Lunch and Trophies

The Client

The Tony Award winning American Conservatory Theater supports the only accredited MFA actor training program not affiliated with a university.

The Project

It may not be a “free lunch,” but Flying Moose client American Conservatory Theater’s (A.C.T.) first annual MFA Awards Luncheon on January 24, 2012, promises to be entertaining. A.C.T. is a nationally known organization that boasts a permanent repertory company of actors and the only MFA program in acting not affiliated with a university. Their Awards Luncheon will honor both benefactors and graduates, like The Hearst Foundations, Mort and Franny Fleishhacker, and Annette Bening and Elizabeth Banks, who has had a significant impact in theater and film.

Lunch and Trophies-2Flying Moose was hired to add an engaging audio-visual element to the awards ceremony, scripting, shooting, and delivering 5 short films to introduce the honorees at the live event. We captured 24 interviews over 4 days of shooting in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Highlights of our interviews included:

  • A 45-minute conversation with Annette Bening, discussing her training at A.C.T., what makes for truthful acting, and the advantage of learning to act on stage as preparation for a career in film. The four-time Academy Award–nominated actress will be awarded the Edward Hastings Career Achievement Award.
  • An effusive description by Elizabeth Banks of how the A.C.T. Conservatory program gave her both a “toolkit” of techniques she uses in front of the camera as well as the self-confidence and training to survive as a professional in Hollywood.
  • Cornering Dino Dinovitz, Executive Director at the Hearst Foundations. Dino gave us an impromptu, straight-talking presentation on his view of Non-profits, how they think, and how they are organized. Many Moose clients are non-profits and it was illuminating to hear Dino’s point of view. The William Randolph Hearst Foundation, which supports a scholarship fund for the M.F.A. Program, will receive The Champion Award.
  • Listening to stories told by the philanthropist Frannie Fleishhacker, who, with her late husband Mort, will receive the Benefactor Award. The Fleishhackers not only supported A.C.T. for more than forty years, they welcomed the scholarship recipients and their families to their home and attended their Conservatory performances.
  • Hauling our truckload of gear up a narrow staircase to the 9th floor at A.C.T. The elevator only reaches the 8th floor.
  • Christening our canvas grip bucket, now known as “The Scorsese,” after we dropped it out of a moving car. An obscure inside joke about the mafia.

Flying Moose is looking forward to shooting the live awards ceremony!