The Art Directors Guild (ADG) announced that scenic artist Bill Anderson, Oscar-nominated matte artist Harrison Ellenshaw and set designer William Newmon, II will be presented with lifetime achievement awards at the guild’s 20th annual awards gala, scheduled for Jan. 31 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Last year the guild starting handing out lifetime achievement awards in each of its four disciplines: art directors; scenic, title and graphic artists; illustrators and matte artists; and set designers and model makers. The organization previously announced that production designer Patrizia von Brandenstein would also receive a lifetime achievement award.
Anderson’s mural artistry can be seen in films such as Cleopatra (1963) and The Sound of Music (1965), as well as at various Disney attractions around the world. Anderson started his career at J.C. Backings, painting backgrounds for 20th Century Fox films such as What a Way to Go (1964), Fantastic Voyage (1966), Hello, Dolly! (1969) and Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970). He went on to work as a scenic supervisor for Grosh Scenic Studios, while serving as president of IATSE Local 816 (scenic, title and graphic artists). From 1979 to 1982, Anderson oversaw scenic design for Disney’s Epcot Center. In the 1980s, he freelanced on various Disney projects such as Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, Disney’s California Adventure and El Capitan. He later went on to start Disney’s Tujunga facility as well as Mural Makers, a family-run company that specializes in murals, theme and faux painting for theme parks, museums and theatres.
Ellenshaw is not only a matte artist, but also the first visual effects supervisor to be credited in a film for 1982’s Tron. The son of Oscar-winning matte designer Peter Ellenshaw, Harrison Ellenshaw got his start in Walt Disney Studio’s matte department. He later joined George Lucas‘s effects studio Industrial Light and Magic, where he produced many of the matte visual effects backgrounds for Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and The Black Hole (1979), which earned Peter and Harrison an Academy Award nomination for best visual effects. In addition to producing visual effects for Tron (1982), Captain EO (1986), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), Ghost (1990) and Dick Tracy (1990), Ellenshaw also headed Disney Studio’s effects department Buena Vista Visual Effects from 1990-1996, overseeing 63 films. Ellenshaw is a founding board member of the Visual Effects Society (VES).
Newmon became the first African-American set designer in Hollywood when he joined IATSE Local 847 (set designers and model makers) in 1975. He later went on to serve three terms as vice president of Local 847 until his retirement in 2000. Newmon started his career at NBC as a stock scenery draftsman, and later was hired by Disney to set design The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975) and The Shaggy D.A. (1976). His film credits include Poltergeist (1982), Big Top Pee Wee (1988), The Meteor Man (1993), Deep Rising (1998) and Purgatory (1999). Newmon’s television credits include Starsky and Hutch, Little House on the Prairie, MacGyver, Murder She Wrote, Amen, Matt Houston, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, 7th Heaven and The Wayans Bros.