DGA president Thomas Schlamme opened tonight’s virtual DGA Awards show with a message to members of hope for better days ahead, and pride in the accomplishments of the Guild and its members during these difficult times.
“Even under the challenges of this pandemic that raged across the globe leaving so much loss in its wake – and the enormous, necessary reckoning of our nation’s systemic ills – storytelling prevailed,” he said. “Your work provided comfort and escape to audiences – those longing to step outside again, and those exhausted from keeping the world turning. Through your creations, people found hope and inspiration, understanding and connection, and more than ever before, hopefully, they saw themselves.
“And in the midst of this seismic shift, just as so many of you met the moment artistically, so did our Guild,” he continued. “We overcame the daunting task of getting our industry back to work and most importantly, back to work safely. And in this transition of reckoning, our guild was brought closer together to listen, to learn and often to unlearn, as we forge ahead with the commitment to always do better.”
Added Schlamme: “These remarkable feats, and so many others, like the groundbreaking new contract negotiations achieved last March, could not be done without the extraordinary staff at the Guild, led by the wisdom of our national executive director Russ Hollander, and all of our members actively engaged in our union through our Board, the Councils and the Committees. It is this support system of passionate and insightful individuals that makes this guild exceptional. And we couldn’t be more thrilled to honor a few of those members tonight.”
Schlamme also noted that a directorial team stands behind every director being honored tonight, and that they share in these awards as well. “I also want to take a moment to recognize our directorial teams – assistant directors, unit production managers, associate directors, stage managers and production associates. Traditionally at these awards, the entire team shares the stage when a director’s name is called. And nothing reflects the concept of family to me more than that visual moment. Unfortunately, this virtual format limits our ability to do that. But please know, when we cut to the live shots of every nominee, they represent the hard work of the whole team.”