Contender – Cinematographer Dick Pope, Mr. Turner

In his latest movie Mr. Turner, British director Mike Leigh immerses audiences in the early 19th century world of J.M.W. Turner. Turner is considered to be one of England’s greatest artists as well as the precursor of Impressionism, and is known as “the painter of light.” (His final deathbed utterance: “The Sun is God.”) Painterly, light-filled and ravishing, the cinematography of Dick Pope, the film’s director of photography, is appropriately anchored in the distinctive color schemes, subject matter and illumination used by the artist. […]


J.C. Chandor Revisits New York of the ’80s in A Most Violent Year

J.C. Chandor is excited to be putting A Most Violent Year into the world. Written also by the director, the film, set in New York during the winter of 1981, statistically the most violent year in the city’s history, tracks the story of a man (Oscar Issac) as he attempts to protect his wife (Jessica Chastain), his family and expand his business amid the corruption and obstacles that stand in his way. Chandor is also known for Margin Call (2011), for which he received an Academy Award nomination for best writing of an original screenplay, and All is Lost (2013). […]


Contender – Sound Editor Paul Ottosson, Fury

To present as authentic a war zone as possible, the filmmakers behind Fury got up close and personal with some of World War II’s most dangerous machines. For three-time Oscar winner and the film’s supervising sound editor, re-recording mixer and sound designer Paul Ottosson (Zero Dark Thirty, The Hurt Locker), this included being amongst the first team of sound professionals to record the sound of a German Tiger-1 tank for cinema as well as an American Sherman tank. “In a movie like this, you don’t get the ‘wow’ factor by trying to create a really cool sound. You get it by recording the actual sound the machines would make. Then, it’s how you build it and mix it to get a big ‘wow’ moment in the movie,” shared Ottosson. […]


Contenders – Sound Mixers Renee Tondelli, Blake Leyh, Mike Prestwood Smith and Michael Keller, Into the Woods

The integration of music, dialog and movement was integral to director Rob Marshall‘s fairy tale re-telling, Into the Woods. The important role of sound, and the need to record music in advance of production, meant that sound supervisor, Renee Tondelli, was first contacted when the director was doing read-throughs. The production process deviated from the workflow a non-musical film might follow. Marshall, with cinematographer Dion Bebee, first blocked the movement […]


Contenders – Directors Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi, Boxtrolls

Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi‘s film The Boxtrolls ends with a shot in which a long pull-out begins to reveal an animator at work around the foot-high puppets with which the film was shot. The fact that modern audiences may actually need this reminder of the almost absurd amount of effort that’s intrinsic to stop motion is an indication of how rare it is; not since Laika‘s previous film, the Oscar-nominated ParaNorman, has the technique won such widespread acclaim. […]

Art Direction

Contender – Production Designer Mark Friedberg, Noah

“Once you’ve picked up the Bible, you’re asking for it as far as commentary goes,” production designer Mark Friedberg admitted. In the end, of course, Darren Aronofsky’s Noah defied these concerns, thanks to Friedberg’s collaboration with the director to produce such a believable, yet powerfully allegorical world. […]


Contenders – Sound Editors/Mixers Tom Hammond, Ethan Andrus, Ben Lowry and Ben Lazard, Boyhood

The coming-of-age saga, Boyhood, was shot for several days every year for 12 years. Tom Hammond, the sound supervisor and re-recording mixer, has worked many times with the director, Richard Linklater. Although Hammond was on the film from the start of production through the final mix, and key crew generally returned on an annual basis to do their part, sometimes schedules did not sync and new crew joined the team. This was the case with the production sound mixers on the film. Ethan Andrus worked on the shoot over the course of the first seven years, with Ben Lowry and Ben Lazard dividing the remaining years on the show with additional mixing from Mack Melson. […]


Contender – Costume Designer Jacqueline Durran, Mr. Turner

Characterization, the art of defining each character individually and specifically, is the most important part of the costume design process for Jacqueline Durran, whose impeccable work can now be seen in Mr. Turner, director Mike Leigh‘s film about the eccentric painter J.M.W. Turner. Durran won an Academy Award for her achievement in Anna Karenina (2012). She has also been nominated for her work two previous times, for Atonement (2007) and Pride and Prejudice (2005). […]