19th Annual Meet the AD/UPMs of the DGA Award-Nominated Projects

March 5, 2022 A Western AD/UPM Council Education Committee Event

The Assistant Directors and Unit Production Managers of the projects nominated for the 74th Annual DGA Awards were celebrated during the Western AD/UPM Council’s 19th Annual Meet the AD/UPMs of the DGA Award-Nominated Projects event. Hosted by the Council’s Education Committee on March 5, DGA members gathered online for this virtual event about what went into the making of these notable productions for film and television.

The evening opened with a welcome from Meet the AD/UPMs Organizing Committee Co-Chair Lucille OuYang, who quickly turned the proceedings over to the moderator of the event, 2022 Frank Capra Award Recipient Joseph P. Reidy.

Illustrated by clips from the various productions, DGA members the opportunity to hear firsthand accounts of what went into the making of these notable productions for film and television from: UPM Mark Kamine from Mike White’s Comedy Series Award-nominated episode “Mysterious Monkeys” of The White Lotus; UPM Gabrielle Mahon from the Dramatic Series Award-nominated episodes of Succession, "Retired Janitors of Idaho" directed by Kevin Bray, "All the Bells Say" directed by Mark Mylod, "What It Takes" directed by Andrij Parekh, "Lion in the Meadow" directed by Robert Pulcini & Shari Springer Berman and "Too Much Birthday" directed by Lorene Scafaria; UPM Carla Raij from Steven Spielberg’s Theatrical Feature Film Award-nominated production West Side Story; 1st AD John Silvestri from the Succession episodes "Retired Janitors of Idaho" and "Too Much Birthday"; 1st AD Adam Somner from the Theatrical Feature Film Award-nominated productions Licorice Pizza directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story; 2nd AD Michelle Flevotomas from Succession’s nominated episodes, "All the Bells Say", "What It Takes" and "Lion in the Meadow"; and 2nd AD Elaine Wood from Barry Jenkins’s Movies for Television and Limited Series Award-nominated production, The Underground Railroad.

Exploring what goes into the best storytelling techniques, Reidy and the panelists covered subjects that included: the challenges of filmmaking during the COVID pandemic, what special skills they brought to their productions, working with their Directors on getting desired shots, and how being a DGA member has affected their careers. The panelists also shared their ‘secret sauce’ on how they maintained their sanity on challenging productions.

Following a short break, Western AD/UPM Council 1st AD Committee Co-Chair Mark Hansson and Eastern AD/UPM Council 2nd AD Committee Co-Chair Anastasia Folorunso thanked their respective Council Chairs, Linda Montanti, and Lyn Pinezich, and all the volunteers on both coasts whose work made the event possible. Then Organizing Committee Co-Chair Redelia Shaw led a Q&A where all the panelists fielded questions submitted by the online audience, before closing the event.

19th Annual Meet the AD/UPMs of the 2021 DGA Award-Nominated Projects

About the Panelists:
Mark KamineUPM Mark Kamine
Kamine is currently the UPM/Executive Producer on Season 2 of The White Lotus. His other production management credits include the feature films Bad Moms, American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook , 42, The Fighter, Ted; and multiple episodes of the DGA Award-winning series, The Sopranos. Kamine has been a DGA member since 1996.
Gabrielle MahonUPM Gabrielle Mahon
In addition to her work on Succession, Mahon’s production management credits include Darren Aronofsky’s DGA Award-nominated feature Black Swan and Alejandro Iñárritu’s DGA Award-winning feature, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance); as well as episodes of The Knick. Vinyl and the DGA Award-winning series, Homeland. Mahon has been a DGA member since 2011.
Carla RaijUPM Carla Raij
In addition to her work on West Side Story, Raij’s production management credits include feature films such as Todd Phillips’ Joker, Steven Spielberg’s The Post and Bridge of Spies, F. Gary Gray's The Fate of the Furious and Martin Scorsese’s DGA Award-nominated feature The Irishman. Raij has been a DGA member since 2000.
John Silvestri1st AD John Silvestri
In addition to his work on Succession, Silvestri’s Assistant Director credits include Martin Scorsese’s DGA Award-winning feature The Departed as well as DGA Award-winning episodes of The Sopranos and Mad Men. His other AD credits include Jon M. Chu’s In the Heights, the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, Steven Soderbergh’s Mosaic, Jason Reitman’s Young Adult, Sidney Lumet’s Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead and Steven Zaillian’s DGA Award-winning mini-series, The Night Of. Silvestri has been a DGA member since 2002 and has served as a member of the Eastern AD/UPM Council.
Adam Somner1st AD Adam Somner
In addition to his work on Licorice Pizza and West Side Story, Somner’s Assistant Director credits include features such as James Mangold’s Ford v Ferrari, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread, Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street and Steven Spielberg’s War Horse, Lincoln and The BFG; as well as Alejandro Iñárritu’s DGA Award-winning features, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) and The Revenant. Somner has been a DGA member since 1995.
Michelle Flevotomas2nd AD Michelle Flevotomas
In addition to her work on all three seasons of Succession, Flevotomas’s Assistant Director credits include episodes of Mysteries of Laura, Berlin Station, Shades of Blue, Unforgettable and Law & Order SVU. A graduate of the DGA-Producer Assistant Directors Training Program, Flevotomas has been a DGA member since 2011.
Elaine Wood2nd AD Elaine Wood
In addition to her work on The Underground Railroad, Wood’s Assistant Director credits include features such as Benny Boom’s All Eyez on Me, Nate Parker’s American Skin and Justin Simien’s Dear White People; as well as multiple episodes of series including Kenan, Grey’s Anatomy, Lucifer, Black Jesus, House and NYPD Blue. A graduate of the DGA-Producer Assistant Directors Training Program, Wood has been a DGA member since 1999.

Joseph P Reidy1st AD Joseph P. Reidy (moderator)
A DGA member since 1979, Reidy has worked on numerous DGA Award-nominated features including Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7, Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan and Robert Redford’s Quiz Show; and he was a 2nd AD on Sydney Pollack’s Tootsie. Reidy has also had a long working relationship with Martin Scorsese, acting as his 1st AD on the DGA Award-nominated films Goodfellas, The Age of Innocence, Gangs of New York, The Aviator and his 2006 DGA Award-winning feature The Departed. He also worked with Oliver Stone on the DGA Award-nominated film JFK and the 1989 DGA Award-winning feature Born on the Fourth of July. A graduate of the New York Assistant Directors Training Program, Reidy has served as a trustee of the Program since 2006. He was also a member of the 2020 DGA Negotiations Committee and COVID-19 Return to Work Committee. He was first elected to the Eastern AD/UPM Council in 2016 as an Alternate member and has served seven terms on the Council including being elected as the Council’s 1st Vice Chairperson from 2019 to present and as the 2nd Vice Chairperson from 2017 to 2019. For his service to the industry and the Guild, Reidy is the 2022 Frank Capra Achievement Award Recipient.

About the Organizing Committee:

This event was organized by the Western AD/UPM Council Education Committee and the Meet the AD/UPMs Organizing Committee which is co-chaired by Lucille OuYang and Redelia Shaw, with members Lisa Chu and Mark Hansson.

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