California on Location Awards 2023: Highlights, Host, Panel, Winners List and More

California on Location Awards 2023: Discover the glitz and glamour of the 2023 California On Location Awards (COLAs), where the best in on-location filming takes center stage.
 

California on Location Awards 2023

The 28th annual California On Location Awards, held at the stunning Hilton Los Angeles in Universal City on December 1, 2023, was a glittering celebration that honored the best in the field of Location Professionals in the entertainment industry. Organized by FLICS (Film Liaisons in California Statewide), this prestigious event aimed to recognize the outstanding efforts of location managers and teams, public employees, and production companies dedicated to facilitating on-location filming across the picturesque landscapes of California. Against the backdrop of the iconic Hilton Los Angeles, the awards ceremony brought together industry leaders, professionals, and enthusiasts to applaud the vital role played by these individuals and organizations in enhancing the on-screen magic of California’s diverse and captivating locales.

Brought to you by FLICS, the California On Location Awards 2023 underscored the importance of collaboration between various stakeholders in the entertainment industry. This annual event not only celebrated the creativity and talent of location professionals but also acknowledged the collaborative efforts of public employees and production companies that contribute to making California a preferred destination for on-location filming. Against the backdrop of the Hilton Los Angeles in Universal City, the ceremony highlighted the symbiotic relationship between the film industry and the beautiful landscapes of California, showcasing how these professionals play a crucial role in bringing stories to life in some of the most stunning and iconic settings the state has to offer.

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Host and Panel

The 2023 California On Location Awards (COLAs) unfolded at the elegant Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City, providing a glamorous setting for the celebration of excellence in the world of on-location filming. The hosting duties for this prestigious event were skillfully handled by the charismatic actor and comedian, Chinedu Unaka, adding his unique flair to the evening’s festivities. Unaka’s engaging presence brought a touch of humor and warmth to the awards ceremony, making it an enjoyable experience for attendees and participants alike. His role as the host added an extra layer of entertainment to the celebration, contributing to the overall success of the 2023 COLAs.

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Behind the scenes, the production of the California On Location Awards was expertly orchestrated by Dyana Carmella. Serving as the producer, Carmella played a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth execution of the event, from coordinating logistics to managing the various elements that contribute to a seamless awards show. Her expertise and dedication were instrumental in creating a memorable experience for all involved. Additionally, the finalists and winners of the COLAs were determined through a rigorous process involving FLICS members, a steering committee of Teamsters Local 399 members, and a panel of industry experts. This collaborative approach ensured a fair and comprehensive evaluation of the outstanding contributions made by individuals and teams in the field of on-location filming across California.

Highlights

The 2023 California On Location Awards (COLAs) showcased a remarkable array of winners, with standout recognition going to prominent titles in the entertainment industry. Leading the pack were the highly anticipated ‘Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley,’ the independent film ‘The Greatest Hits,’ and the captivating limited series ‘Daisy Jones & The Six.’ These projects claimed top honors in various categories at the prestigious awards ceremony held on Friday.

‘Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley’ emerged triumphant in the studio feature category, with location manager Dan Cooley earning the title of Location Manager of the Year and the dedicated location team securing the Location Team of the Year accolade. The independent feature ‘The Greatest Hits’ received noteworthy acclaim, with Justin Hill named Location Manager of the Year and the film’s location team recognized for their outstanding contributions.

The television episodic one-hour category witnessed ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’ and ‘Winning Time’ as standout winners, with Jay Traynor claiming the Location Manager of the Year award for the former, while the latter secured the Location Team of the Year accolade. The talented assistant location manager, Courtney Ochoa, added to the success of ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’ by receiving a well-deserved award.

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Other notable titles that left an indelible mark on the 2023 COLAs included ‘High Desert’ and ‘Minx,’ both earning accolades in the episodic half-hour category. Stacey Brashear of ‘High Desert’ was honored as the Location Manager of the Year, while ‘Minx’ secured recognition for its outstanding location team. Additionally, ‘Joker: Folie à Deux’ stood out with Sheila Ryan-Cruz named Assistant Location Manager of the Year – Feature. The awards ceremony also paid tribute to exceptional public employees of the year, further emphasizing the collaborative efforts that contribute to the success of on-location filming in California.

Winners List

Location Manager of the Year – Studio Feature:

  • Winner: Dan Cooley
  • Project: Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley

Location Team of the Year – Studio Feature:

  • Winning Project: Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley
  • Team: Dan Cooley (Supervising Location Manager), Rick Surad (Location Manager 2nd Unit), Bryan Diaz (Location Manager), Leslie Stout Glennon (Key Assistant Location Manager), Ben McCrea (Key Assistant Location Manager), Ahmet Elez (Key Assistant Location Manager), Tony Rizza (Key Assistant Location Manager), Brian Deming (Key Assistant Location Manager), John Blake (Key Assistant Location Manager), Hannah Dorfman (Assistant Location Manager), Jonathan Diaz (Assistant Location Manager), Kevin Danchisko (Key Assistant Location Manager 2nd Unit), Omar Masmoudi (Key Assistant Location Manager 2nd Unit)

Location Manager of the Year – Independent Feature:

  • Winner: Justin Hill
  • Project: The Greatest Hits

Location Team of the Year – Independent Feature:

  • Winning Project: The Greatest Hits
  • Team: Justin Hill (Supervising Location Manager), Justin Louie (Key Assistant Location Manager), Jill Naumann (Key Assistant Location Manager), Clay Dodder (Key Assistant Location Manager), Norman Galeas (Key Assistant Location Manager), Brittany Anders (Key Assistant Location Manager), Michael Bryant (Key Assistant Location Manager), Paul Brady (Key Assistant Location Manager), Lucien Unruh (Assistant Location Manager), Sarah Hwang (Assistant Location Manager), Guy Morrison (Key Assistant Location Manager), Dana Reiko Barenfeld

Location Manager of the Year – Episodic TV – One Hour:

  • Winner: Jay Traynor
  • Project: Daisy Jones & The Six
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Location Team of the Year – Episodic TV – One Hour:

  • Winning Project: Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, Season 2
  • Team: Gregory H. Alpert (Supervising Location Manager), Brian S. Kalata (Location Manager), Matthew Bolin (Key Assistant Location Manager), J.P. O’Connor (Key Assistant Location Manager), Sam Gomez (Key Assistant Location Manager), Miles Beal-Ampah (Key Assistant Location Manager), Shelly Armstrong (Location Department Coordinator), André Balderamos (Key Assistant Location Manager), Shaka Terry (Key Assistant Location Manager), Shawn Hueston (Key Assistant Location Manager), Julian Stephens (Assistant Location Manager), Whitney Breite (Assistant Location Manager)

Location Manager of the Year – Episodic TV – Half-Hour:

  • Winner: Stacey Brashear
  • Project: High Desert

Location Team of the Year – Episodic TV – Half-Hour:

  • Winning Project: Minx
  • Team: Jason Kaplon (Supervising Location Manager), Mike Parisi (Key Assistant Location Manager), J. Hanna (Location Manager), Taylor Moore (Key Assistant Location Manager), Brielle Fraser (Assistant Location Manager), Jessica Aichs (Key Assistant Location Manager), Michael Holmes (Key Assistant Location Manager), John Nabet (Key Assistant Location Manager), Jasmin Paris (Key Assistant Location Manager)

Location Manager of the Year – Commercials:

  • Winner: Weston Marsh
  • Project: Visit California “Kidifornia Family Vacation”

Public Employee of the Year – City:

  • Winner: Janice Lopez
  • City: City of Palm Springs
  • Role: Program Coordinator & Film Permit Officer

Public Employee of the Year – County:

  • Winner: Melissa Martinez
  • County: Riverside County Transportation Department

Public Employee of the Year – Federal:

  • Winner: John Thomas
  • Agency: Bureau of Land Management
  • Role: Park Ranger

Assistant Location Manager of the Year – Feature:

  • Winner: Sheila Ryan-Cruz
  • Project: Joker: Folie à Deux

Assistant Location Manager of the Year – Television:

  • Daisy Jones & the Six: Courtney Ochoa

 

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