Silver Chairs A Fashion Accessory For SDSA
If production designers provide the bones and the body of a set, set decorators provide the life and the soul. The members of the Set Decorators Society of America gathered on May 18th for their twenty-first annual awards luncheon at the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel to toast the changes that occurred over the last year. The ceremony provided an opportunity to honor outgoing board members and welcome new ones, present scholarships to worthy students who will be pursuing a career in set decorating, highlight Inner City Arts, their charity partner, and celebrate the achievements of many fine professionals whose work has left a lasting impressing in the film and television industry.
Unlike many other award shows that highlight the “best” work completed by their artisans on productions airing or screened during the course of the prior calendar year, the SDSA honors individuals and companies that have had a significant impact in promoting, propelling, and preserving the art of set decorating with their Silver Chair award. This year’s Silver Chair recipients included Set Décor’s editor Karen Burg, Gregg Bilson of prop house ISS (Independent Studio Services), Shari Schroder, former ED of Marketing, 20th Century Fox, John Ford, Steve Andruszkewicz and Paul Andruszkewicz of industrial/computer props house EC Props and veteran set decorator Ron V. Franco who has just completed work on the final season of “True Blood.”
The society’s Robert Zilliox Humanitarian Award was presented to Lynn Wolverton-Parker and Inger Christiansen-Shapiro. Business Members of the Year were presented to prop house The Alpha Companies and product placement/brand integration company Placed4Success. SDSA Hall of Fame recipient was Regina O’Brien whose work as a set decorator includes “The Ricki Lake Show”, “AOL Sessions” and this year’s hit production “Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey”.
The SDSA Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Donald Elmblad whose production career began as Francis Ford Coppola’s personal assistant on One from the Heart. He was quickly able to transition into a co-set decorator on Coppola’s “The Outsiders” and moved into the set decorator position on “Rumble Fish.” Throughout his career he’s worked on both film and television productions including series (Tales from the Crypt, Kindred: The Embraced, Malcolm in the Middle, Lincoln Heights), made for TV movies (Fire in the Dark, 12 Angry Men, The Thick of It) and feature films (Alien From L.A., The Man Without a Face, Dragon Wars). He retired after completing work on the Michael Jackson film “This Is It.” Upon receiving his award, Elmblad encouraged members of the audience to get involved in the fight to keep filming in L.A. He urged attendees to remember the long-standing tradition Hollywood has in the history of film and television, and warned that if participants neglected to take a stand, productions will continue to slip away.
“It is the hallowed ground of Hollywood forever,” said Elmblad. “People will never forget the films made in Los Angeles, the legacy is longstanding and the films iconic. Vote to keep filming in California and keep this legacy alive.”
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