Jeff Margolis, executive producer and director of the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards®, announced that the team of talented producers and artists behind previous SAG Awards are returning to create this year’s ceremonies. The 17th Annual SAG Awards® also marks the 13th consecutive year Jeff Margolis Productions has produced the Actors® in association with Screen Actors Guild Awards, LLC.
The 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be simulcast live from coast to coast on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011 on TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. (ET), 7 p.m. (CT), 6 p.m. (MT) and 5 p.m. (PT). When the guests arrive and viewers tune-in, the festivities at the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center will look effortless and seamless. But behind the glamour and excitement is the hard work of dozens of dedicated professionals in multiple disciplines, most of whom return annually.
Jeff Margolis first took the helm as executive producer of acting’s most glamorous evening with the 5th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. This year’s 17th Annual SAG Awards also marks the fourth consecutive year Margolis is bringing his Emmy® and DGA Award-winning directing talents to the Guild’s annual awards ceremony.
Kathy Connell will produce the Screen Actors Guild Awards for the 17th consecutive year (the first two were as a producer for SAG). Connell is also Screen Actors Guild’s executive producer for national programming and in 2007-2008 produced the Guild’s year-long award-winning celebration of its 75th Anniversary.
The Awards Committee for Screen Actors Guild – chair JoBeth Williams, vice-chair Daryl Anderson, newest committee member Scott Bakula and veterans Shelley Fabares and Paul Napier – advise at all stages leading up to the production.
“Each year we look forward to the SAG Awards as a reunion of creative colleagues and an opportunity for fresh collaboration,” shares Margolis. “We take great pride in designing a memorable evening for both the community of actors at the Awards ceremony and for our audience at home which has grown consistently year after year.”
The Shrine complex is Los Angeles landmark built in 1920 in Spanish Colonial Revival style with Moorish detailing. It’s grandiose and beautiful on the outside, but the inner space of the Shrine’s Exposition Center, with its 34,000 square foot wooden floor, paint-trimmed overhangs and bare columns, has to be redefined for each event. Just to create a neutral backdrop from which the show’s designers can begin their transformation, it takes some 15,000 square feet of black drape to cover the showroom walls and block sunlight and another 11,800 square feet of black carpet to cover the showroom floor and seating risers
Production designers John Shaffner & Joe Stewart, who together share 30 Emmy nominations, an Art Directors Guild Award for the 2006 Emmy Awards, plus four Art Directors Guild nominations and five Emmys (including their 2005 kudo for The George Lopez Show), ”), will be designing their eighth new set for the SAG Awards. They recently designed the set for Conan O’Brien’s new late-night show on TBS, “Conan.” Shaffner is the chair of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Board of Governors, while Stewart serves as chair of the Academy’s Governor’s Ball committee and Sculpture committee.
Their elegant new set, reminiscent of a grand lobby will provide an opulent backdrop against which the ceremony will unfold. The most distinguishing features are a pair of monumental lacquered doors, each framed by oversized moulding with roccco staff detail, which will lead to the wings on either side of the stage. Gold-leafed vertical pipes will line the perimeter of the stage, rising up from a black and white check lacquered floor, while in the center will float a gold-leafed ornately-framed screen on which the nominated performances and tributes that are at the heart of the event will be showcased. A custom-made crystal chandelier will punctuate the stage lighting, echoed in multiple overhead crystal fixtures throughout the showroom.
“We take something that looks essentially like a basketball court on the inside and turn it into an elegant setting with dining and stage appropriate for an honors telecast,” says producer Kathy Connell. “The show comes together relatively quickly during the final days because we know each other so well and can speak in shorthand.”
In a business where consistency is a precious commodity, the SAG Awards team of talented producers and artists is marked by longevity. Supervising producers Gloria Fujita O’Brien and Mick McCullough of Jeff Margolis Productions are returning for their 13th consecutive year.
Peabody Award winner Stephen Pouliot will be writing his his 13th SAG Awards script. In addition to the SAG Awards, has collaborated with Jeff Margolis on numerous specials, including “CBS: 50 Years from Television City,” and “A Gala for the President at Ford’s Theatre.” Other specials he has written include “The 9/11 Concert for New York City”, the Academy Awards® and the Opening Ceremonies for the International Special Olympic Games in Shanghai.
Also returning is the SAG Awards’ executive in charge of production since 1999, Benn Fleishman. He is a three-time Emmy® nominee for the HBO specials “Bill Maher…But I’m Not Wrong” (2010), “Ricky Gervais: Out of England” (2009) and “Bill Maher: The Decider” (2008). In the interim between the 16th and 17th Screen Actors Guild Awards he served as production executive on “Countdown to the Oscars 2010,“ his seventh “Creative Arts Emmy Awards”, the “NewNowNext Awards on Logo” and the HBO specials “Ricky Gervais: Out of England 2 – The Stand Up Special ” and “Tracy Morgan – Black and Blue.”
Returning for his eighth year is lighting designer Jeffrey Engel, an Emmy-winner and 22-time Emmy nominee for such projects as the 63rd and 64th Academy Awards, both directed by Margolis.
Composer and conductor Lenny Stack, an Emmy-winner for music arranging for the Screen Actors Guild 50th Anniversary Special and composer of the current SAG Awards theme, is returning for his 13th Screen Actors Guild Awards. Stack has also been musical director for the Golden Globe® ceremony since 1994.
Maggie Barrett Caulfield, executive in charge of talent since 2001, returns for her 11th SAG Awards. Rosalind Jarrett, executive in charge of publicity, returns for her 12th SAG Awards. A 2009 nominee for the ICG Publicists Les Mason Award for Career Achievement, she was previously honored with the Publicists Guild’s Maxwell Weinberg Showmanship Award. Returning for his 13th SAG Awards is awards coordinating producer Jon Brockett.
Filmmaker Douglass M. Stewart Jr. will produce the film tribute saluting the accomplishments of SAG Life Achievement Award honoree Ernest Borgnine. A veteran of 28 Oscar® telecasts and 13 Emmy shows, eight-time Emmy nominee Stewart returns for his seventh SAG Awards telecast.
Paul Fagenwill produce the SAG Awards “In Memoriam” homage for the fifth consecutive year. Fagen produces live film events specializing in celebrity tributes and award shows. In the past 20 years,he has honored over 60 major celebrities, most recently Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards. With his company P. Fagen Productions he also produces tribute reels, trailers, industrial films and documentaries.
Quinn Monahanis producing the SAG Awards annual salute to Guild members for the fourth successive year. Monahan has created film packages for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and last year for the TBS comedy special Cheech & Chong Roasted. He is currently director and co-creator of the Internet series Game Dads. His work will also be featured in this year’s Miss America broadcast.
Cynthia Kistler has served the SAG Awards as associate producer since 2002 and was production manager from 1999-2001. In the interim between the 16th and 17th Screen Actors Guild Awards she served as associate producer on her seventh Creative Arts Emmy Awards, the “NewNowNext Awards on Logo” and the HBO specials “Bill Maher…But I’m Not Wrong” and “Ricky Gervais: Out of England 2 – The Stand Up Special.”
Returning for his 14th SAG Awards is Keaton S. Walker, who has served as the SAG Awards art director since 1997. Walker is a multiple Emmy and Art Director’s Guild honoree for his work on the Oscars and the Emmys.
Keith Greco returns for the eighth year to design the Award ceremonies’ grand entrance and showroom décor. Among many recent projects, Greco Décor created design elements for Disney Interactive Studios’ launch and promotion of the “Tron: Evolution” and “Toy Story 3” video games, designed the premiere event for “Salt” and designed the “Los Angeles Haunted Hayride” in Griffith Park.
SAG Awards event supervisor Andrea Wyn Schall, a two-time Special Events Gala award nominee and author of Budget Bash – Simply Fabulous Events on a Budget returns for the 12th year to coordinate event design and logistics. She and Greco will again create the Champagne Taittinger toast that opens the SAG Awards Red Carpet.
The SAG Awards challenges a chef to create a single plate that appeals to both the eye and the palate and as a televised event requires impeccable service that is efficient and unobtrusive. Lucques Catering under the direction of James Beard Award-winning chef Suzanne Goin and front-of-the-house expert Caroline Styne, will cater the SAG Awards for the second consecutive year. Goin, together with award-winning sommelier Styne, owns three of Los Angeles’ hottest restaurants, Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern. They share the SAG Awards philosophy of “going green,” in their choices of food purveyors and culinary practices, while offering the impeccable service that a televised awards show requires. Goin, author of the award-winning cookbook “Sunday Suppers at Lucques.” is also partnered her husband, chef David Lentz, in Lentz’s seafood restaurants, “The Hungry Cat,” with locations in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. The trio was the driving force behind this year’s highly successful inaugural “LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade Stand” charity benefit.
Lucques’ menu will be complemented for the 11th year by Champagne Taittinger’s Brut La Française, which is also served in the Champagne Taittinger Toast that opens the SAG Awards Red Carpet each year, and wines by Dry Creek Vineyard, including a Cabernet-based SAG Awards Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon, created especially by Dry Creek’s winemakers to commemorate the 11th Anniversary of Dry Creek Vineyard’s contribution to the SAG Awards celebration.
Punctuating the dinner table design will be the classic Hollywood-inspired floral arrangements by Christopher Matsumoto of C.J. Matsumoto & Sons, who is returning for his seventh SAG Awards. C.J. Matsumoto & Sons was co-named Best Florist by Southern California Meetings and Events Magazine in their 2010 Best of Industry Awards.
While the showroom is being transformed, rising in the Shrine’s east parking lot is the tent housing the Post-Awards Gala hosted by PEOPLE Magazine and the Entertainment Industry Foundation to honor the charitable endeavors of SAG members. EIF and PEOPLE have not only thrown the Awards fabulous after-party for the past 15 years, but also made a generous donation to support the good works of the SAG Foundation each year.
In the days leading up to the Awards ceremony, the work can stretch well into the early morning hours for the show’s production team, partners, independent contractors and volunteers. But that all comes with the territory. Together they create an evening to remember for SAG Awards nominees, presenters and industry leaders and a simulcast for TNT and TBS that is widely respected by the industry and a staple of awards season viewing.
The 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be produced by Jeff Margolis Productions in association with Screen Actors Guild Awards®, LLC. For more information about the SAG Awards, SAG, TNT and TBS visit sagawards.org/about.