Doumeng, Ampah Highlights Of Second Annual LMGA Awards
By: Marjorie Galas
The theater at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts was packed to the brim, awaiting the kick off the Second Annual Location Managers Awards March 7, 2015. Want to keep their spirits high, the evening’s MC David Doumeng twirled his way onto the stage, keeping time to the theme from “The Sound of Music.”
“I told them I would only come out to Julie Andrews,” said Doumeng. “They asked me if I wanted to come out to the James Bond theme but I said no.”
Attendees of this year’s event came from worldwide locations including Jordan, South Africa, the UK, and Washington state. After reiterating last year’s Lifetime Achievement recipient Billy Crystal who suggested Doumeng host a show after Doumeng’s hysterical speech made upon receiving the award for Outstanding Location Manager for a Commercial Production, Doumeng was joined by actor Ted Lange who served as co-host for the evening’s festivities.
Debbie Allen was on hand to present Kokayi Ampah with the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. Allen, a producer on Steven Spielberg’s “Amistad”, credited Ampah with infusing heart wrenching reality to the slave trade drama through his ability to secure perfect locations. After a montage highlighting Ampah’s work from TV series including “The A-Team” and “Knight Rider” to films such as “The Color Purple” and “Flags of our Fathers”, Ampah humbly accepted the award. Recalling his earliest “cheap labor” jobs where he not only secured locations but “went home, heated up a pot of chili and was the caterer too”, Ampah didn’t want the award to focus on the hardships he faced in his early days working in a non-diverse field. Ampah was the first African-American to be inducted into the Guild in 1978, and he dedicated the award “to all who helped me along the way.”
Alfre Woodard presented the Humanitarian Award to Caroline Baron for creating and establishing FilmAid. FilmAid is a nonprofit focused on the power of film to heal people in need. The org has uplifted the spirits of victims of earthquakes in Jamaica, hurricanes in the Philippines and many other devastating events around the world.
“Driven, determined, resourceful and relentless,” were the words Woodard chose to describe Baron. “I am honored to lift up a woman who went even further than anyone by using the power of films.”
“That was pretty amazing,” said Baron. “I wish my parents were here for this.”
After taking a moment to honor location managers by stressing she admired their courage to walk into unknown circumstances and speak to complete strangers, she encouraged the attendees to use their creativity to make a difference every day.
“I hope you recognize you were all really powerful and wonderful,” said Baron.
Mirroring Doumeng’s on stage entrance, the Trailblazer Award recipient Marino Pascal twirled and leapt on the stage upon receiving his award. Recognized as a free spirit, location managers made a montage clip that not only roasted the bearded Pascal and his extremely quirky mannerisms, but celebrated Pascal and his creation of Localist. Localist is a program that was that has forged a unity amongst the location manager community, and has greatly enhanced location sharing.
Before the evening concluded, Doumeng brought his guitar on stage for a special memorial segment. Accompanying a montage featuring all the base camps lost in Los Angeles to the ever-growing highrise market, Doumeng sang a lament to three top spots the location managers sorely miss.
“I’m very sorry about that,” said Doumeng upon the song’s conclusion. “I’m not a singer. I’m barely a location manager.”
The winners of the Second Annual Location Managers Guild Awards are:
Outstanding Locations in a Contemporary Film
WILD (Nancy Haecker)
Outstanding Locations in a Period Film
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (Klaus Darrelmann)
Outstanding Locations in a Contemporary Television Series
TRUE DETECTIVE (Batou Chandler)
Outstanding Locations in a Period Television Series
BOARDWALK EMPIRE (Amanda Burbank and Audra Gorman)
Outstanding Locations in a Single Commercial
COCA-COLA “America is Beautiful” (Jimmy Ayoub, Cyndy McCrossen, Peter Orth, Stephen Pherigo)
Outstanding Locations in a Commercial Campaign
RAM TRUCKS (David McKinney and Peter Orth)
Outstanding Film Commission
CITY OF LONG BEACH OFFICE OF SPECIAL EVENTS AND FILMING