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TheWIFTS FOUNDATION INTERNATIONAL VISIONARY AWARDS
HONOREE LUNCHEON
DEC 6th 2013
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Susan R. Rodgers
Producer Award   
 
 
Susan R. Rodgers
Producer
 
For her extraordinary and immense body of work as a Producer in numerous sectors of the film and television industry, Susan R. Rogers has been selected by TheWIFTS Foundation to receive the 2013 Producer's Award. Born and raised in Indiana, Susan worked in the theater community, studied film history, performance art, set design and more prior to settling in Los Angeles to further her knowledge in the arts and entertainment industry. Before she could pursue her desire to work behind the camera, legendary indie filmmaker Henry Jaglom cast her in his hit film Babyfever.

While still honing her creative skills, she turned to special event producing for the American Film Institute, Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, The Caucus of Writers, Producers & Directors, and Filmmakers Alliance. One of her proudest achievements at the AFI was producing a ten-day retrospective of films by directors such as Visconti, Bergman, Fellini and DW Griffith. She also started working in various positions on films, commercials and music video projects.

Susan produced her first half-hour, short film, Love For $17.50, based on legendary LA author Charles Bukowski's short story, which premiered at The American Cinamateque. Next she produced a documentary film on the history of American Independent Cinema for the LA Independent Film Festival. Soon after, Susan produced her first feature film Grownups/My Best Friend's Wife, starring John Stamos (ER) and Daniel London (A.I.).

For years, Susan divided her time above and below-the-line in features, commercials and television spots. After her first feature, she co-produced the critically acclaimed thriller Dahmer, which was nominated for 3 IFP/Indie Spirit awards. Made for under a million dollars, the film grossed over $14 million profit.

Susan continued producing (Dry Cycle, Gacy, Convict) and line producing the features Monster Man and Dark Dark Town for Lions Gate Films, as well as El Muerto (The Dead One), based on the Mexican-American comic book, and Day On Fire (Olympia Dukakis, Martin Donovan) that premiered at The Toronto Film Festival.

Susan then accepted a full-time position with AMediaVision where she produced the multi-award winning film Reach For Me. The end-of-life issues the film addressed received backing by The AARP and business tycoon Lee Iacocca who introduced the film at its Los Angeles premiere.

Susan also worked on commercial spots for Readers Digest and the Integris Medical campaign, and segment produced for the Choices Inc. video releasing company. In between her film work she produced/line produced four years for the ESPN/ABC Sports networks including segments for the yearly Christmas Day NBA Lakers game, plus numerous promos for the ESPN 2003 ESPY Awards and the opening promo for the X Games on ABC Sports/ESPN. She also served as event producer for the 2008 EMMY Awards live broadcast on ABC. Soon after Reach For Me she was contracted by the Hollywood Reporter/DFFLA to produce a film honoring actor Seymour Cassel for his body of work including original interviews with director Wes Anderson (Royal Tennenbaums), Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire) and more.

In mid 2012, Susan took a three-month hiatus to focus on writing and prepare for her position as the current VP of Development and Production for Scott Donley's new division of Deed Films, Good Deed Productions, where she collaborates with visionary director/writer/producer Michael Feifer who has numerous network premieres (LMN, Hallmark, ABC Family).

Good Deed Productions launched on March 1, 2013 and turned out two features in under eight months with a third going into pre-production January 2014. The first two films generated worldwide sales even before completion. Focused on creating a product made for a budget with top production values in a very competitive marketplace, Good Deed Productions is in development with name talent in front of/behind the camera and a slate of at least four films in 2014. Good Deeds parent company Deed Films debuted its first feature, Tomorrow You're Gone (Willem Defoe, Michelle Monaghan) recently and has just completed Never A Never Land, an important documentary about the AIDS pandemic in Swaziland, Africa.

In addition to Deed/Good Deed Productions future slate is Susan's passion project Lure, a film that will not only inspire women but anyone who has reached bottom and then made the best of things. Lure is the true historical drama of an African-American emancipated woman in pre-Civil War times, who, in 1849 after suffering setbacks, decides to exploit the California Gold Rush and find her own pot of gold.

"I'm excited and grateful about this next chapter in my career," says Susan. "Filmmakers have to adapt to an ever-changing marketplace and still stay true to their love of story telling, the craft of filmmaking and more importantly following the business acumen of art and commerce or as the old Hollywood cliché states 'show-business'."






 
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