Art Directors Guild lifetime achievement award honoree Michael Denering shares memories from his storied career ahead of the Feb. 18 gala.
When the 27th annual Art Directors Guild Awards are handed out at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, Michael Denering, best known for his work in such movies as Die Hard, Batman Returns, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, will be one of several big-name artists receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award. Ahead of the Feb. 18 event, Denering looked back at some of his prized work, including a piece seen in Steven Spielberg’s dinosaur classic.
The scenic artist was a member of a small team that created a mural for the original Jurassic Park (above). The project was based on Picasso’s famous 1937 oil painting Guernica — the film version swapped out the original antiwar motifs of a gored horse, a bull and screaming women with dinosaurs. The final mural appeared in the compound of park owner John Hammond (played by Richard Attenborough) in various shots of the action flick.
Other artists set to receive accolades at the awards, which honor outstanding guild members in film and television production design, are Guillermo del Toro, who wrote and directed last year’s Pinocchio and will take home the William Cameron Menzies Award, and Elvis collaborators Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin, who will accept the guild’s Cinematic Imagery Award. Additional Lifetime Achievement nods will be bestowed on production designer Lilly Kilvert (The Last Samurai, Legends of the Fall), set designer Luis G. Hoyos (Memoirs of a Geisha, Dreamgirls) and storyboard artist Janet Kusnick (Silverado, Kill Bill: Volume 2).
This story first appeared in the Feb. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.