Oscar nominees “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “Parasite” were the big winners Saturday night at the 24th annual Art Directors Guild Awards (held at The InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown). Barbara Ling’s elegiac recreation of 1969 Hollywood beat Dennis Gassner’s innovative period work on Sam Mendes’ one-shot, World War I extravaganza “1917” for the period prize, while Lee Ha Jun’s extraordinary production design on Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” took contemporary honors. The wins for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “Parasite” suggest they are not out of the running for the Production Design Oscar.
Oscar ballots are in voters hands, due Tuesday, February 4.
Meanwhile, “Avengers: Endgame” and “Toy Story 4 ” earned ADG awards for fantasy and animation (beating “The Lion King,” Jon Favreau’s faux live action, photoreal, virtual production, which production designer James Chinlund entered on his own).
Ling performed a 50-year facelift on Hollywood Blvd. and Westwood Village. The restoration included such bygone cultural fixtures as the Pussycat Theater, the psychedelic Aquarius Theatre (which opened “Hair” in 1968), and Peaches Records & Tapes. “LA was never a preservation city, and they keep tearing down these glass towers,” she said. “But LA has always been about rebuilding itself.”
“Parasite” masterfully explores class divide in Korea, boasting the season’s most elaborate production design. The exquisite Park mansion serves as a central character; and the home’s vertical design expresses space and division, highlighted by wood, glass, and spare furniture. The house was designed as an elaborate series of sets, including a soundstage for the secret passage to the bunker. “In the film, we wanted all the interior and architecture to be simpler, wider, and sometimes denser, more than complicated,” said Lee. “So the set was, in some ways, recklessly huge, but, all in all, I believe it was a perfect choice to make it into one set.”
Among the TV highlights were “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (one-hour period or fantasy single-camera), “The Umbrella Academy” (one-hour contemporary single-camera), and “Chernobyl” (movie or limited series).
Producer Chuck Lorre, the “King of Sitcoms” (“The Big Bang Theory”), earned the Cinematic Imagery Award, the late visual futurist/concept artist Syd Mead (“Blade Runner”) was honored with the William Cameron Menzies Award, ADG Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to art director Joe Alves (“Jaws”), scenic/graphic artist Denis Olsen (“Ghostbusters”), set designer Stephen Myles Berger (“Basic Instinct”), and illustrator/matte artist Jack Johnson (“Edward Scissorhands”), and the late Bill Creber (“Planet of the Apes”) and Roland Anderson (“Breakfast at Tiffany’s) were posthumously inducted into the ADG Hall of Fame.
Winners for Excellence in Production Design for a Feature Film:
“Once Upon A Time in Hollywood”
Production Designer: Barbara Ling
Production Designer: Charles Wood
Production Designer: Lee Ha Jun
“Toy Story 4”
Production Designer: Bob Pauley
Nominees for Excellence in Production Design for Television:
ONE-HOUR PERIOD OR FANTASY SINGLE-CAMERA SERIES
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”: “Ep. 305, Ep. 308”
Production Designer: Bill Groom
ONE-HOUR CONTEMPORARY SINGLE-CAMERA SERIES
“The Umbrella Academy”: “We Only See Each Other at Weddings and Funerals”
Production Designer: Mark Worthington
TELEVISION MOVIE OR LIMITED SERIES
Production Designer: Luke Hull
HALF HOUR SINGLE-CAMERA SERIES
“Russian Doll”: “Nothing in This World is Easy”
Production Designer: Michael Bricker
“The Big Bang Theory”: “The Stockholm Syndrome,” “The Conference Valuation,” “The Propagation Proposition”
Production Designer: John Shaffner
SHORT FORMAT: WEB SERIES, MUSIC VIDEO OR COMMERCIAL
“MedMen”: “The New Normal”
Production Designer: James Chinlund
VARIETY, REALITY OR EVENT SPECIAL
“Drunk History”: “Are You Afraid of the Drunk?”
Production Designer: Monica Sotto