Michael Sucsy

Writer and director, <em>Grey Gardens</em>

Michael Sucsy (born February 14, 1973) is an Emmy nominated film director, screenwriter, and producer.

Sucsy was raised in New York and New England and graduated from Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. He went on to earn a Masters of Fine Arts in film from Art Center College of Design. Sucsy began directing commercials through Los Angeles-based Palomar Pictures and he was soon dubbed by Shoot! Magazine "as one of the industry's crop of new directors to watch." He was subsequently nominated for the Young Director of the Year Award given in conjunction with the 2002 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

In 2003, Sucsy began work on Grey Gardens, a film based on the famous true story of Jackie O’s eccentric relatives ‘Big Edie’ Bouvier Beale and ‘Little Edie’ Bouvier Beale. After viewing the well-known documentary of the same name, Sucsy was inspired to write and direct a narrative feature about the reclusive mother-daughter duo and immediately embarked on what was to become a six-year process to get Grey Gardens made.

While he researched and wrote the script, Suscy would wake up at 5AM daily and work for several hours before heading to a full-time job assisting an entertainment lawyer.

In 2005, two years after his initial idea to write Grey Gardens, a first draft was finished and immediately became a “hot read.” With Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore attached based on the strength of the script, the project made its way to HBO who in 2006, announced that Grey Gardens was moving into production. After another year of script development and pre-production, principle photography on Grey Gardens began in October 2007. The film wrapped just two months later in December 2007, on time and under budget.

After six years, the film had high-profile premieres preceding its HBO premiere at the legendary Ziegfeld Theater in New York City and at the Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Grey Gardens debuted on HBO in April 2009 to great acclaim from critics and audiences both new and old to the Grey Gardens phenomenon. The film has received multiple nominations including 17 Emmy Award nominations, including Sucsy for writing, directing, and producing and the 2009 Television Critics Association award for Outstanding Achievement Movies, Mini-Series, and Specials. The film’s 17 Emmy Award nominations ties the all-time nomination record for made for TV movies.

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