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AMPAS seminars to spotlight production

Also: Company 3 founders receive Real Deal award

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will explore the art and craft of production design in a four-evening seminar series, “Evolution or Revolution? Production Design in the 21st Century.”

Sessions, to be held on four Mondays beginning on April 25, will be moderated by two of the Academy’s Art Directors Branch governors, production designer Jim Bissell (“300,” “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”) and set decorator Rosemary Brandenburg (“Public Enemies,” “Transformers”). They’ll take place at Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood.

The first seminar will focus on convergence of production design in live-action and animation. Production designers Kathy Altieri (“How to Train Your Dragon,” “Over the Hedge”), Scott Chambliss (“Salt,” “Star Trek”), Harley Jessup (“Ratatouille,” “Monsters, Inc.”), Lilly Kilvert, (“Valkyrie, “The Last Samurai”) and set decorator Karen O’Hara (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Disney’s A Christmas Carol”) will present.

May 2 panel, Memorable Images: Production Designers and Set Decorators Choose Their Favorites, will present instances when dramatic design moves from a support role to the forefront of the storytelling process. Speaking: production designers William Creber (“The Poseidon Adventure,” 1972; “Planet of the Apes,” 1968); Jack Fisk (“There Will Be Blood,” “The New World”), Alex McDowell (“Watchmen,” “Fight Club”); and set decorator Beth Rubino (“It’s Complicated,” “American Gangster”).

At the May 9 event, Set Decoration and the Design Collaboration, speakers will include Jim Bissell, production designer, and Jan Pascale, set decorator (“Leatherheads,” “Good Night, and Good Luck”); Jim Erickson, set decorator (“Watchmen,” “There Will Be Blood”); Alex McDowell; set decorator Anne Kuljian (“The Terminal,” “Minority Report”); and production designer Jeannine Oppewall and set decorator Jay Hart (“Pleasantville,” “L.A. Confidential”).

On May 16, The Criteria for Good Production Design, artists will discuss the work of peers. Panelists: production designers Nathan Crowley (“Public Enemies,” “The Dark Knight”), Jack Fisk, Alex McDowell and Jeannine Oppewall; set decorators Leslie Pope (“Get Him to the Greek,” “Donnie Brasco”) and Victor J. Zolfo, (“The Social Network,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”).

* * *

Scenarios USA, the educational initiative, will present its 2011 Real Deal award to Stefan Sonnenfeld and Missy Papageorge, founders of post, vfx and DI house Company 3, at its annual Awards Gala.

The Real Deal program helps forge partnerships between teenage writers from marginalized communities and professional film directors to produce short films for national distribution.

“Company 3’s commitment to creative, innovative, visual narrative stretches our imaginations and takes us to unbelievable places,” said Scenarios USA exec director Maura Minsky. “Company 3 has re-defined how we tell stories by nurturing talent and using its vast resources in collaboration with distinguished filmmakers.”

The Gala brings together 300 leaders in business, media, education, youth development and philanthropy to benefit Scenarios USA programs.

“This is a special honor for both Stefan and myself,” said Papageorge. “Scenarios is helping to cultivate and nurture the filmmakers of tomorrow.”

Added Sonnenfeld, “I’m honored to lend my knowledge and experience to those future filmmakers who may one day bring us alternative ways of telling visual stories and become the source for new methods of filmmaking.”

Honorees this year also include Don Browne, president of Telemundo Communications Group.

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