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. […]

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 – Best Animated Feature Director Dean DeBlois, How To Train Your Dragon 2

As is more or less received wisdom in the creative industries, second acts are difficult. It’s therefore fortuitous that How to Train Your Dragon 2 director, Dean DeBlois, as well as directing and writing credits including Mulan and Lilo and Stitch, also co-directed the original How To Train Your Dragon with Chris Sanders. […]


Contender – Cinematographer Roger Deakins, Unbroken

The latest movie by award-winning director of photography, Roger Deakins, is Unbroken, an ambitious World War II biopic helmed by Angelina Jolie in only her second time in the director’s chair. “The hardest thing for Angie and certainly for me as the cinematographer was to make it all feel and look like the same movie and not like little bits put together,” Deakins said. […]

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 – Composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, The Theory of Everything

The score for The Theory of Everything, composed by Jóhann Jóhannsson, is perfectly tuned to the subject matter of the film. From the haunting piano and heavenly celeste, to the melodic theme that weaves throughout the narrative, the music creates a sense of wonderment that captures the essence of the life of Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) – his rapture with the mystery, beauty and poetry of the universe. […]

Contender Portfolios

Contender – Visual Effects Artist Eric Durst, Snowpiercer

Like the titular train from the 40-year-old French graphic novel on which it’s based, Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer zipped across the globe and arrived in American theaters this past summer. The film offered a dystopian sci-fi spectacle unique both for both studio-scale visuals in an independent release, and the sharp social critique set in its near-future of careening climate change. […]