There’s so much that goes into the making of a stellar film – right from the story, script and screenplay to the cast, crew and direction. Add to that the need for a capable team that can ensure production design, shooting, editing, animation/VFX and music of the highest level to compete with the best in the industry. Here’s presenting a quick list of those who made the headlines at the 2017 Oscars.
Beyond the glitz and glamour of the red carpet, the shiny smiles, and the coveted golden award, the Oscars celebrate the relentless effort that filmmakers put in to their art.
In the sea of talented and deserving nominations, some created waves that swept the highest honour away! Here is a quick run-through of the list of statuette-holders; the winners of the 89th Annual Academy Awards.
Best Animated Feature
Here at Toolbox Studio, the build up to the announcement of the Best Animated Feature Award functions as an annual nail-biting, edge-of-the seat experience.The genius set of nominations this year included Disney’s Zootopia and Moana, alongside Kubo and the Two Strings, The Red Turtle, and My Life as a Zucchini.
Co-directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore gracefully accepted the 2017 Oscar for the Best Animated Feature. What seems like a subtle yet bold response to the proposed ‘wall’ on the Mexican border, Disney’s Zootopia powerfully acknowledged issues like sexism at the work place and xenophobia. The film talks about tolerance, dealing with fear of differences, and the power in unity through suave characters like Buny Cop, Lt. Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) and sly ‘businessman’ fox, Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman). Producer Clark Spencer and the talented director duo shared their gratitude for the win.
Best Animated Short
Another nail-biter, the animated short film category demands an artistic endevour filled with techinque and emotion, all under 40 minutes or less. Pixar Veteran Alan Barillaro scooped up the Best Animation Short Oscar, 2017, with his 6 minute long (short is more like it) film Piper. 6 minutes in the life of a baby sandpiper, the film walks you through fear and what lies beyond. The creation of the sandy seashore world is beautifully real, one of Pixar’s greatest strengths. This wordless masterpiece left the audience speechless as they dove into the story with the little Piper.
It may have been the sunny blend of an honest heart and impeccable technology that the film exudes that led up to its win against promising contenders Borrowed Time, Pearl, Blind Vaysha, and Pear Cider and Cigarettes.
Best Sound Editing
The Oscars present two separate awards for Sound Mixing and Sound Editing. Sound Mixing entails the entire soundscape that a film showcases, including the equations between background scores, dialgoues, and more.
Now think of the booms and blasts, the sound effects that enhance the visual action on screen… that’s the Sound Editor’s role. 2017 saw a diverse mix of nominees including Arrival, La La Land, Hacksaw Ridge, Deepwater Horizon, and Sully. It was the eerie-yet-gentle linger of sci-fi thriller Arrival that won the Oscar for Best Sound Editing this year.
Best Production Design
The nominations for the Production Design Award included 5 fabulous teams that worked on Arrival, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Hail, Caesar!, La La Land, and Passengers. Damien Chazelle’s La La Land bagged the prestigious award, thanks to the magnanimous vision and starry-eyed conviction of the film’s makers.
Husband and wife duo David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco, responsible for production design and set decoration, accepted the Oscar. Their work history includes iconic movies like Tarantino’s Inglorious Bastards and Pulp Fiction. La La Land uses the historic and somewhat whimsical backdrop of the city of Los Angeles to create the base for eccentric-yet-lovable moments in the story. This is the first nomination and award that the duo has won.
On a roll with that winning streak, La La Land too home the Oscar for Best Cinematography; this one was barely a surprise! Linus Sandgren is a pure artist with the lens, and his win at the Critics’ Choice Awards and BAFTA before bagging the Academy Award is a roaring applause for his art.
The film displays humour, love, and pain in the intertwined lives of a jazz pianist (Ryan Gosling) and an aspiring female actor (Emma Stone). Sandgren, is his acceptance speech, showed gratitude towards his collaborative effort with this actors, as well as with Director Damien Chazelle. La La Land was competing with Arrival, Lion, Moonlight, and Silence for this one.
The Best Original Adapted Screenplay at the 2017 Oscars ranked Arrival, Fences, Moonlight, Lion, and Hidden Figures as the top 5 nominees. Moonlight unmistakenly won the award, the second win that day after Mahershala Ali was awarded Best Supporting Actor for the same film.
The movie is set in Florida and tells the story of a young homosexual black man.Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney accepted the award for their outstanding work. The acceptance speech poured grace and power as Jenkins spoke about the particularly socially-conscious awards event.
The sensitivity with which the film has evolved through every layer of creation is impeccable. The film is adapted from McCraney’s autobiographical play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue.
Contending for the Oscar for the Best Original Screenplay were Manchester by the Sea, La La Land, Hell or High Water, 20th Century Women, and The Lobster. Manchester by the Sea continued to wear the winner’s title following the BAFTAs. Kenneth Lonergan’s weaves a captivating screenplay revolving around relationships amidst adversity.
The editing plays a pivotal role in bringing harmony and continuity in the narrative, in fact in the whole viewing experience. The nominations for Best Editing were Joe Walker – Arrival, John Gilbert – Hacksaw Ridge, Tom Cross – La La Land, Jake Roberts – Hell or High Water, and Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon – Moonlight. Jon Gilbert took the cake for his amazing ‘chops’ (pun intended) in Hacksaw Ridge.
Best Original Score
The contemporary musical La La Land, since the moment it arrived, had its music lingering in the subconscious mind of the audience. So it came as no surprise when composer Justin Hurwitz took home the Oscar for Best Original Score. His body of work includes Whiplash. La La Land was nominated alongside acclaimed scores of films Jackie, Lion, Moonlight and Passengers.
Director Damien Chazelle may have been absorbed by his film La La Land, as he danced on cloud nine after winning the Oscar for Best Director. The youngest filmmaker to have won this award, Chazelle attributed the honour to all the people who helped take the film from a vision in his mind to the screen.