EXCLUSIVE: The life and career of Michael Stevenson, an industry veteran, and former assistant director to Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, and Sir Ridley Scott will be documented in a new feature-length documentary from Freida Films and 21 Filmworks.
The doc, titled An Ode to Cinema, will chart Stevenson’s career through never-before-seen archive footage and production materials from his work on films such as Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, Pearl Harbor, The Bourne Ultimatum, Mission Impossible, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and Warhorse. The doc will also feature a series of interviews with Stevenson’s former collaborators and close friends, including Ray Winstone, Malcolm McDowell, and Sir Tom Courtenay.
Amelia O’Loughlin (I’m Still Ethan, Creation Stories) is co-directing the doc with Tammy Khajotia (Saving Saffron), and co-producing alongside Jo Farrugia (The Crown, Suffragette, How to Build a Girl). Ola Mesmer, (The Gifted Hypothesis, In the Garden), is serving as cinematographer. John Dodds (The Merchant of Venice, Sid, and Nancy) is Executive Producer.
In a statement, Stevenson said: “Many actors, directors and crew members have inspired and helped me along the way, and I can only hope that I’ve done that for newcomers too. You’re only as good as your team. My life has been a series of beautiful encounters with remarkable people and I am humbled that a film about them is now being made.”
Stevenson has over 200 credits across six decades in the industry. His recent titles include Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Ant-Man and the Wasp. In 2003, he was awarded a BAFTA for Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema by Sir Michael Caine.
Amelia O’Loughlin, director and founder of Freida Films, added: “It is a pleasure telling the extraordinary story of such an iconic industry legend like Michael. His truly unique career, charisma and love for cinema makes for an extraordinary story. He was so many things to so many people, and whilst the industry has changed massively over the last 6 decades, Michael reminds us that passion for film and kindness to your team will always go a long way.”
O’Loughlin’s statement continued: “Never before told, this film will be a marvellous celebration of 20th and 21st Century cinema; a nod to the trailblazing filmmakers who’ve gone before us and to the pioneers of our future. We have been working with a brilliantly talented team of female creatives to bring this story to light.”
An Ode to Cinema will be Freida Films’ fifth film since O’Loughlin established the company in 2020.