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Reactions and Quotes from the 2020 Oscar Craft Nominees


oscarIt was an exciting day for a few dozen crafts people in Hollywood and elsewhere as the 93rd Annual Academy Award nominations singled out the very best in film artisan work for 2020.

Below the Line has quotes and reactions from a number of the talented nominees, many of whom we’ve interviewed or will interview over the next five weeks. (Check back over the course of the day for more reactions as we receive them.)


Erik Messerschmidt, ASC, Mank 

“I am incredibly humbled by this recognition from the Academy and honored to be included amongst such distinguished talent. Revisiting the golden age of Hollywood through our modern lens and technique was an extraordinary opportunity to create something of our own and I am grateful to David Fincher for his trust. It was particularly special to share the experience with such a group of talented and dedicated filmmakers all of whom I love.“

Phedon Papamichael, ASC, GSCThe Trial of the Chicago 7

“What an amazing surprise for me. I feel very honored and want to thank all my collaborators in every department that have contributed to making this small gem a very special experience, and to Aaron Sorkin who collaborates in such a generous way!”

Film Editing

Frédéric Thoraval, Promising Young Woman

“How is it possible to describe your mindset after a news like this? I’m incredibly happy, speechless, excited and overwhelmed to be honored by the Academy alongside so many impressive filmmakers. Everybody in the fantastic cast and crew Emerald had put together was working with only one aim: serving the vision she wanted put on screen. It’s her passion, her energy, her unique perspective on the world that lead us during this amazing journey. And I’m so grateful she allowed me to be part of it and make an impossible dream come true.”

Mikkel Nielsen, Sound of Metal

“I’m forever grateful to Darius Marder for trusting me to edit his movie, to Caviar and the producers Sacha Ben Harroche and Bert Hamelinck for their vision and support throughout the process. To Amazon for bringing the film out in the world with great support and to Rock Paper Scissors for being my home along the way. I’m honored to be nominated alongside my fellow editor colleagues and thrilled to join my SOM nominated crew: Riz Ahmed best actor, Paul Raci best supporting actor, Nicolas Becker best sound designer and of course Darius and Abe Marder for best original script and best film. Very, very grateful.”

Alan Baumgarten, ACE, The Trial of the Chicago 7

“I’m thrilled and honored to be nominated and so proud of the depth of recognition for the film.”
Production Design

Donald Graham Burt, Mank

“We are so honored to be recognized by the Academy for our work on Mank. And we humbly receive this recognition knowing that so many talented people contributed to making the project special. Thank you so much for the nomination and recognition!”

Jan Pascale, Mank

“It is such an honor for our work to be recognized by our peers!!!!”

Mark Ricker, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

“On behalf of the entire Ma Rainey Art Department – Karen, Diana and I am thrilled to be nominated by our peers in the Academy.  

Profound thanks to George C. Wolfe for his vision and guidance, to Denzel Washington and Todd Black for their leadership, to the Cast and our Pittsburgh Crew and to Netflix for their support.  Many Congratulations to our fellow nominees in the category of Production Design – and in honor and memory of Chadwick Boseman and August Wilson.”

Costume Designer

Alexandra Byrne, EMMA.
“I’m thrilled and proud to be nominated. It’s a great affirmation of our work – for all my team. Many of us are currently working together again, on a very different project, and it brings  smiles to remember working closely and collaboratively in a time before masks!”

Trish SummervilleMank
“I am incredibly honored to be recognized by the Academy. It has been a surreal and difficult year for so many of us, so it is amazing to be able to have such a celebration in recognition of “Mank” at the Oscars. I am thrilled for the entire cast and crew, and especially grateful to David Fincher for the opportunity to work on this film. It was an absolute joy to help bring this story to life. It takes a village and we had a really special one. Massive congratulations and a big cheers to all my fellow nominees and their beautiful work!”

Make-up and Hair Styling

Claudia Stolze, EMMA.

“I am overwhelmed with excitement. I have been grinning permanently since I heard of our nomination. I am very proud to have been part of Marese Langham’s team and to have had the chance to work with Autumn De Wilde and Alex Byrne. To look after Anya Taylor-Joy was a delight on every level, she is a beautiful person inside and out. Thank you for the nomination, I could not be happier!”

Eryn Krueger Mekash, Matthew Mungle and Patricia DehaneyHillbilly Elegy

“We are so grateful, proud and honored by this Academy Award nomination for Best Make-up & Hair for ‘Hillbilly Elegy.’ Thank you to Netflix for all their continuing support!!!”

Gigi Williams, Kimberley Spiteri and Colleen LaBaff, Mank 
“Thank you to the Academy!  Thank you to everyone who worked on our team. We are truly honored to be recognized with such a great group of nominees!”

Mia Neal, Jamika Wilson and Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Mia Neal, Hair Department Head

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude to be honored by such a prestigious committee. For them to see me and recognize the work as something noteworthy is something unbelievable to me. I’m just so grateful and humbly honored to be a part of something so prestigious. To be with Jamika and for us to be the first African Americans nominated in this category is overwhelming. I have to raise my expectations for myself because this was something I never thought that I could achieve.

I attribute the opportunity that we received from Denzel who has really made it his mission to tell the stories of our dignitaries and keep their work alive, like August Wilson and Ma Rainey. Now the world has her name on their tongue, and no one knew who she was. Thank god for Denzel giving us the opportunity to tell that story with him.

I also have to thank my ancestors. I feel like they’ve been with me every step of the way, and that everything they’ve done was so their future generations could live out their dreams. They kept going so we could have a better life, and I feel like these dreams of mine are their dreams too. And I hope that people that look like us know that they can do it too.”

Jamika Wilson, Hairstylist to Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

“Growing up, my grandmother always told me to do my best no matter what, no matter who’s watching. I live this daily on set, I bring this to work each day. I know she is smiling down from Heaven, celebrating this nomination with me.

A nomination from the Academy was an unfathomable thought, to think I could be nominated for doing what I love never entered my mind. I am blown away and eternally grateful. 

The recognition of my art and talent by the Academy of Motion Picture and Science is bigger than me. It is for every young hair stylist who dreams beyond the salon chair to work on a motion picture set. It is for the young child who tells their parent they want to be a hair stylist to receive a response of “That’s not a real career.” The nomination is validation that hair styling is an art form, a craft and a skill. It also shows every Black woman or man doing hair that we can achieve, and importantly that our talent and skill is equal and exceptional. 

Eternal gratitude to Viola Davis for the opportunities she’s blessed me with and inspiring me to reach higher. It is was my honor to work on Ma Rainey and contribute to brining Ma Rainey to life each day.

During the filming of Ma Rainey my goal was not to win an award. Each day I give my best on set, the same as I do for every client and every project. The nomination for an Oscar for Best Hair and Makeup is recognition of my art, my talent and my craft. It is an immense honor to which I have abundant gratitude.”

Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Makeup Artist to Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

“Wow. No words. No words come to me right now. Just a feeling, a memory of being 7 or 8 years old in Spain, where I am from. Back then, watching the Academy Awards was a family affair. Everyone would come together to witness excellence and glamour. The whole family was in on it. I watched in awe, fantasizing about what it must feel to be among the nominees. To feel proud of your accomplishments to receive an accolade with grace and humility.

To a young boy growing up in a small coastal town in Northern Spain, an Oscar nomination seemed impossibly out of reach and I am truly humbled today. My love of makeup is directly linked to my lifelong love affair of movies and how many endless nights I spent immersed in the technicolor make-believe of cinema. One thing I know for certain is that I absolutely love what I do. I am aware of how uniquely fortunate that makes me.  This nomination is absolutely the greatest honor so, from the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you…y muchas, muchas gracias!”


Warren Shaw, Michael Minkler, Beau Borders and David WymanGreyhound

“We would like to thank the Academy for this huge recognition. It is an honor to be nominated and we are grateful to our friends at Playtone, Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, and Apple for their incredible support. We are truly humbled.”

The Sound Crew for Mank –
Ren Klyce (Supervising Sound Editor & Re-recording Mixer)
Jeremy Molod (Supervising Sound Editor)
David Parker (Re-Recording Mixer)
Nathan Nance (Re-Recording Mixer)
Drew Kunin (Production Sound Mixer)

“The whole sound team is very honored to receive this nomination.  We are grateful for the patience and direction David Fincher gave us in creating the soundtrack to his film, and are humbled by this honor from the Academy.”


Nicolas Becker,  Sound of Metal

“I’m so proud to be nominated with a big part of all the beautiful humans who have been working so hard on the film: Darius, Abe, Sacha, Bert, Jaime, Carlos, Mikkel, Mitch and of course with Riz and Paul, congratulations to all of you my friends. This film is a truly amazing and new experience of cinema.”

Visual Effects

Sean Faden, Anders Langlands, Seth Maury, and Steve IngramMulan

“The VFX team of Mulan is so thrilled and deeply honored to be recognized by our branch! Thanks to our VFX producer Di Giorgiutti, our production family and our actual families! Thanks to our SFX team and all of the VFX companies (WETA, IMAGEWORKS, FRAMESTORE, IMAGE ENGINE, and CRAFTY APES) and their stellar work and friendship. A special thanks to the amazing team at Disney including producer Jason Reed and our wonderful executive Mimi Steele, our fearless director Niki Caro and incredibly supportive DP Mandy Walker and amazing production designer and costume designer Grant Major and Bina Daigeler for giving us such rich textures to work with. It was fun bringing this world to life and I hope people will get a chance to see the work again.”

Nick Davis, VFX Supervisor on The One and Only Ivan

“This nomination is a testament to the passion and talent of the visual effects artists at MPC Film” said Production VFX Supervisor Nick Davis. “We are honored to receive an Oscar nomination for the visual effects of The One and Only. I’d also like to thank our friends at Disney and our Director Thea Sharrock.”

Original Score

James Newton Howard, News of the World

“I originally woke up at 4:15 this morning, afraid that the 5:30 hour had passed. I was excited to be re-awakened with the news of my nomination. I am forever grateful to director Paul Greengrass for giving me this wonderful musical opportunity.”

Emile Mosseri, Minari

“Speechless! Massive thanks to The Academy for this honor. This is truly a film about family and I’m so lucky to have found one in it. So much love.”

Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross,  Mank 

“We are incredibly honored to have two of our scores recognized this year by the Academy.  We are truly humbled and grateful… THANK YOU!”

Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste, Soul

“We are astounded and incredibly grateful to be considered for the Academy Award for Best Original Score on behalf of Soul. This was a profoundly rewarding creative collaboration filled with so much love, light and lineage. The warm reception of the film continues to humble us. We will be celebrating this tremendous honor in anticipation of the ceremony to come.”

Original Song

Laura Pausini, “Lo Si (Seen)” from The Life Ahead (co-nominated with Diane Warren and Niccolò Agliardi):

“I’m still in shock. Working on this special movie with Edoardo Ponti and Sophia Loren was already one of the most precious gifts that life has given me. And now to hear that I’m nominated for an Oscar truly exceeds any goal or expectation I dreamed of. I’m still processing it, but I want to thank the Academy for acknowledging “Io Si (Seen)” and its message. I share my congratulations with Diane Warren, it has been so wonderful to work with her, as well as Bonnie Greenberg, Niccolò Agliardi, Palomar and Netflix. A song in Italian is nominated for an Oscar!!!! I’m so honored to represent my beautiful country.” 


Ramin Bahrani, writer, director and producer of The White Tiger (adapted)

“Thank you to the Academy for recognizing ‘The White Tiger’ – it is an honor to be named among such brilliant writers. I want to thank Ted Sarandos, Scott Stuber and everyone at Netflix for their support; my producing partners Mukul Deora, Priyanka Chopra-Jonas and Ava Duvernay; my incredible cast, including Adarsh Gourav, Rajkummar Rao and Priyanka, for making the dialogue sing; my Indian crew for welcoming me with such warm hearts and tremendous talent; and my main collaborator of fifteen years, Bahareh Azimi. Most of all, I want to thank my college friend and author Aravind Adiga – this nomination is as much his as it is mine. Thank you all for helping me tell a story about an oppressed man who will do anything to be free.” 


Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart, Directors, Wolfwalkers

“On behalf of our whole amazing talented wolfpack in Kilkenny, Paris, Luxembourg and beyond, we are hugely grateful and happy to be nominated for this year’s Oscars. What an honor for us all and a huge thanks to our friends in Apple, GKids, and all our financing and distribution partners worldwide who allowed us to make this film and bring it to the world. Our film is a love letter to hand drawn animation and its timeless potential, to nature and our shared biosphere and to our home here in Ireland, its history and culture, its folklore and its people.”

Dan Scanlon, Kori RaeOnward

“Thank you to the Academy for honoring our film. We share this nomination with the entire cast and the crew at Pixar who were essential in bringing the magic and wonder of Ian and Barley’s journey to life. Onward was a very personal story, exploring the idea of what one would do if they had more time with a loved one they’d lost. It’s incredibly meaningful to see how this has resonated with audiences, and we couldn’t be more thankful to the Academy for their recognition.”

Pete Docter, Dana Murray, Kemp PowersSoul
“Thank you to the Academy for this incredible honor, we are truly humbled. Soul represents several years of research, intense work, self-doubt, and also a good deal of fun. Our journey on the film was similar to that of Joe Gardner’s – well, except the part where he falls down a manhole. As we struggled with story clarity and tried out who-knows-how-many different endings, we began to realize how important it was to savor what may have felt like minor moments along the way: the satisfaction of jotting down a preliminary sketch on a scrap of paper; hearing the first chords from the earliest music demos; laughing with the crew. Though we might not have known it at the time, moments like these helped inspire us and fed back into the film in innumerable ways. Though we are living through challenging times, being recognized by the Academy gives us hope that the joy we found and put into our film was shared by audiences, and nothing could be more meaningful than that.”

Madeline Sharafian, Michael Capbarat, Burrow (Animated Short)
“Wow! We are incredibly honored to receive this nomination and be celebrated alongside such an inspiring collection of shorts – it means the world to us and the entire Burrow crew. Burrow is a short that encourages people not be afraid to open themselves up to others – and to be recognized in a year when maybe a lot of people have been feeling isolated, really means the world to us. A sincere thank you to the Academy for this recognition.”


Maite Alberdi, Director of The Mole Agent: 

“It’s an honor to have been among such an extraordinary range of remarkable films on the shortlist and we are truly grateful to the Academy and to the Documentary Branch. For a Latin American female led team, this type of dream seems impossible, but this year has taught us to see life from a different angle. This nomination signifies to every elder that the world still sees them and values them and helps us remember that it’s not just important to increase life expectancy, but the desire to live. This year, after so many losses, we took a look at our seniors again and understood that they were living in a pandemic prior to COVID – “the pandemic of loneliness” – and we are very proud to see how THE MOLE AGENT has helped families reconnect with their elders.”

Alexander Nanau, director of Collective (also nominated for International Feature Film)

“This is a win for independent investigative journalists and whistleblowers, guardians of our societies, who can hold corrupt authorities accountable. Most of all, COLLECTIVE is a cinematic tribute to the victims and survivors who had the courage to let us into their most private moments.”

Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas has written about movies for print and the internet for over 20 years, specializing in box office analysis, reviews, and interviews. Currently, he writes features for Below the Line and Above the Line, acting as Associate Editor for the former and Interim Editor for the latter.
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