Quick Jump to Session:
in Conversation with Sam Wasson
Recorded July 23rd, 2020
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Hawk Koch in Conversation with Sam Wasson, July 23, 2020
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Hawk Koch is a well-known man in Hollywood, but his face may not be familiar. The work Koch is most known for is as producer of more than 60 major films, some iconic and part of the American lexicon. Among them are Chinatown, Heaven Can Wait, Wayne’s World, Primal Fear, Marathon Man, The Way We Were, Peggy Sue Got Married, and Rosemary’s Baby. His book, Magic Time: My Life in Hollywood, recalls his well-told stories of his time in the industry, and the path he took to find a name for himself – one that separated him from his famous father for whom he was named. Beyond producing, Koch got involved at the highest levels of the film industry; he the former President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, past President of the Producers Guild of America, and is currently serving on the boards of The Motion Picture and Television Fund, AMC Theatres, The Producers Guild of America, Cast and Crew, and the National Film Preservation Foundation. While president of the Academy he called for diversity, digital voting, and sought to get more membership engagement with the first general membership. When the Academy Museum idea blossomed, Koch was out there fundraising to make it happen.
Sam Wasson’s most recent book, “The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood” takes a deep dive into the 1974 movie “Chinatown,” using uncovered interview material, court records, and details about the development of the script. For the book, he interviewed fellow Author’s Festival speaker Hawk Koch, who was the assistant director of “Chinatown.” Wasson studied film at Wesleyan University and USC School of Cinematic Arts, and has focused his books on the subjects of film. His other books include a 2011 book of conversations with Paul Mazursky who directed and co-wrote the movie “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice,” and directed the movie “Down and Out in Beverly Hills.” He also wrote a 2013 biography of Bob Fosse, the director-choreographer. Wasson’s other work can be found at The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker.
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