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A Gaggle of Oscar-Winning Producers

There are all sorts of fascinating group-snippets in the video below, shot by The Hollywood Reporter during a recent gathering of dozens of Academy Award-winning and nominated producers at the home of Robert Evans.

All these years later, Frank Marshall alongside Quincy Jones still can’t get over the fact that the Academy honored The Color Purple with 11 nominations but skipped director Steven Spielberg. Mel Gibson and Alan Ladd Jr. try to remember how they first met. And Jason Reitman (Up in the Air), with father Ivan next to him, details some unusual dynamics:

“I remember the first time I gave a screenplay to my dad – he was basically the first person to read it – he said, ‘Jason, this is a plotless screenplay.’ You can’t be so afraid of plot.’… It’s a very tricky line when your father is your producer and he has to find that moment of when is he being your father and when is he being a producer.”

Sherry Lansing might have the best anecdote here as far as this weekend’s ceremony is concerned. Standing next to Stanley R. Jaffe, Evans and Fred Roos, she remembers attending the 1979 Academy Awards and coming up empty-handed despite six Columbia Pictures nominations. When she turned that night, while sitting in the audience, to Jaffe who had won for Kramer vs. Kramer, he told her: “Winning is better.”

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