18th Meet the Teams

18th Annual Meet the AD/UPMs of the DGA Award-Nominated Projects

March 27, 2021 A Western AD/UPM Council Education Committee Event

The Assistant Directors and Unit Production Managers of the projects nominated for the 73rd Annual DGA Awards were celebrated during the Western AD/UPM Council’s 18th Annual Meet the AD/UPMs of the DGA Award-Nominated Projects event. Hosted by the Council’s Education Committee on March 27, 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 2021 Frank Capra Award Recipient Brian E. Frankish, who served as the moderator of the event.

Following a viewing of clips from the nominated projects, Frankish introduced the panelists: UPM Stuart M. Besser and 1st AD Joseph P. Reidy, from Director Aaron Sorkin’s Theatrical Feature Film Award-nominated production, The Trial of the Chicago 7; 1st AD Richard Goodwin and 2nd AD Samantha McGrady, from Director David Fincher’s Theatrical Feature Film Award-nominated production, Mank; UPM James Price from Director Radha Blank’s First-Time Feature Film Award-nominated production, The Forty-Year-Old Version; UPM Mary Kane and 2nd AD Stephanie Tull Coscina, from Director Matt Shakman’s Movies for Television & Limited Series Award-nominated production, WandaVision; 1st AD Aldric La’auli Porter from Director Scott Frank’s Movies for Television & Limited Series Award-nominated production, The Queen's Gambit; 2nd AD Candice Lee from Director Erin O’Malley’s Comedy Series Award-nominated Curb Your Enthusiasm episode, "The Surprise Party" and Director Jeff Schaffer’s nominated Curb Your Enthusiasm episode, "The Spite Store"; 1st AD Shawn Pipkin-West and 2nd AD Courtney Franklin from Director Thomas Schlamme’s Variety/Talk/News/Sports-Specials Award-nominated production, A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote; and 1st AD John Lowe from Director Steve Ayson’s Commercial Award-nominated Nike spot, The Great Chase.

Exploring what goes into the best storytelling techniques, Frankish and the panelists covered subjects that included: what special skills they brought to their productions, working with their Directors on getting desired shots, which moments stood out while working on the set, and how being a DGA member has affected their careers.

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 Arianne Apicelli 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 evening.


About the Panelists:
UPM Stuart M. BesserUPM Stuart M. Besser
In addition to his work on Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7, Besser’s UPM credits also include Sorkin’s Molly’s Game, Peter Berg’s Mile 22, James Mangold’s 3:10 to Yuma, Roger Kumble’s The Sweetest Thing, Scott Waugh's Need for Speed, Walter Hill’s Bullet to the Head, and Wes Craven’s CursedScreamVampire in Brooklyn and People Under the Stairs. Besser has been a DGA member since 1991. 
 
2nd AD Courtney Franklin2nd AD Courtney Franklin
In addition to her work on Thomas Schlamme’s A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote, Franklin’s credits include several seasons of InsecureHow to Get Away with Murder and Major Crimes; the pilots of For the PeopleShark and Ugly Betty; and feature films such as Tim Story’s Barbershop and Adam Shankman's Bringing Down the House. A graduate of the DGA Assistant Director Training Program who joined the Guild in 2002, Franklin currently serves as an Associate Member of the DGA National Board and as the Second Vice Chair of the Western AD/UPM Council. She also served two terms as a co-chair of the DGA African American Steering Committee. 
 
1st AD Richard Goodwin1st AD Richard Goodwin
In addition to his work on David Fincher’s Mank, Goodwin’s AD credits include features such as Martin Campbell’s The Foreigner, Brad Peyton’s Rampage, James Bobin’s Alice Through the Looking Glass, Chris Weitz’ The Golden Compass and Phyllida Lloyd’s Mamma Mia; as well as multiple episodes of Game of Thrones. Goodwin has been a DGA member since 2007. 
 
UPM Mary KaneUPM Mary Kane
In addition to her work on Matt Shakman’s WandaVision, Kane’s UPM credits include feature film such as Dean Parisot’s Fun with Dick and Jane, Martha Coolidge’s Rambling Rose and Christopher Guest’s Almost Heroes; Jay Roach’s DGA Award-winning movie for television Game Change; as well as episodes of Chicago MedThe CatchAgent CarterGreek and the pilot for The Fix. Kane has been a DGA member since 1985. 
 
2nd AD Candice Lee2nd AD Candice Lee
In addition to her work on Erin O’Malley’s Curb Your Enthusiasm episode "The Surprise Party" and Jeff Schaffer’s Curb Your Enthusiasm episode "The Spite Store", Lee’s credits include episodes of New GirlRoom 104 and #blackAF. She has been working on Curb Your Enthusiasm since its Season 9 return in 2017 and currently serves as Assistant UPM as they shoot Season 11 in Los Angeles. Lee has been a DGA member since 2013. 
 
1st AD John Lowe1st AD John Lowe
In addition to his work on Steve Ayson’s Nike commercial The Great Chase, Lowe has been working as a First Assistant Director for over 25 years, mainly on commercials. His other AD credits include Ben Stiller’s feature Zoolander 2 and Antoine Fuqua’s documentary Lightning in a Bottle. Lowe has been a DGA member since 1998. 
 
2nd AD Samantha McGrady2nd AD Samantha McGrady
In addition to her work on David Fincher’s Mank, McGrady’s AD credits include James Bobin's Dora and the Lost City of Gold, Paul Greengrass' Jason Bourne, Alex Proyas' Gods of Egypt, Gary Shore's Dracula Untold, Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby; and George Miller's 2015 DGA Award-nominated feature Mad Max: Fury Road. McGrady has been a DGA member since 2015. 
 
1st AD Shawn Pipkin-West1st AD Shawn Pipkin-West
In addition to her work on Thomas Schlamme’s A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote, Pipkin-West’s credits include features such as Bill Condon’s Dreamgirls, Peter Segal’s The Longest Yard and Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Beyond the Lights; episodes of Big ShotGrey’s AnatomyThe CatchFor the PeopleShots FiredCommunityFriday Night LightsRaising Dion and Sorry for Your Loss; and Mick Jackson’s DGA Award-winning movie for television, Temple Grandin. A graduate of the DGA Assistant Director Training Program who joined the Guild in 2004, Pipkin-West serves as a DGA National Board Alternate and has been on the AD/UPM Council West as a member and/or alternate from 2013 to present. 
 
1st AD Aldric Laauli Porter1st AD Aldric La’auli Porter
In addition to his work on Scott Frank’s The Queen's Gambit, Porter’s credits also includes feature films such Alan Parker’s Mississippi Burning, James Cameron’s True Lies, Gina Prince-Bythewood’s The Secret Life of Bees, Ridley Scott’s Black Rain, Gary Ross’ The Hunger Games and Ron Howard’s DGA Award-winning features Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind. He also worked with Frank on his DGA Award-nominated movie for television, Godless. Porter has been a DGA member since 1984. 
 
UPM James PriceUPM James Price
In addition to his work on Radha Blank’s The Forty-Year-Old Version, Price’s UPM credits also include Jack Stallings' Abandoned Heights, Damian Harris's The Wilde Wedding, Dorothy Lyman's The Northern Kingdom, Brian Scott Lederman's Mo, Alan Hruska's The Warrior Class and Jim Simpson The Guys. He also has experience as a producer on features including Jon Avnet’s Three Christsand Joshua Zeman's The Best Man for the Job, and as a VFX Production Supervisor on Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge, Scott Derrickson’s Dr. Strange and Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center. Price has been a DGA member since 2002. 
 
1st AD Joseph P. Reidy1st AD Joseph P. Reidy
In addition to his work on Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7, Reidy’s credits include DGA Award-winning features such as Oliver Stone’s Born on the Fourth of July and Martin Scorsese’s The Departed. Additionally, he worked on other DGA Award-nominated features including Scorsese’s GoodfellasGangs of New YorkThe Aviator and The Age of Innocence; Stone’s JFK; Sydney Pollack’s Tootsie; Robert Redford’s Quiz Show and Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan. A graduate of the DGA Assistant Director Training Program, Reidy has been a member of the Directors Guild since 1979 and serves as the First Vice Chair of the Eastern AD/UPM Council, as the Co-Chair of the Eastern First Assistant Director Committee and as a member of the DGA Return to Work Committee. 
 
2nd AD Stephanie Tull Coscina2nd AD Stephanie Tull Coscina
In addition to her work on Matt Shakman’s WandaVision, Coscina’s credit’s includes films such as Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario, the Coen Brothers’ Hail, Caesar!, Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book, Charlie Bean’s Lady and the Tramp, Frank Coraci Blended and John Lee Hancock’s The Little Things; and episodes of WestworldThe OAThe OrvilleBoschRoadies and The Kominsky Method. Coscina has been a DGA member since 2012. 
 
UPM Brian E. FrankishUPM Brian E. Frankish (moderator)
Since breaking into the industry as a set PA on productions such as Woody Allen’s Play it Again Sam, Frankish has had a prolific career as a UPM including Phil Alden Robinson’s DGA and Academy Award-nominated feature, Field of Dreams; as well as John Guillermin’s King Kong, John Milius’ Flight of the Intruder, Jon Avnet’s Righteous Kill, Rob Minkoff’s Stuart Little, Edward James Olmos’ American Me, and three films with Irwin Winkler: The NetHome of the Brave, and Life as a House. He also worked as a 1st AD on productions including Nick Castle’s The Last Starfighter, Douglas Trumbull’s Brainstorm and Jeremy Kagan’s Roswell.  A DGA member for 45 years, Frankish first joined the Guild in 1975 and became an active participant in the Western AD/UPM Council in 1999 as part of the Council’s Visual Effects Committee. Since then, he has served two terms as an alternate on the Council. His Guild service includes Co-Chair of the Visual Effects & Digital Technology Committee since 2000, as a member of the UPM Committee since 2005, the Education Committee since 2015, the Information Committee from 2008 to 2014 and the Big Picture On-line Sub-Committee in 2020/2021. He has also served on the Special Projects Committee’s Digital Day Subcommittee since 2011. Frankish is the 2021 Frank Capra Award Recipient. 


Video from this event coming soon to the gallery below.

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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