Many know Neal Dodson as the man who produced recent movies, including director J.C. Chandor's "Margin Call" (2011), "All Is Lost" (2013) and "A Most Violent Year" (2014).

But to Yorkers, he's more than a Hollywood producer. He's a local success story.

Dodson grew up in York and graduated from Central York High School in 1996 before obtaining a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama.

After college, he began a career as an actor — landing roles in television, film and plays, including the Tony Award-winning Broadway production "The Invention of Love" — before he made the switch to producing.

As a film producer, Dodson now has two Academy Award nominations, a Golden Globe Award and a Golden Globe nomination under his belt for the three movies he worked on with Chandor.

Dodson stopped by York College Thursday for a screening of his latest Golden Globe-nominated film "A Most Violent Year," where dozens of locals had the opportunity to meet him and ask questions before he headed back to work on his next project.

Read 6 things you didn't know about 'A Most Violent Year.

As a producer, Dodson said it's his job to stand between the business side and the creative side of the filmmaking industry. Sometimes that means he's coming up with ideas for new movies. Other times, he's finding the money to support someone else's idea for a movie.

Here are a few of Dodson's latest projects, set to be released in the next few years.

"You Were Never Here"

Dodson has teamed up with documentary filmmaker Camille Thoman on this thriller, starring Sam Shepard and Mireille Enos. Dodson met Enos — known for her roles in "The Killing" and "World War Z" — 15 years ago when they performed together in a Broadway play.

"This is my first chance to work with her on a movie," he said.

"You Were Never Here" tells the story of an avant-garde performance artist who creates pieces that border on being criminal.

The $1 million budget film is now in post-production and has been submitted to Sundance Film Festival. The movie is expected to be released in mid-2016.


Dodson and his team are in the early-preparation stage for this new movie to be filmed in New York in December. "Aardvark," written and directed by Dodson's college roommate Brian Shoaf, tells the story of a man with a mental illness who is obsessed with his famous brother. The film is a character piece about the brothers, a therapist and the other people they encounter, Dodson said.

"Aardvark" will be Shoaf's first film as a writer and director.

"We are championing him," Dodson said. "He deserved a chance to make a movie and wrote a really great script."

The $1.5 million budget film stars Dodson's long-time friend Zachary Quinto and actress Jenny Slate, known for her breakout role in "Obvious Child" as well as being a former "Saturday Night Live" cast member and the co-creator of "Marcel the Shell With Shoes On."

"Aardvark" is scheduled to be released in spring 2017.

"The Liar's Ball"

Dodson's newest project, "The Liar's Ball" will be adapted from a book of the same name written by Vicky Ward.

"As soon as I read the book, I was like, 'Oh my God, we need to make a movie about this,'" Dodson said.

He pitched the idea to several companies, including HBO, Paramount and Sony, and it was eventually picked up by A24, the company that released "A Most Violent Year."

The story delves into the real estate world, focusing on the history of the GM building and the struggle of its owner to hold onto it, Dodson said.

"It's a little like 'Margin Call' in that it's about business dealings and betrayals," he said.

Once the script is finished, Dodson will begin looking for a director. It might be J.C. Chandor or it might be somebody else, he said.

Fun fact: You can also see Dodson's wife, Ashley Williams, as the wife on "The Jim Gaffigan Show," which was renewed for a second season in August.

Read or Share this story: