ACE nominees

Posted by · 7:23 pm · January 11th, 2010

For me, “District 9” is the biggest and most pleasant surprise for me in this morning’s American Cinema Editors announcement.  If ever the film looked like a lock for a Best Picture nomination, now is that time, I have to say.  Getting in over presumed Oscar frontrunners “Precious” and, most especially, “Inglourious Basterds,” that’s a […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Film Editing — Volume II

Posted by · 11:08 am · October 29th, 2009

As I wrote in August, “Best Achievement in Film Editing” can be a difficult thing to define. Traditionally, we most notice film editing that is showy, usually in action films, musicals or movies that are not told chronologically. But does that make the editing better? If done well, it undoubtedly can add to the quality […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Film Editing — Volume I

Posted by · 10:02 am · August 13th, 2009

Best Achievement in Film Editing.  It’s a difficult phrase to define.  To a large extent, excellence in film editing can be editing which blends into the film, allowing the director’s vision, screenwriter’s story and actors’ performances to shine without interference.  But equally, a film that stands out as a showcase for flashy but motivated construction […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Postmortem

Posted by · 11:03 am · February 27th, 2009

What can I say? It was a big night for “Slumdog Millionaire” at the 81st Annual Academy Awards on Sunday. While I do like the film a great deal, I found its dominance this awards season unnecessarily monotonous.  For instance, I preferred Thomas Newman’s work in both music categories this year, but I was nonetheless […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Final predictions

Posted by · 5:27 pm · February 18th, 2009

After six months of Tech Support previews and interviews, the films have arrived, the nominations have been announced and the guilds, the critics and BAFTA have all announced their preferences.  Today we take a final look at the races before the envelopes are opened on Sunday. BEST ART DIRECTION After guild and BAFTA wins, I […]

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TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: The crafts of ‘Benjamin Button,’ part two

Posted by · 10:59 am · February 17th, 2009

Yesterday was the first of our two-part look at the crafts artists behind “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Today, I feature conversations with cinematographer Claudio Miranda, visual effects supervisor Eric Barba and film editors Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall, who have all received Oscar nominations for their work on the film. When asked about […]

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POLL: Who deserves it? — BEST FILM EDITING

Posted by · 12:01 pm · February 5th, 2009

You know the drill.  Sidebar poll.  Let us know.

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Sid Ganis: Big surprises in store for 81st Oscarcast

Posted by · 4:20 pm · February 2nd, 2009

From Dave Germain, reporting from this afternoon’s nominees luncheon: Ganis, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, told the 112 contenders gathered at the annual nominees luncheon to expect a lot of new things at the Feb. 22 ceremony. “Your categories are being presented in a completely different way. Heads up,” Ganis […]

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TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: the crafts of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’

Posted by · 10:15 am · January 30th, 2009

Garnering 10 nominations last week confirmed “Slumdog Millionaire”’s established status as the frontrunner for this year’s Best Picture Oscar.  Unusually for a Best Picture winner, the film failed to nab any acting nominations.  Its high tally counts comes from seven nominations in the crafts fields. I recently had the chance to speak to three of […]

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TECH SUPPORT: The aftermath

Posted by · 11:44 am · January 23rd, 2009

So the nominations have descended upon us. “The Dark Knight,” “Slumdog Millionaire” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” as expected, all did phenomenally well, garnering seven crafts nominations each. The only absolute shock, in my opinion, was “Wanted” managing to show up in the sound fields. Allow me a few comments on each category… […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Gleaning the guilds

Posted by · 8:51 am · December 14th, 2008

It’s been three weeks since the last “Tech Support” column. For that, my apologies. In the meantime, we’ve had Thanksgiving, the NBR, the LAFCA, the NYFCC, the BFCA and the Golden Globes to keep us entertained. The Screen Actors Guild is the first guild to announce its nominees and will do so next week. Between […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: ‘Doubt,’ Danny Boyle and a bit of politics

Posted by · 8:00 pm · November 7th, 2008

In a week in which there were more important things going on than the movies (an outlandish notion, I know), these were nevertheless some of the highlights: • Several takes from the AFI Fest, including disappointment in “Doubt” … • … but hearty cheers for “The Wrestler.” • We caught up (twice) with the thoroughly […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Film Editing — Volume One

Posted by · 9:20 am · November 6th, 2008

No matter how good the storyline, plot, acting, photography and other elements of a film may be, any poorly edited film will be difficult to watch, understand and enjoy.  An editor has the task of not only finding the appropriate length of a film but also putting together scenes so they flow coherently, both visually […]

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Editing honors for ‘Dark Knight,’ ‘Iron Man’

Posted by · 4:25 am · September 24th, 2008

One of the more oddly timed awards ceremonies of the year,  the Hollywood Post Alliance Awards revealed their nominees yesterday. (Variety has a report and full list of nominations here.) Amid the awards for lesser-recognised arts like colour grading and compositing, I was interested to see that they have a Best Film Editing category. Mashing together work from […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Fall and Winter Contenders

Posted by · 1:32 pm · September 18th, 2008

Last week we took a look at the films that have already been released and now appear to be in contention for crafts nominations come Oscar time.  Now that the dust is settling from the Toronto and Venice Film Festivals, it’s time to look ahead… Very often we see films dominate the crafts categories and […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Pre-Fall Contenders

Posted by · 2:55 pm · September 11th, 2008

While this week is rightly being most noted by awards-watchers for the Toronto International Film Festival, I’m actually going to go a bit of a different route today. I will be sure to comment on the movers and shakers of TIFF next week as the dust begins to settle, however. In a couple of weeks, […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Kicking off the new year

Posted by · 8:30 am · September 4th, 2008

Well here we go again. Welcome to the third year of “Tech Support” here at In Contention, still the Oscarweb’s only weekly column devoted strictly to the crafts elements of filmmaking and the awards process that surrounds them. The Toronto International Film Festival will be commencing tonight in my hometown and I am yet again […]

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Hollywood Awards get the craft races rolling

Posted by · 4:38 am · September 3rd, 2008

I’ve never quite got a handle on what purpose the Hollywood Awards serve, since they frequently seem to honour achievements in still-unseen films. Their picks can be quite prescient (last year’s honorees included Marion Cotillard and Dante Ferretti), but they can frequently baffle too. (Based on “Charlie Wilson’s War,” did anyone really think that Stephen […]

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