The 40th Annual Saturn Awards were held this past Thursday, June 26th, and a what great show it was from (as Johnny Carson used to say) “beautiful downtown Burbank”! Here’s the full list of winners and more.
Actually, we were high above the city at the famous Castaway restaurant and banquet hall. The Saturn Awards has been held here for the past few years, and it really is a fabulous venue with the best views of the San Fernando Valley anywhere.
Among the winners are Dread Central favorites “The Walking Dead,” “Hannibal,” The Conjuring, and Vera Farmiga’s no holds barred performance as Norma Bates in “Bates Motel.” The eye candy and updates from the carpet come from director Neil Marshall; the Curse of Chucky crew – Don Mancini, Brad Dourif, and Fiona Dourif; Insidious 3‘s Lin Shaye; and more. There’s even some Ghostbusters 3 non-news!
It was a star-studded event, including this year’s biggest and brightest award recipients: Malcolm McDowell (Life Career Award), Bryan Fuller (Dan Curtis Legacy Award), Gregory Nicotero (George Pal Memorial Award), and Marc Cushman (Special Recognition Award for his recent book publications on “Star Trek”).
None of them stopped to talk with press, but we did catch up with several other nominees and (soon to be) winners.
Director of photography Dean Cundey (with a Michael Myers model) was there to represent the Halloween Blu-ray from Anchor Bay. “I was very pleased to get the chance to be a part of the new transfer and new color timing,” said Cundey of the release. “It really is… closer to our original vision than any other one that’s been put out. Because each release that came out in the past always drifted a little further from the original. This Blu-ray is a completely new look at it and is the most accurate portrayal of the movie since it first came out. I have to thank Anchor Bay for their perspicacity in realizing that I could add something to the Blu-ray release.”
Frank Ilfman, music composer of the well-regarded Israeli horror film Big Bad Wolves, said he believes the score was nominated “because it sets the tone for the movie and is actually like another character. It stands out. You can hear it; it’s very loud. The magic of it is, when you watch the movie, it doesn’t take over. It is very big, but it doesn’t take over. So I think that’s why the Academy enjoyed it… it’s very melodic, and I took a unique approach to scoring such a gruesome subject.”
Abigail Hargrove, who plays Brad Pitt’s character’s older daughter in World War Z told us, “I am big zombie nerd! I love ‘The Walking Dead.’ That is one of my favorite TV shows. I’m not up-to-date, but I binge whenever I can.” As for being on set with the zombies in World War Z, she got a real kick out of seeing them at the craft services table or just standing around talking on their cell phones. She would like to act in more horror films in the future but right now is doing a drama.
Another zombie nerd (and she’s got to be, right?) is Kyla Kenedy, who plays the little girl Mika on “The Walking Dead.” She told us Greg Nicotero once gave her a lesson in applying zombie makeup. What a treat! She said she likes doing the show, though things can get pretty intense. “A zombie once grabbed my foot for real! That was scary.” What’s next for Mika? Is she really gone…? “No spoilers, but Mika is going to go through an even rougher time.”
Neil Marshall, the director of The Descent and Centurion (to name a couple), was on the red carpet to support friends and also to talk about a new movie he produced, Soulmate. Soulmate will enjoy its U.S. debut at the Etheria Film Festival in July, and he couldn’t be prouder of it. Marshall has been working in television more than film lately. His big break came when he was given a last-minute opportunity to direct an episode of “Game of Thrones.” He then directed the premiere episode of “Constantine” and is “about to go off and do another one.”
Director Don Mancini was nominated (and later won) for his Child’s Play film Curse of Chucky. When the announcement came, “I was thrilled! It is so nice to be embraced for your work and be recognized. That doesn’t always happen so it was really exciting when it did happen for this one. I’m very proud of Curse of Chucky.”
The stars of Curse of Chucky, Brad Dourif and his daughter, Fiona, were also on hand to chat about the film. They had nothing but praise for their friend and director: “Don knows what he wants, and that’s what makes him such a good director,” said Brad. “We don’t always agree on how Chucky should say and do things, but I do what he wants. He lets me try things if there’s time, but the bottom line is he’s the director. It’s great to be nominated, but really all credit goes to Don. I’m here to support him and the franchise. Over the years Don has actually been way more involved than most people know.”
Fiona told me she found the challenge of doing stunts in a wheelchair less assiduous than one might think. “The secret of doing stunts in a wheelchair is: The wheelchair does most of the work for you!” She thinks one of the best scenes in the film is when her character gets trapped on an elevator with the evil Chucky doll. “The elevator scene alone took a week to film. That was actually pretty physical. I loved it.”
Lin Shaye, who has a cameo in Big Ass Spider (another big winner at this year’s Saturn Awards), told us, “I’m here to support Mike [Mendez, the director].” As for other projects, “We are already moving on Insidious 3, which is written and directed by Leigh Whannell.” Yes, Elise will be back in The Further!
Also on hand to support Mendez and Big Ass Spider were the stars of the film, Claire Kramer and Lombardo Boyar. Kramer said, “It’s great to be nominated! Because it’s the little movie that could. Every once in a while, you’re involved with a movie that’s smaller budget, you know, not a big studio film, but something happens – either the right cast or the right producers, the right director, and it’s movie magic. Nobody thought Big Ass Spider was going to have the life it had, and so it’s great to be recognized by our peers.” Boyar concurred and added, “It shows that we had so much fun making it,” and that’s what keeps the fans’ interest. “They can see it. And you have to have fun when it’s a lower budget movie.”
Lastly, we talked with Ernie Hudson of Ghostbusters fame. “What can I tell you about Ghostbusters 3?” he deadpaned. “Absolutely nothing!” he laughed. “Actually, I get all the information from the fans, on Facebook, or email… They tell me what’s going on. But until I see some money…”
While that concludes our coverage, read on for the full details on the winners. Until next year!
From the Press Release:
Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity led the Saturn honors, winning five awards. AMC Television’s “The Walking Dead” and “Breaking Bad,” along with NBC Television’s “Hannibal,” all brought home multiple Saturn Award recognition as The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films held their annual event, The Saturn Awards, on Thursday night, June 26, 2014, this year being the 40th installment. Over 500 film and television professionals and film enthusiasts crowded the room and cheered on the winners as the awards show unfolded.
On a warm night in the hills of Burbank at the quaint Castaway Starlight Ballroom, the two-hour-plus ceremony honored the best in genre entertainment. This year’s event was hosted by comedian Jeff Ross, who flew in from New York to be a part of what has almost become tradition for him – hosting the Saturn Awards the last 11 of 12 years.
The winners for the annual event included Gravity, which received five Saturn Awards, and Marvel’s Iron Man 3, which was awarded with three Saturn Awards, including Best Actor (Robert Downey, Jr.), Best Supporting Actor (Ben Kingsley), and the inaugural award Best Comic-to-Film Motion Picture. Also receiving three awards was Spike Jonze’s Her (Best Fantasy Film, Best Writing, and Best Supporting Actress – Scarlett Johansson).
Television was well represented with both “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead” receiving three Saturn Awards each. “Hannibal” walked away with two major awards, including Best Network Television Series (tied with NBC Television’s “Revolution”).
Special Saturn Award recognitions went to writer/producer Bryan Fuller, who received The Dan Curtis Legacy Award, which was presented to him by singer/actress Kristin Chenoweth. Greg Nicotero was recognized with the George Pal Memorial Award, and Marc Cushman earned the Special Recognition Award for his books (Star Trek) These are the Voyages: Season 1 and 2. The Life Career Award was presented to Malcolm McDowell for his rich career in acting. His most memorable roles include Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange and Nicholas Meyer’s Time After Time.
Following the historical event, guests mingled in the courtyard of the Castaway and were able to view the planet Saturn in the sky courtesy of telescopes provided by Celestron Telescopes Company. This year’s show was directed by Steven Carter and produced by Kevin Marcus, Bradley Marcus, and Aaron Griffith. The executive producer was Robert Holguin, who is the President of the non-profit organization.
And the winners are:
Best Comic-to-Film Motion Picture: Iron Man 3
Best Science Fiction Film: Gravity
Best Fantasy Film: Her
Best Horror Film: The Conjuring
Best Action/Adventure Film: Fast & Furious 6
Best Thriller Film: World War Z
Best Actor: Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man 3)
Best Actress: Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Best Supporting Actor: Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3)
Best Supporting Actress: Scarlett Johansson (Her)
Best Performance by a Younger Actor: Chloe Grace Moretz (Carrie)
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
Best Writing: Spike Jonze (Her)
Best Editing: Alfonso Cuaron, Mark Sanger (Gravity)
Best Production Design: Dan Hennah (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug)
Best Music: Frank Ilfman (Big Bad Wolves)
Best Costume: Trish Summerville (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire)
Best Make-Up: Donald Mowat (Prisoners)
Best Special / Visual Effects: Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould (Gravity)
Best Independent Film: 12 Years a Slave
Best International Film: Big Bad Wolves
Best Animated Film: Frozen
Best Network Television Series: (tie) “Hannibal,” “Revolution”
Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series: “The Walking Dead”
Best Television Presentation of a Limited Series: “Breaking Bad”
Best Youth-Oriented Series on Television: “Teen Wolf”
Best Actor on Television: Mads Mikkelsen (“Hannibal”)
Best Actress on Television: Vera Farmiga (“Bates Motel”)
Best Supporting Actor on Television: Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”)
Best Supporting Actress on Television: Melissa McBride (pictured below; “The Walking Dead”)
Best Younger Actor on Television: Chandler Riggs (“The Walking Dead”)
Best Guest Star on Television: Robert Forster (pictured below with Lance Henriksen; “Breaking Bad”)
Best DVD/BD Release: Big Ass Spider
Best DVD/BD Classic Film Release: Halloween: 35th Anniversary Edition
Best DVD/BD Collection Release: Chucky: The Complete Collection
Best DVD/BD Television Series Release: Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 3, 4, 5
The Dan Curtis Legacy Award: Bryan Fuller
The George Pal Memorial Award: Greg Nicotero
The Life Career Award: Malcolm McDowell
The Special Achievement Award: Marc Cushman
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