Scenic artist John Moffitt, Emmy®-winning and Oscar®-nominated set designer James J. Murakami and sr. illustrator Martin Kline join production designer Norm Newberry as recipients of the Art Directors Guild (ADG, IATSE Local 800) Lifetime Achievement Award. They will be honored at the 22nd Annual ADG Excellence in Production Design Awards on Saturday, January 27, 2018 at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland.
ADG Lifetime Achievement Awards are presented to outstanding individuals in each of the guild’s four crafts: Art Directors; Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists; Illustrators and Matte Artists; and Set Designers, Model Makers and Previs Artists. Previous recipients include production designers Rene Lagler (2017), Patrizia von Brandenstein (2016) and Jim Bissell (2015); set designers Cate Bangs (2017), William J. Newmon, II (2016) and John P. Bruce (2015); matte artist Harrison Ellenshaw (2016) and sr. illustrator Camille Abbott (2015); and scenic artists Albert Obregon (2017), Bill Anderson (2016) and Will Ferrell (2015).
Scenic artist Moffitt is a master of perspective drawing and he was lead artist for Warner Bros.’ Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004). He is a fine artist and a muralist, teaming with Garth Benton to create the murals for the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu and the homes of many celebrities. His experience in large scale painting led him to the motion picture industry in 1975 where he started to work as a motion picture scenic artist. His work can be seen in such movies as Ghostbusters (1984), IronMan (2008), the Batman series and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008). Moffitt was the Art Directors Guild associate executive director from 2006 to 2014 when he retired to devote himself to painting fine artwork full time.
Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated set designer Murakami has designed numerous television shows and notable movies, among them nine for Clint Eastwood including Gran Torino (2008), Invictus (2009) and Sully (2016). Murakami received an Emmy and two Emmy nominations while serving as art director on HBO’s Deadwood. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on The Changeling in 2008. Some of his other credits include American Sniper (2014) and J. Edgar (2011).
Senior illustrator Kline has been doing visual effects, concept illustration, character design and storyboards since 1977. He is most known for his work on Jurassic Park (1993), Forrest Gump (1994), Spider-Man (2002), Polar Express (2003), Beowulf (2007) and many other notable films. Joining Sony Pictures Imageworks in 1995, Kline spent 12 years as managing art director. Kline has teamed up with Bob Zemeckis, Ridley Scott, and Steven Spielberg, among many others on iconic projects.
Production designer Newberry has a career that has spanned five decades. He is an art director, production designer and set designer, best known for his creative contributions to The Polar Express (2003), Beowulf (2007) and Avatar (2010). Newberry has pushed the excellence of his craft, first by becoming an expert in design and traditional visual effects and then by re-inventing himself as a “motion capture” art director who embraces the cutting edge of digital technology.
As previously announced, Kathleen Kennedy, the Oscar-nominated producer and president of Lucasfilms, will be honored with the “ADG Cinematic Imagery” Award. Sir Ken Adam, the Oscar-winning production designer behind the James Bond franchise, and Tyrus Wong, award-winning Illustrator of Bambi fame, will be inducted into ADG’s Hall of Fame. The guild will also premiere the “Excellence in Production Design for Animated Features” Award this year.
Producers of this year’s ADG Awards (#ADGawards) are production designers Thomas A. Walsh ADG and Thomas Wilkins ADG. Nominations will be announced on January 4, 2018. Final online balloting will be held January 8-25, and winners will be announced at the dinner ceremony on Saturday, January 27, 2018. ADG Awards are open only to productions when made within the U.S. by producer’s signatory to the IATSE agreement. Foreign entries are acceptable without restrictions.