In September, 2015 the Art Directors Guild announced two new tributes to Gone With the Wind artists. First is the establishment of the William Cameron Menzies Award. The newly created ADG's William Cameron Menzies Award will occasionally honor an industry recipient, selected by the Art Directors Council Chair and members, who has demonstrated such excellence in visual arts and entertainment to merit special acknowledgement. The award is named after William Cameron Menzies, the first Art Director to be bestowed with the title of Production Designer. When David O. Selznick began production on Gone With the Wind (1939), he would have no one but Menzies to conceive the rich Technicolor settings. Through three years and three different directors, Menzies’ sketches continually defined the visual aspects of the film. He received a special Academy Award for his work on Gone With the Wind, and the original screen credit “This Production Designed By…”
The first recipient of the William Cameron Menzies Award is Robert Osborne of Turner Classic Movies, recognizing his 35 years as a film historian, columnist, critic and trade reporter championing visual entertainment. Osborne has served as the primetime host and anchor of Turner Classic Movies (TCM) since its launch in 1994 with "Gone With the Wind." Osborne brings viewers out of their living rooms and into the world of classic Hollywood, providing insider information, facts and trivia on TCM movie presentations. He also co-hosts TCM’s The Essentials series and was joined by new co-host Sally Field in March 2015. In addition, Osborne serves as the official host for the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood and the TCM Classic Cruise.
Osborne will be honored with the William Cameron Menzies Award during ADG’s 20th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards, set for January 31, 2016 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Read the Art Directors Guild Press Release here
DOROTHEA HOLT REDMOND - 2016 Inductee into Art Directors Guild Hall of Fame
In Hollywood, Redmond broke ground as the first woman to invade the "heretofore exclusively male field" of motion-picture production design, at David O. Selznick's studio, The LA Times reported in 1938. She was hired at Selznick studios after completing her degree in architecture at USC. Unable to find professional work during the depression, she turned to production design in Hollywood. Her film career started with 1937's "Nothing Sacred" starring Carole Lombard. In 1938 and 1939 she contributed many concept paintings and designs for David O. Selznick's Gone With the Wind. Redmond became best known for helping visually conceptualize Alfred Hitchcock’s films, including Rebecca (1940), Rear Window (1954) and To Catch a Thief (1955).
Redmond came to be regarded as one of the most talented illustrators in the industry, according to research by Tania Modleski, a USC English professor who is documenting the contributions women made Hitchcock's films. Working with Hitchcock and an art director, Redmond would create an illustration that became the basis for communicating to the cameraman and others -- and essentially set the tone of key scenes, Modleski told The Times in an e-mail. The artist "was masterful at working with light and shadow," Modleski said, "and deserves credit for working with Hitchcock to convey the German Expressionist aesthetic he has been praised for adopting throughout much of his career." and she worked on over thirty films spanning her 20-year career.
In 1964, she joined what is now known as Walt Disney Imagineering and helped envision elements of Disneyland and Disney World. The elaborate mosaic murals in the archway of Disney World's Cinderella Castle were also designed by Redmond and realized by another artist in a million pieces of glass. Some of the murals were later duplicated in Tokyo Disneyland "Her watercolor sketches were extraordinary place-making," Marty Sklar, an executive with Walt Disney Imagineering, said in 2008 when Redmond was named a Disney Legend in a hall-of-fame program that honors those who have had lasting impact on the Walt Disney Co. About a week before Redmond's death, a private exhibit of her artwork opened at Walt Disney Imagineering's Information Research Center in Glendale.
Redmond died on February 27, 2009 in Hollywood at the age of 98.
Read the LA Times obituary for Dorothea Holt Redmond here
Read the Art Director's Guild Press Release here
Lyle Wheeler - 2008 Inductee into Art Directors Guild Hall of Fame
When Selznick hired William Cameron Menzies to supervise all visual aspects of Gone With the Wind (1939), it became Wheeler’s job to interpret Menzies’ sketches, to fill in the details, and to design the sets. Wheeler consulted libraries for historical references, traveled throughout the South, and won his first Academy Award®. He followed that epic film with Rebecca (1940), one of the most stunning black and white movies ever produced, and received another nomination.
When Selznick closed his company, Wheeler sought work elsewhere and eventually went to work at 20th Century Fox where he would spend the majority of his career. At first, he was a unit Art Director working for Supervising Art Director Richard Day. Wheeler’s most influential early film at Fox was Laura (1944) which became a film noir classic. He continued in that style with The House On 92nd Street, Fallen Angel (both 1945), and Forever Amber (1947).
In 1947, Wheeler succeeded Richard Day and went on to become one of the great Supervising Art Directors of Hollywood’s Golden Age. His era was characterized by the transition from black-and-white to color, by the emergence of wide-screen formats, and by the move toward more extensive location shooting. Wheeler was an active participant in designing many of his studio’s films, such as the Otto Preminger classics Whirlpool (1949), Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950), and The 13th Letter (1951).
Throughout this period, Wheeler continuously received Oscar nominations and awards, as was the practice for Supervising Art Directors at that time. His record - his Art Department’s record - is second only to Gibbons at MGM.
In 1962, when Fox closed their Art Department, Wheeler went out on his own. He renewed his relationship with Otto Preminger and designed Advise and Consent (1962), The Cardinal (1963), In Harm’s Way (1965), and Tell Me You Love Me, Junie Moon (1969). He received his final Academy nomination for The Cardinal.
When Wheeler retired in 1978, he had received five Oscars and twenty-nine nominations, and his legacy included many of the finest pictures produced during Hollywood’s Golden Age.
About the Art Directors Guild
The Guild’s Online Directory/Website Resource is at www.adg.org.
For more info about the awards and the nominees, please go to www.adg.org.
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