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 two

Posted by · 2:02 pm · January 31st, 2010

Continuing from where we left off yesterday, today we look at the fields of makeup, music, sound and visual effects. BEST MAKEUP The shortlist of seven makes predicting this category slightly easier. “District 9”’s realistic wounds, not to mention the practical elements of the central character’s transformation, likely make it the frontrunner. “Star Trek,” meanwhile, […]

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Behind the sonic magic of ‘Transformers’

Posted by · 10:48 am · January 12th, 2010

Speaking of sound, Paramount was shrewd enough to put together a wonderful event last night in the Cary Grant Theater on the Sony lot dedicated to the sound design of “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” Re-recording mixers Gary Summers and Greg P. Russell were on hand, as well as sound effects editors Ethan Van Der […]

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The sound of ‘Star Trek’

Posted by · 10:02 am · January 12th, 2010

(Courtesy: SoundWorks Collection)

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WEEKLY WRAP: ‘Education’ lands, animation expands

Posted by · 2:09 am · October 10th, 2009

• After a quiet week for awards news, this week’s Off the Carpet column contemplated the depth of the Best Actress race. • A topic that Kris and Anne also debated in this week’s episode of Oscar Talk. • Speaking of Best Actress, “An Education,” with its nomination-bound performance by Carey Mulligan, finally hit theaters […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Sound Editing — Volume II

Posted by · 3:27 pm · October 8th, 2009

Back in July, I took an initial stab at the “zaps,” “booms,” “clinks” and “bams” of the sound editing category.  Since then, several titles have been seen, moved on to 2010 or popped up as new comers.  Let’s take a look… With “Green Zone” and “The Wolf Man” delayed until next year, the category’s potential […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Comic-Con, a taste of ‘Avatar’ and ‘Alice’

Posted by · 1:59 am · July 25th, 2009

• Comic-Con was the week’s big story, with 25 minutes of footage from “Avatar” its major talking-point so far. • Meanwhile, the rather less glitzy sci-fi of “District 9” wowed the crowds. • And Gary Oldman slipped some unexpected news about the next Batman installment. • Good week for trailers, as both “Alice in Wonderland” […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Sound Editing — Volume I

Posted by · 7:55 am · July 23rd, 2009

Zoom. Smash. Bang. Grunt. Zap. Splash. Screech. A single sound effect can capture a character, emotion or setting. And creating such sounds is no easy task, requiring creativity, ingenuity and constant communication with the other filmmakers to best capture the feel of a film. The manifestation of these aural components — as well as their […]

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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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Can ‘Slumdog’ really make a clean sweep?

Posted by · 9:40 am · February 16th, 2009

As we all know, this was a(nother) exceptionally good weekend for “Slumdog Millionaire,” as it nabbed a quartet of technical guild trophies, from the cinematographers, editors, art directors and even, in an especially unlikely coup, the sound mixers. With just the costume designers left to weigh in, this means that Danny Boyle’s film has not […]

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POLL: Who deserves it? — BEST SOUND EDITING

Posted by · 1:05 am · January 31st, 2009

Tell us in the sidebar!  Thanks for chiming in on these guys.  They’ll come fast and furious over the next week or so, one per day.

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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: Final preview special, part two

Posted by · 3:49 pm · January 21st, 2009

This is part two of my last glance at the year’s tech category contenders.  For part one, click here. Best Music (Original Score) Now here is a category where there are no locks. Nonetheless, considering the success of their films and scores in awards season to date, A.R. Rahmen (for “Slumdog Millionaire”) and Alexandre Desplat […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: ‘Milk’ unveiled, London winds down, Halloween horror

Posted by · 8:00 pm · October 31st, 2008

It’s been a quieter seven days after the upheaval we’ve seen in the race lately, but here’s how things went down: • “Milk” and “Frost/Nixon” finally unspooled for the LA crowd… • … and boy, some people don’t take kindly to criticism of either flick. • Meanwhile, “Doubt” kicked off the AFI Fest… • … […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Sound Editing — Volume One

Posted by · 10:59 am · October 30th, 2008

Swoosh.  Bang.  Grunt.  Clink.  Crash. These sorts of sounds can add a lot to a film’s mood and plot even though they are not recorded during filming and have to be created and mixed in later on. The individuals who create these effects are rewarded for their efforts in the category of Best Sound Editing.  […]

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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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