Legendary Screenwriter, Director, & Producer Walter Hill Wins the Laurel Award at the 2024 WRITERS GUILD AWARDS!

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Last night the legendary Screenwriter and Producer Walter Hill won the Laurel Award at the 2024 WRITERS GUILD AWARDS, and in the photo below he poses with our News Reporter Tressa Smiley:  The 84 year old- Long Beach, California native Walter Hill is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer known for his action films and revival of the Western genre. He has directed such films as The Driver: starring Ryan O’Neal as a laconic getaway driver for hire and Bruce Dern as a driven cop pursuing him.

Walter had many other blockbuster hit movies like: The WarriorsSouthern Comfort48 Hrs. and its sequel Another 48 Hrs. both starring Eddie Murphy, Streets of Fire and Red Heat, and wrote the screenplay for the crime drama The Getaway starring Steve McQueen. He wrote a pair of Paul Newman films, The Mackintosh Man and The Drowning Pool.

Walter’s 1975 breakthrough film, Hard Times, made on location in New Orleans for just $2.7 million in 38 days. James Coburn played a fast-talking promoter of illegal street fights in 1930s New Orleans and Charles Bronson played the boxer protagonist.

His 1996 effort Last Man Standing with Bruce Willis, a Prohibition-era Western update of Yojimbo (and thus reminiscent of that film’s inspiration, Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest, and its western incarnation, A Fistful of Dollars) saw him return to his earlier style to some extent: a gruff antihero and a heavy focus on stylized action.

He has also directed several episodes of television series such as Tales from the Crypt and Deadwood and produced the Alien films.  Hill said in an interview that “every film I’ve done has been a Western”, and elaborated in another that “the Western is ultimately a stripped down moral universe that is, whatever the dramatic problems are, beyond the normal avenues of social control and social alleviation of the problem, and I like to do that even within contemporary stories”

The Writers Guild Awards honor outstanding writing in film, television, new media, news (broadcast and digital), radio/audio, and promotional categories. The 2024 Writers Guild Awards (76th Annual) were held on Sunday, April 14, 2024 at concurrent ceremonies at New York’s Edison Ballroom and Los Angeles’ Hollywood Palladium. 

WGAW’s 2024 Writers Guild Awards ceremony was hosted by comedian-writer-producer Niecy Nash-Betts (Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, When They See Us):

Presenters included: actor Diedrich Bader (Weird: The Al Yankovic StoryVeep), comedian Bill Burr (Old DadsF is for Family), actor Drew Carey (The Drew Carey Show), Hollywood Teamsters Local 399 Secretary-Treasurer Lindsay Dougherty, late-night host Jimmy Fallon, creator Nathan Fielder (The CurseThe Rehearsal), writer and actor Brett Gelman (Stranger ThingsLemon), Primetime Emmy-winner Tony Hale (VeepArrested Development), Primetime Emmy-nominated comedian Wendi McLendon-Covey (The GoldbergsReno 911)-nominated comedian Tig Notaro (One MississippiTig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted), Grammy-winning comedian Patton Oswalt (The GoldbergsVeep), actor-writer-comedian Randall Park (Fresh Off the BoatVeep), writer-actor Maria Sten (ReacherBig Sky), and writer-actor-comedian Gina Yashere (Bob Loves Abishola). Below photo of Tressa and Actress Wanda Sykes: In addition, the WGAW presented several honorary special achievement and service awards at its West Coast ceremony:  WGA Negotiating Committee Cochairs David A. Goodman (Honor SocietyFamily Guy) and Chris Keyser (JuliaParty of Five) were honored with the Morgan Cox Award for Guild Service, presented to them by WGAW Vice President Michele Mulroney (Power RangersSherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) and WGAW Secretary-Treasurer Betsy Thomas (My BoysThe Carmichael Show). Legendary screenwriter and producer Walter Hill (The Warriors, 48 Hrs.) received WGAW’s Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement, presented to Hill by Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony-award winning producer Frank Marshall (Twisters, Raiders of the Lost Ark) on the left of the below photo:groundbreaking TV showrunner Linda Bloodworth Thomason (Designing Women, Evening Shade) received WGAW’s Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing Achievement, presented by Primetime Emmy-winning actress Jean Smart (HacksWatchmen) on the left of the below photo:and Oscar-winning writer and director Cord Jefferson (American FictionSuccession)who we interviewed at The Film Independent Spirit Awards after he won than trophy,  and at the WGAs he received WGAW’s Paul Selvin Award for his debut film American Fiction (Screenplay by Cord Jefferson, based upon the novel Erasure by Percival Everett):presented by NAACP Image Award-winning actress Erika Alexander (American FictionLiving Single). The Selvin Award is given to the script that best embodies the spirit of the constitutional and civil rights and liberties that are indispensable to the survival of free writers everywhere. In the below photo is Quinta Brunson:WGAE’s 2024 Writers Guild Awards ceremony was hosted by writer-comedian Josh Gondelman (Desus & Mero, People Pleaser). Presenters included: Writers Guild Award-winning writer-actor Michael Cyril Creighton (Only Murders in the Building, American Fiction), actor-comedian Bridget Everett (Somebody Somewhere), writer-producer Neil Gaiman (Good Omens), writer-actor-comedian Ilana Glazer (Babes, False Positive), Emmy Award-winning news anchor-podcaster Chris Hayes (All In with Chris Hayes, Why Is This Happening?), SAG Award-winning actor Sandra Oh (The Sympathizer, Quiz Lady), Writers Guild Award-winning writer-actor Larry Owens (Abbott Elementary, Paid Off with Michael Torpey), actor-podcaster-talk show host Busy Phillipps (Girls5Eva, Busy This Week), SAG Award-winning actor Reid Scott (Law  & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Emmy Award-nominated and SAG Award-winning actor J. Smith-Cameron (Succession), Writers Guild Award-winning writer-actor Julio Torres (Problemista), Writers Guild Award-nominated writer-actor-comedian Roy Wood, Jr. (The Daily Show, Command Z) and Writers Guild Award-nominated writer-actor-podcaster Bowen Yang (Saturday Night Live, Las Culturistas).

In addition, the WGAE presented several honorary special achievement and service awards at its East Coast ceremony:  Academy Award and Writers Guild Award-nominated writer-producer Beau Willimon (Andor, House of Cards) presented Peabody Award-winning, Academy Award-nominated and Writers Guild Award-nominated writer-director-producer Tony Gilroy (Andor, Michael Clayton) with the Ian McLellan Hunter Award for Career Achievement. Emmy Award-winning writer-director Daniel Minahan (Fellow Travelers, Halston) presented Academy Award and Writers Guild Award-nominated writer Ron Nyswaner (Fellow Travelers, Philadelphia) with the Walter Bernstein Award for creativity, grace and a willingness to confront social injustice. WGAE President Lisa Takeuchi Cullen (The Endgame, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) presented the Richard B. Jablow Award to our labor allies at the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (I.A.T.S.E.), International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and American Federation of Musicians (AFM) for demonstrating unwavering support and sacrifice during the WGA’s 148-day strike.

Los Angeles and New York – Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) and Writers Guild of America East (WGAE) announced the winners of the 2024 Writers Guild Awards for outstanding achievement in writing for film, television, new media, news, radio/audio, and promotional categories during concurrent ceremonies:

SCREENPLAY WINNERS:

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:  The Holdovers, Written by David Hemingson; Focus Features

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:  American Fiction, Screenplay by Cord Jefferson, Based upon the novel Erasure by Percival Everett; Amazon MGM Studios:DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY:  The Pigeon Tunnel, Written by Errol Morris; Apple Original Films

TELEVISION AND NEW MEDIA WINNERS:

DRAMA SERIES:  Succession, Written by Will ArberyJesse ArmstrongMiriam BattyeJon BrownJamie CarragherTed CohenNate ElstonFrancesca GardinerCallie HershewayLucy PrebbleGeorgia PritchettTony RocheSusan Soon He StantonWill Tracy; HBO | Max

COMEDY SERIES:   The Bear, Written by Karen Joseph Adcock, Joanna Calo, Kelly Galuska, Rene Gube, Sofya Levitsky-Weitz, Stacy Osei-Kuffour, Alex Russell, Catherine Schetina, Christopher Storer; FX Networks

NEW SERIES:  The Last of Us, Written by Neil DruckmannCraig Mazin; HBO | Max:LIMITED SERIES:  Beef, Written by Joanna CaloBathsheba DoranJean Kyoung FrazierNiko Gutierrez-KovnerLee Sung JinAlice JuCarrie KemperMike MakowskyMarie Hanhnhon NguyenKevin RosenAlex Russell; Netflix

TV & NEW MEDIA MOTION PICTURES:  Quiz Lady, Written by Jen D’Angelo; Hulu, Jen D’Angelo is holding the Mic with Reporter Tressa Smiley on the red carpet: ANIMATION:  “Carl Carlson Rides Again” (The Simpsons), Written by Loni Steele Sosthand; Fox

EPISODIC DRAMA:  “Living+” (Succession), Written by Georgia Pritchett & Will Arbery; HBO | Max

EPISODIC COMEDY:   “Escape From Shit Mountain” (Poker Face), Written by Nora Zuckerman & Lilla Zuckerman; Peacock

COMEDY/VARIETY TALK SERIES:  Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Senior Writers Daniel O’Brien, Owen Parsons, Charlie Redd, Joanna Rothkopf, Seena Vali Writers Johnathan Appel, Ali Barthwell, Tim Carvell, Liz Hynes, Ryan Ken, Mark Kramer, Sofia Manfredi, John Oliver, Taylor Kay Phillips, Chrissy Shackelford; HBO | Max

COMEDY/VARIETY SKETCH SERIES:  I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson, Writers Tim Robinson, Zach Kanin, John Solomon, Gary Richardson, Reggie Henke, Brendan Jennings, Patti Harrison; Netflix

COMEDY/VARIETY SPECIALS:  Sarah Silverman: Someone You Love, Written by Sarah Silverman; HBO | Max: QUIZ AND AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION:  The ChaseHead Writer David Levinson Wilk Writers Erik Agard, Kyle Beakley, Micki Boden, Megan Broussard, Jonathan Daly, Brian Greene, Robert King, Jason Lundell, Sierra Mannie, Amy Ozols, Bobby Patton, Ellen Teitel, Ari Yolkut; ABC

DAYTIME DRAMA:  Days of Our Lives, Head Writer Ron Carlivati Creative Consultant Ryan Quan Writers Sonja Alarr, Jazmen Darnell Brown, Joanna Cohen, Carolyn Culliton, Richard Culliton, Cheryl Davis, Kirk Doering, Christopher Dunn, Jamey Giddens, David Kreizman, Henry Newman, Dave Ryan, Katherine D. Schock; Peacock

CHILDREN’S EPISODIC, LONG FORM AND SPECIALS:  “Romance Dawn” (One Piece), Written by Matt Owens & Steven Maeda; Netflix

SHORT FORM NEW MEDIA:  Carpool Karaoke: The Series, Written by Casey Stewart, David Young; Apple TV+

DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT:  “Episode One: Blood Memory” (The American Buffalo), Written by Dayton Duncan; PBS

NEWS SCRIPT – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT:  “Surprise Attack!” (CBS Weekend News), Written by J. Craig Wilson, Ambrose Raferty; CBS News

NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY:  “Healing and Hope” (60 Minutes), Written by Scott Pelley, Nicole Young, Kristin Steve; CBS News

DIGITAL NEWS:  “The Persuaders: A 5-Part Investigation into the Union-Busting Industry,” Written by Dave Jamieson; HuffPost

RADIO/AUDIO WINNERS

RADIO/AUDIO DOCUMENTARY:  “The Call” (This American Life), Written by Mary Harris; Slate

RADIO/AUDIO NEWS SCRIPT – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT:   “World News This Week – Week of March 17, 2023,” Written by Joy Piazza; ABC News Radio

RADIO/AUDIO NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY:  “The Diagnosis Was Fatal. She Couldn’t Get an Abortion” (What Next), Written by Madeline Ducharme and Mary Harris; Slate

PROMOTIONAL WRITING WINNERS:

ON AIR PROMOTION:  “WCBS AM Promos,” Written by Bill Tynan; WCBS Newsradio 880

Hugh Fink was Executive Producer of the 2024 Writers Guild Awards in Los Angeles. The show was produced by Benn Fleishman and directed by Nick MurrayKelly Brock was Co-Producer on the show. Head writer: Joe O’Brien; writers: Ed LeeDaniel KoenigHugh Fink.

WGAW Awards Committee members are Patric M. Verrone (chair), Steve ChiversElias Davis, Patrick J. DoodyShelly GoldsteinZoe MarshallScott Saltzburg, and Betsy Thomas.

Bonnie Datt and Shannon Walker were Executive Producers of the 2024 Writers Guild Awards in New York. The show was Produced by Caroline Waxler. Head writer: Ann Cohen; writers: Nick Bernardone, David Steven Cohen, Timothy Michael Cooper, Bonnie Datt, Don Hooper, Josh Gondelman, Nick Nadel, Bill Scheft, Caroline Waxler, Julia Young. Line Producer: ATD Audio Visual. Clip/Tribute Reel: Ben Garst, Shannon Walter.

WGAE Awards Committee members are Bonnie Datt (chair), Nick Bernardone, Ann Cohen, Timothy Michael Cooper, Wendy Goldman, Dylan Guerra, Don Hooper, Lily-Hayes Kaufman, Gail Lee, Bill Scheft, Shannon Walker and Caroline Waxler.

The Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America East (WGAE) are labor unions representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media, and broadcast news. The Guilds negotiate and administer contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of their members; conduct programs, seminars, and events on issues of interest to writers; and present writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America West, visit www.wga.org. For more information on the Writers Guild of America East, visit www.wgaeast.org.

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