The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) announced the winners of the 2010 Writers Guild Awards for outstanding achievement in writing for screen, television, radio, news, promotional, and videogame writing at simultaneous ceremonies last night at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles and the Hudson Theatre at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in New York City.
Iraqi war film The Hurt Locker and corporate downsizing drama Up In the Air won honors from screenwriters in the final, major Hollywood awards show leading up to the Oscars.
The Hurt Locker writer Mark Boal won best original screenplay from the Writers Guild of America and Up In the Air claimed the prize for best adapted screenplay for co-writers Sheldon Turner and Jason Reitman.
Reitman, who also directed "Up in the Air," thanked several people including his father, producer Ivan Reitman, who he said read his first screenplay and said, "you know, you really got the goods."
Boal similarly took to the stage and talked about being honored to be a screenwriter and acknowledged the troops in Iraq with whom he had been embedded as a journalist before he wrote his screenplay about a group of men who defuse bombs.
They were the ones, Boal said, who showed him, "the tragedy and chaos and hellishness they face day in and day out."
The Writers Guild represents film and television writers in the United States, and their awards are often seen as a key indicator on who will go on to win Oscars, the world's top film honors, because many Writers Guild members also belong to Oscar organizer, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
So far this Oscar season, "Hurt Locker" has been honored by guilds of film producers and directors and is considered a favorite for the best film Academy Award along with key rival, box office hit "Avatar," urban drama "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" and "Up In the Air."
Elsewhere in film categories, the Writers Guild gave its best documentary screenwriting award to The Cove, which details the slaughter of dolphins in Japan, and a lifetime achievement honor for film to writer/director Barry Levinson.
The Hurt Locker, Written by Mark Boal; Summit Entertainment
Up in the Air, Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner; Based upon the novel by Walter Kirn; Paramount Pictures
The Cove, Written by Mark Monroe; Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions
Mad Men, Written by Lisa Albert, Andrew Colville, Kater Gordon, Cathryn Humphris, Andre Jacquemetton, Maria Jacquemetton, Brett Johnson, Erin Levy, Marti Noxon, Frank Pierson, Robin Veith, Dahvi Waller, Matthew Weiner; AMC
30 Rock, Written by Jack Burditt, Kay Cannon, Robert Carlock, Tom Ceraulo, Vali Chandrasekaran, Tina Fey, Donald Glover, Steve Hely, Matt Hubbard, Dylan Morgan, Paula Pell, Jon Pollack, John Riggi, Tami Sagher, Josh Siegal, Ron Weiner, Tracey Wigfield; NBC
Modern Family, Written by Paul Corrigan, Sameer Gardezi, Joe Lawson, Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Dan O'Shannon, Brad Walsh, Caroline Williams, Bill Wrubel, Danny Zuker; ABC
EPISODIC DRAMA – any length – one airing time
“Broken, Part 1 and Part 2” (House), Written by Russel Friend & Garrett Lerner & David Foster & David Shore; Fox
EPISODIC COMEDY – any length – one airing time (**TIE**)
“Apollo, Apollo” (30 Rock), Written by Robert Carlock; NBC
“Pilot” (Modern Family), Written by Steven Levitan & Christopher Lloyd; ABC
LONG FORM – ORIGINAL – over one hour – one or two parts, one or two airing times
Georgia O’Keeffe, Written by Michael Cristofer; Lifetime
LONG FORM – ADAPTATION – over one hour – one or two parts, one or two airing times
Taking Chance, Teleplay by Lieutenant Colonel Michael R. Strobl, USMC (Ret.) and Ross Katz, Based on the short story by Lieutenant Colonel Michael R. Strobl, USMC (Ret.); HBO
ANIMATION – any length – one airing time
“Wedding for Disaster” (The Simpsons), Written by Joel H. Cohen; Fox
COMEDY / VARIETY – (INCLUDING TALK) SERIES (**TIE**)
Saturday Night Live, Head Writer: Seth Meyers, Writers Doug Abeles, James Anderson, Alex Baze, Jessica Conrad, James Downey, Steve Higgins, Colin Jost, Erik Kenward, Rob Klein, John Lutz, Lorne Michaels, John Mulaney, Paula Pell, Simon Rich, Marika Sawyer, Akiva Schaffer, John Solomon, Emily Spivey, Kent Sublette, Jorma Taccone, Bryan Tucker, Additional Sketch by Adam McKay, Andrew Steele; NBC
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Head Writer: Steve Bodow, Writers Rory Albanese, Kevin Bleyer, Rich Blomquist, Tim Carvell, Wyatt Cenac, Hallie Haglund, JR Havlan, David Javerbaum, Elliott Kalan, Josh Lieb, Sam Means, Jo Miller, John Oliver, Daniel Radosh, Jason Ross, Jon Stewart; Comedy Central
COMEDY / VARIETY – MUSIC, AWARDS, TRIBUTES – SPECIALS
Film Independent’s 2009 Spirit Awards, Written by Billy Kimball, Neil MacLennan; IFC/AMC
The Young and the Restless, Written by Amanda L. Beall, Tom Casiello, Lisa Connor, Janice Ferri Esser, Eric Freiwald, Jay Gibson, Scott Hamner, Marla Kanelos, Beth Milstein, Natalie Minardi Slater, Melissa Salmons, Linda Schreiber, James Stanley, Sandra Weintraub, Teresa Zimmerman; CBS
CHILDREN'S EPISODIC & SPECIALS
“Welcome to the Jungle” (The Troop), Written by Max Burnett; Nickelodeon
CHILDREN’S SCRIPT – LONG FORM OR SPECIAL
Another Cinderella Story, Written by Erik Patterson, Jessica Scott; ABC Family
DOCUMENTARY – CURRENT EVENTS
“The Madoff Affair” (Frontline), Written by Marcela Gaviria, Martin Smith; PBS
DOCUMENTARY – OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS
“The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer” (American Experience), Written by David Grubin; PBS
NEWS – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN OR BREAKING REPORT
World News with Charles Gibson, Written by Lee Kamlet, Julia Kathan, Joel Siegel; ABC
NEWS – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY
“A Private War: Expose: America’s Investigative Reports” (Bill Moyers Journal), Written by Thomas M. Jennings; PBS
2008 Year in Review, Written by Gail Lee; CBS
NEWS – REGULARLY SCHEDULED OR BREAKING
World News This Week − July 11, 2009, Written by Darren Reynolds; ABC Radio
NEWS – ANALYSIS, FEATURE OR COMMENTARY
Paul Harvey: An American Life, Written by Stu Chamberlain; ABC Radio
PROMOTIONAL WRITING AND GRAPHIC ANIMATION WINNERS
ON-AIR PROMOTION (RADIO OR TELEVISION)
“Vegas” (Dateline), “The Wanted” Promo, NBC Nightly News Promo, “Iran” (Dateline), “Cheat” (Dateline), Written by Barry Fitzsimmons; NBC
TELEVISION GRAPHIC ANIMATION
“Hudson Splashdown” (CBS Evening News with Katie Couric), David M. Rosen, Shannon L. Toma; CBS
VIDEOGAME WRITING WINNER
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Written by Amy Hennig; Sony Computer Entertainment
Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy) hosted the West Coast show, which was executive produced by Spike Jones, Jr. Presenters scheduled to appear at the Los Angeles show included: Morgan Freeman, Billy Crystal, Judd Apatow with Jason Segel, Diablo Cody with John Corbett, Ali LeRoi with Chris Rock, David Shore with Hugh Laurie, Jason Alexander, Mila Kunis, Bill Blinn with Billy Dee Williams, Aaron Sorkin with Thomas Schlamme, Sally Sussman Morina with Anthony Morina, Todd J. Greenwald with David Henrie, WGAW President John Wells, and Robin Williams via a special video tribute to Barry Levinson. Host MacFarlane opened the show with a house-rocking production number with back-up singers featuring his version of “Ya Got Trouble” from The Music Man. Also in attendance at the WGAW’s L.A. ceremony were: Meg Ryan, Danny McBride, Cheryl Hines, Kathryn Bigelow, and Lee Daniels.
Susie Essman of Curb Your Enthusiasm hosted the East Coast show, which was executive produced by Craig Shemin, who was also the head writer. Presenters scheduled to appear at the show in New York included: Elisabeth Moss, Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind, Ana Ortiz, Fred Armisen, Fran Brill and Prairie Dawn, Josh Charles, Stephanie D’Abruzzo, Abby Elliott, Chris Elliott, Edie Falco, Nancy Giles, Don Hastings, Bill Irwin, Marc Lawrence, Elizabeth I. McCann, Bob McGrath, Seth Meyers, Mo Rocca, Wallace Shawn, Jeremy Sisto, Harry Smith, WGAE President Michael Winship, and Senator Al Franken in a special video tribute to honorary award recipient Alan Zweibel. Musical entertainment during the ceremony was provided by the Mark Pender Band featuring LaBamba. Also in attendance were: Tina Fey, Anthony Mackie, Nora Ephron, Michael H. Weber, Tom Fontana, and Terry George.
The Writers Guild of America, West presented special honors to: Larry David – Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television for lifetime achievement; Barry Levinson – Screen Laurel Award for lifetime achievement; Anthony Peckham (Invictus) – Paul Selvin Award, recognizing written work which spotlights constitutional rights and civil liberties; Carl Gottlieb – Morgan Cox Award, honoring longtime Guild service.
The Writers Guild of America, East presented special honors to: Alan Zweibel - Ian McLellan Hunter Lifetime Achievement Award; Gary David Goldberg – Herb Sargent Award for Comedy Excellence; Edward Albee – Evelyn F. Burkey Award for contributions bringing honor and dignity to writers everywhere; David Steven Cohen - Jablow Award for devoted service to the Guild, and Philippa Leverman - John Merriman Award for Study of Broadcast Journalism at American University. In addition, the Writers Guild of America, East Foundation presented the Michael Collyer Memorial Fellowship in Screenwriting to Antal Zambo of Wayne State University.For more information about the 2010 Writers Guild Awards, please visit www.wga.org or www.wgaeast.org.