Veteran Set Decorator Marvin March SDSA was presented with the Set Decorators Society of America Lifetime Achievement Award on Sunday March 6 at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles. In honor of their many films and award nominations together, Production Designer Albert Brenner made the presentation.
March’s film career spanned forty years. A graduate of Brandeis and the Yale School of Drama with a MFA in Theater Design, Lighting and Technical Production, he started his decorating career in New York working on commercials. When there was a shortage of set decorators in Hollywood in 1965, he came west.
March was encouraged to apply for union membership on his first pilot, THE PERILS OF PAULINE. Adding to television history, he decorated the first year of the television series STAR TREK. Although the old studio hierarchies were diminishing, March’s career progressed. Mentorship made the difference, particularly with Albert Brenner. For THE SUNSHINE BOYS, the two earned the first of their four dual Academy Award nominations.
March decorated films in many genres. “What I enjoyed most was the opportunity to work on films set in the 1930s and 1940s. I felt those were great years for a decorator to define on screen,” he reminisced. His illustrious resume boasts sixty-five films, five Oscar nominations, founding member of the Synagogue for the Performing Arts, founding member of the SDSA and three-term Governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, representing the Art Director’s Branch.