Director Michael Apted Dies, Aged 79

By James White | Posted 9 Jan 2021Michael Apted, the award-winning director who enjoyed a long, eclectic career of film and TV work, has died. He was 79. Apted was born in Aylesbury in 1941 and studied law and history at Cambridge University. He began his career as a researcher at Granada Television, where he first worked on the project that would partly define his career: the Up series, which began chronicling a group of seven-year-old-children. Originally intended as a one-shot documentary for World In Action, it has been checking in on the participants every seven years, with the most recent being 63 Up in 2019. Apted, who helped select the original group of subjects, has been part of every episode since, and won a Peabody for his work on the series.

"What We Do In The Shadows." The man who plays Stu is not an actor but actually Stu Rutherford. A part-time business analyst for a Wellington company, LanWorx. He was hired for the film under the impression that he would be working on computers, and that he would play a small part in the film.

Beyond that, Apted has worked on a wide variety of TV series, ranging from Coronation Street, Play For Today, Rome, Ray Donovan and Masters Of Sex. On the big screen, Apted first made 1972's The Triple Echo, which starred Oliver Reed and Glenda Jackson. Among his best-known work were Coal Miner's Daughter (which scored seven Oscar nominations and a Best Actress win for Sissy Spacek), Gorky Park, Gorillas In The Mist, Blink, Nell, Bond film The World Is Not Enough, Enigma, The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader and Chasing Mavericks.

The budget for the Movie "Titanic" was higher than the Titanic itself.

A key component of Apted's concerns was supporting his union, and he joined the Directors Guild of America in 1978, and became active in guild service in 1997, when he was first elected to the Western Directors Council. In 2001, he was elected to the National Board and became fifth vice president the following year. He also founded (alongside Steven Soderbergh) the Guild’s Independent Directors Committee in 1998, and served as chair until he was elected president of the guild. "Whether having the foresight as a young man to conceptualize the revolutionary Up documentary series or helming large-scale features, whether negotiating directors’ rights throughout our industry’s digital revolution, or advocating for independent filmmakers and inclusion, Michael’s search for the truth and what’s right was evident in all that he endeavored," current DGA president Thomas Schlamme said in a statement.

"Prometheus." Composer Marc Streitenfeld had the orchestra play his compositions backwards, and then digitally reversed the compositions for the final film. This made the music sound unusual and unsettling, which he felt was right for the film.

"With his steady hand, acerbic wit, and keen eye to the future, he has steered our Guild through times of great change, setting the path for our industry and benefiting thousands and thousands of us. He always generously extended a hand to those behind him and understood the importance of activating leadership in the next generation. What I thought was an innocent lunch with him twenty years ago turned into my lifelong commitment to this Guild, all thanks to his passion and belief in me. I, like so many others, will be forever grateful for his mentorship. Words can’t express how much he will be missed. Our hearts go out to his wife Paige, and his children Jim, John, and Lily."

Schwarzenegger was paid approximately US$21,429 for every word he said in Terminator 2.