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Tuesday, 31 January 2012 06:00

California On Location Awards 2011: Prestigious Event Honors Location Professionals

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img_4417_webFilm, television and commercial production professionals working in California often boast about the superb quality of the state’s crewmembers. The location professionals that play a vital role in finding, securing and overseeing production locales and the public employees who streamline the production process were recently honored atthe 17th Annual California On Location Awards (COLA) ceremony.

Location Managers, Assistant Location Managers and Location Teams of the Year were saluted by COLA for an assortment of film project genres, while Public Employees of the Year (city, county, state and federal) were celebrated for facilitating local filming. Held at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, these location professionals took turns at the podium to thank the people who helped them to earn the honor and the associations and guilds that support their craft.

Hosted by Producers Bill MacDonald (“Rome”) and Marcus Morton (You Got Served), COLA 2011 handed out 16 individual and team awards as the recipients were honored for their excellence in img_4652_webon-location production work in the State of California. Amy Lemisch of the California Film Commission presented the Public Employee Awards and Teamster reps Ed Duffy and Steve Dayan handed out the Assistant Location Manager Awards for Features and Television. Veteran location managers enjoyed seeing their peers receive these awards, including Location Manager Nancy Haecker (Location Professional of the Year, TV Episodic for “House, M.D.”) and S. Todd Christensen (Location Professional of the Year, Studio Feature Film for Moneyball). Producer Judd Apatow (Bridesmaids) accepted the Signature Award in absentia for his work to keep productions in California, and California State Fire Marshal Liaison Al Adams received special honors for his career of keeping California safe and film friendly.

img_4535_webCOLA is spearheaded by Film Liaisons in California Statewide (FLICS), a group that seeks to promote and facilitate in-state filming. FLICS welcomes project inquiries and offers a variety of services to help expedite and assist productions. FilmL.A. provided coordination of the COLA Committees and business affairs for this year’s awards event. And the winners are:

Location Professional of the Year, Commercials: Louis de Fontanes (“Jim Beam”)

Location Professional of the Year, TV Episodic: Nancy Haecker (“House, M.D.”)

Location Professional of the Year, Independent Feature Film: Caleb Duffy (The Artist)

Location Professional of the Year, Studio Feature Film: S. Todd Christensen (Moneyball)

Assistant Location Manager of the Year, Features: Mike Soleau (Horrible Bosses)


Assistant Location Manager of the Year, Television: John Brown (“UnderCovers”)

Location Team of the Year, Commercials: Kevin Briles (Location Manager); Jonathan Gordon (Key Assistant Location Manager); Weston Marsh (Location Scout) for “Chevy” (Furlined)img_4977

Location Team of the Year, TV Episodic: Chris Campbell (Location Manager); Wes Hagan (Location Manager); Joe Akerman (Key Assistant Location Manager); Casey Boynton (Key Assistant Location Manager); Miles Henley (Key Assistant Location Manager); Brandon Thomas (Key Assistant Location Manager); Brett Williams (Key Assistant Location Manager); Amil Fuentes (Assistant Location Manager); Lauren Willdeboer (Assistant Location Manager) for “The Event” (Open 4 Business Productions LLC/NBC Universal)


Location Team of the Year, Independent Feature Film: Peter Newfield (Location Manager); Gail Stempler (Location Manager); Peter Moody (Location Scout); Daniel Lee (Location Assistant) for Big Sur (Big Sur Productions LLC)

Location Team of the Year, Studio Feature Film: S. Todd Christensen (Location Manager); Mike Brewer (Key Assistant Location Manager); Victoria Leskin (Key Assistant Location Manager); Kyle Snappy Oliver (Key Assistant Location Manager); Matthew Riutta (Key Assistant Location Manager) for Moneyball (Columbia Pictures)

Production Company of the Year, Reality Television: “Top Gear” (Sun Never Sets Productions /BBC Worldwide Productions)

City Public Employee of the Year: Michael Dinh (City of Los Angeles, Dept. of Transportation)

State Public Employee of the Year: Steve Senet (Caltrans)

Federal Public Employee of the Year: Barry Lane (United States Coast Guard)

County Public Employee of the Year (Shared Nomination): Deputy Lance Westfall, Deputy William Velek, Sergeant Cortland Myers, Sergeant Ronald Olfert, Sergeant Gregg Lewison of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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