An Evening with Director Randal Kleiser

April 17, 2018 A Special Projects Committee Event

On April 17, the DGA Special Projects Committee hosted the event, An Evening with Director Randal Kleiser. DGA members and guests gathered in the Guild’s Los Angeles Theater for a special 40th Anniversary screening of Kleiser’s timeless musical, Grease, followed by a conversation with the director about the making of the film.

After opening remarks from Special Projects Committee Chair Jeremy Kagan (SHOT) and Kleiser himself, the audience viewed a 4K restoration of the 1978 film which brought together John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John as Danny and Sandy, star-crossed lovers who fell for one another during summer vacation. After Sandy’s family moves from Australia to California, the two unwittingly end up at the same high school where their rival cliques change them both in unexpected ways.

Grease remains one of the highest-grossing and most acclaimed movie musicals of all time. The film earned four Golden Globes nominations: Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical, Best Actor and Best Actress - Comedy or Musical for Travolta and Newton-John, and Best Original Songs for Barry Gibb’s title cut “Grease” and John Farrar’s “You're the One that I Want.” Grease also garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Music, Original Song for Farrar’s song “Hopelessly Devoted to You.”

After the screening, Kleiser sat down for a conversation with Kagan and the two engaged in a discussion that covered the making of Grease, and included several special touches such as a clip of the alternate animated opening sequence of the film with a different song and a recording of Barry Gibb's demo tape of  the title song.

A DGA member since 1974, Kleiser wrote and directed the 360-degree virtual reality series Defrost, which was shown at Sundance and Cannes in 2016. Working in 70mm 3D, he directed Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, which ran for over a decade at the Disney Parks in Anaheim, Orlando, Tokyo and Paris. His other directing credits include The Boy in the Plastic Bubble; The Blue Lagoon; Summer Lovers; Flight of the Navigator; White Fang; Big Top Pee-wee; Honey, I Blew Up the Kid; North Shore and the 1996 AIDS drama It’s My Party. Kleiser has served on the DGA National Board and the DGA Western Directors Council, as well as its Special Projects Committee where he Chairs the Academic Subcommittee and Digital Day Subcommittee.

You can listen to Kleiser's Q&A by clicking the podcast episode embedded below. You can find more DGA podcast episodes here.

Pictures & Video

Event photos by Howard Wise - Print Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

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