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DGA Honors: Trio of New Yorkers Boost the Film Industry

THOMAS J. O’DONNELL
The president of Theatrical Teamsters Local 817 of the Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters is being honored for his work in New York. Starting as a driver on 1974’s “Stepford Wives,” O’Donnell has worked on a number of productions.

He was upped to the position of president in March 2014 and is now the rep coordinating bargaining and safety standards on film sets across the nation. Local 817 reps all branches of showbiz from drivers to casting directors and managers.

“Tom has been a strong partner in growing the Motion Picture Division from coast to coast,” said Teamsters president Jim Hoffa.

See More: DGA Honors: Ron Howard Talks About the Trio of Films That Got Him Guild Membership

“No one understands the industry better than Tom. He’s a tremendous leader who will continue to help Teamster locals navigate the ever-changing industry landscape.”

THELMA SCHOONMAKER

That the Oscar-winning editor is receiving kudos from the DGA is hardly a surprise. As she herself told Variety in 2007, “I contribute a lot to the film … but if you don’t have good material, you cannot make a great movie.” She is mostly known for her work with Martin Scorsese, whom she met while they were students at NYU.

Beginning with his “Who’s That Knocking on My Door” to “Raging Bull” and now “Silence,” Scorsese and Schoonmaker have worked together on more than two dozen projects.

“Marty says that I bring humanity to the editing of the acting. What he means is that maybe I will sense some vulnerability in an actor’s performance that will help the film.”

Like Scorsese, Schoonmaker has an interest in preserving classic films. Recently she has worked on restoring the pictures of her late husband, Michael Powell, including such films as “The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp,” “Black Narcissus” and “The Red Shoes.”

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-N.Y.)
Showbiz circles were surprised to discover Schumer’s entertainment connection when he and cousin Amy joined forces in support of gun control following a gunman’s July theater shooting rampage in Louisiana during a screening of “Trainwreck.” Since then another gunman shot students at a community college in Oregon, keeping the issue of gun violence on the front burner.

Schumer put forward a three-pronged plan compelling states to share information in a national background check system. He also wants states to involuntarily commit mentally ill patients. Finally Schumer suggests Congress fund a program to treat the mentally ill as well as substance-abuse patients. “There are so many killings, so many needless killings, that every day the movement grows,” he said.

 

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