“Scandal,” “The Bridge” Highlight California Locations At COLAS

Veronique Vowell receives the award for Location Professional of the Year - TV Episodic, Single Episode Season for her work on "Scandal."
GP Productions

BY: Marjorie Galas, Editor

The Beverly Hilton was a location scout’s paradise Sunday, November 3rd when the annual California On Location Awards, or COLAs, were presented.  Over 500 film and government professionals attended the FLICS (Film Liaisons In California Statewide) event that announced a partnership with the Beverly Hilton that will house the event for the next three years.

Actor Perry King was the master of ceremonies for the 19th annual event.  Currently working on a Native American film production shooting  in California, Perry applauded the efforts of FIICs and all the location manager who work hard to keep production local.  The crop of this year’s nominees proved that a talented location scout can find believable locations throughout California that can sub for Afghanistan, New York, Washington D.C., Las Vegas, Nevada, El Paso, Texas, and Mexico.

Caleb Duffy kicked of the evening by winning his second consecutive Location Manager of the Year for an Independent Feature for utilizing California locations for the Vegas-based “Behind the Candelabra.”   Veronique Vowell, Location Professional of the Year – TV Episode and Assistant Location Manager of the Year – Television Andrea Keenar have effectively pulled the wool over people’s eyes by  finding California that double as the nation’s capital in the Washington D.C. based “Scandal.”    The location team for “The Bridge” received their award for effectively finding locations that covered both sides of the Texas/Mexican border.

While many of the honors were given to projects in which California locations doubled for other cities around the globe, many projects that effectively illustrated the state in their story lines were honored as well.  The winning team behind “Face-Off” not only secured locations throughout California, but left with each location they used asking them to return to their locations in the future.   The “Fruitvale Station” Location Team of the Year for Independent Feature Film recalled feeling  overwhelmed with the task of approaching the communities rocked by the factual tragedy the movie depicts.  The reactions they received surprised them.

“The whole film was about building a community,” said location manager Matthew Riutta.  “We knew we needed to go in with open hands and open hearts.  It was important for the communities to let us share this story, and they wanted to keep the filming in California.  We thank the family for letting us in, to film such a tragedy in their lives.”

The winners of the 2013 California On Location Awards are:

LOCATION PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR – STUDIO FEATURE FILM Gregory Alpert “The Hangover Part III”

LOCATION PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR – INDEPENDENT FEATURE FILM Caleb Duffy “Behind the Candelabra”

LOCATION PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR – TV EPISODIC, BODY OF WORK Timothy Hillman “CSI:NY”

LOCATION PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR – TV EPISODIC, SINGLE EPISODE OR SEASON Veronique Vowell “Scandal”

LOCATION PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR – TV COMMERCIALS David Doumeng “Nike”

LOCATION MANAGER OF THE YEAR – REALITY TELEVISION John Grant “Face Off”

ASSISTANT LOCATION MANAGER OF THE YEAR – TELEVISION Andrea Keener “Scandal”

ASSISTANT LOCATION MANAGER OF THE YEAR – FEATURE FILMS Danny Finn “The Bling Ring”

LOCATION TEAM OF THE YEAR – STUDIO FEATURE FILM

Warner Bros. “Transcendence” Chris Baugh – Location Manager Mike Betz – Key Assistant Location Manager Justin Duncan – Key Assistant Location Manager Jeanie Farnam – Key Assistant Location Manager Leo A. Fiahlo – Key Assistant Location Manager Justin Harrold – Key Assistant Location Manager Ryan Neary – Key Assistant Location Manager Keomanee Villaythong – Key Assistant Location Manager Lori Balton – Location Scout

LOCATION TEAM OF THE YEAR – INDEPENDENT FEATURE FILM

Significant Productions “Fruitvale Station” Matthew Riutta – Location Manager Debra A. Wilson – Assistant Location Manager

LOCATION TEAM OF THE YEAR – TV EPISODIC – BODY OF WORK

CBS Studios, Inc. “NCIS” Jim McClafferty – Supervising Location Manager Joel Sinderman – Location Manager Emily Esses – Key Assistant Location Manager Darrin Lipscomb – Key Assistant Location Manager Damon Rivetti – Key Assistant Location Manager

LOCATION TEAM OF THE YEAR – TV EPISODIC, SINGLE OR SEASON

Concord Productions “The Bridge” Ralph Coleman – Location Manager Jorge Luis Alvarez – Key Assistant Location Manager Diana Lara – Key Assistant Location Manager Steven Lee – Key Assistant Location Manager Douglas Burke – Assistant Location Manager Phil Oglesby – Assistant Location Manager Eddie Santillan – Assistant Location Manager

PRODUCTION COMPANY OF THE YEAR – REALITY TELEVISION

Pilgrim Studios “Top Hooker” Jill Naumann – Location Manager