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Sony/ATV Honcho Martin Bandier Also Wants Tune Reforms For Oscars

Mike Fleming

bandierEarlier, this afternoon, Bruce Broughton had his say about the rescinding of the Oscar nomination for the title song from Alone Yet Not Alone. Here’s another side of the story, in a letter Deadline obtained that was sent to the Academy by Martin M. Bandier, the influential chairman of Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Like Broughton, he also is calling for changes in the Best Song category, but he specifically has a beef with the rule that doesn’t provide for another nominee to replace one that might be nixed, as happened this year. There certainly were  other songs that warranted inclusion, and the one that I thought the category missed most was Lana Del Rey’s haunting “Young and Beautiful,” which added so much to the courtship seen between Gatsby and Daisy in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. There were others, too. Bandier sent the letter to AMPAS chief Cheryl Boone Isaacs, and it won’t be surprising if she spend some energy looking hard at this, but it seemed relevant enough right now to air it here. Read the letter below:

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OSCARS: ABC Unveils Streaming And Second Screen Plans For Oscar Telecast

By | Thursday February 27, 2014 @ 2:32pm PST

ABC says this is the first year when it will stream the full Oscar telecast, pre-show, and Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Oscars — though they’re just for pay-TV customers in certain markets. WATCH ABCBut anyone will be able to check out programming designed for tablets and smartphones to complement the TV broadcast, something that the network began offering in 2011. As for the telecast itself: It’ll be available live and, for three days beginning Monday, on demand online at Oscar.com, ABC.com, and WatchABC.com – and mobile users can tune in through the Watch ABC app. The streams will only go to markets where ABC owns the local station (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham, and Fresno), and they’ll only be accessible to those who subscribe to pay TV services that support the app (Comcast, Cablevision, Cox, Charter, Midcontinent, Verizon FiOS, Google Fiber, and AT&T U-verse).

Related: OSCARS: Pete Hammond’s Absolute FINAL Predictions In Every Category In One Of The Most Competitive Races Ever

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OSCARS: Cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd’s Beautiful Journey On ‘The Grandmaster’

By | Tuesday February 25, 2014 @ 5:30am PST

The Grandmaster - Philippe Le Sourd 2 resizeDeadline’s Anita Busch contributed to this article.

Cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd expected to work for six months on director Wong Kar Wai’s epic martial arts actioner The Grandmaster, but it ended up being a 3-year job. “Making The Grandmaster was a challenge,” he said. “It was a big journey, and I didn’t expect it to take so long.” Remarkably, this year’s Oscar nominations for Best Achievement in Cinematography and Costume Design were the first ever for the grandmaster himself, Wong, who has been directing films since 1988 and is internationally acclaimed. the_grandmaster_2013_poster-1366x768So when the director asked Le Sourd to come to China and work on his film, the New York-based DP said yes, but when he got to the set, he was faced with many challenges. “To come in as a foreigner to China when you don’t speak the language … I needed a translator on the set to try to understand what was going on,” he said. “The fact that you don’t have a script and you don’t know when you’re going to see the movie. that was an amazing challenge because you don’t know what you’re going to do the next day or the next week. Every day was a surprise.” It was no surprise that his work not only earned him his first Oscar nom but also a nominations from his … Read More »

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OSCARS: Stephen Prouty’s Make-Up Nomination For ‘Bad Grandpa’ No Prank

By | Monday February 24, 2014 @ 9:30pm PST

Jackass: Bad GrandpaStephen Prouty worked his magic on changing the 40-something Johnny Knoxville into an 86-year-old man in Paramount’s Jackass: Bad Grandpa over a 10-month period through different seasons. That, in itself, presented a challenge “because we started in the fall in Ohio and we had to adjust our procedure as we went into warmer weather,” said Prouty. Under the silicon prosthetics (which move easier but does not allow the skin to breathe), they not only used sweat stop — an antiperspirant for the face — but also ended up including sweat channels in the back so that the actor wouldn’t end up wetting himself (no, not that way).

Related: OSCARS: Who Were The Unsung Heroes Of 2014′s Academy Award Pics?

Bad Grandpa, directed by Jeff Tremaine, is a hidden-camera cross-country road trip about a grandfather who takes his grandson back to see his real father. Although it took 10 months, the shoot lasted 61 days total. “Each trip was two or three weeks long before Knoxville would come back to L.A., so we would be down two to six weeks,” explained Prouty. “The story, as we shot it, changed over the course of that time. It was very fluid and loose and evolved each time we went out. And Paramount was cool about not having a printed script and letting it make its own story as we … Read More »

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‘20 Feet From Stardom’s Darlene Love, Judith Hill, Merry Clayton & Tata Vega To Perform At Film Independent Spirit Awards

By | Monday February 24, 2014 @ 1:59pm PST

EXCLUSIVE: Darlene Love, Judith Hill, 20feetMerry Clayton and Tata Vega are profiled in the Oscar-nominated Radius-TWC documentary and will perform at the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday. It will be the only musical performance at the ceremony. Director Morgan Neville’s 20 Feet From Stardom, a look at the lives of several of the music industry’s greatest backup singers, is nominated for a Spirit Award in the Best Documentary category. It also made the cut as one of the five nominees for Best Documentary Feature at the Oscars. Currently the No. 1 documentary on iTunes, the pic continues to build momentum as the culmination of awards season approaches. Hosted by Patton Oswalt, the Spirit Awards will be handed out during a daytime luncheon in Santa Monica and broadcast later that evening at 10 PM on IFC.

Related: Hot Featurette: Oscar Nominated Documentary ‘20 Feet From Stardom’

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OSCARS: ‘Gravity’s Special Effects Wizard Tim Webber’s Unforgettable Epic, A Blend of Physics and Art

By | Sunday February 23, 2014 @ 10:35pm PST

s1.reutersmedia.netTim Webber, who is Oscar-nominated for Best Achievement in Visual Effects on the Alfonso Cuaron-directed space epic Gravity, received his education in math, physics and art – and all were all put to good use on film. “I got to use my physics education. It helped me understand the way things move in zero gravity. It gave me a good, theoretical understanding,” said Webber, who added that from his art education, he learned how to look at things differently. “Physics taught me how the way things work, how energy doesn’t dissipate but changes, and that was useful in getting it real and have a feeling of reality.” And looking at things differently was a necessity for Gravity’s success.

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This was a movie, he said, where the normal filmmaking process had to be put aside. Gravity, which required a significant amount of planning and preproduction, was a project like no other. “Everything about this film was a different filmmaking process. The way people had to work together was different,” said Webber. “We actually lit the film before we went to shoot it. The set dresser, when she did it, she was doing it next to a visual effects artist who was moving props around with a mouse on a computer screen. The language was different.” The reasons behind the differences was that Gravity was made almost entirely in CG and, of course, there were those notable long shots. For instance, the opening scene was 12-minute single-take. “You couldn’t talk about continuity in the normal way,” he said. “If you were talking about a moment in the film, we had to divide the film up in completely different ways to a normal film. We had to find new ways of working together because each department couldn’t work on its own.

Related: OSCARS: Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention For ‘Gravity’ Cinematographer
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OSCARS: ‘Gravity’ Composer Steven Price Gives Space Its Sound

By | Saturday February 22, 2014 @ 10:43pm PST

Steven-Price-GravityFor Steven Price, the composer of Gravity’s score, it was a year of regular experiments with melodies and sounds. “It constantly evolved,” says Price. “I was on it for a year, and we wrote it as we went. I literally started on the first day and was still writing on the last day.” The results were textured sounds, layered with everything one could garner from a string orchestra, choir, church organ and even a glass harmonica. What’s a glass harmonica? It’s an oblong glass instrument that rotates and as the virtuoso of the art places his fingertips on it, it generates tones like someone circling the rim of a wine glass. It gave the score an other-wordly, almost spiritual sound. “The idea was to be this incredibly immersive experience,” said Price. Gravity-Movie-Space-2013-1024x576“The sound crew knew exactly what I was doing, so it all changed together.”

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To make it feel even more immersive, they employed the Dolby Atmos system, which uses up to 64 speakers to fully surround the audience in sound. The original Gravity mix was in 7.1 surround sound, meaning three speakers in the front, two on each side and two in the back. It also allows elements to be amplified or extracted to create the desired effect. “Because there is no sound in space, the music is designed to give you an emotional feel. The camera sometimes takes the point of view of the character, so the idea is that the music pulled you into the character a little more,” said Price. “That was the challenge. We had to figure out the emotional journey and how best to express within this experience that [director] Alfonso [Cuaron] was creating.”

Related: OSCARS: ‘Gravity’s Special Effects Wizard Tim Webber’s Unforgettable Epic, A Blend of Physics and Art
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OSCARS: ‘Gravity’s Production Design Actually Is Rocket Science

By | Friday February 21, 2014 @ 10:58pm PST

LR-Andy-NicholsonAwardsLine deputy editor Anna Lisa Raya contributed to this article.

“Normally you’d walk into a room, the set dresser turns up three days before with 20 prop men, and they dress it. You’d look at it, you think of it, and you move things around. This was not like that at all,” said Andy Nicholson, the Oscar-nominated production designer for Gravity, who started working on the project in April 2010. This was an unusual project, an out-of-this-world set where ideas and tools and effects were created every day to bring Oscar-nominated director Alfonso Cuaron and his son, Jonas’ screenplay to life.

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Nicholson had a career in architecture before he made the transition into the movie business and worked as an art director on several Tim Burton films, including Sleepy Hollow, Frankenweenie, Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He has won numerous Art Directors Guild Awards and won this year’s ADG for excellence in production design for a fantasy film for Gravity, an award he shared with his team. This is his first Oscar nomination.

Related: OSCARS: Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention For ‘Gravity’ Cinematographer
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OSCARS: Street Closures Begin Sunday

By | Friday February 21, 2014 @ 3:49pm PST

Academylogo_cBEVERLY HILLS, CA – To ensure public safety, support security strategies and facilitate the production of this year’s Oscars®, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the City of Los Angeles have finalized street closure plans around the Dolby Theatre™ at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood.

To accommodate the construction of press risers, fan bleachers and pre-show stages along the Oscars red carpet, Hollywood Boulevard will be closed between Highland Avenue and Orange Drive beginning at 10 p.m. on Sunday, February 23, and remain closed until 6 a.m. on Tuesday, March 4.

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OSCARS: Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘The Wind Rises’ Clip

By | Thursday February 20, 2014 @ 2:32pm PST
Pete Hammond

Oscar-winning Japanese animation legend Hayao Miyazaki, who won the Best Animated Feature Academy Award in 2002 for Spirited Away, is back in contention this year with The Wind Rises, the film he says will be his last as a director. Could that be a factor in how the Academy votes? The film — about the man who designed Japanese fighter planes during World War II — is nominated for its original Japanese version, but Disney on Friday will be releasing the English-language version featuring a starry voice cast including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Martin Short, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, Mandy Patinkin and others. Here’s an exclusive clip that doesn’t depend on dialogue at all, a harrowing earthquake sequence that shows off Miyazaki’s true gifts as an artist. If this is his last hurrah as a director, you can see why he will be missed:

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OSCARS Q&A: Julie Delpy, Andy Koyama, Beau Borders, Billy Ray & More

By | Wednesday February 19, 2014 @ 8:53pm PST

Interviews by AwardsLine Editor Christy Grosz and Deputy Editor Anna Lisa Raya.

Here are some of this year’s lesser-known Oscar nominees, whose skills helped make the director’s andAwardsLine actors’ visions come to life. Without their research, technical mastery, or their ability to translate a story into melodies or visual effects, there would be none of the groundbreaking, iconic, historically significant films we’ve seen this past year. These are the real players who toiled in front of and behind the camera to make the 2013 Oscar season one of the best in recent memory.

beforemidnight2Julie Delpy, Adapted Screenplay, Before Midnight

AwardsLine: What was the biggest challenge in writing and acting the 14-minute-long opening take?
Delpy: If we were able to do that as an improvised scene, we’d be geniuses. And we’re not geniuses. We work really hard at making it seem flawless, especially writing backstory stuff without seeming on the nose or expository. It’s the hardest part. How do you make it seem like we’re just having a conversation when we’re actually setting up the entire rest of the film, explaining what happened in the past nine years?

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OSCARS: Editor Christopher Rouse Became ‘Captain Phillips’ First Mate

By | Monday February 17, 2014 @ 8:07pm PST

LR-Christopher-Rouse“It seems to me the potential benefits of an editor’s early participation [in a project] could be creatively and fiscally significant,” notes Christopher Rouse, who is Oscar-nominated for Best Achievement in Editing for Captain Phillips. Director Paul Greengrass brought his regular collaborator Rouse in six months before the start of production as Billy Ray and he were still working on the script. “Paul believes [as I do] that editing is the natural extension of the writing process, and so it makes sense I would be involved at that point. captain1Coming in early allows me to inhabit Paul’s vision fully, feed ideas into his creative process, and help him pre-empt issues that could arise during production or postproduction.” The result is a Best Picture-nominated film that continuously builds up tension the moment the blips began to appear on the ship’s radar screen indicating they are being tracked to the final gunfire with Somali pirates that frees a traumatized Phillips (Tom Hanks). Rouse brought home an ACE Eddie Award for the film just a couple of weeks ago.

Related: ‘Phillips’ IS The Captain Now As It Defies ‘Gravity’ At The ACE Eddie Awards To Win Second Guild Honor In A Row
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OSCARS: Costumer Michael Wilkinson Puts The Boogie In ‘American Hustle’

By | Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 9:14pm PST

American Hustle CostumesMichael Wilkinson, who is nominated for Best Costume Design Oscar for Sony/Annapurna’s American Hustle , began working with costumes on theater productions in Sydney when he was 17. After dabbling behind the scenes on several productions, his interest as a costume designer took hold and he eventually found himself working with director Jim Sharman (best known to American audiences for directing/co-writing The Rocky Horror Picture Show). Together they worked on such theater productions as Jean Genet’s Splendid and The Tempest at the Sydney Opera House. It was the opening night of The Tempest when the director gave him a book about Italian costume designer Piero Tosi, who had worked with such legendary directors as Federico Fellini and Franco Zeffirelli and was nominated for an Oscar in 1972 for his work on director Luchino Visconti’s Death In Venice. “He showed me that costume design is an art form,” said Wilkinson. The Italian master used texture, fabric and design to wrap the essence of the character around an audience, whether it be working-class people or those of the social elite. And Tosi’s artistry in that kind of diversity inspired Wilkinson.

Related: SAG Awards Film: ‘American Hustle’ Gets A Big Boost, But Will These First Guild Results Impress Oscar?
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OSCARS: Catherine Martin’s 1920s ‘The Great Gatsby’ Is Hotsy-Totsy

By | Saturday February 15, 2014 @ 9:28pm PST

Catherine Martin, who has won two Academy Awards for Costume Design and Best Art Direction/Set Decoration on the French-themed musical Moulin Rouge in 2001, has two noms for one movie again this year: The Great Gatsby, directed by Baz Luhrmann. The Warner Bros remake based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel garnered Martin nominations for Costumes and Production Design. As with Moulin Rouge, Martin’s sets in The Great Gatsby were wondrously extravagant. The set decorator nominated with Martin is Beverley Dunn. Simply put, the production design was (in combination with the special effects team) colorful, intricate 1920s eye candy. Martin recently won an Art Directors Guild Award for her work on the film.

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party1To design Jay Gatsby’s world, Martin says, she followed her husband Luhrmann’s lead. “He wanted to create Fitzgerald’s New York as creative and exciting as it was for Fitzgerald. He wanted it immediate and how it would feel for him.” The Times Square of 1920, for instance, of the Luhrmann/Martin vision became an exciting, colorful, crowded, roaring party as were the actual parties of Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio). In one of the pool scenes, an inflatable zebra is seen in the pool, which had people questioning the historical accuracy. In the book, Fitzgerald writes specifically about an air mattress he describes as a “pneumatic mattress,” but as Martin explains, “I researched inflatable pool toys to see what shapes existed and how they were made. When we put the first trailer out, you see girls cavorting with inflatable zebras and that came directly from research. Inflatables had been around since the late 19th century. The Macy’s parade started in the 1920s. What I enjoy about production design is that you are able like a detective you are able to discover and challenge your perceptions.”

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OSCARS: Will 82-Year-Old ‘12 Years A Slave’ Costume Designer Patricia Norris Finally Win Her Oscar?

By | Friday February 14, 2014 @ 9:52pm PST

26124260_maxWith her work on Best Picture nominee 12 Years A Slave, Patricia Norris now has been Oscar-nominated six times for costumes, but the statuette has eluded her. Norris first was nominated in 1979 for Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven. Two years later, she was nominated again for David Lynch’s The Elephant Man. Following that were nominations for Blake Edwards’ Victor/Victoria and Sunset and for 2010. She worked on women’s wardrobes for films in the late 1960s and early ’70s including on Howard Hawks’ Rio Lobo. Her first film credit as a costume designer came in 1971 for Support Your Local Gunfighter, which starred James Garner. Since then, Norris has worked as a costume designer on everything from the Mel Brooks comedies High Anxiety and History of the World, Part I to such serious fare as Frances, Scarface and The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford. She also worked on 105 episodes of homespun TV saga The Waltons. 1389111083432_i.1.s-sketch-to-still-12-years-slave-ssThis dedicated woman also worked as production designer on several films including helmer Lynch’s Lost Highway, Wild At Heart and Blue Velvet. She won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Art Directors Guild in 2011 and the Costume Designers Guild prior to that. She also won an Emmy for the director’s cult classic TV series Twin Peaks.

Related: BAFTA Awards: ‘12 Years A Slave’ Wins Best Film
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OSCARS: Judy Becker’s ‘American Hustle’ Sets Are A Blast From The Past

By | Thursday February 13, 2014 @ 8:16am PST

“Every set had to be viewed in the context of the whole,” said Judy Becker, Oscar-nominated production designer for Sony/Annapurna’s American Hustle. “We had to look at the character from where they start and to where they go to … each of those sets has a place in the telling of the personal story.” David O. Russell’s homage to the 1970s tells the story of con men, political corruption and characters who try to negotiate through and rise above their circumstances. The film is nominated for 10 Academy Awards this year, including Best Picture. Becker and set decorator Heather Loeffler, worked together to bring a 1970s realism to the sets.

5da1288f8e213e7126c7a559f6151bd4The film’s central character, Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), begins as a low-level con man who has aspirations of greatness. When we first get to know him, he is in his office — a disheveled interior with peeling wallpaper. And, although he has a new desk and black leather couch, everything around it smacks of a certain lack of sophistication. “We know that he americanhustleinteriorhasn’t reached the level of success of where he is going to get to, but we see from the office where he wants to be,” says Becker. “So we put in this modernesque desk that was a little too big for the space. We put things in that were kind of nice and were inspirational but not yet there.”

Related: OSCARS: ‘American Hustle’ Takes Its Campaign To Television (Video)

As Rosenfeld and his lover Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) start building “a business” based on scams and stolen artwork, the office space eventually becomes London and Associates, which flaunts beautiful sculptural and travertine walls. “Most eras have their own color palette. “We used a lot of yellow and blue for this film.” For the Adams’ character, who started as a stripper and then taught herself about design and sophistication from magazines, Becker used “a timeless, beautiful yellow. 1389660427-American_Hustle_imageIt wasn’t kitschy and felt very contemporary.” The bedroom is adorned with textured yellow walls that seem to cascade seamlessly down a perfectly matched headboard onto a yellow bedspread. It’s framed by a classic 1970s deep white shag carpet and offset by period-piece white nightstands. The room was built on a stage in Woodburn, MA.

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OSCARS: William Butler’s Score For ‘Her’ Balances ‘Warm And Fuzzy and Droning Unease’

By | Thursday February 13, 2014 @ 7:51am PST

Photo of ARCADE FIREFirst-time Oscar nominee William Butler, from the Grammy-winning band Arcade Fire, who is nominated along with Owen Pallett for the score of Her, said the music for the movie morphed as the relationship became stronger between the two main characters, played by Joaquin Phoenix and the voice of Scarlett Johansson. The film, directed by Spike Jonze, is an unusual love story about a man who is isolated after being separated from his wife and struggling to let go of that relationship and eventually becoming intimate with his interactive computer operating system. Both “people” are trying to figure out what it means to be human. Jonze shot Her in only 42 days, but the editing took 14 months. (Her also is nominated for Original Song, “The Moon Song” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O and Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig.)

Related: Artificial Intelligence Pioneer Gives ‘Her’ A Thumbs Up

her_640_large_verge_medium_landscapeButler and Jonze are old friends and actually visited at Jonze’s home, at one point, while he was writing the screenplay. “He was working on the film for seven years,” said Butler. “So when we would be in New York, we would sometimes stay there. Spike and I had done a short film together in 2010 and 2011, Scenes From The Suburbs, so we had worked together … Read More »

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OSCARS: U2 Set To Perform ‘Ordinary Love’ At Academy Awards

By | Wednesday February 12, 2014 @ 2:16pm PST

71st Annual Golden Globe Awards - Press RoomIt’s no great shock, but it’s cool nonetheless. Bono and the boys will perform their Oscar-nominated song “Ordinary Love” at the Academy Awards on March 2. U2 recorded the song for the biopic Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, and it’s a very personal one: The band, and particularly Bono, had a long friendship with Nelson Mandela — who died December 5 — and their work in the anti-apartheid movement goes back to their beginnings as a band in the 1970s. This is U2′s second Oscar nomination; the Irish band was up for Best Original Song for “The Hands That Built America,” from Martin Scorsese’s Gangs Of New York, but lost to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” from 8 Mile. But “Ordinary Love” did snag a Golden Globe last month. Here’s the Academy’s release:

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OSCARS: Capturing Chaos On The High Seas With ‘Captain Phillips’ Sound Editor Oliver Tarney

By | Monday February 10, 2014 @ 9:14pm PST

Captain Phillips hijackersOliver Tarney has the distinction of having worked as the sound editor on two films that were nominated for Best Picture this year: Captain Phillips and Philomena. He was nominated for Best Achievement in Sound Editing on Sony’s Captain Phillips. Having started as a musician, which gave him a keen ear and appreciation of sound design, Tarney faced numerous challenges with a project shot on water and using characters of a unique dialogue. The film is about Somali pirates who commandeer an American vessel captained by Richard Phillips, played by Tom Hanks. Foreign dialogue, rushing ocean water, the ominous blip from the sonar screen, a small skiff slapping against the waves as it rockets towards the lumbering cargo ship, the scream of the outboard motor to hushed and frightened conversation from the crew in the ship’s creaking hull, automatic gunfire ricocheting, the metallic sound of the ladder being hurled onto the ship for the pirates to climb aboard, and ultimately taking Phillips captive in a cramped module of the lifeboat that splashes into the water and out to sea. All of these sound elements helped build the suspense of Captain Phillips.

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