Kathleen McGill and Mimi Deaton will be honored with special awards at the 71st annual DGA Awards. McGill, a unit production manager, will receive the Frank Capra Achievement Award, and Deaton, an associate director, will receive the Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award. Both awards are given in recognition of career achievement and service to the guild.
“Kathy and Mimi embody the type of leadership, dedication and distinguished commitment that these Special Awards were designed to celebrate,” said DGA president Thomas Schlamme. “Even with active, successful careers, they have both devoted countless hours in service to the DGA representing their fellow members and advocating on their behalf, strengthening our guild and reinforcing our mission to protect and promote the economic and creative rights of our members.”
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McGill began her entertainment career as a production accountant before joining the guild as a UPM in 1995. Since then, she’s focused on educating and mentoring her fellow members, while steadily working as a UPM on such films as Brian DePalma’s Snake Eyes and Ron Howard’s The Da Vinci Code, Frost/Nixon and his DGA Award-winning feature, A Beautiful Mind. Since 2012 she’s worked as the UPM on the X-Men franchise, including Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse. She’s currently at work on Simon Kinberg’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix.
McGill’s service to the DGA began when she was first elected to the Eastern AD/UPM Council in 2000. She has since served 10 terms on the Council, including being elected Council Chair from 2014-2017. Currently a member of the DGA’s national board of directors, she has served eight consecutive terms since first having been elected to the board as an alternative in 2003. McGill also served on the DGA Negotiations Committee for the 2011, 2014 and 2017 contract negotiations cycles, and as a delegate to the DGA Biennial Conventions. Her various committee appointments through the years include the First-Time Feature Film Award Screening Committee, the DGA Honors Committee, and several Eastern AD/UPM Council Committees.
Deaton, meanwhile, has been a member of the DGA for over three decades, serving on the Western AD/SM/PA Council for 21 years, including spending the last four as Second Vice-Chair of the Council. In 2017, she was elected as a Second Alternate on the DGA National Board.
Deaton began her associate director career working on classic sitcoms. Her extensive experience in the multi-camera genre includes 119 episodes of Martin, 92 episodes of the Facts of Life, and 80 episodes of Reba. She has also been active in the guild’s work to expand multi-camera creative rights. Her other work includes episodes of sitcoms such as The Neighborhood; Bizaardvark; Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn; Melissa & Joey; The Soul Man, and Carol & Company.
Since first being elected to the Western AD/SM/PA Council as an alternate in 1998, Deaton’s service to the DGA also includes her time on the DGA Negotiating Committee during the 2002, 2005, 2008, 2014 and 2017 negotiations cycles. She was instrumental in the guild’s fight to increase the Basic Cable multi-camera rates and worked closely with her AD/UPM colleagues to improve economic and industry parity with network productions.
The awards will be presented at the DGA Awards on February 2 at the Hollywood & Highland Center’s Ray Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood. Nominations for the guild’s television, commercial and documentary awards will be announced Jan. 7. Nominees for feature film and first-time feature film awards will be announced Jan. 8
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