The Producing Department’s Industry Speaker program recently hosted John Giura, Executive Producer of Academy Award nominated film Foxcatcher. Students from various New York Film Academy departments participated in a wide ranging conversation and Q&A session moderated by Producing Co-Chair Neal Weisman, covering everything from the genesis of the project though it’s current release. John brought a unique perspective on the film, as he was one of the champion wrestlers participating in the real events portrayed in the movie. Involved in the development of the script from its earliest stages, students discussed the evolution of the story from real life through numerous draft screenplays to the screen. John graciously provided a link to the screenplay in advance of the session, enabling students to fully appreciate his insights to the development process. A discussion on the casting and eventual financing of the film by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures followed.
John was able to give NYFA students an inside look at the shooting of the movie, as he also served as wrestling consultant. Training actors Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, and Mark Ruffalo, as well as choreographing sequences with director Bennett Miller, provided a close appreciation of the filmmaking techniques employed in the creation of this acclaimed film. John commented on a variety of clips from the movie, and shared some exclusive “behind the scenes” footage that he personally shot on set.
Foxcatcher is currently in theaters nationwide, and has been nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Make Up and Hair. John Giura is currently producing and directing a feature documentary about a high school wrestling team in Oak Park, IL.