TECH SUPPORT: ‘Inception’ dominates below the line

Posted by · 8:47 am · February 28th, 2011

So, the morning after a terrible prediction record at this year’s Oscars, I’ll try to make some sense of what the Academy told us, and what it means for the crafts artists we got to know along the circuit this year. As the evening went on, many people began to wonder if “The Social Network” […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Final analysis, part one

Posted by · 10:35 am · February 24th, 2011

So this is it. Over the last seven-plus months here at Tech Support, we have tried to illuminate and analyze the craft races as they unfolded. On Sunday, the winners will be revealed, ushering some new faces into Oscar’s club.  And indeed, I expect the vast majority of the winners to make their first trip […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Heading into the home stretch

Posted by · 11:48 am · February 21st, 2011

I’m watching CNN’s report of the on-going situation in Libya as I write these comparably pointless words. The “real world” seems so unique, so foreign after having our head in the awards season clouds since September. Now, six months in, victory lane is a mere six days away. And man, it’s been a marathon. So […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Cinematography

Posted by · 10:19 am · February 15th, 2011

The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) dished out its annual kudos this weekend, which makes for a nice segue into a discussion of the year’s nominees for Best Cinematography. But it’s important to keep a few things in mind when it comes to guessing what the Academy at large will spring for in this field. […]

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The cinematography of ‘True Grit’

Posted by · 5:20 pm · January 31st, 2011

There has been a lingering possibility, I think, of Danny Cohen riding the frontrunner wave to a win for his working shooting “The King’s Speech” lately.  It’s possible “Inception” is lurking as a spoiler, but I think the race will come down to those two films.  And as much as I find myself in the […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Analyzing the nominees

Posted by · 11:53 am · January 28th, 2011

So the 83rd Annual Academy Award nominations were finally announced this week, and I did fairly well in handicapping the nominees. Outside of Best Sound Mixing, I never missed more than one nominee in a category. Unfortunately, there were no categories where I scored 100% (apart from Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay). Oh well. […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Final analysis, part two

Posted by · 9:48 am · January 21st, 2011

Yesterday I began a final look at the crafts categories. Today, a look at the four remaining fields: Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design and Best Film Editing. BEST ART DIRECTION The precursors of the BFCA, BAFTA and Art Directors Guild have been fairly consistent in citing four titles in this category. Last […]

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FIRST-HALF FYC: Below-the-line standouts

Posted by · 11:45 am · January 11th, 2011

For the penultimate installment in our reflection on the most Oscar-worthy achievements from the largely forgotten first half of 2010’s release calendar, I’m backtracking away from the major categories to the place I should perhaps have started: the technical sphere. Had I thought to start this column 20-odd weeks in advance of nomination day, I […]

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‘King’s Speech,’ ‘Social Network’ among ASC nominees

Posted by · 6:06 pm · January 10th, 2011

Well, I was expecting this to drop tomorrow, but the ASC nominees have been announced (catch them at The Circuit), and there are a couple of surprises. Okay, well, Jeff Cronenweth getting in for “The Social Network” isn’t a complete surprise, as I mentioned this morning we should watch out for him here.  But Danny […]

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TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: ‘True Grit’ cinematographer Roger Deakins

Posted by · 9:13 am · December 22nd, 2010

The Coen brothers’ “True Grit” opens nationwide today.  And we’re continuing right along with our daily look at the below-the-line talent of the film with director of photography Roger Deakins. Deakins has been with the Coens for nearly 20 years, going all the way back to “Barton Fink” in 1991.  It’s fair to say his […]

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TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: The look of ‘Inception’

Posted by · 9:23 am · December 16th, 2010

Christopher Nolan has become known for making the Batman films look, and consequently feel, “real.”  His latest film, “Inception,” despite being a visual treat, also seemed a far cry from the CGI spectacles that normally dominate the blockbuster circuit.  It was very well-received by critics and certainly audiences alike and is currently enjoying a solid […]

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EXCLUSIVE: ‘127 Hours,’ 2 DPs (clip)

Posted by · 1:00 pm · November 3rd, 2010

One of the unique aspects of Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours” is it’s use of two cinematographers.  Longtime Boyle collaborator Anthony Dod Mantle (who won the Oscar for Best Cinematography in 2008 for “Slumdog Millionaire”) was joined by Enrique Chediak (who shot the Boyle-produced “28 Weeks Later”). Both units were given equal weight during production (going […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Supporting ladies gather, London opens, Hardy goes to Gotham

Posted by · 8:28 pm · October 15th, 2010

• Off the Carpet picked out the likeliest runners in a highly malleable Best Supporting Actress race. • We checked in on the Best Animated Feature race, where it seems we may be looking at a three-nominee field after all. • Away from the awards beat, the week’s big news was the casting of Tom […]

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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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Picking the best new lensers

Posted by · 8:44 am · August 24th, 2010

As you know, we at InContention are dedicated to spotlighting below-the-line talent, so this excellent cinematography-themed piece at The Playlist caught my eye — in it, Oli Lyttelton singles out five individuals that he feels are spearheading an exciting new generation of DPs, breaking down their past achievements and future promise in some detail. The […]

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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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TECH SUPPORT: Diving right back in

Posted by · 11:36 am · July 8th, 2010

Here we go again.  We just said goodbye to the 2009 film awards season four months ago, yet here we are, halfway through 2010 and ready to kick the tires on Tech Support, a unique feature here at In Contention. Tech Support, for those unaware, seeks to highlight below-the-line talent on films.  We offer space […]

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‘Amelie’ tops list of decade’s best cinematography

Posted by · 10:00 am · June 29th, 2010

The folks at Movieline got their hands on a list of the top 50 films of the decade, from a cinematography standpoint, as laid out by voters at American Cinematographer magazine. Topping the list: Bruno Delbonnel’s work on “Amelie.” Delbonnel is a favorite among DPs. After all, “A Very Long Engagement” won him the ASC […]

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