OSCARS: How 'Ted' Made It To The Show

Mark Wahlberg and Ted’s appearance on this year’s Oscars presenting the Sound Mixing and Sound Editing awards may have only lasted nine minutes, but it was months in the making, I’ve learned. The decision to have the blockbuster hard-partying talking bear as part of the Oscarcast with his big screen co-star was made soon after Ted director Seth MacFarlane was named host of the 85th Academy Awards in October. MacFarlane and Oscar producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan approached Ted distributor Universal Pictures to pay for the high-tech appearance, to which the studio quickly agreed. “It’s a great platform for us and makes total promotional sense with a Ted 2 in the making,” an insider told me of the studio dolling out the cash. Wahlberg signed on immediately last fall after a call from his co-star MacFarlane.

Related: Ted #1 Biggest R-Rated Original Comedy

After that, MacFarlane asked Ted co-writer Wellesley Wild to put the script together for the segment. The Oscar host himself then tweaked it, sources tells me. Just like when Ted appeared on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! last December, the movie’s producer Jason Clark took over putting everything together. Tippet Studios’ Blair Clark, who also did the visual effects on the movie, oversaw the 3D animation/motion capture. The segment you saw tonight was actually taped in mid-January. People in the Dolby Theatre tonight just saw Wahlberg standing next to an empty stool. That Ted and Wahlberg would be presenting the Oscars was announced February 1. With everything animated and completed, MacFarlane recorded the voice-over earlier this month in LA.

And that’s how a bong-smoking talking teddy bear made it to the Oscars.

Watch it again here:

  1. Ted was really amazing to see. The CGI looked flawless. At times, I thought it was someone in a teddy bear suit. The animators did a good job of bringing him to life.

  2. I know they just recorded Seth saying all the movie names and dropped them in when someone opened the envelope. Wonder what they would have done if Ted had been announcing the Best Sound Editing and they… couldn’t.

  3. I swear, spaced out on the category, presentation, etc because I sat there wondering if they got a very small person in there, realizing it was too small, trying to decide if it was some sophisticated animatronic operated by a team of experts in the wings… I usually catch when something’s pre-taped. DUH. And yeah, he would have been a good host.

  4. It was truly awesome, and totally seamless!! A true state-of-the-art trick!!! Easily the highlight of the evening!!

  5. I was totally flabbergasted, and I don’t flabbergast easily. Very sophisticated. How did they get the walk-on shot with the audience and live reflections off the floor? Were they shooting the background shot in a fully dressed theater weeks ahead with a fake audience? Or matting in real-time? (If the latter, then I’m even more astounded they got the bear’s reflections off the stage floor.)

    1. Yes Ted’s reflections and shadows were astounding, until you realize they had weeks to do the composite. There must have been a live matte for that first walk-on, as you say. The only give away were the reverse shots where there was no Ted. Extremely well done!

  6. hahaha.. Ted never cease to amaze me… getting crazy in the night’s awarding… Even Mark Wahlberg.. I love ‘em.. xD Can’t wait for the sequel of TED… Have a nice day..

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