20th Annual Meet the AD/UPMs of the DGA Award-Nominated Projects

February 11, 2023 A Western AD/UPM Council Education Committee Event

On February 11, the Assistant Directors and Unit Production Managers of the projects nominated for the 75th Annual DGA Awards were celebrated during the Western AD/UPM Council’s 20th Annual Meet the AD/UPMs event.  Hosted by the Council’s Education Committee, the online event gave DGA members the opportunity to hear firsthand accounts of what went into the making of notable productions for film and television.

The event opened with a welcome from Western AD/UPM Council Chair Linda Montanti and Meet the AD/UPMs Organizing Committee Co-Chair Lucille OuYang, who quickly turned the proceedings over to the moderator of the event, 2023 Frank Capra Award Recipient Mark Hansson.

Illustrated by clips from the various productions, DGA members heard firsthand accounts of what went into the making of these notable productions for film and television from: UPM LeeAnn Stonebreaker from Joseph Kosinski’s feature film, Top Gun: Maverick; UPM Kristyn Macready from Aoife McArdle’s “Hide and Seek” episode of the dramatic series, Severance; UPM Meghan K. Wicker from Amy Sherman-Palladino’s “How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?” episode of the comedy series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel; 1st AD Nandi Bowe from Anne Renton’s “Halloween” episode of the children's program, Best Foot Forward; 1st AD Greg McCollum from David Shane’s iPhone 13 Pro commercial, Detectives; UPM Allison Rose Carter and 1st AD Rodney Smith from Daniel Kwan and Daniel Schienert’s feature film, Everything Everywhere All at Once; and 1st AD Josh McLaglen and 2nd AD Heather Wagner-Wang from Steven Spielberg’s feature film, The Fabelmans.

During the conversation that was illustrated by clips from the nominated productions, the panelists covered subjects that included: 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.

At the close of the event, Organizing Committee Co-Chair Redelia Shaw led a Q&A where all the panelists fielded questions submitted by the online audience.

20th Annual Meet the AD/UPMs of the DGA Award-Nominated Projects


About the Panelists:
Nandi-Bowe1st AD Nandi Bowe, (Best Foot Forward, "Halloween")
Storytelling is Bowe’s passion. She began her professional career as a PA and went on to work as an Assistant Director on features such as Do The Right ThingDaughters of The DustSister Act 2House PartyHocus PocusSneakersFrankie and Johnny and To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar. A member of the DGA since 1989, she has also written and directed eight short films, was a DGA/Disney Directing Fellow and attended AFI as a Directing Fellow. 
Allison Rose CarterUPM Allison Rose Carter (Everything Everywhere All at Once)
Carter has helped produce over 30 feature films. She got her start on Eyad Zahra’s The Taqwacores and has since worked with dozens of talented new voices and established filmmakers such as Ira Sach’s Love is Strange, Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, Josephine Decker’s The Sky is Everywhere, Kent Jones’ Diane, John Lee’s False Positive and Janicza Bravos’s Zola. Her most recent feature films include, Dustin Guy Defa’s The Adults and Marielle Heller’s Nightbitch. Carter joined the DGA in 2013. 
Kristyn MacreadyUPM Kristyn Macready (Severance, "Hide and Seek")
Macready’s credits include episodes of 30 RockDickinsonLittle VoiceThe Slap and Gotham and she was the NY UPM on Martin Scorsese’s feature Killers of the Flower Moon. Hermost recent credits include Fallout and Severance. Macready joined the DGA in 2011. 
Greg McCollum1st AD, Greg McCollum (Detectives, iPhone 13 Pro – Apple)
McCollum has spent the majority of his career working on national ad campaigns at the highest level. His clients have included Nike, Pepsi, Chevrolet, Ford, Gatorade, Microsoft, Apple and Coca-Cola to mention a few. His feature film credits include Point BreakButtwhistleThe Good Humor Man and Everything in This Country Must. He was also involved with the popular “Bud Light Dilly Dilly" campaign and has been the AD on over 20 Super Bowl Spots, as well as working on the first-ever live 30-second spot for Snickers during 2017 Super Bowl. McCollum joined the DGA in 1985. 
Josh McLaglen1st AD Josh McLaglen (The Fabelmans)
After he graduated from UCLA in 1980 with a major in history McLaglen worked with his father, Director Andrew V. McLaglen, as a Stuntman and a Production Assistant before joining the Guild in 1984. He’s been a member of the DGA for 39 years and has been nominated 3 times for the DGA Feature Directorial Team Award: Titanic which he won in 1997, Avatar in 2009 and The Fabelmans in 2022. He is one of the industry's pioneers in motion capture technology and has the distinct honor of having two of the highest grossing films (Avatar and Titanic) of all time on his resume. 
Rodney Smith1st AD Rodney Smith (Everything Everywhere All at Once)
In addition to his work on The Daniels' Everything Everywhere All at Once, Smith’s First Assistant Director credits include Alexander Payne's The Holdovers, Brett Haley’s All the Bright Places, Nash Edgerton’s Gringo, Bart Layton’s American Animals, Mike Mills' 20th Century Women and Beginners, Nicholas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon, Todd Strauss-Schulson’s The Final Girls and Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere. He also works frequently as a Commercial First AD most recently with Directors Kim Gehrig, Rupert Sanders, David Shane and Gary Freedman. Smith has been a DGA member since 1997. 
Leeann StonebreakerUPM LeeAnn Stonebreaker (Top Gun: Maverick)
Stonebreaker is a Producer and Unit Production Manager who is known for HawkeyeWerewolf by NightBumblebeeGodzillaThe AvengersThe Green HornetThe SoloistDreamgirlsTropic ThunderMemoirs of a Geisha and Top Gun: Maverick. She joined the DGA in 1993. 
Heather Wagner Wang2nd AD Heather Wagner-Wang (The Fabelmans)
After getting her days as a Set PA and applying to the DGA training program six times, Wagner-Wang was accepted into the Assistant Directors Training Program class of 2013. She has worked on projects such as The FabelmansAhsokaThe MandalorianWine CountryBreaking Bad and is currently filming the HBO series Hacks. Wagner-Wang joined the DGA in 2016. 
Meghan K WickerUPM Meghan K. Wicker (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel “How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?”)
After an eleven-year tenure as a Production Coordinator based in New York City, Wicker was thrilled to join the DGA in 2017. She has had the great fortune to work with amazingly talented filmmakers and storytellers and has spent the last several years on the DGA Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Mark Hansson2023 Frank Capra Achievement Award Recipient Mark Hansson (moderator)
Hansson’s more than 130 Assistant Director credits include work on theatrical feature films, celebrated movies for television and episodic television. His dedication to DGA service began only a few years after graduating from the Assistant Directors Training Program and joining the Guild in 1990. He would go on to serve six two-year terms on the Western AD/UPM Council as an elected member after was first elected as an Alternate in 2003. That Council service includes his election to the post of Secretary/Treasurer in 2019 as well as eight one-year terms as an alternate and has served as Founder and Chair of DGA West Coast 1st AD Committee since 2005. He has also served as a member of the Council’s Education Committee since 1998; as an appointee to the DGA Safety Committee from 2019-2021, as an originating member of the new LGBTQ+ Committee since 2021, and on six DGA Negotiations Committees. 

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 John P. Aguirre, Pam Altieri-Paterra, Nick Andrus, Alan Chu, Lisa Chu, Chris De Celle, Brian Fong, Jo Ann Lowrie, John Mattingly, Shanalyna Palmer, Nate Patterson, Mary Pham, Ellen Rosentreter, Paul Schlichting, Jared Scott Mercier, Lonnie Steinberg, Stephanie Tull-Coscina, Michele Panelli-Venetis.

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