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Original Backdrops from Classic Hollywood Films to be Showcased at the 21st Annual Art Directors Guilds Excellence in Production Design Awards



Monumental Hollywood backdrops from classic films such as Singin’ in the Rain, Ben-Hur, Hello, Dolly! and North by Northwest will be showcased at the 21st Annual Art Directors Guild’s Excellence in Production Design Awards (IATSE Local 800), held Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017 at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland and hosted by Emmy-winning comedian Patton Oswalt.

Hand-painted film backdrops from over 30 films will be displayed on canvas and on a large LED monitor during the pre-show cocktail reception and awards program. Guests will have the opportunity to take photos in front of the “Make Them Laugh” backing from Singin’ in the Rain.

The awards presentation, organized by ADG Awards co-producer Thomas Walsh, is part of a continued collaboration between ADG and J.C. Backings in celebration of The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop’s book release in November 2016, published by Regan Arts, a Phaidon Global Company. The Art Directors Guild Archives joined forces with the book’s authors Karen L. Maness and Richard M. Isackes to compile a definitive behind-the-scenes history of scenic artists who crafted the iconic but now endangered art form of the Hollywood backdrop.

“We delight in the fact that historic motion picture backings will be displayed at the Art Directors Guild Awards,”” said Karen L. Maness, the book’s co-author. “”Attendees will witness for themselves the majesty of these classic paintings.”” Added Walsh, “”This book proves that this profession cannot be fully replaced by technology, rather that this art form remains a necessary, tactile, visual, and immersive creative endeavor.””

J.C. Backings is the oldest continuously operating motion picture scenic studio in the industry, and is located on the Sony Pictures Studio lot (formerly MGM). It was designed specifically to create photo-realistic artworks on a large scale for Hollywood motion pictures.

As previously announced, Oscar-winning director Brad Bird (The Incredibles 2, Tomorrowland) will receive the prestigious Cinematic Imagery Award. ADG will also present four Lifetime Achievement Awards to Emmy-winning Production Designer René Lagler, Scenic Artist Albert Obregon, Emmy-nominated Set Designer Cate Bangs and Senior Illustrator Joseph Musso. Gene Allen, the Oscar-winning Production Designer behind My Fair Lady, A Star is Born and Les Girls, will be inducted into the Art Directors Guild (ADG) Hall of Fame.

Nominees in 11 categories of Production Design for theatrical motion pictures, television, commercials and music videos were announced on January 5, 2017. For the full list of nominees, visit Final online balloting will end on February 9, and winners will be announced at the dinner ceremony on Saturday, February 11, 2017.

Producers of this year’s ADG Awards (#ADGawards) are production designers Tom Wilkins and Tom Walsh. ADG Awards are open only to productions, when made within the U.S., by producers signatory to the IATSE agreement. Foreign entries are acceptable without restrictions. Further inquiries regarding the ADG Awards may be directed to Debbie Patton in the ADG Awards Office at 818.762.9995 or[email protected].

Media sponsors for the ADG Awards are The Hollywood Reporter, Variety and SHOOTonline.

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