march 13, 2003

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Hollywood Filmmaker Offers Series at USAO

Gray Frederickson

After a long and successful career making movies in Hollywood with names like Coppola, Eastwood, Brando and Redford, filmmaker Gray Frederickson has returned to Oklahoma to raise a family.

And while he's still making movies -- the latest is "My Five Wives" featuring Rodney Dangerfield -- Frederickson enjoys helping young Oklahoma filmmakers get started, and sharing his colorful career in films.

For the remainder of March and ending April 8, Frederickson will present a lecture series at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha. He'll show movie clips and answer audience questions about the movie business and how to get started in film, even in Oklahoma.

Admission is free to "Tuesdays with Gray." Open to the public, the series can be taken for college credit, or just for fun.

Frederickson won an Oscar as co-producer of "The Godfather, Part II." He also was nominated for an Academy Award for his work as co-producer of "Apocalypse Now." He began a 20-year association with Francis Ford Coppola as associate producer of the Academy Award-winning "The Godfather." Frederickson also produced "One from the Heart" and "The Outsiders" -- written by Oklahoman S.E. Hinton -- while he was part of Coppola's famed Zoetrope Studios.

These days, Gray Frederickson is lending his expertise to three colleges here: Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma City Community College and USAO. At OCCC, he helped establish a sophisticated film laboratory with 29 digital editing bays.

At USAO, he is a Regents Professor of Film Studies. As director of Oklahoma's Historic Film Repository, located at USAO, he is working to expand its holdings, which include hundreds of early Oklahoma film segments.

As an entrepreneur in film, Frederickson has a motive in reaching students in Oklahoma.

"I believe we can help economic development in Oklahoma by attracting movie production here," Frederickson argues. "If people stop believing that filmmaking happens only in Hollywood, and they become educated about the business here, then I believe Oklahoma will move forward in filmmaking."

USAO President John Feaver introduced Frederickson to campus leaders last month.

"Gray Frederickson has never forgotten his roots in Oklahoma. He took Oklahoma to the world during his long and successful career in film, and now we are delighted to help him share those experiences with others. He's on the cutting edge of new technologies and shares not only exciting stories about Hollywood's past, but also valuable insight about the industry's future. The Frederickson family has long been associated with education, so it's no surprise that he would so readily agree to share his story. It was in honor of his grandfather's service to education that Oklahoma City University named its Frederickson Fieldhouse."

Frederickson grew up in Oklahoma City and graduated from Casady High School. He earned a degree from the University of Oklahoma, and also attended the University of Lausanne in Switzerland before moving to Rome, Italy, where he joined Sancro Films.

Among his best-known films are "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly," starring Clint Eastwood, "Little Fauss and Big Halsy" with Robert Redford; all three "Godfather" movies, "Apocalypse Now," and "UHF," with Weird Al Yankovich. Recently he completed production of "South of Heaven, West of Hell," starring Dwight Yoakum, Billy Bob Thornton and Bridget Fonda.

The series "Tuesdays with Gray" is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday nights in Davis Hall Amphitheatre. These are consecutive, except for Spring Break, and include: March 11 and 25, and April 1 and 8. Members of the community are invited at no charge.

Story Contact: Randy Talley