A quick Google search will tell you that last year’s Oscar nominees for Best Picture were long. And while this year’s nominations won’t happen for a few more months, the films likely to fill those spots this year are shorter. A lot shorter. It’s not ground breaking information or anything, but Vulture has taken the running times of recent Best Picture nominees and made some fun graphics showing how they compare. Check them out below. Read More »
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Award season is ready to get into full swing, and one of the early stages of the runup to the Academy Awards is the submission of Best Animated Feature options.
This year there are nineteen submitted features, including big studio fare (Cloudy 2, The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Monsters University), one from Studio Ghibli (The Wind Rises), a European effort we’ve covered a good bit (Ernest and Celestine) and a good few films that US audiences haven’t had much chance to see yet. One pleasant side effect of the animated Oscar list is that it draws attention to films that are new to many viewers.
That said, of the studio fare there are only a couple of compelling submissions, and enough of the rest are going to be new enough to Oscar voters that this might not be much of a race. The 86th Annual Academy Award nominations will be announced on January 16, 2014, and we’ll be curious to see how many films actually make the nomination cut. The awards will be held on March 2, 2014.
Read the submission list below.
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Briefly: Seth MacFarlane won’t be back to host the Oscars when the awards are given out on March 2 next year. Just a day after the election of new AMPAS president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, we’ve got the announcement of the next Oscar host.
Ellen Degeneres, who has hosted the telecast once before, in 2007, will take her second turn on the Oscar stage. She drew criticism after that first turn for being too understated and low-key as the guide of a show that meandered to a dull four-hour length. Hopefully the Academy has taken some notes about what worked in the past few years. Don’t expect to see Ellen singing a sequel to MacFarlane’s song ‘We Saw Your Boobs,’ but more song and dance numbers are a pretty safe bet.
Posted on Monday, May 20th, 2013 by Angie Han
Seth MacFarlane‘s performance as Oscar host drew polarized reactions, but it was a proven success in at least one respect. The Family Guy funnyman managed to boost the ratings among audiences in general and younger viewers in particular, just as the Academy had hoped.
The organization was so happy with how things turned out, in fact, that they got producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron back on board for next year’s festivities. Naturally, talk that MacFarlane could also return sprung up shortly afterward. However, MacFarlane has now spoken up (again) to say he will not host again — though he has one idea about who should replace him. Hit the jump to read his comments.
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Posted on Friday, April 19th, 2013 by Angie Han
The 2013 Oscar ceremony had plenty of fans and detractors alike, but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has firmly aligned themselves with the former camp. Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have already been set to return, in an unusually early decision, and now the word is they’re eager to get host Seth MacFarlane back as well. Hit the jump to keep reading.
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If you liked the Oscars this year, as produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, you’re in luck. The two have been hired to produce next year’s telecast as well. Does this mean we can expect even more celebration of Chicago?
This is a slightly unusual move, as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences usually chooses Oscar producers after the new AMPAS president takes over in July. (The position is held for one year, but individuals can be elected to up to four consecutive terms.) But current president Hawk Koch floated the idea of re-hiring Zadan and Meron, saying “We believe that continuity is the most important thing. One of the problems we have every year is that you always have a new producer and a new host — there’s so much learning. It’s so much better when you have continuity.”
Host Seth MacFarlane has said he doesn’t want to return, but the re-hire of Zadan and Meron suggests that the Academy is quite happy with this past show, which means we might see an overture towards MacFarlane to don the tux once more. Read More »
After Thursday’s news that the legendary Hollywood landmark, TCL (formerly Grauman’s) Chinese Theater was getting an IMAX upgrade, another Los Angeles movie destination has been revealed. A few years back the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced plans to create a movie-themed museum. Now, we know what it will look like, and what’ll be in it.
Called The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, the venue located on Fairfax and Wilshire will be a six-story, 290,000 square-foot museum attached to a massive 1,000 seat dome for movie events. There will a full red-carpet experience, an interactive moviemaking exhibit, and floors dedicated to the history of cinema. The plan is to have it open in 2017. Read more below. Read More »
On Sunday Ang Lee took the Best Director Oscar for Life of Pi, which also won three other awards, making it the big Oscar winner this year. But what of the more than 400 visual effects employees who spent Sunday protesting business practices that make VFX work a losing proposition for many artists?
The Oscar wins come, ironically, at a very difficult time for one of the companies most directly responsible for the movie’s success: Rhythm & Hues, the effects house that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection just a week ago. Lee didn’t mention the company by name in his speech, or thank the artists who brought his film to life.
That bankruptcy highlights a big issue in Hollywood: films are ever-more dependent upon digital effects, but often treats the process of their creation like the work of a sweatshop. (See the Tumblr Before VFX for many examples of familiar scenes without their effects.) Claudio Miranda won the Best Cinematography Oscar for Life of Pi, but much of what we see in the film is the work of CG artists. Many of the film’s waves, skies, and animals, including the tiger Richard Parker, are digital. Miranda may have broadly overseen the creation of effects, but he didn’t point a camera at some of the film’s signature elements.
The men who oversaw creation of those digital elements did get honored, but also took a heavy backhand from the Oscar producers. Just as Life of Pi VFX Supervisor Bill Westenhofer was trying to bring up the trouble Rhythm & Hues faces as part of his award acceptance speech, he was rushed off the Oscar stage with the theme from Jaws. His mic was even cut off. That moment was an ugly metaphor for exactly what the VFX industry is angry about: the people who create the elements big-budget movies rely on for success get no voice, and no respect.
(If you see Facebook and Twitter icons going green this week, that’s in support of VFX artists.)
So what’s happening in the visual effects segment of the movie industry, and what was the protest about? After the break we’ll break down the issues facing effects companies, and explain the reason that imposition of the Jaws theme was so ironically ugly.
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