Stop-motion may be cheesey to those of us who grew up in the post-Star Wars era, but Harryhausen’s work – the most famous of which is perhaps the fighting skeletons of Jason and the Argonauts – was hugely influential. (Though to this 80s’ kid, it’s his Medusa in the original Clash of the Titans who kept me up at night!)
“Ray has been a great inspiration to us all in special visual industry. The art of his earlier films, which most of us grew up on, inspired us so much,” said George Lucas. “Without Ray Harryhausen, there would likely have been no Star Wars.”
Coachella’s Tupac was a 2-D creation of Digital Domain Media Group, who won a visual effects Oscar for aging Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. And it was projected using technology dating from the 19th Century:
The effect relies on an angled piece of glass in which a “ghostly” image is reflected. “A piece of glass can be both transparent and reflective at the same time, depending on how it’s situated relative to the audience,” said Mr. Steinmeyer, pointing out the secret.
In the Victorian version of the trick, the glass reflected an actual actor, situated out of sight in near the orchestra. On Sunday night, the image was projected on a piece of Mylar—a highly reflective, lightweight plastic—stretched on a clear frame.
A similar effect was used in 2003 to project an image of Frank Sinatra. Virtual Tupac may go on tour later this year with other (living) hip-hop stars
There were few surprises at tonight’s Oscars: Lone genre Best Picture nom Inception was awarded mostly in technical categories (including Visual Effects… Sorry, ILM.) And Natalie Portman did indeed win Best Actress for Black Swan.
For the rest, The King’s Speech cleaned up with 4 awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Colin Firth. Batman Jesus Christian Bale took home Best Supporting Actor for The Fighter. But perhaps most mind-blowing to this former teen of the 90′s: Trent Reznor now has an Oscar (for The Social Network score.)
As for the ceremony itself… It was pretty standard; All the real fun was (of course) partaking in all the snark on Twitter. I did greatly enjoy the auto-tune, though.
And yes, Irvin Kershner did make the In Memoriam reel, as did modelmaker Grant McCune.
Per usual, not too much for genre fans to get excited about. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which I suppose could classify as fantasy, sort of, had the most nods this year, including Best Picture and Actor. Heath Ledger is up for Best Supporting Actor for The Dark Knight, but the movie failed to get any other major nominations. It is up for the usual throw-them-a-bone categories of Cinematography, Film Editing, Makeup, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing.
Wall-E did pretty good – it failed to get a Best Picture nod as many were hoping for, but it is up for Animated Film (duh,) Original Screenplay, Original Song, and several technical awards.
The Visual Effects category puts Benjamin Button up against The Dark Knight and ILM’s Iron Man.