Media Life

New Jackman film has Placer County connection

Expat Auburnite’s artistic titles open and close film
By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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Auburn product and Del Oro High School grad Gareth Smith’s work is up on the big screen again — with the promise of more to come.

The talented title maker has teamed with longtime collaborator and Oscar-nominated director Jason Reitman to create the titles for the political drama “Frontrunner,” a film starring another Oscar nominee, Hugh Jackman. The movie also features Reitman stalwarts Vera Farmiga and J.K. Simmons.

Smith has been onboard the Reitman movie-making entourage since 2005’s “Thank You For Smoking” and really turned heads two years later with inventive titles work on “Juno.”


Story with Hart

This time around, Reitman is telling the story of the rise and fall of Democratic Party presidential hopeful Gary Hart. Sen. Hart — telegenic and glib — had captured the imagination of young voters in the mid-1980s and was considered the front-runner for his party’s presidential nomination when his campaign was sidelined by the story of an extramarital relationship.

Watch for both beginning titles and end titles created by Smith.

And look for more from Smith — who grew up just over the county line on the outskirts of Auburn but opted for Del Oro in high school — in coming days and months.

In late December, Smith and his wife, Jenny Lee, will have titles onscreen for “The Destroyer,” a film starring Nicole Kidman that’s already getting Oscar buzz.

And next year, Smith & Lee titles will set the stage for “Best of Enemies,” a drama featuring Sam Rockwell and Anne Heche that pits civil rights advocates and the Ku Klux Klan.


Nammie Honor

A Native American rock opera that debuted in Auburn — as well as Sierra College, Sacramento State University and the Center for the Arts in Grass Valley — has captured some prestigious hardware.

The musical is about Nisenan Indians from Auburn and a cast album of “Something Inside Is Broken” went on from its debut to a tri-state tour and performances before a total of 4,000 people.

Earlier this fall, the production’s two main creators — the Auburn area’s Jack Kohler and Alan Wallace — learned that the “Something Inside Is Broken” cast album had bested four other nominees to take home a Native American Music Award for Best Rock Album of 2018.

The music is in the Nisenan language as well as English and is set in the time period from 1846 through the Gold Rush.

Media Life’s Gus Thomson can be reached at Thomson is a state and national award-winning reporter who writes for the Auburn Journal.