Production pros get prizes at California event

Michael Haro had to blow up a car on the shoulder of a road for “Entourage” during fire season. David Blum used cars, bicycles and sky divers on 25 locations in seven days for a Honda commercial. Kristy Kessler and Peter Lang moved through 60 locations in 14 days for a Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge commercial and came in on schedule and on budget.

It’s all in a day’s work for the production pros that were honored Sunday at the 14th annual California On Location Awards at the Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey. Fred Willard was the host.

“This awards gala honors our hard-working location managers whose main motto is ‘keep filming in California,’ ” said Sheri Davis, director of the Inland Empire Film Commission and awards co-chair along with Janice Arrington of the Orange County Film Commission and Pauline East of the Antelope Valley Film Office.

Davis handed out numerous kudos from the winners’ podium along with thanks to Film Liaisons in California Statewide (FLICS), FilmL.A. and the California Film Commission for their efforts to make the production process run smoothly and keep films in Hollywood’s home state.

This year’s awards also netted two ties.

Location professional of the year for features went to Doug Dresser, supervising location manager of Stage 6 Films for “Fired Up”; and Greg Alpert, location manager for Universal and Imagine Entertainment on “Frost/Nixon.”

Dresser battled off-site construction headaches, filming in eight California cities and four in Illinois. Alpert secured never-before-granted use of Richard Nixon’s home for lensing as well as use of his memorabilia and access to the surrounding neighborhood.

Tying for location team/production company for television – episodic were Fox/20th Century Fox TV’s “24″ and CBS/CBS Paramount Network TV’s “NCIS.”

In other categories:

  • DreamWorks’ “Eagle Eye” won for location team/production company for features.

  • In commercials, the team/production company award went to Tim Wilson and Wilson Wu of Anonymous Content for their work on Sony’s “Tumble.”n Peter McClafferty of PM Prods. drew the location professional for stills nod for Harper’s Bazaar mag.n David McKinney of HIS Prods. took location professional for commercials for work done for Hertz that involved doubling sites in California for Montreal, Montana and Las Vegas.n Paul Wilson of CBS/Jerry Bruckheimer TV’s “CSI” won location manager for episodic television.

  • Banyon Prods. snared the location team honor for reality production for its “DIY Network” program.

  • Kathy McCurdy was recognized as assistant location manager for feature for her work on Paramount Pictures’ “Star Trek.”

  • Dan Beal took the assistant location manager laurel for television for his work on NBC/Universal Media Studios drama “Life.”

The COLA kudos also include awards for city, county, state and federal staffers who work closely with location pros.

A special FLICS Award for Merit and Excellence, dubbed F.A.M.E., was presented to the city of Los Angeles’ Larry Shipp, who was also nominated in the city public employee category.

Lifetime achievement honors went to Ron Quigley of Teamsters Local 399.

The nod for city public employee went to Will Wong of Auburn, Calif.

The county employee kudo went to Greg Graham of the Los Angeles County Board of Public Works.

Al Adams of the Office of the State Fire Marshal took state honors. The federal employee award went to Betty Hartenstine of the U.S. Forest Service.

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