world of show business, SEE SHOW BIZ, PAGE A9.
Like the behind-the-scenes workers in the film and television
industry, local artisans who craft the Screen Actors Guild Awards’
trophies help create a product that will be shown to viewers
“Nobody knows how hard the people behind the scenes work to make
things happen,” said Ken Hanke, who made the original mold for the
statuettes that have been crafted by Burbank’s American Fine Arts
Foundry since 1995.
Hanke worked with sculptor Edward Saenz in creating the first mold
for his sculpture of “The Actor,” who holds smiling and frowning
masks. Forty-three statues will be handed out at the show, which airs
American Fine Arts Foundry workers proved their mettle when
another foundry lost the original mold for SAG’s Life Achievement
Award. Burbank’s artisans were able to remake the mold from an
existing sculpture, said Daryl Anderson, a SAG Awards committee
From the original rubber mold, foundry employees made hundreds of
wax duplicates of “The Actor” that are encased in a ceramic mold,
which is filled with molten bronze. The hot liquid cools and hardens
into a statue.
As in filmmaking, Hanke describes his work as “a series of
compromises” that includes considering “what to cut and what not to
cut,” in order to design molds that will yield the best finished
At 12 pounds, the bronze sculptures, perched atop their marble
podiums, have surprised some winners with their heft, Hanke said. But
foundry worker Blanca Lemus, who corrects imperfections in the
sculpture’s wax model, enjoys imagining the stars who will receive
“That person may not know about me, but I enjoy being part of the
[statue’s] history,” Lemus said.
The foundry has also cast retirement plaques for Disney and the
Independent Feature Project’s Independent Spirit Awards, said Angel
Meza, the foundry’s production manager.
The 2002 Screen Actors Guild Awards, honoring outstanding TV and
film performances, will be telecast at 8 p.m. March 9 on TNT, which
is Channel 41 on Charter Communications cable.