The Screen Actors Guild has asked producers Larry Hott and Diane Garey to begin working on a treatment for a documentary on the 65-year history of the guild.
Hott and Garey recently won the George Foster Peabody Award for “Divided Highway,” their 90-minute film about the construction of the interstate high-way system and its impact on American culture, which was broadcast on PBS.
“The history of the Screen Actors Guild, and the unique role it has played in the growth and development of the entertainment industry and the labor movement, is a story that needs to be told,” SAG president Richard Masur said.
Production of a film about SAG’s past began receiving serious discussion around the time of the union’s 60th anniversary in 1993.
Masur said SAG has made considerable efforts over the years to preserve its history. Extensive interviews were conducted with many founding members and staff for the guild’s Screen Actor magazine, and the SAG Foundation has videotaped interviews with guild leaders, members and staff for the past 10 years.
The guild’s archivist, Valerie Yaros, will work closely with the filmmakers.
“The Screen Actors Guild history has all the elements you need to make a great documentary,” Hott and Garey said in a joint statement released by the guild. “It has a history that encompasses the labor movement, the development of screen craft, the blacklist era and the rise and fall of the great Hollywood studios.”
Garey and Hott’s work has received two Academy Award nominations, six CINE Golden Eagles and five American Film Festival Blue Ribbons. On Sept. 7, PBS will broadcast their latest docu, “The ACLU — A History.”