'M:I-3,' 'Next' top awards for location work

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On Sunday, "M:I-3" won Film Liaisons in California Statewide's production company/location professional of the year award for features. The other top prize, location professional of the year for features, went to Liz Matthews for Revolution Studios' upcoming "Next."

"M:I-3," which had a massive 13-person locations team led by Becky Brake, shot downtown Los Angeles as Shanghai, closing roads for car chases and explosions, endured a dangerous eight-night shoot on a wind turbine farm in the Coachella Valley and built a bridge on the grounds of the Ahmanson Ranch for one of the movie's signature set pieces, which survived a fire that swept through Ventura County. The movie also shot in Hollywood, Fontana, Arcadia, Long Beach, Palm Springs, Hawthorne and other California locales.

The movie beat the DreamWorks production "Disturbia" and the Clint Eastwood-directed "Letters From Iwo Jima."

Matthews, who received a standing ovation, coordinated numerous road closures in the mountainous region of Arrowhead-Crestline for the "Next" shoot, and had to deal with affected residents and tourists. She also worked out a shoot at the Morongo Casino and helped the production weather fires and storms. The Nicolas Cage thriller, while not scheduled for release until Sept. 28 shot this year.

Matthews was up against Ralph Coleman for "Click" and Linda Kai for "Iwo Jima." The award was presented by Curtis Collins, who has been filming on the streets of downtown Los Angeles on "Live Free or Die Hard."

In the television categories, CBS' "Cold Case" won for production company/location team of the year with the prize going to Warner Bros. Television and the "Case" location team of Veronique Vowell, Andrea Morrissy and Jason Kaplon, while Vowell, the show's location manager, was awarded as the location professional of the year. The show, while set in Philadelphia, shoots mainly in and around Los Angeles, making use of modern and vintage locales.

Awards also were given out in commercial and still categories, and tips of the hat were given to public employees on city, county, state and federal levels who facilitated location shooting.
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