'Casino,' 'Curse,' top ADG Awards

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"Casino Royale," "Curse of the Golden Flower" and "Pan's Labyrinth" were the winners in the three feature film categories at the 11th annual Art Directors Guild's Excellence in Production Design Awards on Saturday night.

"Casino Royale" production designer Peter Lamont won for best production design among the year's contemporary films, while "Curse of the Golden Flower's" Huo Tingxiao won in the period-film category and "Pan's Labyrinth's" Eugenio Caballero took the prize for the top design among fantasy films.

The ADG decorated the Beverly Hilton Hotel's International Ballroom like a '30s supper club, complete with floating candles, red columns, white flowers and tape measures as table favors. During the black-tie dinner, Johnny Crawford's swinging orchestra played standards like Irving Berlin's "Isn't This a Lovely Day."

The evening's host, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" star Steven Weber, tried to get some chuckles out of pretending that he was at an Adult Film Awards show. Charles Durning did wring some guffaws out of a tired bestiality joke. And while presenter Annette gamely worked her way through a tongue-twisted list of global names, Jon Voight mangled those of the winning design team for "Curse of the Golden Flower."

Warren Beatty praised lifetime achievement award winner Dean Tavoularis as "one of the greatest production designers in the history of time." The veteran production designer in turn thanked Beatty for giving him his first job as a designer on "Bonnie and Clyde." Receiving a warm standing ovation from his peers, he also thanked "the dreaded" Francis Ford Coppola, his early mentors at Disney Studios, and his brother Alex Tavoularis.

Director Terry Gilliam, who has conjured up such fantastical-looking films as "Brazil," accepted his first-ever Hollywood award for outstanding contribution to cinematic imagery. He was moved by the vintage clips from the films of noted production designers being inducted into the Art Directors Guild Hall of Fame. The clips included stunning work by Hilyard Brown ("Cleopatra"), Carroll Clark ("King Kong"), Stephen Goosson ("Lost Horizon"), Harry Horner ("The Heiress"), and the late, great Henry Bumstead, who died last May having just designed long-time collaborator Clint Eastwood's "Flags of Our Fathers" and "Letters from Iwo Jima" at age 91. Eastwood sent a note explaining that only the opening of "Iwo Jima" in Berlin prevented him from attending.

"The worlds they created were so wondrous," Gilliam said. "Not so many people are allowed to do that now, to create worlds so magical. I'm one of the lucky ones to slip through the net and do it...I'm still trying to make movies that don't depend on the computer to do it." Gilliam held up his fingers. "The digital world that I have are these digits that make things and build things. Let's keep doing great work."

The winners in other categories were: Mark Worthington, "The Box and the Bunny" episode of "Ugly Betty," single camera television series; John Sabato, episode 1207 of "Mad TV," multicamera television series; Philip Dagort, "Stephen King's Desperation," television movie or mini-series; John Shaffner and Joe Stewart, "58th Annual Emmy Awards," variety or awards show, music special, or documentary; and Jeffrey Beecroft, "Sexy," Victoria's Secret, commercial, promo or PSA.

A list of winners in all categories follows.

WINNERS FOR EXCELLENCE IN PRODUCTION DESIGN FOR A FEATURE FILM IN 2006:

PERIOD FILM
"Curse of the Golden Flower"

PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Huo Tingxiao

FANTASY FILM
"Pan's Labyrinth"
PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Eugenio Caballero

CONTEMPORARY FILM
"Casino Royale"
PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Peter Lamont

WINNERS FOR EXCELLENCE IN PRODUCTION DESIGN IN TELEVISION FOR 2006

SINGLE CAMERA TELEVISION SERIES
"Ugly Betty" ("The Box and the Bunny")
PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Mark Worthington

MULTICAMERA TELEVISION SERIES
"Mad TV" (Episode 1207)
PRODUCTION DESIGNER
John Sabato

TELEVISION MOVIE OR MINI-SERIES
"Stephen King's Desperation"
PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Philip Dagort

VARIETY OR AWARDS SHOW, MUSIC SPECIAL, OR DOCUMENTARY
"58th Annual Emmy Awards"
PRODUCTION DESIGNER
John Shaffner & Joe Stewart

WINNER FOR EXCELLENCE IN PRODUCTION DESIGN FOR A COMMERCIAL, PROMO OR PSA
Victoria's Secret -- "Sexy"
PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Jeffrey Beecroft
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