The Art Directors Guild (IATSE Local 800) announced the recipients of this year’s lifetime achievement awards, which will be presented at the 19th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards, Jan. 31, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
For the first time, lifetime achievement awards will be awarded in all four crafts comprising the ADG. The honorees include Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated production designer Jim Bissell, along with Camille Abbott, who will be honored by the illustrators and matte artists; John Bruce, who will be honored by the set designers and Will Ferrell who will be honored by the scenic, title and graphic artists branch.
Abbott has worked on almost every Hollywood studio lot during her career including Paramount, Warner Bros., Universal, Lorimar, MGM and 20th Century Fox. Her work as an illustrator in motion pictures includes such films as Spaceballs (1987), Flashdance (1983), Two of a Kind (1983), Annie (1982) and Knightriders (1981). Her TV credits include production illustrator for such films and shows as Eerie, Indiana, The Earth Day Special, Battlestar Galactica and Ryan’s Four.
Bruce is a 43-year veteran who started at MGM studios as an apprentice set designer and has worked continuously ever since, eventually achieving the titles of senior lead set designer and art director. He is best known for his set designs on such projects as Armageddon (1998), Falcon Crest (1981) and Batman & Robin (1997). He was the set designer for numerous films, including Frost (2012), Sky High (2005), The Killer Inside Me (2010), The Matrix (1999), What About Bob (1991), Jaws (1973), Anaconda (1997), Flubber (1997), The Sting (1973), Blue Hawaii (1961) and Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003). His TV credits include set designer for such series as Scandal, Cold Case, The X-Files, Dexter, Murder She Wrote, Star Trek (Deep Space Nine), The Love Boat, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and art director for such series as Falcon Crest, The Waltons, Barnaby Jones and Baretta. Bruce served as vice president for Local 847 prior to their merger with Local 800 and is currently a board member.
Ferrell’s work includes theater productions for the Mark Taper Forum, The Ahmanson Theater and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for such shows as Oklahoma, The King & I, Carousel, Around the World in 80 Days and Kiss Me Kate. Ferrell left the theater to work on such motion pictures as Patriot Games (1992), The Hunt for Red October (1990), Coming to America (1988), Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), Funny Girl (1968), Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), Hawaii (1966), Mary Poppins (1964) and The Birds (1963). Ferrell’s television credits include such variety shows as The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The Dean Martin Show, The Jerry Lewis Show, The Jonathan Winters Show, The Red Skelton Show and The Carol Burnett Show. Ferrell worked at almost every Hollywood studio, including Paramount, where he and his twin brother established their own company, Pyramid Scenic Corporation. He later moved to Las Vegas where he set up Ferrell Scenic Art. Ferrell served as the business representative for Local 816 for three years.
Bissell’s work can be seen in such films as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), which took home four Oscars with an additional five Oscar nominations in 1983; The Rocketeer (1991), Jumanji (1995), 300 (2006), Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011) and most recently The Monuments Men (2014), directed by and starring George Clooney. Monuments Men is Bissell’s fourth collaboration with Clooney, which began with Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002), followed by Oscar-nominated Good Night, and Good Luck (2005) and continued with Leatherheads (2007). Bissell has been awarded a Primetime Emmy for Palmerstown, U.S.A. (shared with Bill Webb, 1980), an Oscar nomination and Satellite Award win for Good Night, and Good Luck (Oscar nomination shared with Jan Pascale, 2005) among additional nominations from the ADG, BAFTA and LAFCA Awards. His other credits include Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), The Falcon and the Snowman (1985), Harry and the Hendersons (1987), Someone to Watch Over Me (1987), Twins (1988), Always (1989), Dennis the Menace (1993), Blue Chips (1994), Tin Cup (1996), Cats & Dogs (2001) and The Ring Two (2005). Bissell is currently working on Mission: Impossible 5 (2015) and the recently announced film 1906 (release TBA).
Nominations for this year’s ADG Excellence in Production Design Awards will be announced on Jan. 5.