Oklahoma native Gray Frederickson is the Oscar-winning producer (The Godfather II) and Artist-In-Residence at the Oklahoma City Community College. Three of his films are listed in the AFI’s top 100.
Frederickson has enough Hollywood stories to fill a book (one he is in the process of writing) or perhaps, better yet, a screenplay. He shares with Michael how he got into film production, how he met his longtime collaborator Francis Ford Coppola and why he holds an unabashed view of The Godfather III.
“Do you know that it did about 150 million dollars at the box office and it was nominated for seven Academy awards and won about 30 awards, so I’m not really embarrassed by it.”
Frederickson went on to discuss his evolution as a producer.
“If I had known how much I didn’t know, I would have never attempted it in the beginning. If you’re in something for fifty years, eventually it’s gonna stick. I think I’ve learned a little bit.”
He claims that to be a successful filmmaker, you have to immerse yourself in the film’s subject matter.
“Whatever movie you’re on, you learn a lot about that world. I learned about radio and television doing a movie called UHF with Weird Al Yankovic.”
And even though he’s worked with legends of the screen including: Clint Eastwood, Marlon Brando and Al Pacino, Frederickson had this to say of his UHF star:
“Weird Al’s wonderful and of all the actors I’ve ever worked with, he’s my favorite.”