EXAMINING OSCAR’S BELOW-THE-LINE NOMINEES – Susan Granger reports

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Without doubt, movies are the most collaborative artistic medium, and streaming has made this year’s contenders more available than ever before. Some of the most memorable artisan aspects of filmmaking are Cinematography, Editing, Production Design, Costume Design and Sound, all contributing to the ultimate success of a film.

Directors of Photography honored by the Cinematography branch are Sean Bobbitt (“Judas and the Black Messiah”), Erik Messerschmidt (“Mank”), Dariusz Wolski (“News of the World”) Joshua James Richards (“Nomadland”) and Phedon Papamichael (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”).

Sean Bobbitt is a firm believer in ‘less is more.’ Consider the scene where LaKeith Stanfield’s petty crook Bill O’Neal tries to escape a local gang and a low-angle shot clearly shows a knife coming from the top of the car, instilling fear in the character and viewer, all from the perspective of the gas pedal.

“’Citizen Kane’” provided context for our film,” admits Erik Messerschmidt, “but what we did was very different. It was more of a springboard, and we certainly borrowed things. (Director) David Fincher was very specific about what he wanted to reference. Deep focus was important, along with low camera angles. A lot of that comes from ‘Citizen Kane,’ but it also comes from vintage black-and-white.”

Dariusz Wolski recalls, “We all grew on Westerns, and we just wanted to make ‘News’ contemporary. We incorporated handheld that doesn’t look as if it’s handheld. I believe in simplicity. We didn’t use cranes. We didn’t use fancy equipment. It is kind of nice to restrain yourself.” Continue reading on AWARDS INTELLIGENCER Intelligencer

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.