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Screen Actors Guild Awards

February 6, 2019 // Insights

Breaking Down the Screen Actors Guild Awards with metroConnections Producers

Maggie Corman, Production Coordinator
Emily Moher, Associate Producer

And the awards shows keep coming! This past Sunday was the 25th annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards. It’s an important one, as it’s often said to be an indicator of success at the Academy Awards. But actual award winners aside, two more producers from our team share their thoughts about the production side of this year’s SAG Awards.

#1 WOW Moment: Alan Alda’s Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech

The SAG Awards theme this year was ‘Be United’ and Alan’s speech was all about the importance of being united and walking in other people’s shoes to understand their perspective.

“It may never have been more urgent to see the world through another person’s eyes. When the culture is divided so sharply, actors can help … So my wish for all of us is: let’s stay playful, let’s have fun and let’s keep searching. You can’t solve everything, but it wouldn’t hurt.”

From a production standpoint, this was a shining example of a speaker who was properly rehearsed. He came off well-polished and professional. There were little to no errors or mistakes in his speech or production – and his powerful quotes will resonate long after the ceremony.

Cringe-worthy Moment: Megan Mullally and Charles C. Stevenson Jr. song/skit

The whole thing was odd. The singing was one thing, but then at the end, Charles had a difficult time reading the names on the teleprompter. His introduction to the next announcers was choppy – he said “uh” multiple times and squinted his eyes at the teleprompter & camera, which was all incredibly distracting. From a producer’s perspective, this all could have been much stronger had the skit been properly rehearsed ahead of time. It’s also a reminder of how crucial it is to provide pronunciation to any announcer well in advance!

Most Heart-Warming Moment: ‘This Is Us’ winning Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

This was such a heartwarming and playful celebration of the entire team’s victory! The whole cast popped up and were excited for one another. They didn’t take it too seriously and were just overwhelmed with joy. Sterling K. Brown and his wife did a fun handshake and you could feel her pride for him and his accomplishments. As far as image magnification – or camera shots – go, this was a big group to capture an initial reaction. Producers had to plan for multiple shots of the table. The shot was not a close up on certain actors (as shown for previous awards), as much as it was a wide shot of the entire ensemble – and it all came off really seamlessly.

Encouraging Moment: Montage of past winners

Most winners captured in the video talked about their challenging pasts before making it big and how it only took one shot for them to make a name for themselves. Many winners encouraged actors who may be struggling to make it to persist and not lose faith. The montage was created by sifting through all 25 years of SAG Award winner acceptance speeches. As producers, we know the amount of effort and time it takes for editors and content creators to comb through all the clips to find the most impactful moments. Content creation tip: Find a bold theme and make sure that all content in the final video relates to it. In this case, the theme was ‘Be United’ with an emphasis on hard work paying off in the end. The theme came through strongly and beautifully in the montage.

Best Stage Set Moment: Silver anniversary theme

This moment was really one that extended throughout the entire ceremony. The 25th anniversary is known to be the silver anniversary and that was well executed in the décor, especially the stage set. It made for great additional elements because the white/silver backdrop allowed the stage design and lighting teams to play with colors. Many colors pop better on a white backdrop rather than the typical black/red/gold combo, which gives the lighting team more flexibility with what they are able to do – and you could tell they had a lot of fun with it! There were also silver elements all throughout the room, including gorgeous chandeliers that brought the whole ceremony to an impressive level.

What did you think of the SAG Awards? Was there anything else you would change or give kudos to? We’d love to hear from you!

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