1st assistant director
Recent Scores: Otero has served as 1st AD on three Christopher Nolan films — “Dark Knight,” “Inception” and the upcoming “The Dark Knight Rises.” No small feat, considering Nolan’s usual M.O. is to work with a 1st AD just once. “Most assistant directors are really assistant producers, but my strong suit is bringing a keen story sense,” says Otero. “(Directors like) Ed Zwick or Chris Nolan welcome someone who thinks on those terms and it doesn’t make them feel quite so alone, dealing with the narrative responsibility.”
Coming Up: After a grueling shoot in the U.K., Otero is now finishing up “The Dark Knight Rises” stateside. “It’s as good as this job gets,” he says, of pulling off the near impossible. “The bigger the challenge, the better.”
1st assistant director
Recent Scores: Gormley was happy working as director J.J. Abrams’ right-hand man on the mega-budget films “Star Trek” and “Mission: Impossible III,” but he’s even prouder of what he and his collaborators were able to pull off for a relatively paltry $50 million on “Super 8.” “It looks like a much bigger film,” he says. “To me, that was the joy of it.”
Coming Up: The Scottish native has returned to epics with the upcoming “Mission Impossible — Ghost Protocol” and “John Carter of Mars,” the latter of which had him grappling with challenging Utah locations. “We shot on Lake Powell, which is 160 miles long, so you drive the trucks onto barges, bring the crew on dozens of speedboats, and get the cameras, cranes and other equipment onto the cliffsides to shoot,” he explains. “By 8 a.m., you’re exhausted.”
Recent Scores: Bannerman designed and managed the overall production for both parts of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn.” He also directed the aerial unit for the films. “The task was to make the aerial shots seamless with the tone of the ground footage,” he says. “My passion for helicopters, experience in physical logistics and understanding of the creative needs makes this task instinctive and natural.”
Coming Up: Having just completed work on “Breaking Dawn, Part 2,” which debuts in November, 2012, Bannerman says he has yet to choose his next project. “I want to continue working with dynamic people who want to challenge the boundaries and make exceptional films,” he says.