Art Directors Guild Awards salutes its own


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The 12th annual Art Directors Guild Excellence in Production Design Awards, set to take place Saturday at the Beverly Hilton, will, of course, honor 2007's standouts in film, television and commercial production design. But it will also be an auspicious evening for the guild itself, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary.

"We did a nod to (the anniversary) in the design of our set ... which has art deco influences of the late '30s," awards co-producer John Sabato says. John Janavs, who created the set, is also a nominee in the Awards Show, Variety, Music or Nonfiction Program category for his work on Fox's "Hell's Kitchen."

This year, the designation "nonfiction" replaces "documentary" to make the awards "as inclusive as we can," Sabato says.

The single-camera TV series race will see NBC's big-budget hit "Heroes" go up against AMC's breakout "Mad Men" and ABC's "Lost," among others, while multicamera TV series nominees include CBS' "How I Met Your Mother" and two-year category victor "Mad TV" (Fox), for which Sabato is nominated. This year's TV movie or miniseries competition has only three nominees: TNT's "The Company," HBO's "Pu-239" and USA Network's "The Starter Wife."

The feature film category consists of period, fantasy and contemporary sections, with Paramount Vantage's "There Will Be Blood," DreamWorks/Paramount's "Sweeney Todd" and Focus Features' "Atonement," among others, in the period race, and Warner Bros.' "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," Disney/Pixar's "Ratatouille" and Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" among the fantasy hopefuls. Contemporary nominees include Miramax's "No Country for Old Men," Warner Bros.' "Michael Clayton" and Paramount Classics/DreamWorks' "The Kite Runner."

Among the commercial contenders are Lexus' "Hydrant," Budweiser's "Space Station" and HBO's "Voyeur: Four Floors, Eight Stories" promo.

The ADG will present Stuart Craig with the lifetime achievement award for his work on such films as 1978's "Superman" and the "Harry Potter" series. Ray Bradbury will present his good friend Ray Harryhausen, whose credits include 1981's "Clash of the Titans," with the Outstanding Contributions to Cinematic Imagery Award.

But beyond the prizes doled out under the emceeing auspices of Harry Shearer, the ADG Awards are about "designers and art directors voting for their peers," Sabato says.