By Mary Ann Skweres
The Art Directors Guild, rich in the heritage of art and craft, celebrated the eighth annual Excellence in Production Design Awards February 14th.
The Multi-Camera Television Series Award went to production designer Dawn Snyder (art director Liz Lapp, assistant art director Luke Freeborn) for Arrested Development—In God We Trust. “I can’t believe I’m in the club,” she said. Production designer Brent Capra (art director Jenny Cassells) won the award for Single Camera Television Series for his design of the pilot of HBO’s Carnivale. His reaction: “It was easy. I had a great crew.”
The guild’s 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award went to TV production designer Roy Christopher, who, during a career that has seen seven Prime Time Emmy Awards, 32 Emmy nominations and three Art Directors Guild Awards, has designed an unprecedented 15 Academy Award Shows. He also took home this year’s Art Directors Guild Award for a Variety or Awards Show for his design of the 75th Annual Academy Awards (art directors Tamlyn Wright, Greg Richman and Keaton Walker).
Angels in America production designer Stuart Wurtzel (art directors John Kasarda and Stefano Ortolani, assistant art directors Huyu Kim, David Stein and Tom Warren) was honored with the award for a Television Movie or Mini-Series. A special Cinematic Imagery Award was presented to Academy Award-winning director, animator and Pixar founding member John Lasseter. Lasseter won his first award at age five: a $15 prize from a grocery store for his crayon drawing of the headless horseman.
For his work on Mystic River, 63-year veteran production designer Henry Bumstead (art director Jack G. Taylor, Jr.) won for excellence on a Contemporary Feature Film. Bumstead modestly claimed, “If you live long enough, you’ll win awards.” Taylor has collaborated with Bumstead on all but one film in the last 10 years.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King production designer Grant Major (supervising art director Dan Hennah, art directors Joe Bleakley, Phil Ivey, Simon Bright, assistant art directors Jules Cook, Jacqui Allen, Ross McGarva) won for a Period or Fantasy Film. Commenting on the six-year effort, Major credited his crew. “There should be 400 people behind me.
By Mary Ann Skweres