After more than three decades working in film and television, producer Gale Anne Hurd says the basic tenet of her success has always been about preparing for every possible outcome on a project.
“Then you’re not stuck having to solve things when there’s truly no time to get it wrong,” says Hurd, who will receive the 2015 David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures at the Jan. 24 Producers Guild of America Awards ceremony.
“Going back to (1984’s) ‘The Terminator,’ I would have dreams about possible production problems, so I would have a list of plan B, plan C, plan D. Because everything that can go wrong will go wrong.”
Hurd started in the business as Roger Corman’s executive assistant at New World Pictures, eventually working her way up to head of marketing.“The Terminator,” which she also co-wrote, was the turning point, launching Hurd’s career as a producer. She went on to work on a host of blockbuster films, most notably 1986’s “Aliens,” 1989’s “The Abyss,” 1998’s “Armageddon” and 2008’s “The Incredible Hulk.”
Projects in development include “The Shipkiller,” “Gaiking,” “Hellfest” and “Sebastian X.” Hurd also happens to be the production force behind AMC’s hit drama “The Walking Dead.” Although the zombie series represents her first foray into TV, it’s by no means her last. Her Valhalla Pictures recently announced a 13-episode series for Syfy called “Hunters,” She’ll also serve as exec producer on AMC’s super-secret “Walking Dead” companion series.
When she’s not busy with TV and film, Hurd serves as an officer with the Producers Guild and sits on the Sci-Tech Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. While “humbled” by the Selznick Award, Hurd is also eager to recognize the talent around her. “What’s important is to continue to be able to celebrate the fact the producing is all about teamwork.”