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HomeCraftsArt DirectionThe King’s Speech, Inception and Black Swan Win at the ADG Awards

The King’s Speech, Inception and Black Swan Win at the ADG Awards


Production designer Eve Stewart won the ADG Award for a period film for The King’s Speech
The production designers for Black Swan, The King’s Speech and  Inception won the awards for best work on a 2010 feature film at the 15th annual Art Directors Guild Awards held Saturday night at the Beverly Hilton.

And for the third year in a row, Dan Bishop, production designer for Mad Men, the hit retro show about the advertising world of the late-1950s and early-1960s, carried off the honor for best work in the Single Camera Television Series category.

Stand-up comic Paula Poundstone repeated from last year as guest host, playing off the audience with her reductio ad absurdum humor.

The ADG divvies up the spoils into three feature film categories. For period film, production designer Eve Stewart won for The King’s Speech, about the attempts of England’s King George V to overcome his stammer. Guy Hendrix Dyas received the award for best production design in a fantasy film for Inception, the time-and-space-shifting puzzler directed by Christopher Nolan (it was Dyas’ fifth ADG nomination). And Therese DePrez won for best production design on a contemporary film for ballet-world melodrama Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman.

(Both Stewart and Dyas are also in the hunt for the best art direction Oscar, competing with Robert Stromberg for Alice in Wonderland, Jess Gonchor for True Grit and Stuart Craig for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.)

It was a very good night for women production designers, with DePrez and Stewart winning. And the ADG’s Lifetime Achievement Award went to Patricia Norris, who is known for her work with director David Lynch on Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks (Lynch presented the honor). Though there are an increasing number of female production designers, their ranks remain relatively slim in the top art department spot where males continue to predominate.

For TV, the ADG award for Television Movie or Mini-Series went to Robb Wilson King for Secrets in the WallSaturday Night Live production designers Keith Raywood, Eugene Lee, Akira Yoshimura and N. Joseph DeTullio shared the award for Episode of a Multi-Camera  Variety, or Unscripted Series for the episode when Betty White guest-hosted. (It was the first ADG production design win for ‘Live’ in its 36 years on the air.) Richard Berg won for Episode of a Half Hour Single-Camera Television Series for designing Modern Family. And David Rockwell, the production designer of the 82nd Annual Academy Awards was honored in the Awards, Music or Game Shows category.

The winner for Best Commercial was Jesse Benson for Ice Fishing, one of the series of Dos Equis ads featuring “the most interesting man in the world.”

Three notable production designers from the past were inducted into the ADG’s Hall of Fame: Russian-born Alexander Golitzen, was art department supervisor at Universal for 30 years and also won Oscars for Phantom of the Opera (the 1943 remake), Spartacus and To Kill A Mockingbird. Eugene Lourie, known for his long relationship with French director Jean Renoir on films including Rules of the Game and Grand Illusion, worked in Hollywood and was nominated for an Oscar for Krakatoa: East of Java. The third was television production designer Albert Heschong, renowned for his work on “golden age” tv dramas such as Playhouse 90, Climax and The United States Steel Hour.

The special award for Outstanding Contribution to Cinematic Imagery was handed out to Syd Dutton and Bill Taylor, who founded legendary special effects shop Illusion Arts, which recently ended 26 years in the business.


Venue: The Beverly Hilton Hotel grand ballroom, which was become the regular for the ADG Awards.

Parking: The convenient BH hotel garage adjacent for $12 and also the option of valet parking.

Food n’ Booze: Excellent chicken main course that was anything but rubber, a rabbit-food salad but tasty chocolate mousse in a molded chocolate cup dessert. Wines were quite drinkable.

Swag: None, as is now the order of the day, case in the still challenging economy. But vases of voluptuous red red roses that served as floral centerpieces were taken home by many attendees.

Memorable Line: Poundstone: “I want to do walls, Mama.”

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Brad Allan

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