Three Production Design Oscar nominees took the top film trophies tonight at the 20th annual Art Directors Guild Awards at the Beverly Hilton. The Martian won for Contemporary Film, The Revenant picked up Period Film, and Mad Max: Fury Road raced away with Fantasy Film.
“Coming up here to the stage, I tried to control my breathing with yoga techniques — it didn’t work,” The Martian production designer Arthur Max said. “I’m going to ask for a refund for all those classes. The Martian is meant as a celebration of the human species. Using our wit and ingenuity to ultimately survive; sounds like every art department I’ve been with.” Of director Ridley Scott, he added, “He’s made the best film on this or any other planet.”
Said The Revenant PD Jack Fisk: “I’m kind of shocked,” Fisk said. “I’ve been humbled by all the talent in this room. It’s a great honor coming from art directors. I don’t feel worthy.”
Colin Gibson, tonight’s winner for Mad Max, said: “It never ceases to annoy me on how many people it takes to make me look competent. … I’d like to propose a toast to us: to the luckiest people in the world –all of us in this room.”
On the TV side, Deborah Riley and Game Of Thrones made it back-to-back ADG Awards to go with their repeat Emmy wins, and House Of Cards’ Steve Arnold won after being nominated last year. Other small-screen winners were American Horror Story, The Big Bang Theory, Key & Peele and The Muppets.
Five-time Oscar nominee David O. Russell was on hand to accept the guild’s Cinematic Imagery Award, presented to filmmakers whose work has “richly enhanced the visual aspects of the moviegoing experience.” “Our films are very specific, not giant-looking films,” he said. “We really really care a lot about what they look like and what they feel like. It’s the heart of soul of the film.” He also talked about how simple things like getting the right portrait in a Jersey home are very important to him. “Those are the things that make me so happy I want to die.” He told the crowd, “We all bleed together and we live together to make stories — and what better way to live our lives.”
The ADG recognized four people with its Lifetime Achievement Award: Oscar winning production designer Patrizia Von Brandenstein (Amadeus); Oscar-nominated matte artist Harrison Ellenshaw (The Black Hole); scenic artist Bill Anderson (The Sound Of Music); and William J. Newmon II (Poltergeist), Hollywood’s first African-American set designer.
Jeanine Oppewall introduced the 2016 ADG Hall of Fame inductees by saying, “It’s the year of the woman in the Art Directors Guild.” They are production designer Carmen Dillon, Oscar winner for 1948’s Hamlet; production and costume designer Patricia Norris, a six-time Oscar nominee including for 12 Years A Slave; production designer and illustrator Dorothea Holt Redmond, who worked on Gone With The Wind, The 10 Commandments, Rear Window and The Best Years Of Our Lives; and art director and set designer Dianne Wager, whose credits include Jurassic Park III, The Green Mile, Lethal Weapon 2 and Spaceballs..
Robert Osborne, who has served as host of Turner Classic Movies (TCM) since its 1994 launch, was set to receive the inaugural William Cameron Menzies Award for championing classic motion pictures but had a bad cold and could not attend.
ADG’s Marcia Hinds announced during the show that the guild’s trophy was redesigned this year and named for the first time. The Cinemagundi is named for the Hollywood art directors club started in 1924.
Here is the complete list of winners:
Production Designer: ARTHUR MAX
Production Designer: JACK FISK
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
Production Designer: COLIN GIBSON
ONE-HOUR PERIOD OR FANTASY SINGLE-CAMERA SERIES
GAME OF THRONES: “High Sparrow,” “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken,” “Hardhome”
Production Designer: DEBORAH RILEY
ONE-HOUR CONTEMPORARY SINGLE-CAMERA SERIES
HOUSE OF CARDS: “Chapter 29,” “Chapter 36”
Production Designer: STEVE ARNOLD
TELEVISION MOVIE OR LIMITED SERIES
AMERICAN HORROR STORY: HOTEL: “Checking In”
Production Designer: MARK WORTHINGTON
HALF HOUR SINGLE-CAMERA SERIES
THE MUPPETS: “The Ex-Factor,” “Pig’s in a Blanket”
Production Designer: DENISE PIZZINI
AWARDS OR EVENT SPECIAL
THE OSCARS: 2015
Production Designer: DEREK McLANE
THE BIG BANG THEORY: “The Skywalker Incursion,” “The Mystery Date
Observation,” “The Platonic Permutation”
Production Designer: JOHN SHAFFNER
VARIETY, REALITY OR COMPETITION SERIES
KEY & PEELE: “Ya’ll Ready For This?” “The End”
Production Designer: GARY KORDAN
SHORT FORMAT: WEB SERIES, MUSIC VIDEO OR COMMERCIAL
APPLE MUSIC: “The History of Sound”
Production Designer: JESS GONCHOR