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Bob Richardson for Hugo...Seriously?


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#1 Ben Brahem Ziryab

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:34 PM

Not to say that Bob Richardson is nothing less than a great DP (and thus did a brilliant job on Hugo), but why the hell would they rob Lubezki from his well-deserved oscar AGAIN?

I lost faith in the Academy's cinematography branch back in 2007, and now this!

Edited by Ben Brahem Ziryab, 27 February 2012 - 06:34 PM.

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#2 Vincent Sweeney

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:55 PM

Wondered the same thing.

The game is very flawed.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 08:51 PM

The cinematography branch only nominates... The entire Academy votes on the winner.
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 09:35 PM

Isn't it all fairly meaningless fluff anyway, influenced more by politics and money than achievement?
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#5 Tom Jensen

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:40 AM

Isn't it all fairly meaningless fluff anyway, influenced more by politics and money than achievement?


Tell that to Chivo and Jeff. I'm sure they would like to be stroking Oscar as we speak. I was actually surprised to see Bob even go to the Academy Awards.
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#6 georg lamshöft

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 03:08 AM

Money and politics? Of course you need some luck or power to raise awareness within thousands of contributions to the movie-world but the rest is done by the academy - which are the filmmakers and not the executives (I guess the majority isn't actually so impressed by special screenings or free snacks to change their mind). The winners are not selected by specialists, I guess some actors like to "stroke" cinematographers for selecting the most obvious acting performances as well...
Actors, sound & costume designers tend to select the "obvious" cinematography as well and Mr. Richardson did a great job on Hugo in this regard - don't you think?
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#7 Ben Brahem Ziryab

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:44 AM

Money and politics? Of course you need some luck or power to raise awareness within thousands of contributions to the movie-world but the rest is done by the academy - which are the filmmakers and not the executives (I guess the majority isn't actually so impressed by special screenings or free snacks to change their mind). The winners are not selected by specialists, I guess some actors like to "stroke" cinematographers for selecting the most obvious acting performances as well...
Actors, sound & costume designers tend to select the "obvious" cinematography as well and Mr. Richardson did a great job on Hugo in this regard - don't you think?


I'd have to agree there. Money and politics is not the problem. It's after all the filmmakers nominating and deciding what to win. It's just seems like the Academy have been voting the most visual stunning film (of course, discredits locations and production design) for Best Cinematography instead of paying attention to how the cinematography adds to the storytelling. But even in the case of Tree of Life, it's a magnificent, beautiful film. Now I'm just thinking that the academy is confusing visual effects and cinematography: Just think of Avatar in 2010 (it's a green screen movie!) and Inception in 2011 (although well deserved).
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#8 Benjamin G

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 04:39 AM

Politics has a huge part to play when it comes to the "Big 5" awards. Take last year for example, if Tom Hooper wins best director now we can put that title on everything he ever makes. Making him marketable without any prior exposure. The Coens already have that title and a following, David Fincher already has a following and people go to see his movies because they know his other films.

I'm not saying that's necessarily what happened last year but if you look through the history of the awards you will definitely find a handful of examples of that. As well as awards given because they were overdue, even if they weren't the best performance/direction of their careers. Martin Scorsese, Paul Newman, Kate Winslet are a few off the top of my head.

I don't think those factors come into play nearly as much in the technical awards though so I don't think that's the case with this one. I think it's more about the 'obvious' cinematography as Georg said. As well as the fact that with Martin Scorsese they created the first live action movie truly shot and LIT for 3D. Most 3D movies to date have been shot and lit like any other 2D movie, the cinematography in this was specifically for 3D, it was new territory. In that area I thought it was more impressive than Tree of Life, and I'm sure a lot of Academy Members had the 3D aspect in their minds as well wether they should have or not. We've all seen pretty pictures in 2D but rarely have we actually seen 3D look good.
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#9 Marcus Joseph

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 07:38 AM

Politics has a huge part to play when it comes to the "Big 5" awards. Take last year for example, if Tom Hooper wins best director now we can put that title on everything he ever makes. Making him marketable without any prior exposure. The Coens already have that title and a following, David Fincher already has a following and people go to see his movies because they know his other films.

I'm not saying that's necessarily what happened last year but if you look through the history of the awards you will definitely find a handful of examples of that. As well as awards given because they were overdue, even if they weren't the best performance/direction of their careers. Martin Scorsese, Paul Newman, Kate Winslet are a few off the top of my head.

I don't think those factors come into play nearly as much in the technical awards though so I don't think that's the case with this one. I think it's more about the 'obvious' cinematography as Georg said. As well as the fact that with Martin Scorsese they created the first live action movie truly shot and LIT for 3D. Most 3D movies to date have been shot and lit like any other 2D movie, the cinematography in this was specifically for 3D, it was new territory. In that area I thought it was more impressive than Tree of Life, and I'm sure a lot of Academy Members had the 3D aspect in their minds as well wether they should have or not. We've all seen pretty pictures in 2D but rarely have we actually seen 3D look good.

There have been a few others shot live-action for 3D, a few things from Australia actually :lol:
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 08:08 AM

In terms of the winners voted by the Academy membership, which I belong to, the word "politics" implies collusion, which doesn't really happen. Members may certainly have a lot of things on their minds when they vote individually, other than the simple quality of one nomination over another, but the notion that they get together and plan and agree to hand an award over to one person over another for political reasons just doesn't happen. And as far as the nominating process goes in committees, being on the Cinematography Branch, I can tell you that we simply get a list in the mail of every movie released that year that qualifies and we select five titles from the list in a mailed ballot, there is no meeting of the branch members to discuss this.

Look, this is just the nature of awards voted on by a select group of people. And if you open up voting to the general public, it's not like the results are any more indicative of merit. And attempts to fix this "flawed" process to ensure that only the "right" movies win would just as much be subject to accusations of politics.
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#11 Marcus Joseph

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 10:55 AM

In terms of the winners voted by the Academy membership, which I belong to, the word "politics" implies collusion, which doesn't really happen. Members may certainly have a lot of things on their minds when they vote individually, other than the simple quality of one nomination over another, but the notion that they get together and plan and agree to hand an award over to one person over another for political reasons just doesn't happen. And as far as the nominating process goes in committees, being on the Cinematography Branch, I can tell you that we simply get a list in the mail of every movie released that year that qualifies and we select five titles from the list in a mailed ballot, there is no meeting of the branch members to discuss this.

Look, this is just the nature of awards voted on by a select group of people. And if you open up voting to the general public, it's not like the results are any more indicative of merit. And attempts to fix this "flawed" process to ensure that only the "right" movies win would just as much be subject to accusations of politics.

Movies, like any artform, are really subjective to whatever kind of personal opinion may be out there. There will never be any kind of consistency across the board, as much as many would seemingly like there to be. It is just clear to me that differing tastes and opinion make up the diversity of movies in the first place.

If it wasn't for differing tastes across the board, we wouldn't have something as daring as The Tree of Life in the first place.
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#12 Benjamin G

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 01:42 PM

Members may certainly have a lot of things on their minds when they vote individually, other than the simple quality of one nomination over another, but the notion that they get together and plan and agree to hand an award over to one person over another for political reasons just doesn't happen.


That's refreshing to hear from an actual member of the academy. It often times looks from a spectators point of view, like that isn't the case. Perhaps it boils down to the different demographics of the members and the audience.


Look, this is just the nature of awards voted on by a select group of people. And if you open up voting to the general public, it's not like the results are any more indicative of merit. And attempts to fix this "flawed" process to ensure that only the "right" movies win would just as much be subject to accusations of politics.


I actually think its less flawed the way it is now. This way, at least the deserving films (mostly) get nominated. Which is almost as big of an honor, as its your peers who nominate you. The last thing we want is the best picture race to be between Twilight and Clash of the Titans.

I watch them more as a celebration of the film industry than as an awards show anyways. It's very rare that my favorite film wins best picture, because there's usually a big difference between what's the most entertaining and what's technically excellent.
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#13 Frank Gollner

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 02:18 PM

I am surprised there has been very little recognition, as far as I have seen, heard or read, about the fact that Hugo is the first film in Hollywood Oscar history to have won the award for Best Cinematography and not to have originated on film stock. A testament to both Robert Richardson artistic and technical skills and Arri getting it just right with the Alexa.

Edited by Frank Gollner, 05 March 2012 - 02:21 PM.

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#14 Richard Boddington

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 02:54 PM

Can we please just talk about the dresses.

R,
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#15 Shawn Martin

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 06:06 PM

I am surprised there has been very little recognition, as far as I have seen, heard or read, about the fact that Hugo is the first film in Hollywood Oscar history to have won the award for Best Cinematography and not to have originated on film stock.

Avatar was actually the first.
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#16 Ben Brahem Ziryab

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 08:44 PM

Avatar was actually the first.

Yes, and even parts of Inception were shot on HD. Am I the only one astonished over the fact that, in the last three years, the Academy Awards for Best Cinematography has been given to films with heavy visual effects work?
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#17 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 09:26 PM

umm... Slumdog Millionaire was first. Also the first film to win best cinematography not shot on Kodak (for the parts shot on film).
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#18 Shawn Martin

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 11:55 PM

I know about Slumdog, but I thought he was talking about an entirely digital movie, which Avatar is.

And apparently only two shots in Inception are HD, though Wally Pfister once said that out of the HD material that was shot, only one piece was usable and they ended up not using it.
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#19 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 11:12 PM

Richardson's work as become far less daring that it once was. Same goes for Marty. Richardson did a nice job on Hugo, but I would have preferred to see Luzbeski get the nod for The Tree of Life. Amazing images and I would have enjoyed the film even more if there had been a bit more of a story. Mind you, I love abstract, though-provoking films but it felt like a very long montage sequence.
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#20 Marcus Joseph

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 11:40 PM

Can we please just talk about the dresses.

R,



Richardson's work as become far less daring that it once was. Same goes for Marty. Richardson did a nice job on Hugo, but I would have preferred to see Luzbeski get the nod for The Tree of Life. Amazing images and I would have enjoyed the film even more if there had been a bit more of a story. Mind you, I love abstract, though-provoking films but it felt like a very long montage sequence.

I thought it was engaging mostly because of the visuals. There was also the sound too, but being like a long montage sequence with such ethereal camerawork made me stick to it without seeing a clear story. At times it felt a little confusing too.
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