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Voice Of The Crew - Since 2002

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Oscar winners

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8 Are Prizes for
Below-the-line Categories

By Bruce Shutan
The real story Oscar Night was that the spotlight shone on crew members who helped orchestrate a sweep of 11 Oscars in each of the categories for which The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was nominated—tying Ben-Hur (1959) and Titanic (1997) for the single-night award record.
Fully eight of Rings’ honors were won in below the line categories (see list on page 9), with best picture, director and screenplay adaptation the only kudos trading hands above the budget boundary that separates cast from crew.
Crew collaboration turned out to be “one of the best things about Lord of the Rings,” Ngila Dickson told Below the Line, fielding one of numerous questions backstage from the Hollywood press corps following her win with Richard Taylor for costume design on the final installment of the LOTR trilogy.
“We worked so closely together,” she said. “You would go from one building to the next to find out how a part of the film was developing, and I think without that collaboration between Richard, Grant Major, myself and Alan Lee, I doubt we would be able to achieve what we did because access to Peter [Jackson] for this period of time was really difficult. He was under so much pressure. It was better that we tried to come up with answers.”
Taylor agreed, noting that “the tighter the group can work, the more close-knit the vision from the group, the closer you will complement the original literature, and we appreciated that from the onset. It was very important that we went in with an incredible spirit of unity and camaraderie.”
Even some high-powered celebs couldn’t help but gush about unsung heroes and heroines on their shows.
“The crew was fantastic,” crowed Mystic River star Tim Robbins on stage when accepting his award for best supporting actor, thanking Toni Howard, Lisa Kasteler, Alan Horn, Bruce Berman, Jeff Robinov, Joe Hyams, Judie Hoyt and Rob Lorenz.
Best supporting actress winner Renée Zellweger relished the chance to address a pressroom comparison with best actress award recipient Charlize Theron. Both were nominated for roles that required extraordinary makeup artistry to de-glamorize them.
Zellweger said she’s most interested in portraying women who are “multifaceted and really rich in their journeys. The more you can change yourself, the more removed the character is from your own experiences, the more rewarding it is, I find, creatively. And also as an audience member, as a person who loves films, I like to watch that. And I was mesmerized watching Charlize become this woman. It’s a wonderful thing in film when you can get lost, forget who the person is and just follow the character.”

Animated Feature Film
Finding Nemo Andrew Stanton

Art Direction
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Grant Major (Art Direction), Dan Hennah and Alan Lee (Set Decoration)

Cinematography
Master and Commander: The Far Side
of the World
Russell Boyd, ASC

Costume Design
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Ngila Dickson and Richard Taylor

Documentary Feature
The Fog of War
Errol Morris and Michael Williams

Documentary Short Subject
Chernobyl Heart Maryann DeLeo

Film Editing
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Jamie Selkirk

Makeup
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Richard Taylor and Peter King

Music (score)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Howard Shore

Music (song)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
”Into the West” music and lyric by Fran Walsh, Howard Shore and Annie Lennox

Short Film (animated)
Harvie Krumpet Adam Elliot

Short Film (live action)
Two Soldiers
Aaron Schneider and Andrew J. Sacks

Sound Editing
Master and Commander: The Far Side
of the World
Richard King

Sound Mixing
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Christopher Boyes, Michael Semanick, Michael Hedges and Hammond Peek

Visual Effects
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Jim Rygiel, Joe Letteri, Randall William Cook and Alex Funke

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