"TECH SUPPORT": Crafting. Period.
The crafts categories at the Oscars can be analyzed in many ways. It is possible to observe tendencies, whether they are related to famous individual artists, predispositions to gravitate towards Best Picture nominees, or the fact that box office flops are usually avoided.
But perhaps one of the most noted trends is the dominance of the period piece. I can still remember when I was first watching the Oscars, and the award for Best Costume Design was being presented. My father remarked, “It’s so much harder to design something that is real.” I’m not sure I totally agree with this assessment given that the past provides a template from which someone can already work and an artist’s imagination does not start from scratch. I personally consider the best crafts accomplishments to be those which contribute to the story and make the film better, regardless of the time they are attempting to convey.
However, it certainly must be conceded that, in the period piece, there is an inherent need for accuracy, while also contributing to the mood and feel of the film. This is not to mention that fashioning period through crafts automatically draws attention to itself, given that we do not see the era depicted in day-to-day life, if we have seen it at all.