Monthly Archives: February 2014

Costume Designers Guild Awards: 12 Years a Slave, Blue Jasmine, Catching Fire


12 Years a Slave won the Costume Designers Guild’s “Period” category. Despite the guild’s 3 film categories and 13 nominees, only 3 translated into an Oscar nomination, and all from Period. The other 2 are The Great Gatsby and American Hustle, and they are – in that order – generally favored to win the award over 12 Years, despite its strength in some of the bigger categories. Indeed, Gatsby just took the BAFTA for costumes last week, and Hustle has far flashier necklines outfits.

In the other categories, Blue Jasmine won Contemporary, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire took Fantasy. I’m thrilled to see the latter recognized. I personally believe that be the greatest costume design work of the year, and I don’t just mean the flashy “girl on fire” outfits that take a central role in the plot. All the costumes are outstanding, including a one-shoulder sweater-like thing in the beginning of the film and the activewear used in the games themselves. (My fiancé and I have often postulated about the extreme marketability of a Hunger Games clothing line. They would certainly have our money!)

Scroll down for the full list of winners. (And check out the nominees here.)

Excellence in Period Film
“12 Years a Slave” (Patricia Norris)

Excellence in Fantasy Film
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (Trish Summerville)

Excellence in Contemporary Film
“Blue Jasmine” (Suzy Benzinger)

Outstanding Contemporary Television Series
“Behind the Candelabra” (Ellen Mirojnick)

Outstanding Period/Fantasy Television Series
“Downton Abbey” (Caroline McCall)

Outstanding Made for Television Movie or Miniseries
“House of Cards” (Tom Broecker)

Excellence in Commercial Costume Design
“Call of Duty: Ghosts Masked Warriors” (Nancy Steiner)

Career Achievement Award
April Ferry

Lacoste Spotlight Award
Amy Adams

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Cinema Audio Society Awards: Another Win for Gravity


The Cinema Audio Society added to the slew of technical guild awards Gravity has already scooped up, including the ASC, ADG, MPSE, and VES. That, in addition to the DGA and half the PGA. Friends, this is what we like to call a juggernaut.

Other winners announced last night include Frozen, Behind the Candelabra, Game of Thrones, and their previously announced CAS Filmmaking Award to director Edward Zwick (Glory, Legends of the Fall, The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond, Defiance).

The CAS is the guild for sound mixing. For more on the difference between sound mixing vs sound editing, read here or here.

Scroll down for the full list of CAS Awards winners. (Click here to see the nominations.)

Motion Picture — Live Action

Motion Picture — Animated

Television Movie or Mini-Series
“Behind the Candelabra”

Television Series – One Hour
“Game of Thrones” – “The Rains of Castamere”

Television Series – Half Hour
“Modern Family”

Television Non Fiction, Variety or Music – Series or Specials
“History of the Eagles: Part One”

Career Achievement Award
Andy Nelson

CAS Filmmaking Award
Edward Zwick

Technical Achievement Awards

Sound Devices, LLC – 633 Mixer/Recorder

iZotope – RX 3 Advanced

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Jay Fram, Photographer, and the Redesigned

Jay Fram, acclaimed St Louis-area photographer, has announced the launch of his new and improved website redesign. Check out his stunning work and signature style over at

Full disclosure: I may be just a tad biased toward the lens-work of this particular artist. He is my brother, after all.

Photo by Jay Fram

Photo by Jay Fram

jay fram

Jay Fram

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GrabBag – Beetlejuice 2, ‘R’ Movies for Kids, and the Problem With ‘Let It Go’


It’s Friday! Boy, are you ever ready for this weekend. Starved for non-work-related internet surfing. The only thing you need is a bunch of links to check out. Well bully for you, because today’s GrabBag is a SUPER-SIZED barrel of web content, with 10 different links and videos. Time to pull up a seat, get your finger on that mouse, and GORGE!!!

  • It looks like Tim Burton and Michael Keaton are seriously considering doing Beetlejuice 2.
  • Christina Bianco does impressions of several famous divas singing “Let It Go”. These are hilarious, but she’s pretty terrific herself.
  • Speaking of “Let It Go”, Slate’s Dana Stevens has a problem with a small part of the sequence that she says contradicts Frozen‘s otherwise pro-feminist messages. I totally get her point, but honestly, if that’s your only problem with a movie that’s otherwise so much better an influence for young girls (and boys!) than 99.999% of the rest of pop culture? Let it go, Dana. (heh. heh. heh.)
  • Take a look at Rush‘s CGI effects side-by-side with real footage of Niki Lauda’s crash.
  • Dallas Buyers Club‘s Oscar-nominated (and likely winning) make-up work was all done on a budget of only $250. Wow. Just… wow.
  • Still confused by that “preferential ballot” the Oscars use for their Best Picture category? Still care? (Did you ever?) Here’s another really good explaination, courtesy of The Wrap’s Steve Pond…
  • Has The LEGO Movie (review coming soon) left you wanting more? Here are some great LEGO-ized posters for this year’s Best Picture nominees.
  • The always hilarious Onion reviews the new RoboCop movie…

Okay, okay, OKAY!!! That’s enough surfing for now, big clicker. Breathe. Save some room for next week. There’ll always be more…

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Making the Case for Leo

This really is by far the greatest performance of DiCaprio’s career.  You only get the slightest glimpse in this short [1:52] campaign video…

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Octodad Preview

I don’t post much about video games – mostly because I don’t know much about them. I’m pretty terrible at anything other than Tetris or MarioKart. But this new game called Octodad looks hilarious and adorable.

You play an octopus trying (miserably) to pass as a human family man. Premise sounds hilarious, though I imagine it’s probably pretty hard. (The preview above reminds me of QWOP.) Still, I want to try it out. (I might even want to try it out more than I want that $15 in my bank account… hmm…)

NPR covered it here.

View the website and purchase the game here.

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Karen O Inspired By Steve Martin in The Jerk

Karen O told the NY Times her Oscar-nominated “The Moon Song” from Her was inspired by The Jerk. In perhaps the most beautiful scene of that great comedy, Steve Martin plays a ukulele as he and Bernadette Peters sing “Tonight You Belong to Me”. Then, of course, Peters pulls the sweetest cornet solo out of nowhere.

I can see the similarities, in mood as much as anything else. I mean, sure: the couple, the romance, the ukulele are obvious. But the subtle sweetness is what gets me. In recent years “Tonight” has since become a staple for internet covers. I wonder if “The Moon Song” will catch the same universal adoration.

What do you think? Let’s compare…

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BAFTA Winners: Split Sheds No New Insight


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) handed out their awards yesterday. They are basically the British version of the Academy and the last major precursor we have before the Oscars.

With the Olympics extending the season an extra few weeks, the Oscar ballots only went out a few days ago. That means we have another half-month of hemming and hawing over intangible “buzz,” with no other big group to give us a real hint at where we’re headed. It’s true that a lot can change in two weeks. Given the extreme closeness of this race, hyped-up news stories based on rumors cooked up by campaign strategists could have an impact in the empty void in between BAFTA and Oscar. But my guess is it really won’t.

Nothing has been settled yet in any of the phases so far. From the festival circuit, to the various critics’ awards, to the guild awards, to now – we still have a tight race that appears to be 12 Years a Slave for picture and Gravity for director. American Hustle seems to have stumbled ever so slightly in recent days, but you’d be crazy not to think it’s still in the mix.

BAFTA has done nothing to clear any of this up. 12 Years won picture, while Gravity took director and (somewhat controversially) Best British Film. The only choices that were out of the norm came in 4 categories where the Brits’ unique tastes came through:

  • The very British Philomena took screenplay from 12 Years, out of admiration for Steve Coogan’s outstanding year.
  • Editing went, quite deservedly, to Rush. Europeans love Formula One racing, though it seems to hold little interest over here.
  • Both Actor categories were missing their frontrunners, as Dallas Buyers Club was soundly ignored in the nominating phase. Fellow Brit Chiwetel Ejiofor is an obvious choice in place of McConaughey. But I most thrilled about seeing Captain Phillips’ Barkhad Abdi recognized without Jared Leto standing in the way.

Scroll down for the complete list of winners. (Check out the nominees here.)

Best Picture – 12 Years a Slave
Best British Film – Gravity
Best Director – Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Best Actor – Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Best Actress – Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Best Supporting Actor – Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Best Supporting Actress – Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Best Adapted Screenplay – Philomena, Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
Best Original Screenplay – American Hustle, Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
Best Cinematography – Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki
Best Documentary – The Act of Killing
Best Animated Feature – Frozen
Best Music – Gravity, Steven Price
Best Editing – Rush
Best Production Design – The Great Gatsby
Best Costume Design – The Great Gatsby
Best Sound – Gravity
Best Hair & Makeup – American Hustle
Best British Short, Live Action – Room 8
Best British Short, Animation – Sleeping with the Fishes
Outstanding British Debut – Kelly & Victor
BAFTA Rising Star – Will Poulter

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Gravity, Captain Phillips, Frozen Win MPSE Golden Reel Awards


The Motion Picture Sound Editors’ (MPSE) Golden Reel Awards were announce yesterday. Gravity continues its well-earned dominance in the tech guilds. Not much else to say, though this may be the only guild I’ve seen to have categories for direct-to-video. See the complete nominations here.

Sound Effects and Foley in an English Language Feature

Dialogue and ADR in an English Language Feature
“Captain Phillips”

Animated Feature (English or Foreign Language)
(Includes ADR, Dialogue, Sound Effects and Foley)

Foreign Language Feature
(Includes ADR, Dialogue, Sound Effects and Foley)
“The Grandmaster”

Music in a Musical Feature (English or Foreign Language)

Music in a Feature (English or Foreign Language)
“The Great Gatsby”

Feature Documentary
“Dirty Wars”


Short Form: Dialogue & ADR
“Game of Thrones: The Rains of Castamere”

Short Form: Sound Effects & Foley
“Breaking Bad” – “Felina”

Long Form: Dialogue & ADR
“The Bridge” – Pilot

Long Form: Sound Effects & Foley
“Sons of Anarchy” – “Salvage”

Short Form: Music
“Game of Thrones” – “The Rains of Castamere”

Short Form: Music, Musical
“Peg + Cat: The Beethoven Problem”

Long Form Form: Music, Musical
“History of the Eagles: Part One”

Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue and ADR Animation in Television
“The Fairly OddParents” – “Dumbbell Curve”

Short Form Documentary in Television
“North America: No Place to Hide”

Long Form Documentary in Television
“Deadliest Catch: The Final Battle”


Computer Episodic Entertainment
“Mortal Kombat: Legacy Series II”

Computer Interactive Entertainment
“StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm Cinematic”

Direct to Video Animation
“Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Pt. 2”

Direct to Video Live Action
“Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter”

Special Venue
“To the Arctic 3D”

Verna Fields Award in Sound Editing for Student Filmmakers

Career Achievement Award
Randy Thom

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Make-Up and Hairstylists Guild Award Winners; DBC Still in the Lead for Oscar


Winners for the Make-Up and Hairstylists Guild Awards were announced last night.

The nominees for the corresponding Oscar category are Dallas Buyers Club, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, and The Lone Ranger. The first is still on track to take it, and this announcement does nothing to change that. But the guild has several categories, so the first 2 of those 3 walked away with awards. Interestingly, that 3rd one was the only film to get more than one nomination by the guild, but it still came up winless last night.

American Hustle, which many assumed to be the eventual Oscar winner until it was surprisingly left behind in the nomination phase, also got a win here.

Check out the full list of winners below…


Best Contemporary Hairstyling
“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” – WINNER
“One Chance”
“Unfinished Song”

Best Contemporary Makeup
“August: Osage County”
“One Chance”
“Prisoners” – WINNER

Best Period and/or Character Hairstyling
“American Hustle” – WINNER
“The Lone Ranger”

Best Period and/or Character Makeup
“Dallas Buyers Club”- WINNER
“The Great Gatsby”
“The Lone Ranger”

Best Special Makeup Effects
“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” – WINNER
“Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters”
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”

TELEVISION and NEW MEDIA SERIES (Episodic Television)

Best Contemporary Hairstyling
“Bates Motel”
“Breaking Bad”
“The Voice” – WINNER

Best Contemporary Makeup
“Breaking Bad” – WINNER
“Super Fun Night”

Best Period and/or Character Hairstyling
“Hell on Wheels”
“Key and Peele”
“Vikings” – WINNER

Best Period and/or Character Makeup
“Boardwalk Empire” – WINNER
“Hell on Wheels”
“Key and Peele”

Best Special Makeup Effects
“The Walking Dead” – WINNER


Best Period and/or Character Hairstyling
“American Horror Story: Coven”
“Behind the Candelabra” – WINNER
“Killing Lincoln”

Best Period and/or Character Makeup
“American Horror Story: Coven”
“Behind the Candelabra” – WINNER
“Game of Thrones”


“Magic Flute” – WINNER
“Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels”


Best Contemporary Makeup
“Wash the Day Away (Kohler)”


Distinguished Artisan Award
Johnny Depp

Makeup Artists Lifetime Achievement Award
Dick Smith

Hairstylists Lifetime Achievement Award
Gail Ryan