Oscar 2012: Argo, Zero Dark Thirty Win Writers Guild Awards

February 17, 2012–“Argo” and “Zero Dark Thirty” have won the key screenplay awards from the Writers Guild of America.
Mark Boal’s screenplay for “Zero Dark Thirty” won best original category and Chris Terrio’s adaptation of “Argo” took adapted screenplay.

“It’s a unique thing to be honored by your peers,” Boal said in his acceptance and noted that director Kathryn Bigelow was attending the ceremonies at LA Live. “Kathryn, you took this script and made it live, breathe and fly,” he added.

A visibly moved Terrio said in his accptance that when he began work on “Argo” five years ago, he was out of money and had defaulted on his student loan “I had my specs and Writers Guild card; I can’t tell you how that propped me up,” Terrio added.

Boal’s screenplay won over “Flight,” “Looper,” “The Master” and “Moonrise Kingsom.”

“Argo” topped “Perks of Being a Wallflower,” “Life of Pi,” “Lincoln” and “Silver Linings Playbook.”

“Searching for Sugar Man” kept up its momentum is the documentary award for Malik Bendjelloul.

In television, AMC’s “Breaking Bad” won for best drama, while FX’s “Louie” won best comedy series. HBO’s “Girls” won for best new series.

Elaine Ko of “Modern Family” won the episodic comedy award for “Virgin Territory,” while Semi Chellas and Matt Weiner won episodic drama award for “Mad Men” — topping three episodes of “Breaking Bad.”

“Portlandia” took the comedy variety series award over seven other nominees and “The 66th Annual Tony Awards” received the comedy variety special award.

The daytime drama award went to “The Young and the Restlessm”

Richard Farrese and Jill Murray took the videogame writing award for “Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation”

Results were based on voting by the 12,000 WGA members. Writers represent about 6 percent of voters in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The screenplay awards were announced first in New York ceremonies at BB Kings, an hour before they were announced at the Los Angeles ceremonies at LA Live.

Oscar adapted screenplay nominations went to “Argo,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” Life of Pi,” “Lincoln” and “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Oscar original screenplay nominations went to “Amour,” “Django Unchained,” “Flight,” “Moonrise Kingdom” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”

“Amour,” “Beasts” and “Django” were excluded from the WGA awards consideration since they were not written under jurisdiction of the WGA or another writers guild.

Even with exclusions, the WGA winners have a reliable track record for predicting the Oscar screenplay winners. Woody Allen won both in the original category for “Midnight in Paris” last year for the 12th match in 18 years; Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash won both trophies in adapted for “The Descendants,” marking the 13th match in 18 years.

FILM

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
“Zero Dark Thirty” – Written by Mark Boal; Columbia Pictures

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
“Argo” – Screenplay by Chris Terrio; based on a selection from “The Master of Disguise” by Antonio J. Mendez and the Wired magazine article “The Great Escape” by Joshuah Bearman; Warner Bros. Pictures

DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY
“Searching for Sugar Man” – Written by Malik Bendejelloul; Sony Pictures Classics

TELEVISION

DRAMA SERIES
“Breaking Bad” – Written by Sam Catlin, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Gennifer Hutchison, George Mastras, Thomas Schnauz, Moira Walley-Beckett; AMC

COMEDY SERIES
“Louie” – Written by Pamela Adlon, Vernon Chatman, Louis C.K.; FX

NEW SERIES
“Girls” – Written by Judd Apatow, Lesley Arfin, Lena Dunham, Sarah Heyward, Bruce Eric Kaplan, Jenni Konner, Deborah Schoeneman, Dan Sterling; HBO

COMEDY / VARIETY (INCLUDING TALK) – SERIES
“Portlandia” – Writers: Fred R. Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Karey Dornetto, Jonathan Krisel, Bill Oakley; IFC

COMEDY / VARIETY – MUSIC, AWARDS, TRIBUTES – SPECIALS
66th Annual Tony Awards – Written by Dave Boone; Special Material by Paul Greenberg; Opening and Closing Songs by David Javerbaum, Adam Schlesinger; CBS

EPISODIC DRAMA
“The Other Woman” (“Mad Men”) – Written by Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner; AMC

EPISODIC COMEDY
“Virgin Territory” (“Modern Family” )- Written by Elaine Ko; ABC

LONG FORM – ORIGINAL
“Hatfields and McCoys,” (Nights Two and Three) – Teleplay by Ted Mann and Ronald Parker, Story by Bill Kerby and Ted Mann; History Channel

LONG FORM – ADAPTED
“Game Change” – Written by Danny Strong, Based on the book by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann; HBO

ANIMATION
“Ned and Edna’s Blend Agenda” (The Simpsons) – Written by Jeff Westbrook; Fox

DAYTIME DRAMA
“The Young & The Restless – Written by Amanda Beall, Jeff Beldner, Brent Boyd, Susan Dansby, Janice Ferri Esser, Jay Gibson, Scott Hamner, Maria Kanelos, Natalie Minardi Slater, Beth Milstein, Michael Montgomery, Anne Schoettle, Linda Schreiber, Lisa Seidman, Sarah K. Smith, Christopher J. Whitesell, Teresa Zimmerman; CBS

CHILDREN’S – EPISODIC & SPECIAL
“The Good Sport” (Sesame Street); Written by Christine Ferraro; PBS

CHILDREN’S – LONG FORM OR SPECIAL
“Girl vs. Monster,” Story by Annie De Young; Teleplay by Annie De Young and Ron McGee; Disney Channel

DOCUMENTARY – CURRENT EVENTS
“Money, Power and Wall Street: Episode One” (Frontline) – Written by Martin Smith and Marcela Gaviria; PBS

DOCUMENTARY – OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS
“The Fabric of the Cosmos: The Illusion of Time” (Nova) – Written by Randall MacLowry; PBS

NEWS – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT
“Tragedy In Colorado: The Movie Theatre Massacre” – Written by Lisa Ferri, Joel Siegel; ABC News

RADIO

NEWS – REGULARLY SCHEDULED OR BREAKING REPORT
“World News This Year 2011” – Written by Darren Reynolds; ABC News Radio

NEWS – ANALYSIS, FEATURE OR COMMENTARY
“Dishin Digital” – Written by Robert Hawley; WCBS-AM

PROMOTIONAL WRITING AND GRAPHIC ANIMATION CATEGORIES

ON-AIR PROMOTION (RADIO OR TELEVISION)
“Partners” – Written by Dan A. Greenberger; CBS

NEW MEDIA AND VIDEOGAME

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN WRITING ORIGINAL NEW MEDIA
“The Compromises, Episode 1,” “The Pest, Episode 3,” The Snake, Episode 4,” “The Bonding, Episode 6,” “The Future, Episode 7/Series Finale” (Jack in a Box) – Written by Michael Cyril Creighton; jackinaboxsite.com

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN WRITING DERIVATIVE NEW MEDIA
“Hide And Seek,” “Keys to the Kingdom,” “The Chosen Ones,” “Parting Shots” – “The Walking Dead: Cold Storage” – Written by John Esposito; amctv.com

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN VIDEOGAME WRITING
“Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation” – Scriptwriting by Richard Farrese, Jill Murray; Ubisoft