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 […]


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). […]


Contender – Cinematographer Dion Beebe, Into the Woods

Into the Woods is the third musical that Oscar-winning director of photography Dion Beebe has lensed for director Rob Marshall, and compared to Chicago and Nine, the most complicated yet to be put on the screen. The movie is a faithful rendition of one of composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim’s most fanciful and intricately woven shows. It has 25 songs and requires 17 principal actors who do the actual singing. Stars include Meryl Streep, Chris Pine, Anna Kendrick, Johnny Depp and Tracey Ullman. […]

Contender Portfolios

Video of the Day: The Making of Boyhood

IFC Films released a “Making of” video for Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood. This 10-minute featurette, spanning 12 years, gives an extensive look at the process of creating the film with behind-the-scenes interviews with Linklater, Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater.


Contender – Editor William Goldenberg, The Imitation Game

“I find it fascinating when there is a little-known true story set against a story everybody knows,” said editor William Goldenberg of The Imitation Game, his fifth film based on a true story. Of the other four, the editor took home an Oscar for Argo and garnered nominations for Zero Dark Thirty, Seabiscuit and The Insider, racking up quite an impressive track record. […]


Contender – Composer Marco Beltrami, The Homesman

In talking about The Homesman – his third collaboration with actor/director Tommy Lee Jones – composer Marco Beltrami shared his satisfaction with their creative partnership. “I respond first off to his writing, his script, the way his mind puts things together. I respond to his quest for creativity and originality.” […]


Contender – Cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth, Gone Girl

Good things generally happen for Jeff Cronenweth when he teams up with director David Fincher. In their last two feature outings, Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, he wound up with both Oscar and ASC nominations for his work, defining not only emotional landscapes, but literal turf ranging from frenetic days in Harvard Yard to claustrophobically cold nights on the edge of the Arctic Circle. […]

Contender Portfolios

Contender – Makeup Artist Jan Sewell, The Theory Of Everything

In James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything, the life of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking is examined from his boyhood until the recent past, covering over a quarter century. The makeup for the actors in the film had to reflect this time span, additionally dealing with the transformation that Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) goes through, since he suffers from a debilitating physical disease that left his mind intact but his body almost entirely crippled. […]

Art Direction

Whiplash Director Damien Chazelle Shows He’s a Different Drummer

Whiplash, a low-budget sophomore effort by 29-year-old director Damien Chazelle, who also wrote the screenplay, has emerged as the dark-horse darling of this year’s movie awards season. The building buzz is that it has a good chance to get nominated for the best picture Oscar, as well as in other categories. […]

Contender Portfolios

The Nolan Brothers Discuss the Making of Interstellar

Set in a post-apocalyptic future earth in which the planet’s ecosystem is failing, warranting deep space exploration, director Christopher Nolan’s ninth feature film, the science-fiction epic Interstellar positions science as its key element in a manner unlike many studio films to date. Indeed, akin to the rare breed of sci-fi picture found in features such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Contact, Solaris, Gravity and Nolan’s own Inception, this new film takes the audience on an unexpected journey to new worlds, different dimensions and sharply shifting time periods. […]