Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway’s epic Best Picture flub wasn’t the only mistake at the 2017 Oscars. Jan Chapman is a longtime and successful Australian film producer, but she was devastated to learn that she “died” while watching the Oscars In Memoriam segment. It turned out that the Academy used her photo instead of a photo of her collaborator, Janet Patterson. Patterson died in October 2016 at age 60, but Chapman is still alive.
The 66-year-old Chapman was previously married to director Phillip Noyce and has been in the Australian film industry wince the early 1970s. She was born in Newcastle, New South Wales.
Here’s a look at the situation and Chapman’s career.
1. Chapman Was ‘Devastated’ When She Saw Her Image Instead of Her Friend’s
In an email to Variety, Chapman said she was stunned to see her photo during the montage. She also said she tried to tell Patterson’s agency to make sure the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences had the right photo.
“I was devastated by the use of my image in place of my great friend and long-time collaborator Janet Patterson. I had urged her agency to check any photograph which might be used and understand that they were told that the Academy had it covered. Janet was a great beauty and four-time Oscar nominee and it is very disappointing that the error was not picked up,” Chapman told Variety. “I am alive and well and an active producer.”
Although the Academy and PricewaterhouseCoopers issued an apology over the La La Land/Moonlight snafu, the Academy has yet to comment on the Chapman/Patterson confusion.
The complete list “in memoriam” list is available here.
2. Chapman Produced the Oscar-Winning ‘The Piano,’ Which Also Earned Patterson a Nomination
Chapman and Patterson worked together on the acclaimed 1993 film The Piano. Chapman was the sole producer on the movie nominated for Best Picture and Patterson was nominated for her costume design. Anna Paquin and Holly Hunter won Oscars, as did writer/director Jane Campion for her original screenplay. The film also starred Harvey Keitel.
Patterson also received Oscar nominations for The Portrait of a Lady (1998), Oscar and Lucinda (1997) and Bright Star (2009).
When Patterson died in October, her family did not reveal the cause of death or exactly when she died, The Associated Press reports.
Nicole Kidman, who starred in The Portrait of a Lady, told the AP, “She’s not here anymore, but she lives on through those beautiful clothes and images.”
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3. Chapman Is Considered one of Australia’s Top Independent Producers
Chapman is one of Australia’s best known producers, with 23 credits to her name. She most recently produced The Daughter (2014) and was an executive producer on the acclaimed horror movie The Babadook.
Her other credits include Love Serenade with Miranda Otto, Jane Campion’s Holy Smoke with Kate Winslet and The Last Days of Chez Nous with Bruno Ganz.
She’s been a strong advocate for women in film, which explains her support for Campion and Gillian Armstrong.
“Without the influence and political lobbying of these women I don’t believe I would have had the subconscious conviction … that I could make films, and that what I wanted to say, even if intimate, domestic and personal in scale, was just as interesting as the mythic male legends,” she said in a 2002 interview, notes Women Australia.
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4. Chapman Started Out as a Short Film Director Before Producing
Before she became a producer, Chapman had hoped to be a director and started with short films. In a 2002 interview with Senses of Cinema, Chapman explained, “I didn’t chose it, it just happened, unfortunately in a way, though I think it’s where I should be.”
She said she started directing for the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC). As she started meeting more talented directors, like Jane Campion and Phillip Noyce, she realized that she was very good at putting all the pieces together to make a good TV show or movie.
“Because I’d had all that experience both making short films and in the Education department, I was very used to starting an idea, getting the writers together and basically casting,” she explained in 2002. “Often when you are the producer on a TV series, you’re the one who does all that – some things that are actually more director roles on a feature film perhaps. So in a way, it sort of didn’t feel like I’d absolutely stopped directing, it felt like I was still creatively involved in the formation of the whole.”
5. Chapman Was Married to ‘Salt’ Director Phillip Noyce in the 1970s
Chapman was married to Australian director Phillip Noyce from 1971 to 1977. Since 1985, she has been marred to Stephen O’Rourke and they have one child together.
Today, Noyce is known as one of Hollywood’s action directors, helming Salt with Angelina Jolie and making two Jack Ryan movies with Harrison Ford (Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger). He recently directed Jeff Bridge and Meryl Streep in The Giver.
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