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Film News Roundup: Directors Guild Selects Special Awards Recipients

In today’s film news roundup, the DGA honors a pair of members for contributions to the guild, romantic comedy “Wild Honey” gets a release and VFX house Proof expands.

DGA HONORS

Unit production manager Kathleen McGill and associate director Mimi (Marian) Deaton have been selected as the recipients of the Directors Guild of America special awards for contributions to the guild.

The duo will be honored at the 71st Annual DGA Awards on Feb. 2 at the Hollywood & Highland Center’s Ray Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood. McGill will receive the Frank Capra Achievement Award and Deaton will receive the Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award.

McGill worked as a UPM on Brian DePalma’s “Snake Eyes,” Ron Howard’s “The Da Vinci Code,” “Frost/Nixon” and “A Beautiful Mind,” Bryan Singer’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and “X-Men: Apocalypse” and is currently at work on Simon Kinberg’s “X-Men: Dark Phoenix.” McGill is a DGA National Board member and has served eight consecutive terms. She also served on the DGA Negotiations Committee for the 2011, 2014 and 2017 negotiations cycles.

Deaton has served on the Western AD/SM/PA Council for 21 years. Her experience in the multi-camera genre includes 119 episodes of “Martin,” 92 episodes of “Facts of Life” and 80 episodes of “Reba.” She also served on DGA Negotiating Committee during the 2002, 2005, 2008, 2014 and 2017 negotiations cycles.

ACQUISITION

Freestyle Digital Media, the digital film distribution division of Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios, has acquired North American rights to the romantic comedy “Wild Honey” for a Jan. 22 digital release.

The story centers on a lonely phone sex operator in Chicago, who falls for one of her callers — who jokes about his glamorous life as a Hollywood sci-fi screenwriter — and flies out to Los Angeles to find him, starting by dropping in on her unsuspecting sister.

“Wild Honey” is written and directed by Francis Stokes with cast including Rusty Schwimmer (“Gabby Applebaum”), Timothy Omundson, Todd Stashwick, Stephnie Weir and Stephanie Jane Markham. Rebekah Sturm is the producer.

PROOF EXPANDS

Proof Inc., a global VFX house specializing pre- and post-visualization, is expanding with a new location in Atlanta, Ga.

Proof founder Ron Frankel has hired longtime VFX industry veteran Art David as part of the company’s commitment to building from within the community.

“Seven years ago, we expanded to London and built a local operation, with local talent to work on the amazing projects that were headed to the UK,” Frankel said. “Now we’re looking to do the same in Atlanta. We’ll use Proof’s infrastructure and systems, forged from over sixteen years of experience working in the entertainment industry, to build and support an Atlanta operation, staffed with amazing local talent.

David’s production career spans work on “Ray Donovan,” “Contact,” and “The Matrix” and having led the team creating projected screen content for the “The Mummy Ride” at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Proof’s recent projects include contributions to “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” “Venom,” “The Predator,” “A Wrinkle in Time,” and “Wonder Woman.”

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