Saturday, May 28, 2016
  • Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011
Surprise, Surprise: Tom Hooper Wins DGA Feature Film Award; Stacy Wall Named Best Spot Director of 2010
Tom Hooper
Michael Spiller, Who's Also Repped For Commercials, Scores DGA TV Comedy Series Honor For "Modern Family"
  • HOLLYWOOD, Calif.
  • --

The King's Speech made an eloquent statement tonight as its director Tom Hooper won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film, an honor that bodes well for his Academy Award prospects. In the 63-year history of the Directors Guild of America competition, only six times have DGA Award recipients not gone on to earn the Best Director Oscar.

Meanwhile Stacy Wall of Imperial Woodpecker, a first-time DGA Award nominee, earned distinction as the Best Commercial Director of 2010 on the strength of Nike's "Rise" and "Handshake," both out of Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, Ore.; Microsoft's "Really?" from Crispin Porter+Bogusky, Boulder, Colo.; and adidas' "Slim Chin And D Rose" for 180LA.

In their respective acceptance speeches, Hooper and Wall expressed genuine surprise over their wins. Most handicappers had anticipated that David Fincher would take the feature honor for The Social Network.

"Oh my God," said Hooper as he came on stage. The director then related that he brought his father out from Europe to attend the gala awards ceremony in Hollywood. However, Hooper apologized to his dad in advance for doing that, noting that he didn't think he was going to win the DGA Award. "I'm overwhelmed," said Hooper. "This is the biggest honor of my life."

The King's Speech represented Hooper's first nomination in the feature film category, but not his first DGA nomination. He was previously nominated in the movies for TV/miniseries category for HBO's John Adams in 2008.

Hooper topped a field of feature nominees this year that included:  Fincher; Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan; Christopher Nolan for Inception; and David O. Russell for The Fighter.

Three of the five nominees have commercialmaking representation: Fincher, a DGA Award winner for Best Commercial Director of 2003, continues to be handled by Anonymous Content; Aronofsky, who's repped by Alturas Films; and Hooper, who signed last year with Smuggler.

Spot acceptance
In accepting the DGA Award for commercials, Wall said, "I'm shocked by this," adding that he was also "shocked" when he was nominated. Part of the surprise over winning, he observed, was rooted in the high caliber of his competition in the category, "guys I consider the best in the business."

He cited fellow nominee Frank Budgen of Gorgeous Enterprises, London, (and Anonymous Content stateside), simply describing him as being "the master." Wall characterized himself as "a flash in the pan" when compared to Budgen's longevity of excellence in filmmaking.

Next in his acceptance remarks, Wall praised Snickers' "Game" featuring Betty White--directed by DGA nominee Craig Gillespie of MJZ--as the best spot of the year. Then Wall paused as if to ponder, noting that perhaps Old Spice's "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like"--directed by nominee Tom Kuntz of MJZ--was the top commercial of 2010

And then with tongue firmly in cheek, Wall said he's less enamored with nominee Tim Godsall of Biscuit Filmworks since he has lost work to him on numerous occasions.

Wall offered thanks to his DGA team of first and second assistant directors, Imperial Woodpecker's managing partner Doug Halbert, and to the ad agency creatives behind the commercials that earned the DGA Award nomination and win.

"I came from the agency side," said Wall, affirming that he would not have even been recognized by the DGA if not for the great concepts from the creatives at Wieden, Crispin and 180. (Wall was a writer and creative director at Wieden+Kennedy before making the transition to director years ago.)

Finally Wall thanked his wife and son for putting up with his being away from home to work and to "attend swanky events like this while they're in the snow."

Michael Spiller

Also among the DGA Award winners was director Michael Spiller who won the TV comedy series category for the "Halloween" episode of Modern Family.

This is the first DGA Award for Spiller who is repped for spots and branded content by Lookout Entertainment.

Here's a full rundown of the winners of the 2010 DGA Awards for Outstanding Directorial Achievement:

The King's Speech
(The Weinstein Co.)
Mr. Hooper's Directorial Team: Production Manager: Erica Bensly
First Assistant Director: Martin Harrison
Second Assistant Director: Chris Stoaling
This is Mr. Hooper's first DGA Feature Film Award.  He was previously nominated for the DGA Award for Movies for Television and Miniseries for John Adams in 2008.

Temple Grandin
Mr. Jackson's Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Scott Ferguson
First Assistant Director: Philip Hardage
Second Assistant Director: Shawn Pipkin
Second Second Assistant Directors: Kayse Goodell, Richard E. Chapla Jr., Robbie Friedmann
Additional Second Second Assistant Director: Glen Moorman
This is Mr. Jackson's fourth DGA Award in this category. He previously won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series for Indictment: The McMartin Trial (1995), Tuesdays With Morrie (1999), and Live From Baghdad (2002).

Boardwalk Empire, Boardwalk Empire
Mr. Scorsese's Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Harvey Waldman
First Assistant Director: Chris Surgent
Second Assistant Director: Takahide Kawakami
Second Second Assistant Director: Patrick McDonald
Additional Second Assistant Director: Sal Sutera
Second Assistant Director/Location Managers: April Taylor, Regina Heyman
DGA Trainee: Jamiyl Ihsaan Campbell
This is Mr. Scorsese's first DGA Award in this category. He also won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film in 2006 for The Departed, and was previously nominated in that category for Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), The Age of Innocence (1993), Gangs of New York (2002), and The Aviator (2004). In 1999 Scorsese was presented with the Filmmaker Award at the inaugural DGA Honors Gala and he won the DGA's highest artistic honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award (for distinguished achievement in film direction) in 2003.

Modern Family, "Halloween"
Mr Spiller's Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Sally Young
First Assistant Director: Alisa Statman
Second Assistant Director: Helena Lamb
Second Second Assistant Director: Matthew Heffernan
This is Mr. Spiller's first DGA Award.

64th Annual Tony Awards
Mr. Weiss' Directorial Team:
Associate Directors:  Gregg Gelfand, Robin Abrams, Ricky Kirshner
Stage Managers:  Garry Hood,  Peter Epstein, Andrew Feigin, Lynn Finkel, Doug Fogel, Jeffry Gitter, Dean Gordon,  Phyllis Digilio Kent, Arthur Lewis, Joey Meade, Tony Mirante, Cyndi Owgang, Jeff Pearl, Elise Reaves, Lauren Class Schneider
This is Mr. Weiss' second DGA Award. He previously won the Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Musical Variety in 2007 for The 61st Annual Tony Awards; and was previously nominated in this category in 2008, 2006, 2005, 2002 and 2001 all for the 62nd, 60th, 59th, 56th and 55th Annual Tony Awards.

The Next Iron Chef, "Episode #301"
(Food Network)
Mr. Keller's Directorial Team:
Segment Director: Stephen Kroopnick
Stage Managers: Tom Borgnine, Seth Mellman 
This is Mr. Keller's first DGA Award. He was previously nominated in this same category in 2009 for episode "201" of The Next Iron Chef.

One Life to Live, "Starr X'd Lovers, The Musical, Part Two"
Mr. Carpenter's Directorial Team:
Associate Directors: Teresa Anne Cicala, Tracy Casper Lang, Paul S. Glass, Mary Ryan, Jen Pepperman, Barry Gingold
Stage Managers: Alan Needleman, Keith Greer, Brendan Higgins
Production Associates: Kevin Brush, Nathalie Rodriguez
This is Mr. Carpenter's fourth DGA Award and all for his direction of One Life to Live. He won the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Daytime Serials Award for One Life to Live - "Episode #9947" in 2007, for "Episode #8849" in 2003, and for "So You Think You Can Be Shane Morasco's Father" in 2008. He was previously nominated for that series for "Episode #9686" in 2006, "Episode #9385" in 2005 and "Episode #8655" in 2002.

The Boy Who Cried Werewolf
This is Mr. Bross' first DGA Award.

(Imperial Woodpecker)
"Rise," Nike - Wieden & Kennedy/Portland
First Assistant Director: Bac DeLorme
Second Assistant Director: Steve Del Prete
Second Second Assistant Director: Kenny Hanson

"Really?", Microsoft - Crispin Porter & Bogusky/Boulder
First Assistant Directors: Miles Johnstone, Doug Halbert
Second Assistant Director: Michael Brawer"

Slim Chin & D Rose," adidas -- 180LA
First Assistant Director: Dave Dean
Second Assistant Director: Carl Jackson

"Handshake," Nike - Wieden & Kennedy/Portland
First Assistant Directors: Miles Johnstone, Scott Metcalfe
Second Assistant Director: Michael Brawer
This is Mr. Wall's first DGA Award.

Inside Job
Representational Pictures
Sony Pictures Classics
This is Mr. Ferguson's first DGA Award.

Going Platinum
The DGA Awards also served to launch a year-long celebration of the DGA's 75th anniversary. 

The evening began with the premiere of a short film by director Chuck Workman. Director's Cut commemorates 75 years of directing history through the compilation of hundreds of clips illustrating the entire range of DGA members' work.  Workman's commemorative short film for the DGA's 50th anniversary, Precious Images, won the Academy Award for Live Action Short Film in 1987 and in 2009 was one of 25 films named to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.

Past DGA Award winners Kathryn Bigelow, James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, John Rich, and Steven Spielberg, the evening's co-chairs, presented seven short films that were directed, written and produced by member Michael Stevens to highlight game-changing moments in DGA history.  Stevens is an award-winning producer, director and writer of more than 30 prime-time event and concert specials, including producing and writing for the Kennedy Center Honors and We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial.  Stevens grew up hearing many stories about Guild history, as he is the grandson of past-president George Stevens and the son of director member George Stevens Jr.

Past-president Michael Apted is serving as chair of the year-long anniversary celebration, whose theme is "Game Changers."  Throughout 2011, the DGA will hold events honoring directors whose impact on film and television forever "changed the game" and influenced generations of filmmakers that followed.