
You are dead to me.
I’m all for Get Out here.
I am going to chime in and say Get Out.
Also, Wind River was great.
I know I have been a casual participant here, but I feel like I should look up from my computer and say something. :)
I guess I’m outnumbered… But history will… Oh, who am I kidding? Get Out is brilliant.
BUT for the record…I did like Patti Cake$!
But good for Patti Cakes for getting nominated. Searchlight shelled out $10.5M for the film at Sundance last year.
Let’s just call it a draw.
There are some fierce competitors in this category…I am waiting with bated breath to hear who wins.
I loved Molly’s Game. Def in my top 10 for the year. The movie deserved more love from the Academy.
I did like Chastain in the movie.
Winner of First-Time Feature Film …is Jordan Peele, Get Out.
Get Out won the Stanley Kramer award at the PGAs…and counts 4 Oscar noms for best director, picture, Daniel Kaluuya best actor, and Peele’s screenplay.
Looks like Get Out is “in”….see what I did there?
Peele: “I’m honored to be in this same category with you guys. A true story: The Emoji Movie helped me quit acting. I was offered the role of poop – this is true, I would not make this up. I was like, ‘That’s f–ked up. Let me sleep on it.’ I came back the next day, I said, ‘What are they offering?’ They said, ‘They already gave it to Patrick Stewart’ I was like, ‘F–K THIS!'”
“This has been the best year of my life, hands down” says Peele who welcomed a new baby. “I’ve had to balance this with the knowledge that this hasn’t been a good year for our country, for the many of us. I want to take this moment and echo…Dwight Williams said earlier better than I could. These stories of our loves and passions are best weapon against the hate, bigotry and evil policies being pushed into action” says Peele.
“This movie was about reaching a hand out for people who haven’t experienced those things,” says Peele about the impact of Get Out and getting audiences who never experienced racial injustice. Interesting fact — Daniel Kaluuya’s character originally went to jail at end of Get Out. That ending didn’t test well and Peele changed it.
Amy Schumer presenting for comedy series. She’s praising Peele for Get Out
“The work of the people in this room changes the world” says Schumer.
“We need to promote women and people of color to the very top positions to power, and we need to do this like yesterday,” says Schumer. “50% of the people who buy movie tickets are people of color. They are under-served”
“And now it’s my white privilege to introduce best directing in a comedy series.” says Schumer.
Aziz Ansari is nominated in this category for ‘Master of None’
And so is Melina Matsoukas for ‘Master of None’ episode…”Thanksgiving”
Beth McCarthy-Miller wins DGA comedy series award for VEEP!
Schumer congratulates Beth, until she finds out the person accepting on her behalf wasn’t Beth. But she liked Amy’s speech, so it’s all good.
It’s Beth’s 4th DGA award directing for 30 Rock in 2014, America a Tribute for Heroes and SNL in 2001
Beth is a 10-time Emmy nominee.
Another commercial. Apatow: “That commercial looks better than any movie I’ve ever made.” He’s back on the “coin”. “It’s a coin but the people who were just nominated, it’s the same sized coin. It should be a mini version. We don’t do that at the WGA. You lose, you get dick. It’s easier to host this when you can curse, just so you know.”
Apatow is killing it at the DGAs. No, they haven’t blocked out the rest of his speech….in the press room.
Saoirse Ronan is up to present another “coin”
She’s presenting to Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird. “I’m very jetlagged,” she admits.
Love Ronan’s Aer Lingus sketch on SNL. Hysterical.
Ronan: “We all know now more than ever is the moment to have stories told about women written by women and directed by women. Tentpoles or limited releases, big budget or independent, women have stories to tell that we can all relate to.”
I don’t watch SNL because our Saturday Night Liveblogs are more entertaining.
Here comes Gerwig. “Oh, they just played the overture from Merrily We Roll Along, my favorite musical… I’ve wanted to be a director my whole life. It took me until I was twenty to say it to myself. It took me another 20 years to start writing what would become Lady Bird.”
Gerwig on the Directors’ Panel today talking with her fellow nominees: “it was the most exciting three hours of my life.”
Lady Bird is A24’s highest grossing movie at $42.3M stateside, beating ‘Moonlight’ ($27.8M) and Ex-Machina ($25.4M).
Man, I hope Greta wins best director, Joe. I choose her for best director. She’s just brilliant.
Don’t you even start with me D’Alessandro. #DelToroForLife
I know. I can’t wait for Greta’s next movie.
“I’m tall and I make movies,” says Gerwig wrapping up her nom acceptance speech.
Another call to JJ Abrams from Apatow. “What’s coverage? Like… there’s different shots?”
Apatow to Jenkins: “Will you put in a word for me to direct Wonder Woman… 5? Avatar beasts versus Wonder Woman.”
Love the Apatow Skype interviews. Very funny. Ya know what…Apatow for Oscar host. Let’s get on that campaign.
But the opening monologue will be silenced on the broadcast. Which will make for an awkward 10 minutes of live broadcast all over the world.
Maybe he could do it all in mime form?
The Apatow Skype DGA interviews must be released on YouTube, like yesterday.
He finishes by asking Peele to explain F-Stop… again. Peele hangs up.
Kevin Bacon, “So tomorrow is the Super Bowl and I”ll be watching if my hometown the Philadelphia Eagles are going to win their first Super Bowl ever.”
Bacon just called New England Patriots “The evil empire”…He’s presenting for Commercial directing BTW
Kevin Bacon fronted a series of commercials back home in the UK for something. But I’ve completely forgotten what. Is that a qualification for hosting this category? Or an indictment of his commercial effectiveness?
Oh wait, I remember. It was for a cellphone company’s pre-movie campaign.
Winner Commercials: Martin de Thurah, Festival & machines, StubHub
Chelsea Peretti up to present Movies for Television and Mini Series. “I’m the 7th lead on Brooklyn 99, stand-up comedian, and Jordan Peele’s white wife… I’m gonna keep it short becuase I have the norovirus.”
“This is the most he’s looked at me in months,” says Peretti.
I like Big Little Lies for this award. But I *love* Godless.
Peretti says Peele has been doing award Q&As over the last few months.
By the way….I’m a HUGE fan of Chelsea Peretti and her stand-up.
We’ll let her know when she comes backstage Dino.
Winner for Movies for TV/Mini-Series is Jean-Marc Vallee for Big Little Lies.
Peretti announces the winner moments before opening the envelope. “The winner is Big Little… Oh wait…”
Thank you Joe. Tell her I’m a fellow Bay Area import!
I probably won’t.
Vallee introduces his directorial team. “I’m overwhelmed by what I heard from all these directors from Guillermo to everyone saying what they feel and express and I feel the same. I’m honored to be in this room among you guys and be recognized by my peers.”
BTW: This was Vallee’s first DGA nomination…and first win.
I’ve loved Vallee since C.R.A.Z.Y.
Big Little Lies has to be his crowning achievement. He directed every single episode of the popular mini.
Apatow introduces Emma Thomas, producer of Chris Nolan’s films. “Can you imagine producing Dunkirk? I get stressed out shooting in a restaurant.”
We’re in the final stretch here. Emma Thomas presenting to her hubby Christopher Nolan for Dunkirk.
“I can’t speak in public though,” says Thomas. She worked with Nolan since 1990. They are also married. “I feel very qualified to feel very qualified to speak about Christopher Nolan and I promise to stick to the directing and not the home stuff.”
Emma Thomas, “He extended Warner Bros. capacity for risk with Inception…” on Nolan.
Thomas: “He made the film pretty much in camera with WWII ships and spitfires” on Nolan shooting ‘Dunkirk’
“Arthouse masquerading as a summer blockbuster…and it became a blockbuster” says Thomas on ‘Dunkirk’
“Dunkirk was a ballsy move made by a ballsy filmmaker” says Thomas
Controversial, but could Dunkirk be the potential upset here? The precursors and politics put the other four in a really strong position going into these awards, but directors have to respect the challenge of Dunkirk, and the way Nolan has made his career. It’s a possibility…
Maybe….I still think del Toro will pull through. If there’s an upset, I leave that to Oscars.
A great part in ‘Dunkirk’: The final sound of the newspaper ruffle. Just amazing.
For Best Feature? I’m torn.
By the way, can we celebrate a year in which there are four frontrunners and one just-as-strong potential upset? The year has baffled the prognosticators, but each of these movies is brilliant in very different ways. What a time to be alive, etc.
“There’s nothing quite like the recognition like the people who do the same job.” says Nolan.
Based on its momentum this awards season, I am thinking del Toro is gonna pull through.
“You’re my partner in film and in life and I love you very much,” says Nolan to his wife Emma Thomas.
Nolan: “In an industry full of blowhards and self-promoters, your quiet mastery of the silent art of film producing is the secret weapon,” he says to his wife and producer.
Love that quote.
Nolan praises Warner Bros. for their extraordinary marketing campaign.
“This is the first time I ever tried to tell a story that was real, that real people lived and died in.”
Nolan wanted to release Dunkirk in the middle of July b/c it was a good luck period for him with Inception and the Dark Knight movies. Very bold to do with a British WWII film. You’d think the fall film festival period would be the best time, but alas, no: $50.5M opening, $188 domestic, $525.5M wwide.
But Nolan is a brand to himself, and that brand is best recognized by the summer season crowd.
“I think the example of what they achieved will stand in eternity.”
Wow, his speech is full of juicy quotes.
…but I wouldn’t expect anything less.
Nolan: “I now have four of these, and four kids, so if I kick the bucket tomorrow there will now be no arguing over DGA souvenirs, so thanks very much.”
‘The World Is Not Enough’ director Michael Apted being lauded tonight. Last year it was Ridley Scott.
Jay D. Roth talking about Apted fight against TV’s 20-minute-some cut from the 1992 feature ‘Thunderheart’, about the Sioux Native Americans.
He also directed Gorillas in the Mist, Nell, Enigma and the acclaimed Up documentary series, in its 49th year, which started by following 14 7-year-olds. Every 7 years he goes back to find them.
Roth on Apted he has ” a passionate concern about people…against great odds”
Apted has called for diversity and better healthcare during the DGA’s history
Apted takes the stage to a standing ovation. “Watching tonight my heart missed a beat when I saw a picture of Hitchcock. He won this award 50 years ago.”
Apted literally showing a baby picture of himself from 9 mos. from 1941 — when Britain was at war with Germany, a year from Dunkirk.
Apted: “I gravitated to telling stories about women. Interesting women. It started with Vanessa Redgrave playing Agatha Christie.”
He namechecks Sissy Spacek, Sigourney Weaver, Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Jennifer Lopez – all stars in his films over the years.
Apted recalls being floored when the studio told him to cut a chunk out of Thunderheart. He worked closely with Sioux culture to respect their culture on the big screen, and now he would be forced to go back on his promise to them. Apted called up the DGA for help.
“I encourage members here tonight to get involved in your guild,” says Apted accepting the DGA Honorary Life Member Award.
Allison Janney, best supporting actress Oscar nominee for I, Tonya is presenting best TV drama DGA
Janney: “I wanted to tell all of you tonight, I think tonight is the moment… I will no longer be taking any direction. So there’s that, but you’re all welcome to try, OK.”
REED MORANO WINS FOR HANDMAID’S TALE
Reed just directed I Think We’re Alone Now at Sundance, a post-apocalypse tale starring Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning. She was/is a brilliant DP.
Reed Morano is the 3rd female director to win tonight after Beth McCarthy-Miller for Veep and Niki Caro in Children’s Programs.
Reed was at Sundance a couple of weeks ago for her film “I Think We’re Alone Now”
Morano: “The very first set I worked on I saw the guy with the camera [the DP] and I thought, ‘I want to do what he’s doing because everyone’s seeing everything through his eyes.’ What I didn’t realize was, there was another person there.”
Reed is not directing any episodes for Handmaid’s Tale season 2. That returns to Hulu on April 23.
“I Think We’re Alone Now” was shot alongside the Hudson River in lower NY State.
Your facts are getting insanely in-depth, Tony…
Morano is another first time DGA Award nominee and winner for the evening…
Joe: “She made a film.”
Anthony: “It was shot at dusk by an empty gas station made of cheese.”
Lots of first-timers tonight!
Reed also won an Emmy for directing Handmaid’s Tale.
Morano ends her speech with family thanks. “I’m a mom first and a director second.”
And finally Damien Chazelle presenting the best director award of the night.
The big finale!
Here we go. This is it. It all leads to this. And other cliches.
The nominees again: Del Toro, McDonagh, Gerwig, Peele and Nolan. Who will it be?
GUILLERMO DEL TORO WINS FOR THE SHAPE OF WATER.
I am VERY pleased.
As you should be…
It’s del Toro’s first DGA nom and win.
Del Toro: “eHarmony rejected me, by the way. This is very beautiful. Jordan and I have a kinship through this, but there’s also many reasons why this is a historical year. Greta… The group we have is splendid. Martin, Chris, it’s been a pleasure to be with you. It’s important to remember that at the time the Lumiere brothers were recording the train coming into the station, there was a man called Georges Melies recording what was not there. The fables. The best way to phrase a longing, an exclusion, is a fable. I thank the DGA for allowing genre into the conversation. Inclusion is necessary if not for any other reas0n than we’re not hearing all of the stories. If films are good, can you imagine if we heard 100% and not 50% of the voices that are heard? Thank you.”
Out of 14 female DGA noms tonight, only 3 won: Niki Caro, Reed Morano, and Beth McCarthy-Miller.
What a speech. What a winner. Did I mention I’m very happy?
I am satisfied with del Toro winning…it wasn’t a surprise. At the same time, it was still some stiff competition.
Looks like The Shape of Water adds another notch on its belt in this competitive awards season.
Much jubilation backstage as the Shape of Water party arrived. Hugs all round. “It’s a trip,” del Toro told me. He expounded on his speech, noting the kinship he’s felt with Jordan Peele as another genre frontrunner. Fables, he said, were there from caveman times. Recognition of them from the DGA means a great deal to the man who has spun fairytales his entire career.
That’s it from us folks.
Thanks for sticking with us.
Good night all!