The top 10 shots of 2009: part one

Posted by · 12:49 pm · February 16th, 2010

Assembling the assets for my annual take on the best single shots of the year was more of a chore this time around than ever.  Perhaps one need only look to a lackluster list of Oscar nominees in the Best Cinematography category to gauge just how underwhelming much of the work behind the camera was […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Sound Mixing

Posted by · 10:52 am · February 9th, 2010

The year’s sound mixing category had relatively few surprises, just glancing at the tea leaves of the season.  There was a typical 4/5 crossover between the Cinema Audio Society and the Academy, with “District 9” missing both here and in the sound editing field. One might be quick to chalk this, in fact all of […]

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‘Transformers,’ ‘Lost’ lead Razzie nods

Posted by · 7:04 am · February 1st, 2010

I don’t really have much time for the Razzie Awards, since I think they’re a pretty lazy execution of a great idea. By all means single out the year’s artistic underachievers for censure, but why pick such easy targets as Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers? If I ran the Razzies, I’d use them to […]

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‘Avatar,’ ‘Star Trek’ lead the way with MPSE

Posted by · 10:13 am · January 22nd, 2010

For the first time I can ever remember, the Motion Picture Sound Editors have announced their list of nominees BEFORE the Academy has announced the Oscar nominees.  Because these always came a few days after the big announcement, I have to say, I have never bothered to see how often they match up with the […]

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TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: Sound mixer Greg P. Russell

Posted by · 11:51 am · January 21st, 2010

When you’re coming off of one of the most elaborate and intensive sound mixing gigs in movie history, let alone of your own career, how do you top it with a sequel? That’s the challenge sound re-recording mixer Greg P. Russell faced when he and his team set about weaving in the various sonic elements […]

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Filed in: Interviews · Tech Support

CAS nominees

Posted by · 7:56 pm · January 20th, 2010

Ironic that his release drops tonight just as I’m transcribing an interview with sound mixer Greg Russell for tomorrow’s Tech Support column. The list of nominees for the Cinema Audio Society doesn’t exactly hold any surprises.  The only film on the list that isn’t being predicted in the sidebar as of right now is “District […]

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‘Avatar’ leads VES nominations

Posted by · 5:49 pm · January 18th, 2010

No surprises there.  James Cameron’s film landed 11 separate mentions from the Visual Effects Society (some more specifically indicated than others).  “2012” and “District 9” each landed three nominations, while “Sherlock Holmes” and “Star Trek” each landed two. The nominees in the main field, “visual effects in a visual effects driven feature motion picture,” are: […]

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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 18 — WGA, ACE, ASC, parties, awards shows on the way…uh, we forget anything?

Posted by · 9:46 am · January 15th, 2010

Welcome to Oscar Talk, a weekly kudocast between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. After a busy week of guild announcements and circuit parties, not to mention plenty of industry news from NBC to Disney and anything in between, Anne and I are beat. And we’re moving into a busy weekend of […]

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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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Visual effects bake-off leaves seven

Posted by · 10:28 am · January 6th, 2010

And they are, via AMPAS press release: “Avatar” “District 9” “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” “Star Trek” “Terminator Salvation” “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” “2012” And the three I still expect to get in are in the mix, so, whew.  I think we all know what will eventually win here, but if there’s a […]

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On the sound of ‘Transformers’

Posted by · 9:47 am · December 30th, 2009

A few weeks back we told you about a new site called SoundWorks Collection, which has been doing a great job of featuring the sound mixing and sound editing on a number of the year’s contenders.  Using brief video pieces to illustrate an element of the industry that is still somewhat mysterious to many, I […]

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‘Air,’ ‘Basterds,’ ‘Precious’ lead the way with SAG

Posted by · 6:01 am · December 17th, 2009

There wasn’t much in the way of a surprise with this year’s Screen Actors Guild announcement.  The nods that are least likely to translate to Oscar, if I were a betting man, are Diane Kruger’s supporting actress bid for “Inglourious Basterds” and (I guess I just have a feeling) Matt Damon, supporting for “Invictus.” The […]

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If I had a ballot

Posted by · 12:04 pm · December 16th, 2009

Every year I like to keep track of personal favorites throughout the Academy’s designated categories (plus one of my own addition, Best Ensemble). At the end of the year, my “if I had a ballot” post is the result. Of course, for the most part, I follow Academy designations here. If something is ruled ineligible, […]

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Paramount FYC site goes live

Posted by · 9:08 am · December 5th, 2009

One of the things I always look forward to each year has been the launch of VantageGuilds.com, an FYC site that was geared toward Paramount Vantage’s product and always had great interactive features and wonderful design.  This year, with Vantage gone, we’ve got ParamountGuilds.com, which just went live. You can check out some goodies related […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Sound Mixing — Volume II

Posted by · 5:53 pm · November 12th, 2009

As a recap from the last time we covered this field, the category of Best Sound Mixing (formerly known as merely Best Sound) rewards re-recording mixers — individuals who mix music, dialogue, effects and everything else into the soundtrack we ultimately hear — as well as production sound mixer — those responsible for capturing the […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Visual Effects — Volume II

Posted by · 12:17 pm · October 22nd, 2009

As more films have been unleashed, the race for the visual effects Oscar now appears clearer than it did three months ago.  I’m starting to feel the race for the final three will really be down to a handful of films. As I explained in August, a shortlist of seven films will be announced in […]

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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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Bigelow, Ephron, ‘Up,’ ‘Transformers’ to be honored at Hollywood fest

Posted by · 9:50 am · September 30th, 2009

The awards keep coming for “The Hurt Locker” director Kathryn Bigelow, who is already set to be feted at the Gotham Independent Film Awards.  As her film’s star Jeremy Renner takes down the Breakthrough Actor award at the upcoming Hollywood Film Festival, Bigelow herself will receive the Hollywood Director Award, fest director Carlos de Abreu […]

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