Directors Guild Continues the Awards Surge for Ben Affleck’s ‘Argo’

Directors Guild Continues the Awards Surge for Ben Affleck's 'Argo'

Ben Affleck bookended the night at the Directors Guild of America Awards. Half-hour TV show winner Lena Dunham (“Girls”) accepted her award by saying, “Steven Spielberg, I’m coming for you. Ben Affleck, I already came for you.” She forecast the heat that attended Affleck’s “Argo,” which by evening’s end, continued its awards surge by taking home the DGA’s top honor for best feature. It’s the third time a director has won the DGA without an Oscar nom. Affleck joins other actor-directors who have won the DGA: Woody Allen, Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Ron Howard, Kevin Costner, and Clint Eastwood.

“Argo” has been winning awards of late, including SAG, PGA, Critics Choice and the Golden Globes. First-time nominee Affleck beat three-time DGA-winner Steven Spielberg (“Lincoln”) who earned a standing ovation, and two-time DGA-winner Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”), the only two DGA nominees who were also in the running for the best director Oscar. Snubbed director Kathryn Bigelow (“Zero Dark Thirty”), who won a DGA award for “The Hurt Locker,” thanked Sony’s Amy Pascal: “to support a movie that has a few sharp edges is no small feat.” “The King’s Speech” DGA-winner Tom Hooper was also up for this year’s DGA honor for “Les Miserables.”

The DGA is considered a more mainstream group than the nominating Oscar directors or the Academy at large. But at this point “Lincoln” has to be considered vulnerable in the Oscar race for best picture. Most of the time the DGA winner goes on to win an Oscar. Obviously that won’t happen, but most of the time the winner’s film wins the best picture Oscar as well. Spielberg can take some consolation from remembering that the last time a movie won best picture without an Oscar directing nom was “Driving Miss Daisy” in 1990; and the year that Howard’s popular “Apollo 13” won PGA, SAG and DGA, it did not the Best Picture Oscar. This year is different in that it offers nine candidates for best picture– plus preferential voting.

Other DGA winners: “Searching for Sugar Man” continued its string of wins by taking home best documentary feature; TV drama series went to “Looper” director Rian Johnson for “Breaking Bad.” Jay Roach won again for cable movie “Game Change.” The Reality TV honor went to “Master Chef.” Milos Forman, winner of two DGA awards, won a Lifetime Achievement Award but was too ill to attend, while director Michael Apted accepted his honorary Award from Steven Soderbergh, who said: “Michael is one of the few people that I can take in really large doses.”

The full list of DGA winners is here and below.


The winners of the 2012 DGA Awards for Outstanding Directorial Achievement are:

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN FEATURE FILM

BEN AFFLECK

Argo

(Warner Bros. Pictures)

 

Mr. Affleck’s Directorial Team:

·         Unit Production Manager:  Amy Herman

·         First Assistant Director:  David Webb

·         Second Assistant Director:  Ian Calip

·         Second Second Assistant Directors: Clark Credle, Gavin Kleintop

·         First Assistant Director (Turkey Unit): Belkis Turan

 

This is Mr. Affleck’s first DGA Feature Film Award win.

 

 

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMMERCIALS

 

ALEJANDRO G. IÑÁRRITU

Anonymous Content

Best Job, Proctor and Gamble – Wieden + Kennedy

·         First Assistant Director: Peter Kohn

·         Second Assistant Director: Michelle Schrauwers

·         Second Second Assistant Directors: Heather Anderson, Blake Perkinson

 

This is Mr. Iñárritu’s first DGA Award win and second nomination. He was previously nominated for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for Babel in 2006.

 

 

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMATIC SERIES

 

RIAN JOHNSON

Breaking Bad, “Fifty-One”

(AMC)

 

Mr. Johnson’s Directorial Team:

·         Unit Production Manager: Stewart A. Lyons

·         Assistant Unit Production Manager: James Paul Hapsas

·         First Assistant Director: Ben Scissors

·         Second Assistant Director: Louis Lanni

·         Second Second Assistant Director: Anna Ramey

·         Additional Second Assistant Director: Joann Connolly

 

This is Mr. Johnson’s first DGA Award win.

 

 

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN REALITY PROGRAMS

 

BRIAN SMITH

Master Chef, “Episode #305”

(FOX)

 

Mr. Smith’s Directorial Team:

·         Associate Director: Anna Moulaison-Moore

·         Stage Manager: Drew Lewandowski

 

This is Mr. Smith’s first DGA Award win and third nomination. He was previously nominated in this category in 2010 and 2011 for episodes “103” and “201” of Master Chef.

 

 

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN MOVIES FOR TELEVISION AND MINI-SERIES

 

JAY ROACH

Game Change

(HBO)

 

Mr. Roach’s Directorial Team:

·         Unit Production Manager: Mary Kane

·         First Assistant Director: Josh King

·         Second Assistant Director: Emily McGovern

·         Second Second Assistant Director: Brian F. Relyea

 

This is Mr. Roach’s second DGA Award win and second nomination.  He previously won the DGA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series for Recount in 2008.

 

 

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSICAL VARIETY

 

GLENN WEISS

66th Annual Tony Awards

(CBS)

 

Mr. Weiss’ Directorial Team:

·         Associate Directors: Ken Diego, Robin Abrams, Stefani Cohen, Ricky Kirshner

·         Stage Managers: Garry Hood, Phyllis Digilio-Kent, Peter Epstein, Andrew Feigin, Lynn Finkel, Doug Fogel, Jeffry Gitter, Dean Gordon, Arthur Lewis, Jeffrey M. Markowitz, Joey Meade, Tony Mirante, Cyndi Owgang, Jeff Pearl, Elise Reaves, Lauren Class Schneider

 

This is Mr. Weiss’ fourth DGA Award win and ninth nomination.  He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Musical Variety in 2007, 2010 and 2011 for the 61st, 64th and 65th Annual Tony Awards. He was previously nominated in this category in 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2008 for the 55th, 56th, 59th, 60th, and 62nd Annual Tony Awards.

 

 

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DAYTIME SERIALS

 

JILL MITWELL

One Life To Live, “Between Heaven and Hell”

(ABC)

 

Ms. Mitwell’s Directorial Team:

·         associate Directors: Tracy Casper Lang, Teresa Cicala, Michael Sweeney, Paul S. Glass

·         Stage Managers: Alan Needleman, Keith Greer, Tracy Casper Lang, Leah M. Weber

·         Production Associates: Nathalie Rodriguez, Kevin Brush

 

This is Ms. Mitwell’s fourth DGA Award and ninth nomination and all for her direction of One Life to Live. She won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Daytime Serials three times for One Life to Live, “Episode #9779” in 2006, “Episode #8295” in 2000 and “Episode #6356” in 1993. She was nominated five additional times for One Life to Live episodes “Starr X’d Lovers, The Musical, Part Three” in 2010, “Episode #8691” in 2002, “Episode #8012” in 1999, “Episode #7761” in 1998, and “Episode #7285” in 1996.

 

 

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN CHILDREN’S PROGRAMS

 

PAUL HOEN

Let it Shine

(Disney Channel)

 

Mr. Hoen’s Directorial Team:

·         Unit Production Manager: Katie Willard Troebs

·         First Assistant Director:  Daniel Coffie

·         Second Assistant Director: Todd Turner

·         Second Second Assistant Director: D. Scott Kirkley

 

This is Mr. Hoen’s second DGA Award win and sixth nomination.  He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children’s Program in 2007 for Jump In and was previously nominated in this category in 2000 for the Even Stevens episode “Take My Sister… Please,” in 2004 for Searching for David’s Heart, in 2008 for Cheetah Girls: One World and in 2010 for Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam.

 

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DOCUMENTARY

 

 

MALIK BENDJELLOUL

Searching For Sugar Man

Sony Pictures Classics

Passion Pictures Production

Canfield Pictures & The Documentary Company

Red Box Films

 

This is Mr. Bendjelloul’s first DGA Award win.

 

 

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY SERIES

 

LENA DUNHAM

Girls, “Pilot”

(HBO)

 

Ms. Dunham’s Directorial Team:

·         Unit Production Managers: Regina Heyman, Ilene S. Landress

·         First Assistant Director: Mark McGann

·         Second Assistant Director: Jason Ivey

·         Second Second Assistant Director: Marcos Gonzalez Palma

 

This is Ms. Dunham’s first DGA Award win.

 

 

SERVICE AND ACHIEVEMENT AWARD RECIPIENTS

 

Milos Forman – Lifetime Achievement Award

In recognition of distinguished achievement in Motion Picture Direction

 

Michael Apted – Robert B. Aldrich Award

In recognition of extraordinary service to the Directors Guild of America and to its membership.

 

Eric Shapiro – Lifetime Achievement Award in News Direction

In recognition of distinguished achievement in News Direction

 

Susan Zwerman – Frank Capra Achievement Award

Given to an Assistant Director or Unit Production Manager in recognition of career achievement in the industry and service to the Directors Guild of America.

 

Dency Nelson – Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award

Given to an Associate Director or Stage Manager in recognition of career achievement in the industry and service to the Directors Guild of America.
 

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Comments

Dana

Completely disagree with you Vic. I thought Argo was the superior film. Even though I lived through that era, I couldn't remember all the details so despite the ending undoubtedly being embellished for dramatic purposes, I was still on the edge of my seat. As for Lincoln, although the acting deserves all the accolades it is receiving, I thought the film itself was a little tedious. Unlike Argo, I found myself looking at my watch a lot which, for me, meant I was just waiting for it to be over. I say give Spielberg Best Director, but break tradition and give Argo Best Picture. (Spielberg can deal. He did before when he won Best Director for Saving Private Ryan but lost Best Picture to Shakespeare in Love.) Of course, my vote doesn't count, so Lincoln will take everything.

Vic

Ok, but Argo can't win the Oscar just for best picture isn't it? (even if Ben Affleck is out of the competition for best director). One big win and not another Oscar for cast, screenplay, or even editing (Argo it isn't Driving Miss Daisy (1989) (at least this won Oscar for best actress (Jessica Tandy) and best adapted screenplay) or Grand Hotel (1932), or Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), or Rebecca (1940). Lincoln will be by default the one who will win the Oscars for best motion picture, best director (Steven Spielberg), best actor (Daniel Day-Lewis) and best adapted screenplay (and perhaps another 3 or 4 Oscars including Tommy Lee Jones for best supporting actor). Lincoln is the best movie from 2012. At Argo I found the tension before the ending really funny not in the good way (the almost capturing of all members from the american embassy). Ben Affleck should try another one really good movie to be at least nominated for best director in the next years. For me Argo, Lincoln, Django Unchained, Zero Dark Thirty or Life of Pi are not as good as the last winners from the Academy (The Artist (2011) or The King's Speech (2010) or Slumdog Millionaire (2008), but at least are better than the overrated The Hurt Locker (2008).

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