Those scenic backdrops you see onscreen didn’t just happen by magic.
Location professionals and production companies responsible for making those scenes a cinematic reality were honored Sunday by the California on Location Awards (COLA), now in its 12th year.
CBS drama “Cold Case” took home two kudos; feature winners were Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible 3” and Revolution’s “Next.” Federal, state and local employees were also among the honorees.
Emcee Lorin Dreyfuss entertained attendees, citing his recent retirement to the “gay 90s” of Palm Springs. “If you live in Palm Springs, you’re either gay or you’re 90,” quipped Dreyfuss, who maintained a humorous tone throughout the evening.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sent pre-taped kudos to open the event, held this year at the Los Angeles Downtown Marriott.
Among the many tasks location professionals were asked to perform were mending a family feud to obtain filming rights and preventing panic when a director used an airport public address system to announce, “A Cessna is on fire and coming in for a landing!”
Still photographers were tasked with creating winter in summer locales, shooting in huts atop mountains (with crews housed in boats on a nearby lake) and appeasing environmentalists for access to forests.
“The film commissions around the state saw a great need to honor all of the great people who work so hard to find that perfect location. Currently, there is no category to honor location professionals in other major Hollywood award ceremonies,” said Sheri Davis, director of the Inland Empire Film Commission and COLA co-chair.
Janice Arrington, director of the Orange County Film Commission, and Pauline East, director of the Antelope Valley Film Commission, also served as COLA co-chairs.
Liz Matthews — “Next” (Revolution)
Veronique Vowell — CBS’ “Cold Case” (WBTV)
Jof Hanwright — Suzuki
Jeff Morris — Chanel
PRODUCTION COMPANY/ LOCATION TEAM
Paramount Pictures — “Mission Impossible: 3”
Warner Bros. TV — “Cold Case.”
@radical.media — Grapenuts Trail Mix Cereal
Strong Productions — PacSun
Joan Sewald — Los Angeles World Airports.
Tim Vanderlip — Los Angeles County Fire Dept.
Doug Sweeney — California Highway Patrol
Joan Patrovsky — Bureau of Land Management
Pennsylvania will be the TV production home for “The Kill Pit,” the Lionsgate- and Mandeville-produced series for Spike TV. Announcement was made by Pittsburgh Film Office director Dawn Keezer.
“This is the first television series to shoot in its entirety in southwestern Pennsylvania,” Keezer said. “We are very excited to welcome this long-term project to the region. Having a series is something the PFO has worked on for a long time.”
Written by James DeMonaco and exec produced by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman of Mandeville and DeMonaco, “The Kill Pit” stars John Leguizamo.
Drama, skedded for a summer 2007 premiere, follows a bank heist gone wrong by a team of American Iraqi war veterans.
(The Pittsburgh Film Office and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania) “have been extremely supportive of the project from day one,” said Mark Manuel, exec VP, strategic finance for Lionsgate. “This is another example of Lionsgate’s strategy of producing efficient and cost-effective television programming by forging long-term partnerships with local governments that welcome filmed entertainment production.”
Recent productions lensed in the state include, “10th & Wolf,” “Smith” and “The Mysteries of Pittsburgh.” Upcoming projects are “Smart People” and “The Haunting Hours, Volume One: Don’t Think About It,” based on the R.L. Stine children’s series.