Tech Support: 'Grand Budapest' and 'Whiplash' lead Oscar's craft categories

Posted by · 12:10 pm · February 23rd, 2015

HitFix boils down the crafts categories of the 87th Oscars, where “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Whiplash” found the most love.

Continue reading »

Filed in: gerard-kennedy · HitFix · In Contention

Oscar-nominated 'Mr. Turner' designers talk costumes and sets of Mike Leigh's biopic

Posted by · 4:09 pm · February 7th, 2015

HitFix talks to Oscar-nominated production designer Suzie Davies and costume designer Jacqueline Durran about building the world of Mike Leigh’s “Mr. Turner.”

Continue reading »

Filed in: gerard-kennedy · HitFix · In Contention

Tech Support: Final predictions in Oscar's crafts categories

Posted by · 10:39 pm · January 14th, 2015

In Contention’s Gerard Kennedy offers up final predictions for the crafts categories in advance of this year’s Oscar nominations announcement.

Continue reading »

Filed in: gerard-kennedy · HitFix · In Contention

Weta wizards describe the progression from 'Rise' to 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes'

Posted by · 3:17 pm · January 5th, 2015

HitFix talks to visual effects supervisors Joe Letteri and Dan Lemmon about their work on “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.”

Continue reading »

Filed in: gerard-kennedy · HitFix · In Contention

How Weta Digital pushed the FX envelope over the 13-year Middle Earth saga

Posted by · 1:54 pm · December 25th, 2014

HitFix chats with Weta visual effects supervisors Joe Letteri and Eric Saindon about the bittersweet close to Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth saga, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.”

Continue reading »

Filed in: gerard-kennedy · HitFix · In Contention

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” […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Tech Support

TECH SUPPORT: Final analysis, part two

Posted by · 8:40 am · February 25th, 2011

Yesterday we began our final look at the 10 crafts categories.  Check out part one here.  Today, the conclusion.  Meanwhile, you can find my final predictions in all categories here. Best Music (Original Score) Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, despite their atypical approach to film music composition, are very much contenders in this race. Having […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Tech Support

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 […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Tech Support

TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: ‘Toy Story 3’ composer and songwriter Randy Newman

Posted by · 11:29 am · February 17th, 2011

When the Oscar nominations were announced last month, composer Alan Menken almost tied Randy Newman for third-most nominations among living artists.  But Newman inched away, nabbing his own nomination for the song “We Belong Together” (listen) from “Toy Story 3” and thereby maintaining a firm grip on the designation. It was Newman’s 20th nomination to […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Interviews · Tech Support

TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: The makeup of ‘Barney’s Version,’ ‘The Way Back’ and ‘The Wolfman’

Posted by · 11:21 am · February 10th, 2011

As we have noted a number of times, the makeup branch is one of the Academy’s most independently minded. While many people have criticized them in the past for bestowing the moniker “Oscar nominee” on many mediocre (or worse) films, the makeup artists clearly seem to take the work into account regardless of perceived film […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Interviews · Tech Support

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. […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Tech Support

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 […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Tech Support

TECH SUPPORT: Final analysis, part one

Posted by · 8:57 am · January 20th, 2011

It seems hard to believe that it’s been more than six months since I wrote this year’s introductory Tech Support column ( a dissection of the art direction race). Much has changed since then, naturally, as we are less than a week away from the big day when we find out the nominees for the […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Tech Support

TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: The construction of ‘The Social Network’

Posted by · 12:28 pm · January 6th, 2011

One of the immediately striking things about Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay for “The Social Network” is its assemblage, the manner in which he chose to tell the story with cascading elements of the narrative. And when you bring on a meticulous craftsman like David Fincher to direct a film already detailed in its larval stage, you […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Interviews · Tech Support

TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: The design of ‘Alice in Wonderland’

Posted by · 8:53 am · December 30th, 2010

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp may well be poised to go down in film history as one of the famous actor-director duets.  Seven collaborations to date have delighted audiences for the past 20 years. They have also earned 11 Oscar nominations and four wins.  Their latest, “Alice in Wonderland,” exemplifies how far along they’ve come […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Interviews · Tech Support

TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: ‘True Grit’ production designer Jess Gonchor

Posted by · 6:16 am · December 24th, 2010

We’re wrapping things up today with a final look at the below-the-line of Joel and Ethan Coen’s “True Grit” and a chat with production designer Jess Gonchor. You might recall our interview with Gonchor from last year when he mentioned how he first came to work with the Coens (on 2007’s “No Country for Old […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Interviews · Tech Support

TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: ‘True Grit’ composer Carter Burwell

Posted by · 11:54 am · December 23rd, 2010

Nearing the end of our week-long series of interviews with the below-the-line talent of Joel and Ethan Coen’s “True Grit,” we’re talking today with the film’s composer Carter Burwell. Of the entire Coen crafts family, Burwell is one of the true veterans.  He goes way back with the brothers — all the way back, in […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Interviews · Tech Support

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 […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Interviews · Tech Support