A Return To Hollywood – ADG’s 2017 Award Ceremony
The gentle jazz of classic big band tunes played by Johnny Crawford and his orchestra softly guided attendees at the 21st Annual Art Directors Guild Awards into a “Return to Hollywood” – the theme of the evening’s accolades. Held at Hollywood and Highland’s rooftop ball room, nominees and their guest mingled under the stars and viewed authentic backdrops from “Singing in the Rain” and “The Sound of Music” before the evening’s MC, Patton Oswalt, took the stage.
Tying the evening’s nominated fare into the current political climate, Oswalt latched on to the subject of “Hidden Figures” – a winner later in the evening for production designer Wynn Thomas. Stating the movie followed three black, female mathematicians who’s job was to blast “cocky white dudes into space”, he mused “If only we still had a space program.” Honing in on frequent nominee “Game of Thrones” before turning the event over to the first award presenter, Oswalt perfectly riffed on the Stark family’s frequently quoted saying: “Winter is coming.”
“No one is better prepared for the hardships of the next for years,” joked Oswalt.
Five lifetime achievement awards were presented throughout the evening, recognizing the enduring contributions in set design, illustrator and matte artistry, scenic art, production design and an award for overall contributions to the advancement of production design (Hall of Fame). Set design inductee Kate Marks assured the crowd “I am not going anywhere.” After recalling her earliest foray in art as a high schooler who helped a school organization paint plaques, she recalled her switch from costume designer to set decorator early in her career. She thanked the artists she was luck enough to be mentored by, many of whom were in their 80s.
“Experience matters and it does make a difference,” said Marks.
Illustrator and Matte artist inductee Joseph Musso reflected on his earliest experience working with Frank Sinatra’s company under a cracked roof that constantly leaked. “I was working between the raindrops but I didn’t care, I was working with Frank Sinatra.” He credited his favorite motto to John Wayne, who he also worked with in his early days.
“It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice,” said Musso in a spot on Wayne impersonation.
Scenic artist inductee Albert “Obie” Obregon recalled his earliest influence: the television his parents bought in 1947. His first job came on Halloween eve, 1958 for NBC networks, and he worked steadily until his retirement in 2000. Production designer inductee mused at his entry into the design world: stumbling upon an art gallery while running down a back alley behind Hollywood High School. Lagler would not only become a five time Emmy award winning production designer, but design the staging for historical events including presidential inaugurations, papal visits and the Olympics. Gene Allen was this year’s inductee into the Hall of Fame. The late production designer worked on seminal projects including “A Star is Born” and “My Fair Lady.”
The evening’s Cinematic Imagery Award was presented to writer/director Brad Bird, the brainforce behind films including “The Iron Giant” and “The Incredibles.” Bird thanked the ADG for their ongoing recognition of the design process animators use in creating their films.
“We use different tools but the same though process,” said Bird.
HIDDEN FIGURES Production Designer: WYNN THOMAS
FANTASY FILM PASSENGERS Production Designer: GUY HENDRIX DYAS
LA LA LAND Production Designer: DAVID WASCO
ONE-HOUR PERIOD OR FANTASY SINGLE-CAMERA SERIES
WESTWORLD: “Pilot” Production Designer: NATHAN CROWLEY
ONE-HOUR CONTEMPORARY SINGLE-CAMERA SERIES MR. ROBOT: “Eps2.0_unm4sk-pt1.tc,” “Eps2.4_m4ster-slave.aes,” “Eps2.9_pyth0n-pt1.p7z” Production Designer: ANASTASIA WHITE
TELEVISION MOVIE OR LIMITED SERIES
THE NIGHT OF: “Pilot” Production Designer: PATRIZIA VON BRANDENSTEIN
HALF HOUR SINGLE-CAMERA SERIES
MOZART IN THE JUNGLE: “Now I Will Sing” Production Designer: TOMMASO ORTINO
MULTI-CAMERA SERIES THE GREAT INDOORS: “Pilot” Production Designer: GLENDA ROVELLO
AWARDS OR EVENT SPECIAL
BEYONCÉ: LEMONADE Production Designer: HANNAH BEACHLER
SHORT FORMAT: WEB SERIES, MUSIC VIDEO OR COMMERCIAL iPHONE 7: BALLOONS Production Designer: JAMES CHINLUND
VARIETY, REALITY OR COMPETITION SERIES
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: “Larry David/The 1975,” “Peter Dinklage/Gwen Stefani,” “Tom Hanks/Lady Gaga” Production Designers: KEITH IAN RAYWOOD, EUGENE LEE, AKIRA YOSHIMURA, N. JOSEPH DeTULLIO