The Shape of Water, Blade Runner 2049, Logan and Coco took top film honors tonight at the 22nd annual ADG Awards. Blade Runner 2049 and The Shape of Water will face off for the Production Design Oscar March 3. Logan was not nominated.

For the first time, the Art Directors Guild included animated feature in its film categories. Coco added to its early awards season wins, taking home the inaugural trophy.

Celebrating excellence in production design during 2017, the Johnathan Fernandez-hosted awards were presented in 11 categories.

Fox Searchlight

The Shape of Water continued its seemingly unstoppable march toward Oscars. The film, nominated for a leading 13 Academy Awards, including best picture and best director for Guillermo del Toro, is coming off Golden Globe, AFI, Broadcast Film Critics, and PGA wins, among others.

There was plenty of interest in the Fantasy Film category this year as it pitted the three top-grossing films of 2017 domestically — Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Beauty and the Beast and Wonder Woman — against War for the Planet of the Apes and Blade Runner 2049.

Only 14 of the 21 previous top ADG Award winners — spanning all three top film categories — have gone on to claim the Oscar. Last year’s top ADG winners were Hidden Figures (Period), Passengers (Fantasy) and La La Land (Contemporary), which later claimed the Academy Award.


On the TV side, Game Of Thrones won for One-Hour Period or Fantasy Single-Camera Series, The Handmaid’s Tale’s Julie Berghoff took the trophy for One-Hour Single Camera Series, beating itself. The praised Hulu drama series was nominated twice in the category. Other TV winners were Will & Grace, GLOW, Black Mirror and Portlandia.

ADG Award career honorees tonight included Kathleen Kennedy (Cinematic Imagery Award), Ron Clements and John Musker (William Cameron Menzies Award), guild president Matthew D. Loeb (Leadership Award) and Michael Baugh (Outstanding Creative Achievement Award). Four men will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards –Norm Newberry, James Murikami, John Moffitt and Martin Kline — and Sir Ken Adam and Tyrus Wong were inducted into the ADG Hall of Fame.


In accepting the Cinematic Imagery Award, eight-time Oscar nominee and Lucasfilm head Kennedy spoke of the importance of imagery.  “Movies ask the audience to believe in something, whether its dinosaurs, Indiana Jones, Abraham Lincoln or Life of Pi,” she said. “The ability to create something we can only speculate about through our imagination…That is the profound impact of cinematic imagery. The images we remember, they stay with us for a lifetime.”

See the complete list of winners and how the night went down below.

Fantasy Feature Film

Blade Runner 2049 — Dennis Gassner

Period Feature Film

The Shape of Water — Paul Denham Austerberry

Contemporary Feature Film

Logan — François Audouy

Animated Feature Film

Coco — Harley Jessup

One-Hour Period or Fantasy Single-Camera Series

Game of Thrones (HBO): “Dragonstone,” “The Queen`s Justice,” “Eastwatch” — Deborah Riley

One-Hour Contemporary Single-Camera Series

The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu): “Pilot, Offred,” “Birth Day,” “Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum” — Julie Berghoff

Television Movie or Limited Series

Black Mirror (Netflix): “USS Callister” — Joel Collins

Half-Hour Single-Camera Series

GLOW (Netflix): “Pilot,” “The Wrath of Kuntar,” “The Dusty Spur” — Todd Fjelsted

Multi-Camera Series

Will & Grace (NBC): “Eleven Years Later,” “A Gay Olde Christmas” — Glenda Rovello

Variety or Competition Series/Awards or Event Special

Portlandia (IFC): “Portland Secedes,” “Ants,” “Fred`s Cell Phone Company” — Schuyler Telleen

Short Format: Web Series, Music Video or Commercial

Star Wars Battlefront II: “Rivalry / PS4” — Jason Edmonds

Denise Petski January 27, 20187:28 pm

We’re moments away from the start of the 22nd annual ADG Awards

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‘Lethal Weapon’s Johnathan Fernandez is tonight’s host.
Presenters are Kate Burton, Rick Carter, Janina Gavankar, Gary Oldman, Lou
Diamond Philips, Anika Noni Rose and Katee Sackhoff.

Denise Petski January 27, 20187:33 pm

Eight-time Oscar nominee and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy will be receiving the ADG’s Cinematic Imagery Award tonight.

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We’re off to the races here at the Dolby 

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We begin with a highlight reel of production design in animation over the years—Bugs Bunny, Up and now Coco.

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And introducing our host, Johnathan Fernandez…

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the ADG’s first animation-related host 

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“I look super real. I’m only 63 percent rendered,” he says.

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“I’m so excited to be hosting here because this is a great place to be a fanboy. They literally make the stuff that we look at, which is awesome.”
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Inflating egos, the host tells designers they’re the “most important people in production.” Nay, “the most important people in America.”

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This year, Fernandez says, audiences looked to films more than ever to escape

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For the first time ever this year, the ADG will be honoring animated films, something that’s drawing big surprise around the room. 

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Fernandez is essentially auditioning for honoree Kathleen Kennedy with his hosting role tonight. He only regrets he didn’t wear a green screen suit so she could “imagine me as anything.”

Denise Petski January 27, 20187:57 pm

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The Lego Batman‘s Will Arnett is introducing first category of the night – noms in contemporary design

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One-Hour Contemporary Single-Camera Series
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu): “Pilot, Offred,” “Birth Day,” “Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum” — Julie Berghoff

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“This has been an incredible year. Thank you for this incredible recognition that I will remember for the rest of my life.” Julie Berghoff, The Handmaid’s Tale

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Who concludes, quoting from the show, “Don’t let the bastards drag you down.”

Denise Petski January 27, 20188:02 pm

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Short Format: Web Series, Music Video or Commercial
Star Wars Battlefront II: “Rivalry / PS4” — Jason Edmonds

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Edmonds apologized for holes created in the production’s parking lot by some strategically placed explosives

Denise Petski January 27, 20188:07 pm

Variety or Competition Series/Awards or Event Special
Portlandia (IFC): “Portland Secedes,” “Ants,” “Fred`s Cell Phone Company” — Schuyler Telleen

matthewgrobar January 27, 20188:08 pm

“We just finished 8 years of this wonderful program. I’m really emotional. When it came to being asked if I needed more money for our sets, I’d say no. I’d say, ‘I need money for more crew.’ It was a family, and it was just so wonderful. You guys are a family to me.” — Schuyler Telleen 

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ADG President Nelson Coates takes the stage

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“We’re thrilled to be joined by the family of one of our Hall of Fame Inductees, Tyrus Wong.”
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The legendary Disney artist passed away in 2016

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The guild will now be honoring production designer Michael Baugh for his Perspective magazine, used to “promote the best of our art and profession to a larger audience”

Denise Petski January 27, 20188:16 pm

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“I never liked to design the last set on a film, or the final flourishes of any project, really; the beginning is always more exciting than the conclusion. Wrapping up my last issue of Perspective this past September was the least [easy] of all. It seems that just a few weeks ago that I came into this industry, fresh out of college. At that point, I wasn’t even a storyteller—but I always liked to make things.” — Michael Baugh

Denise Petski January 27, 20188:17 pm

Outstanding Creative Achievement (pre-announced)

Michael Baugh

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“I’ve had the exhilaration I’ve called the ‘sawdust fix.’ It’s the high you feel walking onto a set and seeing your vision come to life.”

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For Baugh, his environments have been “living creatures” with interior lives all their own.

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Dunkirk set decorator Gary Fettis intro’s James Murakami for his Lifetime Achievement Award

Denise Petski January 27, 20188:21 pm

Lifetime Achievement (pre-announced)

James Murakami

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Cue the reel of Murakami’s legendary career…or not

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Running into the first technical difficulties of the night.

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And the show goes on…. with a standing ovation for Murakami.

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The art director has worked on everything from WarGames to Beverly Hills Cop, True Romance and more

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“I’ve had the pleasure of working with some really great set designers for many years. At the age of 75, I was able to use all my design experience to design 7 films for Clint Eastwood, and I retired three years ago. Thank you very much.” — Murakami

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Now, they’ve gotten Murakami’s reel working.

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Clips included from J. Edgar, Sully, Changeling, Hereafter, Invictus and more

Denise Petski January 27, 20188:26 pm

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And now, a look at the storied career of illustrator Martin Kline 

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Clips: Forrest Gump, Stuart Little, Spider Man, Back to the Future Part II, Beowulf 

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Everyone’s on their feet for Marty Kline

Denise Petski January 27, 20188:31 pm

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“I really appreciate the significance of this. It’s been a long and winding way.”

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“I’ve been able to illustrate planes and trains and spaceships and learned about things people never thought about before, like dinosaurs and vikings. I’m indebted to all the designers who taught me just about everything I needed to know. It was an education.”

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“We’re making great strides. We’re creating a harassment-free environment where creativity can flourish. So get involved in the guild. Let’s strive for a more perfect union and leave things better than we found them.”

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On to the award for multi-camera series 

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Multi-Camera Series 
Will & Grace (NBC): “Eleven Years Later,” “A Gay Olde Christmas” — Glenda Rovello

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“As we all know, it starts on the page, and I will always be grateful to our writers. And after a 10-year hiatus, how wonderful it is to return to the show that was my first production design job. I am so fortunate to have these amazing creative people and storytellers—we all have our gifts, and this is my gift.” — Glenda Rovello and team

Denise Petski January 27, 20188:41 pm

Half-Hour Single-Camera Series 
Glow (Netflix): “Pilot,” “The Wrath of Kuntar,” “The Dusty Spur” — Todd Fjelsted

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“Thank you to our fellow ADG members for recognizing a story about hilarious, complicated women.” — Todd Fjelsted

Denise Petski January 27, 20188:42 pm

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Trio Entertainment President Ed Strang is up to present Lifetime Achievement award to John Moffitt 

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“For over 20 years I was honored to have John as my lead scenic artist. In addition to John’s artistic talent, we also recognize him for his ability to teach others, and his expectations of excellence that resulted in the next generation of classically-trained scenic artists. We pay tribute to your continuing legacy of scenic excellence.” 

matthewgrobar January 27, 20188:47 pm

“Thank you, Ed. I’d particularly like to thank your father Ron because without all your support throughout the years, I wouldn’t be standing up here today.”

Denise Petski January 27, 20188:48 pm

Lifetime Achievement (pre-announced)

John Moffitt

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The Post production designer Rick Carter on stage

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“Without Norm Newberry, I’m not sure how I would have ever entered into the Art Directors Guild or ever been a production designer.”

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A misplaced video cue almost threw Carter off, but he’s learned to “go with the punches” — his comedic timing is quick.

Denise Petski January 27, 20188:51 pm

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Carter gives his recollection of working together with Newberry on The Polar Express, and then War of the Worlds – “so good, it’s stayed on as a tourist attraction” at Universal Studios

Denise Petski January 27, 20188:55 pm

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Standing ovation for Norm Newberry

Denise Petski January 27, 20188:56 pm

Lifetime Achievement (pre-announced)

Norm Newberry

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“I love listening to Rick talk, especially when it’s about me. The reel you just saw of my movie life represents not only some of my production design, but also some of my art direction and set decoration. Rick advises me to say I did it all. The important thing is, I was always made to think I was totally involved. I prided in wrangling us all in the right direction. We called ourselves designers and storytellers, but our cinematic form of storytelling isn’t a solitary effort. A uniquely cinemagic trick is required to uniformly inspire our audience with a cohesive image that beguiles us. There is no one who pulls off a cinematic trick off better than production designers, and the art department.”

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“I learned how to do this thanks to my mentor Bob Boyle.”

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Newberry discussed building over $4 billion worth of sets and environments with his team in the “sandbox”‘ at Universal Studio

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Now, for the Hall of Fame inductees…

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Tyrus Wong, “once an unwanted Chinese immigrant,” became a defining visual artist working at the highest level, Tom Walsh says.

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“Tonight let’s remember and be inspired by two cinema giants whose works live on”

Denise Petski January 27, 20189:04 pm

Hall of Fame (pre-announced)

Tyrus Wong & Sir Ken Adam

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“For those not paying attention, that was all done in-camera,” Walsh joked

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The families of Hall of Fame inductees Tyrus Wong and Sir Ken Adam stand, and with them, the entire audience at the Ray Dolby

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Up next is the award for TV Movie/Limited Series

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if we’re going off previous award shows, it should be the incredibly popular Big Little Lies

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though that series is up against more recent offerings, including Black Mirror episode “USS Callister”

Denise Petski January 27, 20189:11 pm

Television Movie or Limited Series
Black Mirror (Netflix): “USS Callister” — Joel Collins

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Black Mirror took it after all. But sadly no one is here tonight on behalf of the exceptional series to accept

Denise Petski January 27, 20189:13 pm

Ram Bergman, Alan Horn & Rian Johnson

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Big gaffe on stage

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Referencing Kate Burton with regard to a stage show that closed last July

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The actress took it in stride

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Kate Burton

Denise Petski January 27, 20189:16 pm

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“I’ll just say, I’m happy to be a member of the Art Directors Guild. It’s so much more than a kid from Australia could ever ask for. That being said, standing here by myself feels kind of ridiculous, never mind embarrassing,” Riley said, giving credit to her entire art department

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ADG Executive Director Chuck Parker will now present the Leadership Award to Matt Loeb

Denise Petski January 27, 20189:18 pm

One-Hour Period or Fantasy Single-Camera Series
Game of Thrones (HBO): “Dragonstone,” “The Queen`s Justice,” “Eastwatch” — Deborah Riley

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“Our next award recipient has made a really significant impact on our professional lives. I was immediately impressed by Loeb’s commitment to diversity and the success of women, including in the upper strata of leadership. People have to earn the respect they get from others, and he earns his daily.”

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“In the words of President John F. Kennedy, leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

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“First I’d like to recognize the other nominees. There being none is very helpful.” — Matt Loeb 
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Loeb: “This is about taking care of people. This is about having rights. This is what we’re here, and every single human being deserves that, in this country [and others]. Every single person. We’re going to have to work hard to create an environment of equity. We have to remain active, or we might elect an idiot, or a misogynist. We deserve better…”

Denise Petski January 27, 20189:23 pm

Leadership Award (pre-announced)

Matt Loeb

matthewgrobar January 27, 20189:23 pm

“We’re going to fight for fairness and we’re going to exhibit leadership and we’re going to bring powerful people together. But folks, we have to understand that equality in the workplace and a safe work environment is primary. That has to happen. That’s about women who have been fighting this for far too long and about men who have to stand up. We have to make a cultural difference and a generational difference.”

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“This great union is going to be part of the solution. It has to be.”

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“We’re fortunate to be in a thriving industry but that has to translate into a culture of caring and respect. We’re strong because we stand together as a union, and we’re going to get what’s fair.”

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Most pointedly political remarks of the evening

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Host Fernandez: “This is a time to be emotional, and I’m feeling it.”

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Rick Carter nervously re-enters the spotlight.

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Cinematic Imagery Award being presented to Kathleen Kennedy, someone Carter has known for 34 years

Denise Petski January 27, 20189:26 pm

Cinematic Imagery Award (pre-announced)

Kathleen Kennedy

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“There was a laughter in her, in terms of getting what no one else does,” Carter remembers of his experience with her on The Goonies and other classics.

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Carter: “Long before she took over the mantle of Star Wars to try to bring forth the force again, I was aware that she was a person that had the force—a force of vision. I’m so happy we’re honoring her as a producer who creates, underneath everything we do, a vision.”

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“It’s the vision of a producer who allows all of us to do what we do. It’s fundamental to what we do, and I’m so honored to be able to present this award. This is so the tip of the ice berg, compared to what she’s done,” Carter says, introducing her reel.

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The room leaps up for Kathleen Kennedy

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Kennedy: “First I want to say, what Matt Loeb just said, it sort of pales in comparison to what I’m about to talk about, even though I’m going to talk about the importance of imagery. I was really moved by what you said, Matt. I also want to say that the first job I ever had, I was a camera operator, so I too was in a union and I completely understand the importance of it. I have to say that I was a bit daunted when I started writing down my thoughts about receiving this award. I could only think about the amazing work so many people in this room represent and how fortunate I’ve been to work with so many of you.”

matthewgrobar January 27, 20189:34 pm

“All of them, along with their incredible teams, have contributed so much to what we mean when we define cinematic imagery. The devotion to craft often defines great films. Cinematic imagery always had to begin with great storytelling, but great storytelling can be inspired by imagery. What defines it as ‘cinematic’ is elusive. It’s often defined by scale but it’s always motivated by storytelling”

matthewgrobar January 27, 20189:37 pm

“Movies ask the audience to believe in something, whether its dinosaurs, Indiana Jones, Abraham Lincoln or Life of Pi. The ability to create something we can only speculate about through our imagination…That is the profound impact of cinematic imagery. The images we remember, they stay with us for a lifetime. My participation in that journey of discovery has been what I loved the most about what I do. It’s finding those images that root the story in emotion, wonder and awe. It may be something as simple as the match in Lawrence of Arabia, the land ablaze in Days of Heaven, the smell of napalm in the morning in Apocalypse Now. Each of these magnificent films are defined by imagery.”

matthewgrobar January 27, 20189:38 pm

“It’s that swept-away feeling you get when you become lost in a world or a time in history, or a place you think you recognize that captivates and transports. The invention of these images is the product of artists, visually tuned to inspire and innovate, to help us see what we wish for. That is cinema, and that is why we love movies. This, I suppose, is the fear of losing the cinematic experience. Those challenges should inspire us. That is the motor by which we also move the craft of cinema into the future. So to quote Doc Brown in Back to the Future, ‘The future is what you make it.'”

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Catherine O’Hara presenting Period Feature Film Award

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The Shape of Water continues its sweep at all kinds of awards shows this season. Tonight, its production designer is recognized

Denise Petski January 27, 20189:42 pm


The Shape of Water — Paul Denham Austerberry

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“I’m very honored to be here. I have to say, none of us would be here without the original creative force of Guillmero del Toro.” — Paul D. Austenberry

Denise Petski January 27, 20189:43 pm

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Anika Noni Rose presents William Cameron Menzies Award to Disney legends Ron Clements and John Musker

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She starred in their 2009 film The Princess and the Frog. And she’s singing segments from classic Disney animated films. The crowd loves it

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More recently, the pair helmed the beloved Moana

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“Ron Clements and John Musker, the most successful of animation directing duos, have given us timeless classics within the whole of the film and entertainment industry. These stories tell of people who yearn for more in their lives—a young woman in New Orleans dreams of having her own business. They’ve given us princesses who are empowered, including Tiana, the first African American Disney princess”

Denise Petski January 27, 20189:47 pm

William Cameron Menzies Award (pre-announced)

Ron Clements & John Musker

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“We want to thank the ADG for recognizing animation, at long last. It means so much to us.” — Ron Clements

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Musker: “[Art directors] had to spend long, grueling hours on the beaches of Tahiti [for Moana]”

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Musker: “We were trained by Disney’s nine old men. One of those nine men was our mentor—he was in charge of the training program at Disney when we started in the ’70s. He said, ‘the only thing that limits us in animation is our imagination.'”

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Musker and Clements are praising their collaborators in art dept. on such classics as Aladdin and The Little Mermaid

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Also, the pair’s art director collaborator on Hercules, “who designed not one, but three worlds”

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“To all those artists who worked on all those films whose imaginations have fueled those of children for so many years, and even a few adults too, we thank you.”

matthewgrobar January 27, 20189:57 pm

Who better than The Simpsons’ Nancy Cartwright to introduce the first ADG Award nominees for animation?

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Animation has “for too long been sitting at the kid’s table of awards shows”

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“Production design for animation is world building in its purest form”

Denise Petski January 27, 201810:01 pm


Coco — Harley Jessup

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“It’s a thrill just to be in this room tonight—so many of my heroes are here. Thank you for recognizing animation with this new award. It means so much to be included in this amazing night. Coco has been a labor of love.” — Harley Jessup

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“Coco is all about honoring those who inspired us, but are no longer with us. When Lee Unkrich first pitched the idea for Coco, Steve Jobs was still here on this earth. I want to dedicate this award to him”

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The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is in the house to give out the award for Contemporary Feature—second to last prize of the night.

Denise Petski January 27, 201810:07 pm


Logan — François Audouy

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“Thank you to the Art Directors Guild for recognizing us in the contemporary category. Our goal from the beginning was to make a film that connected with our times. I wouldn’t be here tonight if it wasn’t for James Mangold’s vision for Mangold. He wrote such an incredible screenplay and challenged us to thank differently. We’d also like to thank Hugh Jackman, whose passion and dedication were an inspiration to us all.” — François Audouy

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And now for the final award of the evening…

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Golden Globe winner Gary Oldman presenting Fantasy Film

Denise Petski January 27, 201810:12 pm


Blade Runner 2049 – Dennis Gassner

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“When I met Denis Villeneuve in the dead of winter in Montreal, I knew this would be a very hard film. We decided to send a dream of brutality back to Ridley’s first film. It was an extraordinary journey.” — Dennis Gassner

matthewgrobar January 27, 201810:16 pm

That’s all from us here at the 22nd Annual ADG Awards, out of the Ray Dolby Theater. Awards season marches on. Good night.