Entries filed in: 'Tech Support'

TECH SUPPORT: Best Original Song

Posted by · 12:15 pm · December 9th, 2010

I guess I’ve been pretty hard on the Best Original Song category this year. It’s not like any given year tends to have a deluge of impressive fodder up for consideration or anything, but on the whole, outside of a concentration of contenders that have a fighting chance at recognition, it just seems to be […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Visual Effects — Volume II

Posted by · 8:19 pm · December 2nd, 2010

I find it somewhat appropriate to be ending my in-depth looks at the crafts categories with a discussion of Best Visual Effects. This is, after all, a category which awards the sort of behind-the-scenes crafts work that is often prominently displayed in advertisements and talked about with reverence after the film ends. When looking at […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Sound Mixing — Volume II

Posted by · 10:40 am · November 26th, 2010

Sound mixing has a lot in common with sound editing, but the distinctions are still critical. While both clearly relate to what we hear in the theater, sound editing specifically relates to the creation of artificial sounds (“sound effects”) while sound mixing brings everything together — from effects to music to dialogue (recorded on set […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Sound Editing — Volume II

Posted by · 10:06 am · November 18th, 2010

Last week we discussed how a movie’s soundtrack can be immeasurably improved by music.  This week, we turn to the sound technicians.  While next week will concentrate on sound mixing (the overall mix of effects, recorded sounds, dialogue and music), this week we look at sound editing, the creation of artificial sound effects to enhance […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Original Score — Volume II

Posted by · 12:35 pm · November 12th, 2010

A great score can take a film from memorable to unforgettable.  Whether it be Vangelis’s synthesizer on the beach in “Chariots of Fire,” Nino Rota’s haunting waltz from “The Godfather” or John Williams’s blaring, adventurous march from “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” scores can elevate amazing images to bring the director’s vision to even greater […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Makeup — Volume II

Posted by · 9:13 am · November 4th, 2010

As I said last week (and have said several times before), no category is year-in and-year-out more perplexing than Best Makeup. Each year, this branch finds ways to turn otherwise dubious awards contenders into bona fide Oscar nominees — dubious because often nominees might be abysmal or relatively obscure.  The branch seems to have its […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Film Editing — Volume II

Posted by · 11:33 am · October 28th, 2010

So important but so hard to notice. That’s how I would describe the work of our best film editors – those cutting artists who blend and juxtapose frames together to make films coherent, establish a flow and also set the mood in a manner that suits the screenwriter’s words and the director’s vision. The Academy […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Costume Design — Volume II

Posted by · 9:49 am · October 22nd, 2010

Glitz and glamor.  Period prestige.  Newbie talent and old favorites.  How is the race for Best Costume Design shaping up this year? In my opinion, Jenny Beavan is leading the way at this point in time. Beavan earned six nominations in the 1980s and 1990s for her work on Merchant-Ivory films, winning for “A Room […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Cinematography — Volume II

Posted by · 11:36 am · October 15th, 2010

Today we take a look a second look at, well, certainly the most “cinematic” of categories: Best Cinematography. As I like to say, cinema is born out of the camera and those who wield these devices enrich our films more than a few words written here could possibly say. From capturing mood, lighting and atmosphere […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Art Direction — Volume II

Posted by · 10:56 am · October 7th, 2010

Oh how things have changed since I last wrote in this space. In the past four weeks, Tech Support has taken a break, allowing the dust from the festival circuit to settle, and other titles to open. Over the next 10 weeks, we’ll take a second look at each of the crafts categories, finishing in […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Visual Effects — Volume I

Posted by · 9:07 am · September 9th, 2010

How often do you go to the movies to escape? To be immersed into a different world, whether it be fantastical, thrilling or action-packed? For many movie-goers, if not most, the answer is “frequently.” Visual effects often play a massive role in this experience.  Studios invest heavily in them and frequently try to sell films […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Sound Mixing — Volume I

Posted by · 3:44 pm · September 2nd, 2010

Last week, while discussing the sound editing category, I explained the difference between that art form and sound mixing.  The Oscar for the latter is shared between two (or more) persons who construct the soundtrack of a movie.  The re-recording mixers bring together everything – dialogue, sound effects, music – into what we hear in […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Sound Editing — Volume I

Posted by · 11:31 am · August 26th, 2010

Now matter how many times I watch the Oscars, someone will always ask, “So what is the difference between the two sound categories?” The difference is quite significant.  It is so important that the sound branch is only one of two “tech” branches in the Academy (the other being music) that gives out two separate […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Original Score — Volume I

Posted by · 4:31 pm · August 19th, 2010

I am marveled by the accomplishments of all the crafts artists who elevate our films, but this is particularly the case with respect to music composers. Composing equals genius as far as I am concerned.These musicians  join the film at the end, when usually only the director, editor and perhaps the sound mixers are still […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Makeup — Volume I

Posted by · 11:14 am · August 12th, 2010

Makeup and hairstyling builds characters by transforming actors with realism or imagination that would otherwise be lacking on the screen. With the announcement that the Best Visual Effects is expanding to include five nominees this year, Best Makeup now remains the sole category to have three nominees, chosen from a “bake-off” of seven finalists which […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Film Editing — Volume I

Posted by · 1:29 am · August 5th, 2010

I still remember when I was 12 and getting into the Oscars for the first time. My Dad said, “How can you tell if the film has good editing?” To a very large extent, I had to concede his point, as the best editing is often that which we don’t explicitly notice. Rather, it simply […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Costume Design — Volume I

Posted by · 11:56 pm · July 30th, 2010

Costume design in many ways represents much about the Oscars: glitz, glamor, beauty. But obviously threads do much more than make movie stars look attractive.  They build character, set mood, define period and serve as a defining design aspect of a film. Like art direction, the nominees for here overwhelmingly fall into one of two […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Cinematography — Volume I

Posted by · 10:58 am · July 23rd, 2010

Of the so-called “tech” categories, Best Cinematography is one of the most popular, certainly for me. The invention of the camera took us beyond radio and literature and set modern art on a path aimed toward the moving picture, and this field recognizes those behind the lens. Cinematography obviously has a massive impact on a […]

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