Bill Guttentag

Bill Guttentag
Lecturer, Organizational Behavior
Contact Info
BillGuttentag
Academic Area: 
Organizational Behavior

Teaching Statement

Bill Guttentag has been teaching at Stanford Graduate School of Business since 2001. He teaches classes on the entertainment industry to MBA students.

Bio

Bill Guttentag is a double Oscar-winning dramatic and documentary film writer-producer-director. His films have premiered at the Sundance, Cannes, Telluride, and Tribeca film festivals. He directed Nanking (THINKFilm, 2007), a theatrical documentary which premiered at Sundance and featured Woody Harrelson, and was shortlisted for an Oscar. He also directed Soundtrack for a Revolution (Wild Bunch, 2009) which had its international premiere at Cannes and was also shortlisted for an Oscar.

He wrote and directed the dramatic features Knife Fight (IFC, 2013) starring Rob Lowe, Julie Bowen, and Carrie-Ann Moss; and LIVE! (Atlas Entertainment, 2008) starring Eva Mendes and Andre Braugher, and produced by Chuck Roven. Both films premiered at Tribeca.

Bill Guttentag won an Academy Award for the documentary Twin Towers (Universal, 2003). He has also received a second Oscar, three additional Oscar nominations, a Peabody Award, three Emmy Awards, three additional Emmy nominations, two Writers Guild Award nominations, a Producers Guild Award nomination, and a Robert Kennedy Journalism Award.

His films have been selected for Sundance three times, Telluride twice, Tribeca five times, and have won awards at numerous American and international film festivals. They have received a number of special screenings including at the Museum of Modern Art, Council on Foreign Relations, the Harvard Kennedy School, and the White House.

Bill Guttentag partnered with Richard Linklater on That Animal Rescue Show, on which they are executive producers and directors. The 10-part series, made for CBS All Access, premiered in October 2020. An episode from the series was part of the official selection of the 2020 Telluride Film Festival.

His film Only the Dead See the End of War, premiered theatrically at the 2015 Telluride Film Festival and premiered on HBO in 2016. He won an AACTA Award (Australian Academy Award) for best directing for a documentary, and a Walkley Award (Australian Pulitzer) for the film. The film was nominated for an Emmy.

Bill Guttentag created, executive produced, and directed the NBC series Crime & Punishment, which ran for three seasons (2002-2004). The series was part of the Law & Order family of shows, and was created with Dick Wolf, who was also an executive producer. Over the series’ run, nearly every show was in the Nielsen top 20.

He has directed commercials and other projects for a number of Silicon Valley companies including Google, Yahoo, and MasterClass.

His novel, Boulevard was published by Pegasus Books/W.W. Norton in 2011. The French edition was published by Éditions Gallimard, where it was finalist for the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. He co-wrote Masters of Disaster — The Ten Commandments of Damage Control (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2012). He has also written nonfiction pieces, including for The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times.

He has served on a number of film festival juries, including the Shanghai International Film Festival, the Odesa International Film Festival, and the Morelia International Film Festival.

Nanking, filmed largely in China, won awards at a number of U.S. and international film festivals (including Sundance and Hong Kong), and after a theatrical release, played on Cinemax. Guttentag won a Peabody Award and Emmy Award, and was nominated for a WGA award for the film. Nanking’s international release included China, where it became the highest grossing theatrical documentary in Chinese history.

He has directed films for HBO, ABC, CBS, Turner, and others. Additional films include The Cocaine War (ABC), and You Don’t Have to Die, a film he made for HBO, for which he also won an Oscar.

He has shown his films and given lectures at many U.S. and international universities including: Yale; Harvard; the University of Pennsylvania; University of California, Berkeley; USC; Peking University; Tsinghua University; Fudan University; Kyoto University; the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts; and Freie Universität Berlin. Other screenings include the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; the Paley Center for Media; and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

He has taught at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (Stanford d.school).

Since 2001, Bill Guttentag has been a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Academic Degrees

  • John S. Knight Fellow, Stanford University, 1999
  • Fellow, American Film Institute, 1980
  • BA, University of Pennsylvania, 1979

Academic Appointments

  • At Stanford University since 2001

Professional Experience

  • Director, Only the Dead See the End of War, HBO, 2016
  • Director and Writer, Knife Fight, IFC, 2013
  • Director and Writer, LIVE!, The Weinstein Company, 2009
  • Director, Writer, and Producer, Soundtrack for a Revolution, PBS, 2009
  • Director, Writer, and Producer, Nanking, THINKFilm, 2007
  • Executive Producer and Director, Law & Order: Crime & Punishment, NBC, 2002–2004
  • Executive Producer and Director, Twin Towers, Universal, 2003
  • Executive Producer and Director, Assassinated: The Last Days of Kennedy and King, Turner Original Programming/CNN, 1998
  • Executive Producer and Director, The Cocaine War: Lost in Bolivia, ABC News/Peter Jennings Reporting, 1992
  • Executive Producer and Director, documentary films made for HBO, ABC, CBS, and others

Awards and Honors

  • Academy Award, Twin Towers, 2003
  • Peabody Award, Nanking, 2008
  • Emmy Award, Nanking, 2008
  • Nomination, Writers Guild of America, Soundtrack for a Revolution, 2010
  • Nomination, Producers Guild of America Award, Soundtrack for a Revolution, 2010
  • Nomination, Writers Guild of America Award, Nanking, 2008
  • Emmy Award, National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, 1998
  • Robert Kennedy Journalism Award, 1998
  • Emmy Award, National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, 1996
  • Academy Award, You Don't Have To Die, 1988

Publications

Books

Christopher Lehane, Mark Fabiani, Bill Guttentag New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
Bill Guttentag New York: Pegasus, 2010.

Teaching

Degree Courses

2020-21

In this seminar we will explore the intersection of art and commerce in the entertainment industry. We will look at creating films and television programing that are artistically meaningful and/or have the potential for commercial success. The...

The entertainment industry is one of the largest and most important industries in the world - both from a business and cultural standpoint. It is characterized by tremendous opportunities and great uncertainties. The industry is undergoing great...

2019-20

In this seminar we will explore the intersection of art and commerce in the entertainment industry. We will look at creating films and television programing that are artistically meaningful and/or have the potential for commercial success. The...

The entertainment industry is one of the largest and most important industries in the world - both from a business and cultural standpoint. It is characterized by tremendous opportunities and great uncertainties. The industry is undergoing great...

2018-19

In this seminar we will explore the intersection of art and commerce in the entertainment industry. We will look at creating films and television programing that are artistically meaningful and/or have the potential for commercial success. The...

The entertainment industry is one of the largest and most important industries in the world ¿ both from a business and cultural standpoint. It is characterized by tremendous opportunities and great uncertainties. The industry is undergoing great...

Stanford Case Studies

Fox Entertainment President, Kevin Reilly | EM6
Victoria Chang, William Guttentag, Roderick Kramer2009
Lifetime Networks, Andrea Wong | EM5
Victoria Chang, William Guttentag, Roderick Kramer2008
Ron Meyer, Universal Studios President and COO | EM4
Victoria Chang, William Guttentag, Roderick Kramer2008
Denise Di Novi, Movie Producer | EM3
Victoria Chang, William Guttentag, Roderick Kramer2007
Law & Order Special Victims Unit "Showrunner" | EM1
Victoria Chang, William Guttentag, Roderick Kramer2006
Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, Nina Jacobson | EM2
Victoria Chang, William Guttentag, Roderick Kramer2006

Service to the Profession

  • Member, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

In the Media

New York Times, July 23, 2011
San Francisco Chronicle, February 9, 2008
New Yorker, 12 24, 2007
Twin Towers
New York Times, January 2003
Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2003
Newsweek, July 23, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle, July 13, 2002

Insights by Stanford Business

January 31, 2017
Sophisticated audiences want good stories and new ways to watch.
November 1, 2012
In a new book, Stanford GSB lecturers share political survival tactics in a 24/7 news cycle.