Location managers honored at COLAs

Teams from 'Frost/Nixon,' 'Eagle Eye' among winners

The location managers behind Stage 6/Screen Gem's "Fired Up" and Universal/Imagine's "Frost/Nixon" tied for location manager of the year while the location team behind DreamWorks' "Eagle Eye" took location team of the year, two of the top prizes at Sunday's 14th annual California On Location Awards.

The television side also saw a tie, in the category location team for episodic. CBS' "NCIS" shared the prize with Fox's "24," a production cited for "blowing up neighborhoods and making the neighbors like it," in the words of master of ceremonies Fred Willard.

The location professional of the year for episodic went to Paul Wilson for his work on CBS' "CSI."

Doug Dresser, the location manager of "Fired Up," said the production shot in four major locations doubling for Illinois. "The best thing about California," he said, "is that we can be anything we want to be."

Greg Alpert, meanwhile, praised his "Frost/Nixon" director for helping the California shoot, which included shoots in San Clemente and Yorba Linda, go smoothly. "There is no other director like Ron Howard who makes property owners feel like they are part of the production team," said Alpert.

Location team of the year in the reality television section went to "DIY Network," produced by Banyon Productions.

Assistant location manager of the year for features went to Kathy McCurdy for "Star Trek XI," while Dan Beal picked up the award on the television side for his work on NBC's "Life."

For the first time, the COLAs handed out a lifetime achievement award, which was presented to Ron Quigley.

The COLAs also presented awards to public servants USFS Moutaintop Ranger District's Betty Hartenstine, for her contribution to UA's "Valkyrie," as well as State Fire Marshall's Office's Al Adams, Los Angeles County Board of Public Works' Greg Graham and City of Auburn's Will Wong. Public employees are honored for going out of their way to make filming smoother for productions navigating all levels of bureaucracy in California.

Awards also were handed out for commercials and still photography.

The COLAs were presented by Film Liaisons in California, Statewide, at the Ritz Carlton at Marina del Ray.