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Mad Men Maintains Reign At ADG Awards

M. Galas

“Art directors can play great practical jokes on actors.  They can tell them to go to their rooms, and when the actor gets there, they’ll find that the door doesn’t open.”


Paula Poundstone, the host of the 15th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards, mused at the fun art directors and their staff must have while on set.  While this marked her second year in a row hosting the awards, Poundstone observed that she still had a lot to learn about the highly talented nominees in the room.


“I’ve heard people say that they want to be a hairdresser or a cook, but I’ve never hear a person say ‘I want to do walls’ before this night.  This is truly a unique group.”


Breaking the unique spell was Dan Bishop, who received his fourth consecutive win in the production design for the one-hour single camera TV series category for his work on “Mad Men.”  


“I’m extremely grateful; I never expected to keep going for four years in a row,” said Bishop.


Another spell was broken at the event by long standing nominee “Saturday Night Live.”  For the first time in its 36 year history, the show received a production design honor by winning the excellence in production design for an episode of multi-camera, variety, or unscripted series. The award was presented for the Betty White/Jay Z episode.


After Alexander Golitzen, Albert Heschong and Eugene Lourie were inducted into the Art Directors Guild Hall of Fame, notorious director David Lynch presented longtime art collaborator Patricia Norris with the lifetime achievement award.


“With Patricia you get no freak outs, no whining,” said Lynch.  “As a person and as a friend, she is solid gold.”


Norris began her career as a costume designer on films such as “The Candidate,” “High Anxiety,” and “Scarface.”  Her first dual credit as costume designer and production designer came on Lynch’s “Blue Velvet.”  She’s maintained the dual role of costume designer/production designer on several of Lynch’s films as well as many other productions including “The Return to Lonesome Dove,” “The Singing Detective,” and “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward John Ford.”


Upon receiving the award, Norris succinctly expressed her feelings with a brief sentiment:


“Thank you all very much.”


Below is a complete list of winners from the 15th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards:


Contemporary feature film: Therese DePrez, “Black Swan”

Fantasy feature film: Guy Hendrix Dyas, “Inception”

Period feature film: Eve Stewart, “The King’s Speech”

One-hour single camera TV series: Dan Bishop, “Mad Men”

Half-hour single camera TV series: Richard Berg, “Modern Family”

Awards, music or game show: David Rockwell, “82nd Annual Academy Awards”

TV movie or miniseries: Robb Wilson King, “Secrets in the Wall”

Multi-cam, variety or unscripted series, Keith Ian Raywood, Eugene Lee, Akira Yoshimura, N. Joseph Detullio, “Saturday Night Live”

Commercial or music video: Jesse B. Benson, Dos Equis