Mark Hansson: 2023 Frank Capra Achievement Award

Mark Hansson

December 29, 2022

1st AD Mark Hansson will become the 37th recipient of the Frank Capra Achievement Award, which will be presented at the DGA Awards ceremony on February 18, 2023. The Capra Award is given to an Assistant Director or Unit Production Manager in recognition of their career and service to the industry and the DGA.

 A DGA member since 1990, Hansson’s more than 130 Assistant Director credits include work on theatrical feature films such as Christopher Ashley’s Come from Away, Kenny Ortega’s High School Musical 3: Senior Year and Bill Condon’s Dreamgirls; and celebrated movies for television such as Bruce Beresford’s And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself. His television AD work has been recognized on productions that have received seven DGA Award nominations — Six Feet Under, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Tiger Cruise and American Mall — as well as Emmy and other awards-nominated shows such as Masters of Sex, Glee, Happy Endings, The Boys, Lucifer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and In the Heat of the Night.

As prolific as his professional career has been, so has been Hansson’s dedication to DGA service which began only a few years after graduating from the Assistant Directors Training Program and joining the Guild. 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. As a member of the Council, he was able to truly make a difference via his work on committees including serving as Founder and Chair of DGA West Coast 1st AD Committee since 2005, acting as member of the Council’s Education Committee, including its precursors of the Mentor Committee and Information 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 where he helped revise the new 2017 Low Budget Agreement for member clarity and also worked as a member of the Proposals Committee to bring attention to other issues that needed to be addressed.

Born and raised in Manhattan where his family prioritized learning, Hansson is grateful to his alma maters — United Nations School, Dartmouth College, UCLA Graduate Film School and the DGA Training Program — for developing his continued love of education. By extension, it is his work with the education of his fellow members that brings him the most satisfaction. Whether serving as a moderator on Council-hosted events such as 14 annual DGA 1st AD Breakfasts where he’s led panel topics on “1st AD Leadership Skills,” and “Safety on Set,” volunteering at DGA Digital Day as a member of the VFX/Digital Technology Committee, or teaching new DGA Trainee classes for 14 years on “Creating Call Sheets,” to him, it is all part of his greater mission. “My top priority in DGA service, since becoming involved in 2003, is to bring education to our members, by our members,” said Hansson. “We have such valuable resources within our own guild spanning decades, every form of production and in all countries of the world. Whether we are negotiating new media contract residuals, demonstrating the latest technical equipment, or helping a member with a problem on set, our Guild membership is ready to meet every challenge, big and small.”

Asked how he feels about being recognized by his fellow members for his work on their behalf, Hansson replied, “When DGA President Lesli Linka Glatter called with the news of the award, first it was surprising, then daunting and humbling to think about joining a group of members recognized for service to the Guild and career achievement. So, I’d like to express my deep gratitude every day to the DGA for world class colleagues, lifelong friendships, absorbing work and the protected benefits we all share.”

Past recipients of the Frank Capra Achievement Award:
  • Joseph P. Reidy (2022)
  • Brian E. Frankish (2021)
  • Duncan Henderson (2020)
  • Kathleen McGill (2019)
  • Dwight Williams (2018)
  • Marie Cantin (2017)
  • Mary Rae Thewlis (2016)
  • Phillip Goldfarb (2015)
  • Lee Blaine (2014)
  • Susan Zwerman (2013)
  • Katy E. Garretson (2012)
  • Cleve Landsberg (2010)
  • Kim Kurumada (2009)
  • Liz Ryan (2008)
  • Jerry H. Ziesmer (2006)
  • Herb Adelman (2005)
  • Stephen Glanzrock (2004)
  • Yudi Bennett (2003)
  • Burt Bluestein (2002)
  • Cheryl R. Downey (2000)
  • Tom Joyner (1999)
  • Bob Jeffords (1998)
  • Peter A. Runfolo (1994)
  • Willard H. Sheldon (1993)
  • Howard W. Koch (1991)
  • Stanley Ackerman (1990)
  • Alex Hapsas (1988)
  • Henry E. “Bud” Brill (1987)
  • Jane Schimel (1985)
  • Abby Singer (1985)
  • William Beaudine Jr. (1983)
  • William C. Gerrity (1983)
  • Wallace Worsley (1982)
  • David Golden (1982)
  • Francisco “Chico” Day (1981)
  • Emmett Emerson (1980)