Hey folks! As the guilds continue to come together and give awards for excellence in their given crafts, the Producers and Artistic Directors of America have begun to give us a glimpse into their own collective thoughts on the 2014 season. While these nominees feel pretty predictable at this point, I'm sure more than a few of you will still want to know. This time around I have made a conscientious decision not to include the television awards as my knowledge of the properties under consideration is lacking, however you can find more info on those here and here. So that being said, let's begin with the PGA theatrical nominees:
The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures:
American Sniper (Warner Bros. Pictures) - Bradley Cooper, p.g.a., Clint Eastwood, p.g.a., Andrew Lazar, p.g.a., Robert Lorenz, p.g.a., Peter Morgan, p.g.a.
Birdman (Forx Searchlight Pictures) - Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, James W. Skotchdopole
Boyhood (IFC Films) - Richard Linklater, p.g.a., Cathleen Sutherland, p.g.a.
Foxcatcher (Sony Pictures Classics) - Megan Ellison, p.g.a., Jon Kilik, p.g.a., Bennett Miller, p.g.a.
Gone Girl (20th Century Fox) - Ceán Chaffin, p.g.a.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (Fox Searchlight Pictures) - Wes Anderson & Scott Rudin, Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales
The Imitation Game (The Weinstein Company) - Nora Grossman, p.g.a., Ido Ostrowsky, p.g.a., Teddy Schwarzman, p.g.a.
Nightcrawler (Open Road Films) - Jennifer Fox, Tony Gilroy
The Theory of Everything (Focus Features) - Tim Bevan & Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten
Whiplash (Sony Pictures Classics) - Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, David Lancaster
My Choice: The Grand Budapest Hotel... sure the other guys have fancy p.g.a. titles tagged onto their names and many of them do deserve awards and recognition, but for my money I would be thrilled to see Wes and his team get the credit they so gravely deserve. Grand Budapest is a colorful and imaginative film to look at... and it can not have been easy for these guys to find all of the pieces that so well bring that world to life... or to be able to coordinate the biggest all-star cast to appear on film in a very long time.
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures:
Big Hero 6 (Walt Disney Animation Studios) - Roy Conli, p.g.a.
The Book of Life (20th Century Fox) - Brad Booker, p.g.a., Guillermo del Toro, p.g.a.
The Boxtrolls (Focus Features) - David Bleiman Ichioka, p.g.a., Travis Knight, p.g.a.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 (20th Century Fox) - Bonnie Arnold, p.g.a.
The LEGO Movie (Warner Bros. Pictures) - Dan Lin
My Choice: The LEGO Movie... Duh! LEGO's gonna take everything this year. While the creativity shown in that film cannot be question, one can only imagine the immense pressures Dan Lin must have maneuvered through in order to get his team to bring all of those bricks to life... simply amazing!
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures:
The Green Prince (Music Box Films) - John Battsek, Simon Chinn, Nadav Schirman
Life Itself (Magnolia Pictures) - Garrett Basch, Steve James, Zak Piper
Merchants of Doubt (Sony Pictures Classics) - Robert Kenner, Melissa Robledo
Particle Fever (Abramorama/BOND 360) - David E. Kaplan, Mark A. Levinson, Andrea Miller, Carla Solomon
Virunga (Netflix) - Joanna Natasegara, Orlando von Einsiedel
My Choice: Virunga... While I haven't seen the other nominees, I have a difficult time believing any of them could top my opinion of this film. Honestly one of the most stunning and impactful documentaries I have ever experienced.
And now for the ADG theatrical awards, rather... Nominees for Excellence in Production Design for a Feature Film in 2014:
Inherent Vice - David Crank
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Adam Stockhausen
The Imitation Game - Maria Djurkovic
The Theory of Everything - John Paul Kelly
Unbroken - Jon Hutman
My Choice: David Crank for Inherent Vice... While I desperately wanted to go back to Grand Budapest here, the overall tone and world of Inherent Vice just worked for me. And those designs felt legitimately plausible in the real world... particularly that ominous Golden Fang building.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Peter Wenham
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - James Chinlund
Guardians of the Galaxy - Charles Wood
Interstellar - Nathan Crowley
Into The Woods - Dennis Gassner
My Choice: Charles Wood for Guardians of the Galaxy... I'll push for Apes in the effects categories when those come along, but the world itself... what I believe the artistic director is most responsible for... of Guardians is just so much richer. And at the end of the day, Interstellar doesn't even hold a candle to the immensity of that film.
American Sniper - James J. Murakami, Charisse Cardenas
Birdman - Kevin Thompson
Foxcatcher - Jess Gonchor
Gone Girl - Donald Graham Burt
Nightcrawler - Kevin Kavanaugh
My Choice: Kevin Thompson for Birdman... This was a difficult category. I could've jump to Nightcrawler or Foxcatcher easily. However, I feel the things most noteworthy in those films are very specific (much like Apes above). And ultimately, Birman's world is sweeping and fun. In a way it may not even belong in this category due to the fantasy elements, but I buy the decision to honor it here. New York takes on a whole different kind of life in this one.
So them's the nominees PGA and ADG couldn't wait for you to know about today. Have a good one guys.