Since the 1990s, the Television Academy has been creating statues and busts for the Inductees into the Television Academy Hall of Fame for display in the Hall of Fame Garden on its campus in North Hollywood. The coveted honor of being inducted has been bestowed upon performers, directors, producers, costume designers, writers, animators, executives, news reporters, and various other individuals whose work in television has no equal. Until last year no visual record of the creation of the busts had been made. We had the opportunity to document the work of Sculptor Richard Becker as he created busts for Joan Rivers, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Shonda Rhimes, and Katie Couric simultaneoulsy over an 8-month period. Everything we do at the Television Academy is a part of history and this piece was created to capture and archive the process as well as show at the awards ceremony.
We met with the artist so that we could understand the process and were surprised at just how many steps are involved. He actually is constantly making fixes and corrections after every stage to get it as close to his original rendering as possible. The bulk of the time is spent in a Foundry where the molds are made and the bronze is actually poured. We visited each step of the way to capture as much as we could. The intense LA heat over the summer was not our friend. It proved to be challenging for the artist especially when it came to creating the wax molds. Finally we sat down for a long interview with Richard, who is deaf and now has a cochlear implant. He explained how going deaf later in life actually made him the artist that he is today. We thought that was a pivotal part of the story as well because this really gives us a connection to him, his process, and his vision.
The film was a huge success at our ceremony and we have something for our archives that is important to our history but what I am most happy about as a director is that Richard loved it and is very proud.