Producer Mark Gordon was honored Wednesday at the Fulfillment Fund’s Stars Gala at the Beverly Hilton. Gordon was roasted by emcee Jason Isaacs who praised his friend’s ability to run a production company, produce so many TV shows and films, devote time to his wife and three daughters, preside over the Producers Guild, start a school “and still have a nap every afternoon.”
“It’s true and it defies the laws of physics as I understand them,” Isaacs said.
The Fulfillment Fund provides college counseling, classroom instruction, mentoring and other opportunities to encourage students in educationally and economically under-resourced communities to attend college. Isaacs and an auctioneer led a spirited fundraiser, with Gordon matching the first $50,000 in donations. Roland Emmerich was first to pledge $25,000. More than $1.4 million was raised during the evening.
“E is for everyone here tonight,” he said, while the Powerpoint presentation showed a hilarious mashup of Minions, Tootsie, a tiger, the bus from “Speed” and more all at the Beverly Hilton valet.
Gordon went on to acknowledge his wife Sally and daughters Emma, Kate and Julia; the Mark Gordon Co.; his parents; Hawk Koch, Emmerich, Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Fund’s Dr. Gary Gitnick and others.
And K is for the kids, of course. “There’s nothing more important than education, and thanks to this organization, 81 percent of Fulfillment Fund students become the first in their family to attend college,” said Gordon.
While he was in film school in New York, Gordon worked for a commercial director and would occasionally babysit his children. One of those children grew up to become a teacher for Teach for America and he learned more about that group, then became a board member in Los Angeles. He met Kriste Dragon, and started Citizens of the World Charter Schools, which now has three schools in the Los Angeles area and three in New York.
In January, eOne acquired a 51 percent stake in the Mark Gordon Co., setting up an indie studio for film and television projects. “They’re wonderful partners. We’re very busy!” Gordon told Variety. Among the recent new projects are ABC’s “Quantico,” which was picked up for a full season.
“I’m very proud of the show. We’re very lucky to have (Priyanka Chopra).”
Gordon addressed another project, Universal’s “Steve Jobs” starring Michael Fassbender, which weathered some controversy when Apple CEO Tim Cook and Jobs’ family took issue with the subject’s portrayal.
“I didn’t know him so I can’t say what is an honest or otherwise portrayal,” Gordon said. “But I think the movie gives him great humanity and in spite of the fact that he was a very tough guy, he also had a heart. Because we see his vulnerability and it plays throughout, it humanizes him. I don’t know if any of his family have seen the movie, but I hope that if they do, they find him to be as special as he was to them.”
(Pictured: Universal’s Jeff Shell and Mark Gordon at the Fulfillment Fund’s Stars Gala)