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DGA honors three

Award recipients have excelled behind the scenes

Lifetime Achievement Award in News Direction

All directors can get a little nervous when an audience is watching a finished product for the first time. For Roger Goodman, years of experience haven’t erased all the jitters.

“When I was directing last year’s Academy Awards, right before the show started, someone asked if I was nervous,” he says. “I said, ‘No, not really.’ Then they reminded me 89 million people from around the world would be watching it, and that’s when the nerves started to sink in a little.”

For the past several decades, Goodman has helmed almost everything one can think of for live television, from kudocasts like last year’s Academy Awards to one of the longest newscasts in media history in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. He appreciates that his work is receiving such an honor from the DGA.

“I love working in live television and have always loved the constant excitement it brings while working in it,” Goodman says.

— Justin Kroll

Frank Capra Achievement Award

For Cleve Landsberg, the 25th recipient of DGA’s Capra Award, staying at the top of his game is all about maintaining an ongoing education within the industry.

Busying himself with seminars — whether they’re for mentoring young up-and-comers or involving advancements for the latest iPhone application — Landsberg wants to be in the thick of things, contributing and learning.

“The day you stop learning is the day you die,” says Landsberg. “Some people turn off their minds at a certain age. They’re physically alive, but if they’re not continuing to learn about things, then essentially their minds are resting on past knowledge, as opposed to continuing to assimilate and get better.

“And so some people hit the age of 40, and they think ‘I’ve peaked,’ and they view it as downhill from there, and they coast to their retirement. As far as I’m concerned, I’m about getting better everyday until somebody puts shackles on me.”

The legacy production manager — Landsberg’s father was Klaus Landsberg, a founder of KTLA-TV — is currently working on ABC’s “FlashForward.”

— Lisa Engelbrektson

Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award

Maria Jimenez Henley’s 23 years as a member of the DGA have been “a fabulous education,” she says. That education started long after being cast as Shark dancer Teresita in the 1961 film “West Side Story” and the 25 years she spent as a dancer and choreographer on more than 200 television variety shows, films and stage productions.

It was 1987, four years after the mother of two unexpectedly lost her husband to a heart attack, when Henley joined the DGA as a stage manager on “Boys Will Be Boys.”

Since then, Henley has served as a stage manager and assistant director on shows including “Saved by the Bell,” “Growing Pains” and “Wings,” while also building “a second career” at the guild, where she is currently in her sixth term on the AD/SM/PA West Council. She previously served three terms as co-chair of the DGA Latino Committee.

“Being a member has taught that I’m stronger than even I knew I was,” Henley says. “It has not only given me security, but it also schooled me and shown me what my talents really are and can be.”

— Addie Morfoot

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