Stanley M. Faer to Receive 2005 Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award

57th DGA Awards Schaffner Award Stanley Faer

January 20, 2005

LOS ANGELES, CA - Directors Guild of America President Michael Apted and Awards Committee Chairperson Howard Storm today announced that former DGA National Board Associate Member Stanley M. Faer will be the recipient of the 2005 Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award.

The Schaffner Achievement Award is presented to a DGA Associate Director or Stage Manager in recognition of their career achievement in the Industry and service to the Directors Guild of America.

The award will be presented to Faer at the 57th Annual DGA Awards Dinner on Saturday, January 29, 2005 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.

Below is a profile of Faer from the February issue of DGA Monthly.

2005 Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award recipient Stanley M. Faer

Stanley FaerAttention to detail and a penchant for service to others while still being a team leader are some of the qualities that are the hallmark of a great Associate Director or Stage Manager. It is those very same qualities that imbued Stanley M. Faer with the ingredients that made him both a value to his profession and to the Guild he ably served for 27 of his 34 years as an active member.

It all began in 1958, when Stanley graduated from high school and began looking for a part time job to help support his way through college in New York. Although interested in law, his life would turn in another direction when he landed a highly coveted job in the CBS mailroom, the training ground for future executives of the company. He found himself delivering mail to some of the giants of the industry like William S. Paley, Frank Stanton and Edward R. Murrow, quickly worked his way up to junior executive and was headed for a life in management when his heart drew him down another path.

"I always liked production," said Stanley. "They used to say that the best shop for learning filmed television was at Desilu Productions, but for live television it was CBS. Just by saying you worked for CBS, you could get jobs at other places. There are many directors out there who were ADs at CBS. It was a training ground for ADs and directors. In 1960 there was a director named Roger Englander, who was doing a show called Stravinsky's Noah and the Flood. I was responsible for integrating 200-300 tel-ops, a four by five opaque image that preceded slides, which were set to music. I watched him work and thought 'I'd like to be somebody like him.'"

Faer started watching more directors work, leaving his office at Grand Central Station to go into the control rooms with the directors, producers and actors. Then in 1969, he had the opportunity to finally join the DGA as an Associate Director. Stanley started out working in the program control room.

"Through that I was able to make contact with the people working on soap operas. I remember the first soap I worked on, a show called Brighter Day. The AD on it was a guy named Len Ufland. He taught me how to perform an associate director's job and when he was sick one day I substituted for him. After that I started substituting for ADs on soaps when I wasn't doing promos and editing movies. Eventually I started getting asked by certain directors and producers to work on shows for them."

From there he would go on to form valuable working relationships with many directors and producers with whom he would work again and again in a myriad of projects from CBS Holiday specials, to television shows like the Mitch Miller Specials and segments of TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes.

"I loved my work and would even go into work sick because it was my responsibility. I've seen all the changes, back from the black and white television days and when we used to edit tape with a razor blade."

Faer also worked on over 1,000 CBS sporting events broadcasts ranging from collegiate and professional football and basketball, to golf, tennis, horse racing and the Olympics. In 1980 he was awarded an Emmy for his coordination and highlight editing of NFL Football. But even that was a team effort.

"I'd be responsible for coordinating that game, wherever it was coming from, or watching the game and editing for highlight packages. I was only one of several ADs who were awarded Emmys at CBS that year."

In addition Faer had his own production company, Faerweather Productions, for which he directed commercials and industrials for such companies as Newsweek Magazine and Nabisco.

As gratifying as it was to win accolades for his professional efforts, for Stanley some of his most rewarding work has been what he has been able to accomplish in service to his peers as both a National Board Associate Members and Alternate Member; serving on several committees including the Bi-Council Multicamera Committee, New Technology Committee, Residency Committee, and DGA Honors Committee; and from his 27 years on the Eastern AD/SM/PA Council which he chaired from 2000-2003.

Faer recalls how honored he felt at being elected to that post. "At that same time Ed Sherin was the National Vice President of the Guild and he brought a lot of new life to the Guild on the East Coast. Hopefully, I brought some new life to the AD/SM/PA Council. I always enjoyed being a leader both in the Guild and on the job. I liked sitting in that AD's chair."

One of the accomplishments Faer takes great pride in was being the Chairperson of and producing the 50th Annual DGA Awards in New York City.

"That was the last time we had simultaneous awards in Los Angeles and New York and it was completely sold out. It was a great show".

But the place where Stanley's professional aims and personal loves truly came together was his time on the DGA Contract Negotiations committees, which he has been a part of since his earliest years as a member.

Stanley Faer with Esperanza Martinez"I was asked to participate in some pre-negotiation meetings. I always loved law and I wasn't afraid of challenging my bosses if I felt I was right. I was asked to go to these meetings because I read a lot and I used to know the contracts inside out. Sometimes the staff used to call me and ask, 'where would such and such be in the contracts?' and I used to know. I always loved reading the fine print and that's why I read the contracts. I wanted to know what I was entitled to and that's how I got involved in negotiations. I think I did every negotiation team except for one from the early 1970s on."

Faer believes the same qualities that made him good at the negotiations table also translated into the skills his day-to-day job required.

"I was a detail person but I also knew how to delegate jobs and not look over their shoulder. I also would never embarrass a crewmember. If someone screwed up, I might ask what happened, but I would never turn around and scream at that person. But I would stand my ground with my bosses especially where DGA rules and regulations were in effect. I would say 'We have a contract and we both have to abide by it.'"

Stanley also recalls that the Chair of the DGA Negotiation Committee in his first experience was Franklin Schaffner himself.

"Schaffner came up from television and helped the television ADs and helped a lot them, training a lot of new people on his shows. So in the early '90s when both the East and West councils were discussing what to name the award, his name was on the top of the list."

That's why he's especially pleased to be the recipient of this year's Schaffner Award.

"I'm very flattered because I know it comes from the council members on both coasts – and my peers whom I've worked with, served with, and served for. So I'm quite honored that they felt I was deserved this award. I'm very thankful to them."

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