Art Directors Guild adds new category for animated feature in its production design awards

The Art Directors Guild (ADG) has added a new award category to its annual award show, “Excellence in production design” awards. The new category “Excellence in production design for an animated feature film” will debut at the twenty second annual awards show which will take place in January 2018. The announcement was made by ADG event producers Thomas A. Walsh and Thomas Wilkins. They also announced the theme for this year’s awards- production design in animation: celebrating 100 years of imagination. Walsh said, “It is our intention to honour and celebrate great production design achievements in the remarkable and evolving art form of animation through this new award. By separating feature animation into its own constituent category, we wish to pay tribute to these creative works in a manner equivalent to all our other feature design categories.” Animated films including Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouillie, Wall-E and The Adventures of TinTin have been considered at previous ADG awards in the fantasy feature film category for the past 11 years. Qualifications for “Excellence in Production Design” in an animated feature film eligibility includes:
  • Animated feature films representing 2D (hand drawn), 3D (CGI), clay animation/puppet and motion–capture (live-action/CGI hybrid) will all qualify for this award category.
  • A feature film must have the majority of its sets and locations created using a frame-by-frame technique, and usually falls into one of the two general fields of animation: narrative or abstract.
  • Some of the techniques of animating films include but are not limited to hand-drawn animation, computer animation, stop-motion, clay animation, pixilation, cutout animation, pinscreen, camera multiple pass imagery, kaleidoscopic effects created frame-by-frame, and drawing on the film frame itself.
  • Motion capture and real-time puppetry are not by themselves considered animation techniques.
  • Animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the picture’s total running time.
  • A narrative animated film must have a significant number of the top eight major characters animated.
  • If the picture is created in a cinematic style that could be mistaken for live action, producers must submit information supporting how and why the picture is substantially a work of animation rather than live action.
The annual awards gala honouring production design in theatrical motion pictures, television, commercials and music videos will take place on 27 January 2018, in the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland. Online submissions will be open from 5 October to 9 November, 2017. Online nomination voting will be held from 6 December 2017 to 3 January 2018 and nominees will be announced on 4 January 4 2018. Final online balloting will be held from 8 to 25 January and  the winners will be announced on 27 January.