By Frank Barron
The International Cinematographers Guild held a blockbuster luncheon-awards event at the 47th Annual ICG Publicist Awards, held at the Hyatt Century Plaza Hotel to individually honor producers James Cameron, Robert Zemeckis and Shane Brennan among others.
Cameron was handed the 2010 Motion Picture Showman of the Year, while Zemeckis received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Brennan, executive producer for “NCIS” and “NCIS: Los Angeles,” got the Television Showman of the Year honors.
Cameron, of course, was singled out for “Avatar,” his record-breaking motion picture, and detailed the promotion of the film. There could not have been any other filmmaker who did more for this year’s award, with “Avatar”’s stories, interviews, and more along the publicity trail.
Zemeckis, well known for his lengthy and notable film career (“Forrest Gump,” “Cast Away,” “Back to the Future”), told a story of always wanting to be in the movie industry as a youngster. Upon seeing an article about the University of Southern California’s film school, he was hooked and enrolled. The rest, as they say, is film history.
The Warner Bros. publicity team for the film “The Hangover” earned the Maxwell Weinberg Publicist honors in the motion picture category. The CBS network and CBS Television Studios publicity teams, responsible for putting the “NCIS” and “NCIS: Los Angeles” series at the top group of ratings-grabbers, captured the Maxwell Weinberg Publicist Television Showmanship Awards.
A Special Award of Merit went to veteran actor Ernest Borgnine, who seemed to thank everyone, then apologized later for “forgetting” to thank his longtime public relations man Harry Flynn. Always on the ball to promote Borgnine’s activities, Flynn told us that Borgnine has at least four films on his schedule for this year. “He’s making them, not watching them,” he emphasized.
Pulling off the ceremony’s emcee duties with aplomb was “Extra!” host Mario Lopez, filling in for his buddy George Lopez who had to cancel at the last minute. “I’m only here because Jennifer Lopez was not available,” Mario joked.
The publicists are part of International Cinematographers Guild, and ICG President Steven Poster noted that the people who promote the productions often toil without recognition. “That is why the awards are important. You deserve credit for your work.” And let’s give credit to Henri Bollinger, the chairman of the Awards Committee, and Tim Menke, co-chair.
And, on a personal note, I’d like to give credit to some guardian angels who helped me when I was injured on the hotel escalator after the event. The CBS publicists who won an award for their “NCIS” promotional campaign, Katie Barker and Kristen Hall, along with Mr. Brennan, came to my aid. They not only deserve congratulations for their awards, but also for their act of kindness showing me the “heart” of Hollywood.