Directors Close Up 3


April 8, 2021

Since 1992, the DGA has presented an annual symposium with Directors nominated for its prestigious Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film Award. The event quickly became one of the Guild’s most popular offerings and since its inception, DGA Special Projects Committee Chair Jeremy Kagan has served as the moderator. Realizing the wealth of information about the film process disseminated in these in-depth conversations with some of the finest filmmakers of our era, in 2006 Kagan created the first compilation of material from these panel discussions and Directors Close Up was born.

Years after its initial publication, Directors Close Up has undergone updates and the third edition is now available for purchase. Divided into four parts: pre-production, production, post-production, and a section where Directors reflect on “The Worst and the Best” moments of making their award-nominated film, Directors Close Up 3 features anecdotes from three dozen prominent Directors. There is also an entire section of additional materials such as storyboard sequences, script pages with notes, shot lists, production art, behind-the-scenes photos, personal sketches, and even notes written on Post-its.

“The painter Henri Matisse said, ‘Creativity takes courage,’ and what’s clear is that all of these artists are innovative and adventurous, and there is much to learn from their experiences,” said Kagan. “You can approach this book in several ways. You can read it from the beginning; or delve into a particular subject or Director. And the book is designed to be revisited.”

Directors Close Up 3 is available at the DGA online store at

Directors Close Up 3 features information from conversations with Directors during the Meet the Nominees: Theatrical Feature Film Symposiums from 2013-2020


  • Ben Affleck – Argo
  • Kathryn Bigelow – Zero Dark Thirty
  • Tom Hooper – Les Miserables
  • Ang Lee – Life of Pi
  • Steven Spielberg – Lincoln


  • Paul Greengrass – Captain Phillips
  • Steve McQueen – 12 Years A Slave
  • David O. Russell – American Hustle
  • Martin Scorsese* – The Wolf of Wall Street


  • Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Clint Eastwood – American Sniper
  • Alejandro G. Iñárritu* – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Richard Linklater – Boyhood
  • Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game


  • Alejandro González Iñárritu* – The Revenant
  • Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
  • Adam McKay* – The Big Short
  • George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Ridley Scott – The Martian


  • Damien Chazelle – La La Land
  • Garth Davis – Lion
  • Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
  • Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea
  • Denis Villeneuve – Arrival


  • Guillermo Del Toro – The Shape of Water
  • Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird
  • Martin McDonagh – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk
  • Jordan Peele – Get Out


  • Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born
  • Alfonso Cuarón – Roma
  • Peter Farrelly – Green Book
  • Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman
  • Adam McKay* – Vice


  • Bong Joon Ho – Parasite
  • Sam Mendes – 1917
  • Martin Scorsese* – The Irishman
  • Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
  • Taika Waititi – Jojo Rabbit

* Indicates that Director has participated in multiple Meet the Nominees: Theatrical Feature Film Symposiums from 2013-2020.