Sunday, February 12, 2017

Moonlight Wins USC Scripter, plus ADG Winners

Moonlight's Barry Jenkins and Tarrell Alvin McCraney won the USC Scripter Award last night, which honours the best page-to-screen adaptations of the year by giving prizes to both the screenwriter and the author of the original source material.

Oddly, the Academy still included McCraney in the Oscar nomination as well, but if you're willing to give McCraney story credit on this project (for writing a play that never got produced), doesn't that mean you're treating it like an original screenplay? I don't think too many people are going to complain about McCraney standing alongside Jenkins with an Oscar in hand two weeks from now, but I'm curious to hear where others stand on this question.
Elsewhere, the Art Directors Guild handed out their hardware for the best production design of the 2016. Oscar nominees La La Land and Passengers won their respective categories for Contemporary and Fantasy Production Design (the latter being a particularly inspired choice, if you ask me). Best Period Production Design went to Hidden Figures, beating out Oscar and BAFTA nominee Hail, Caesar.

This still feels like a trickier call than meets the eye. Only one Academy nominee (the aforementioned Hail, Caesar) is a straight period design job, with Fantastic Beasts representing a fantasy-period hybrid. The rest are all fantasy and contemporary. That's unusual for a branch that's often more than half populated with period sets. La La Land still looks like the frontrunner based on all it's already won, but it would be a very atypical Oscar winner.

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