Richard Brick Dead at 68

Richard Brick Obit

Richard Brick, a producer, Directors Guild of America official and former New York City Film Commissioner,  died Wednesday of cancer at his New York City home. He was 68.

Brick worked on three Woody Allen movies — “Celebrity,” “Deconstructing Harry” and “Sweet and Lowdown” — along with “Silkwood” and “Hangin’ with the Homeboys.”

Brick also became the first commissioner of New York City’s Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting in 1992 under Mayor David Dinkins, who appointed him to draw back major movie and TV production at a time when those productions were leaving in search of less expensive locations. He served in that post until 1994.

“Richard spent years in service to his fellow members, advocating passionately on behalf of his assistant director and unit production manager colleagues,” said DGA President Paris Barclay.  “As a former New York City film commissioner, Richard had a unique perspective about the needs of our members within the broader entertainment community, giving him valuable experience that he called upon to better protect our creative and economic rights.  Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Brick joined the DGA in 1981. He was a member of the DGA’s Eastern AD/UPM Council for more than a decade. Brick served on the DGA’s negotiating committee in 2011 and was a national board convention delegate for five election cycles.

“An outspoken advocate and a dedicated Guild member, Richard never took no for an answer when he believed something better could be done on behalf of his fellow members,” said DGA Associate National Executive Director/Eastern Executive Director Russ Hollander.  “He never shied away from a difficult question or a tough conversation if he believed it could make a difference.  He was one of a kind and we will miss him.”

Brick also worked early in his career as a sound technician and boom operator. He was location manager for “Ragtime,”  production manager for “Silkwood” and  “Little Gloria . . . Happy at Last,” and unit production manager on “Places in the Heart.”

Brick was a New York native. He graduated from Columbia University in 1971 with an MFA and served on the faculty and as chairman of the graduate film school. He also created the Columbia University Film Festival.

Survivors include his widow Sara Bershtel and his son, Noah Brick.

There will be a memorial reception Sunday from 1 pm to 4 pm at the Columbia University Faculty House.

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  1. A man who taught more than I can even begin to remember. So much of what I learned from Richard Brick blossomed in the years since I had last seen him. Although my career veered away from production and lead me to co-found a digital creative marketing agency specializing in entertainment work, the principles he taught, live with me to this day. Thank you Richard for teaching me, inviting me into your home — and hiring me for my first real entertainment job. You profoundly influence on my life.

  2. Samia Shoaib says:

    Richard taught me line producing (as we called it then) at Columbia. He was the humblest, most dedicated and kindest of men. When he joined the Mayor’s office, he hired me as his assistant where my responsibilities included relentlessly phoning the Toronto Film Commission, using various accents, to request video tapes of their “Shoot NY Streets in Toronto” campaign so that they would run out. His dedication to making NY more production friendly at a time of crisis was invaluable – as was the education he gave me by inventing mundane tasks for me to me perform in his office when he had meetings with filmmakers – so I could eavesdrop and learn as much as possible. Richard Brick was the last of a dying breed and will be much missed.

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