Honors and Hires: Steven Spielberg Feted by the Foundation for the National Archives

Also this week, news from companies including Modern VideoFilm, FilmLight and Key Code Media.
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Foundation for the National Archives
Steven Spielberg and Ken Burns

This column in THR’s Behind the Screen blog — which runs on Fridays — covers news from the crafts and technology community. The column will not appear next Friday due to the Thanksgiving holiday and will resume Dec. 6.


The Foundation for the National Archives presented its Records of Achievement Award to Steven Spielberg this week at a black-tie gala at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. The event featured an awards program and conversation between Spielberg and the gala chair, filmmaker Ken Burns, on the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. The Records of Achievement Award is "a tribute to an individual whose work has cultivated a broader national awareness of the history and identity of the United States through the use of original records, including those preserved by the National Archives." Spielberg was recognized for his contributions as director of Lincoln and other historical films including Saving Private Ryan, Amistad, The Color Purple and Schindler’s List. He also was honored for his work in establishing what has become the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, which has created the world’s largest video archive on a single topic: life histories of survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides. The award itself includes two facsimiles of records from the National Archives often referred to as “the two 13th Amendments.” The first is a little-known resolution, passed in 1861 but never ratified, that would have enshrined the institution of slavery in the U.S. Constitution. The second, signed by President Abraham Lincoln just four years later, in 1865, abolished slavery. Spielberg and his research team consulted these and other National Archives records to inform their work on Lincoln.

Company news:

Muse VFX, a Hollywood-based visual effects and design group, recently opened and is led by founder, creative director and senior VFX supervisor John Gross. He is a former exec of Eden FX at Point.360. Muse VFX is a division of New Antics.

Modern VideoFilm has partnered with Industrial Color to offer on-set and in-house dailies services, with a focus on the New York area. The two companies recently worked together to provide dailies on Mike Tyson’s Undisputed Truth, directed by Spike Lee and produced by HBO Films.

FilmLight has appointed Key Code Media to handle sales and support of FilmLight’s Baselight Editions range on the West Coast and in the central region.

California photographer Alex Prager and Look Original (sister company to VFX house Look Effects) produced A Face in the Crowd, a short that is part of a new exhibit, Alex Prager: A Face in the Crowd, at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., from Nov. 23 to March 9. The exhibit features large-scale photographs of people assembled in congested public spaces.

Email: Carolyn.Giardina@THR.com
Twitter: @CGinLA