A chat with Golden Globe director Louis J. Horvitz [update]
For a live television director, helming the Golden Globe telecast is a big deal even if you've already run the Oscars, the Emmys and the Winter Olympics' opening and closing ceremonies. "The Golden Globes is like being at one of the Grand Slam events of tennis. It's like winning Wimbledon," says Louis J. Horvitz, who will direct the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.'s telecast for the first time on Sunday. [For the record: An earlier version of this post misspelled the director's name as Horwitz.]
What makes the event so intriguing — and so challenging — to Horvitz, who has been directing live television events for more than four decades, is the table seating for all the guests rather than the theatrical auditorium or stage area he's used to filming. "All the guests are on top of each other. I know it's really tough on the cameramen," he says.
However, as opposed to the Oscars, which feature a lot of technical categories, the Golden Globes is really just about celebrity. "Wherever I open up the camera in this room, every shot has four or five stars in it. It's exciting because I have good fodder to shoot."
Horvitz is also a huge movie and television fan, so he's all about making connections with his reaction shots. "If Helena [Bonham Carter] gets a win, Colin [Firth] and Geoffrey [Rush] will applaud, but so will Johnny [Depp] because they've worked together so often. Adding Johnny Depp to an award where Helena has won for another movie gives a viewer who is really tuned in something extra."
Horvitz won an Emmy in 2008 for his direction on the 80th annual Academy Awards and has been nominated for a slew of other accolades. But he doesn't seem to be slowing down.
"I'm an adrenaline junkie," says Horvitz. You have to be to be a Formula One driver, a quarterback or a TV director. You say five, four, three, two, one and you're on, calling cues and hoping that your preparation and experience in the seat keeps you focused."
— Nicole Sperling
Photo: Golden Globe statuette. Photo credit: Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.