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 Film Editing

Posted by · 9:38 am · February 21st, 2011

I’m afraid you’ll find that I’m having trouble getting all that excited about this year’s race for Best Film Editing. How can I when the absolute best editing job of the year (from a true master, no less) was shunned altogether, while a cruel joke was played in the form of “Inception” editor Lee Smith […]

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‘Social,’ ‘Alice’ win ACE awards

Posted by · 9:31 pm · February 19th, 2011

Alright, so I should have gone with what I said was the safe bet for the ACE drama Eddie.  Rather than making history by awarding a film not nominated for the editing Oscar and giving it to the truly deserving contender, “Inception,” the editors decided to rethink it and go with “The Social Network” instead.  […]

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Predict the weekend in societies

Posted by · 6:00 pm · February 17th, 2011

Anne and I will be briefly previewing the American Cinema Editors and Cinema Audio Society awards in tomorrow’s Oscar Talk, and maybe a little Motion Picture Sound Editors thrown in to boot.  All three will be announcing winners this weekend, while members of the Costume Designers Guild will put a bow on the guild season […]

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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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ACE springs for Best Picture frontrunners

Posted by · 5:50 am · January 14th, 2011

Guy rightly noted yesterday a seemingly “whatever” coagulation of the guild awards circuit into “easy-to-recall season staples.” If you were hoping the American Cinema Editors (ACE) would put an end to that, keep dreaming. Of course, ACE historically skews as populist and inside-the-box as the DGA set, which is why the two are often coupled […]

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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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WEEKLY WRAP: Leading men, Halloween horror, comic contenders

Posted by · 8:02 am · October 31st, 2010

• This week’s Off the Carpet column took a roll call of this year’s Best Actor contenders. • Meanwhile, we interviewed one of the strongest of those contenders, “127 Hours” star James Franco. • With “The King’s Speech,” “Another Year” and “Made in Dagenham” all in the hunt, The Long Shot mused on Britain’s back-and-forth […]

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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 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: 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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TECH SUPPORT: Final stretch, final predictions

Posted by · 8:26 pm · March 4th, 2010

Well, here we are. On Sunday, the statuettes for the Oscars will handed out. It seems difficult to remember that it was eight months ago when we started looking at the categories for the first time. Today, let’s take one last look at the crafts categories to see where we stand. Best Art Direction (Oscar […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Film Editing

Posted by · 12:22 pm · February 12th, 2010

The Best Film Editing category tends to be a shadow of the Best Picture category in some ways. With there being 10 Best Picture nominees this year, however, the field was bound to nail down five of the contenders. So considering the old stand-by stat (no film has won Best Picture without an editing nomination […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Post mortem

Posted by · 12:17 pm · February 5th, 2010

So here we are. For the most part, the crafts category nominations weren’t surprising, and there is not a single film that fared drastically better – or worse – than I expected. As for comments on individual categories? In Best Cinematography, Bruno Delbonnel’s nomination for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” has got to be […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Final predictions, part one

Posted by · 3:37 pm · January 30th, 2010

It’s hard to believe we’ve almost made it to nomination morning. Over the past six months here at Tech Support, we’ve previewed all the races and interviewed several of the contenders. On Tuesday, we find out who advances. In the way of final predictions, today I’ll preview the art direction, cinematography, costume design and film […]

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