Yesterday would have been the 64th birthday of pioneering film producer Debra Hill, and in honour of this the film production duo Marcy Boyle and Rachel Holzman (the co-directors of neo-noir thriller NOBODY CAN COOL, jointly known as Dpyx) have announced that they will write, direct and produce THE DEBRA HILL DOCUMENTARY, a feature about the life and work of the legendary filmmaker. Lotti Pharriss Knowles (I AM DIVINE, VITO) of Weirdsmobile Productions will executive produce. The documentary will be the first film to be made about Hill, and by telling her story the ladies hope to preserve an important piece of the empowering history of women in Hollywood.
Debra Hill was born November 10th 1950 in a small New Jersey town called Haddonfield (now why does that place sound familiar?) and began her career in the 1970s as a script supervisor on many features, including John Carpenter’s ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13. She teamed up with Carpenter on his next feature – HALLOWEEN – as his co-writer and producer, and after its extraordinary and unexpected success Hill became a key player in a wave of trailblazing women who broke barriers in the male-dominated film industry. She went on to produce notable genre films such as THE FOG, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, THE DEAD ZONE and two HALLOWEEN sequels; cult comedies such as CLUE, ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING and BIG TOP PEE-WEE; and the critically-acclaimed, award-winning drama THE FISHER KING, starring Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams. Hill was a mentor to many current film industry heavyweights, and her untimely death in 2005 at age 54 was a great loss to those who knew and loved her, and to Hollywood as a whole.
Dpyx’s Marcy Boyle stated, “Debra Hill is a hero of ours. Not only did she break in to the industry on her own through intelligence, talent and tenacity, but she produced so many films that have the become part of popular culture.”
Rachel Holzman continued, “We want to highlight and celebrate Hill’s achievements, so the next generation of filmmakers can be inspired to move forward on the path blazed by women like her – and so the industry can be reminded that women have been instrumental in some of the greatest success stories in the film business. Debra Hill’s films have generated over a billion dollars in box office receipts.”
Lynda Obst, Hill’s friend and former producing partner, said, “I am overwhelmed with emotion about the documentary being made on the life and work of Debra. I was lucky enough to have been her partner in Hill/Obst productions, where we joyously made movies from ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING (our first), to THE FISHER KING (our last) – and she taught me everything she knew. Debra was the consummate producer, and this film will show generations of women and men what the right stuff truly is, as I saw it and lived it first-hand.”
Stacey Sher, the producer of, amongst many others, PULP FICTION, GET SHORTY, OUT OF SIGHT, GATTACE, ERIN BROCKOVICH and DJANGO UNCHAINED, said of her mentor, “Debra Hill was the godmother of indie filmmaking. She taught me that there was no above or below the line, that we were all one crew trying to make our days and make something great.”
John Carpenter recalls, “Debra Hill was a trailblazer, a tough as nails female producer in a man’s world.”
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