On the Red Carpet & Backstage at the 76th Annual Writers Guild Awards with Tressa Smiley

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It was a star-studded gala awards show last night at the Hollywood Palladium, so on this show our TV News Reporter: Tressa Smiley will take you down on the Red Carpet & Backstage at the 76th Annual Writers Guild Awards for interviews with many of the nominees, winners, and presenters, along with photos. 

The Writers Guild Association West (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):  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 Arkon the left of the below photo: 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 right after the interview he had with her:  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” 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) as in the above and below photos: Presenters that Tressa interviewed included: writer-actor Maria Sten (ReacherBig Sky):

On the red carpet Tressa also interviewed NAACP Image Award-winning actress Erika Alexander (American FictionLiving Single) who presented Oscar-winning writer and director Cord Jefferson (American FictionSuccession) the WGA Paul Selvin Award for his debut film American Fiction (Screenplay by Cord Jefferson, based upon the novel Erasure by Percival Everett): We also interviewed Cord at The Film Independent Spirit Awards after he won than trophy. 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. Below photo of Tressa and Actress Wanda Sykes:  The Awards given out for TV & NEW MEDIA MOTION PICTURES:  Quiz Lady, Written by Jen D’Angelo; Hulu, and in the below photo Jen D’Angelo is holding the Mic with Reporter Tressa Smiley on the red carpet:

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR ANIMATION:  “Carl Carlson Rides Again” (The Simpsons), Written by Loni Steele Sosthand; Fox:

In the photo below Tressa is holding the Mic with Julia Cox of “Nyad” : In the below photo Tressa is on the left posing with in the middle: Jeff Lieberman- Writer, Director, and Producer, and WGA & Emmy Nominee:

On the red carpet Tressa had an exclusive interview with Katharine “Kat” Kramer, who is part of a family that are showbiz legends, and Hollywood Royalty! Kat’s late father, is the legendary producer/director: Stanley Kramer, who was known for taking artistic and financial chances by making movies about controversial subjects, as Kat did as she founded Kat Kramer’s Films That Change the World to showcase motion pictures that raise awareness about important social issues. Kat is the Godchild/Namesake of screen icon Katharine Hepburn, and serves as the West Coast Representative of the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center. Kat’s mother is Karen Kay Sharpe, who is an American film and television actress, who won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in the Movie “The High and the Mighty,” and together with her husband Stanley decided to name their daughter Katharine “Kat” after Katharine Hepburn, and asked Katharine Hepburn to be Kat’s Godmother- now that’s what you call Hollywood Royalty! 

Kat’s father: Stanley Earl Kramer (September 29, 1913 – February 19, 2001) was an American film director and producer, responsible for making many of Hollywood’s most famous “message films” (he called his movies heavy dramas) and a liberal movie icon. As an independent producer and director, he brought attention to topical social issues that most studios avoided. Among the subjects covered in his films were racism (in The Defiant Ones and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner), nuclear war (in On the Beach), greed (in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World – ), creationism vs. evolution (in Inherit the Wind), and the causes and effects of fascism (in Judgment at Nuremberg). His other films included High Noon (1952, as producer), The Caine Mutiny (1954, as producer), and Ship of Fools (1965).

Stanley directed some of the biggest legendary actors in the history of movies: Sidney Poitier, Tony Curtis, Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire, Anthony Perkins, Spencer Tracy, Richard Widmark, Maximilian Schell, Katharine Hepburn, and Humphrey Bogart! Stanley won 16 Academy Awards!

My personal favorite of Stanley’s movies that he directed is the epic blockbuster Comedy: It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), a film with a gifted, wacky crew of comedians, that he hired many of the leading comedic actors of the previous decades, from silent star Buster Keaton to emerging talent Jonathan Winters, to superstars, to legends playing in small cameo roles- like: Jerry Lewis, The Three Stooges, and Jack Benny, all adding up to a cast of 1000’s!  Since I am friends with Kat – I was twice lucky enough to be invited by her to celebrate the Anniversary of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, – once at the Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Blvd., and the 40th Anniversary at the Cinerama Dome on Sunset Blvd. & Vine in Hollywood, where the movie actually first had its world premiere in 1963! The Cinerama Dome in July 1963 had a star-studded, ground-breaking ceremony where Spencer Tracy, Buddy Hackett, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn, Edie Adams, and Dorothy Provine donned hard hats, and, with picks and shovels, began construction. The theater was ready for the November 7, 1963, world premiere of the first movie filmed in the (at the time) new 70mm, single-strip Cinerama process, Stanley Kramer’s It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World. The Cinerama Dome is the only concrete geodesic dome in the world. I will always be grateful to Kat for the invites to celebrate this movie with many of the actors from this movie that were still alive at that time of the 40th!

Thanks for watching, and stay tuned for more from TRESSA SMILEY, and let us all do some: SMILE MOTIVATION WITH TRESSA SMILEY. “WE’RE IN UNPRECEDENTED TIMES AND THERE’S A GROWING NEED GLOBALLY FOR ENCOURAGEMENT, AND PEACE, DURING THESE DIFFICULT TIMES. I WANT TO ENCOURAGE YOU TO JOIN ME, SO TOGETHER, WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE USING A SMILE TO UPLIFT AND MOTIVATE OUR SPIRITS. WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER!”

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