LOS ANGELES, November 20, 2017 – Norm Newberry, former ADG Awardee and a 21st century renaissance Production Designer best known for his work on “War of the Worlds,” “The Polar Express” and “Beowulf,” will receive the Art Directors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award (ADG, IATSE Local 800) at the 22nd Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards. The 2018 ADG Awards, themed “Production Design: Celebrating 100 Years of Imagination,” will be held Saturday, January 27, 2018 at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland.
In a career that has spanned five decades, Newberry has done it all. From his work as a Set Designer, Art Director and Production Designer, his creative contributions at Universal Studios span dozens of television shows, and feature films. These include “The Hindenburg,” “Jaws” and “The Sting,” among many others. He also worked as an Art Director on Twentieth Century Fox films including “History of the World: Part I” and “Avatar,” which won both an Oscar for Best Production Design and an ADG Award for Best Production Design for a Fantasy Film. Newberry has pushed the excellence of his craft, first by becoming an expert in design and traditional visual effects and then by re-inventing himself as a “motion capture” Art Director that embraces the cutting edge of digital technology. He has worked on all films which have been created in this way including “Polar Express,” “Beowulf,” “A Christmas Carol,” and the biggest of them all, “Avatar.”
ADG Lifetime Achievement Awards are awarded to outstanding individuals in each of the guild’s five crafts: Art Directors; Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists; Illustrators and Matte Artists; and Set Designers and Model Makers; and Previs Artists. Honorees in the other crafts will be announced shortly. Previous recipients include Production Designers René Lagler (2017), Patrizia von Brandenstein (Amadeus) (2016) and Jim Bissell (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation) (2015), among others. A complete list can be found on ADG’s website.
In 1987, Newberry was tapped for his “Place Making” film design expertise and began work as Executive Art Director for Universal Creative. He was a lead designer responsible for the planning and construction of Universal Studios’ theme parks and back-lot set streets. He continued designing theme parks across the globe including Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Universal Escape and Porto Europa in Wakayama, Japan. He was an in-house consultant on planning projects at Universal Studios Hollywood and on Projects in Barcelona, Paris, London and Singapore. He culminated his fourteen years of experience at Universal Creative as the Creative Director for Universal Studios Japan.
Currently Newberry consults with themed environment design companies, film schools and film studios. Norm continues his active involvement in the Art Directors Guild and the Designers Branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
As previously announced, Kathleen Kennedy will be honored with the “ADG Cinematic Imagery” Award. Additionally, the ADG will premiere the “ADG Excellence in Production Design for Animated Features” Award this year, marking the 12th category of awards to be bestowed during the awards gala.
Online nomination voting will be held December 6, 2017– January 3, 2018 and nominees announced on January 4, 2018. Final online balloting will be held January 8 –25, and winners will be announced at the dinner ceremony on Saturday, January 27, 2018. ADG Awards are open only to productions when made within the U.S. by producer’s signatory to the IATSE agreement. Foreign entries are acceptable without restrictions.