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Best Picture

The Imitation Game

“Much gratitude to the Academy for recognizing The Imitation GameThe Imitation Game in eight categories. Telling Alan Turing’s story was the experience of a lifetime and we never thought it would lead us here. On behalf of everyone who worked on this film, in any capacity, we say thank you.”
-Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman, Producers

“We told the story of Alan Turing, a man that history forgot and who suffered a terrible injustice, for all the right reasons,” recalled Schwarzman. The Oscar nomination is an early coup for the producer and his young Black Bear production shingle, which backed the $14 million biopic taking a chance on director Morten Tyldum and a pre-superfame Benedict Cumberbatch. “It was a big risk to take on at the time,” said Schwartzman, who relocated his own family across the Atlantic to be hands-on during the making of the film. “We found the people who felt like they organically fit for the film and were passionate about telling it, and we were prepared to take a risk because we believed in what the film could become.”

Selma

la_ca_1021_selma“I feel incredibly blessed to receive this honor from the Academy. When I first started in hip hop I never imagined that a day like this would come. Selma is a movement and I am thrilled to be a part of it. Thanks to Ava for inspiring us to write Glory and congrats to Selma on our Best Picture Nomination! John, you’re the best!”- Common

Birdman

Birdman Innaritu Oscar nominationAlejandro González Iñárritu, who co-wrote and produced Birdman and is also nominated for Best Director, called in while en route to the chilly Calgary set of his next film The Revenant. “I think we’ll have to find a time to have a toast and have a good time. Maybe Friday – I’m not very good at handling hangovers, especially when I’m filming!”

Iñárritu’s been to the Oscar dance before with nominations for his dramas Amores Perros, Babel, and Biutiful. The creative risk that Birdman represents, however, brings new meaning to the Academy honor, he said. “I’m very happy and surprised by the fact because this film took a lot of courage,” he said. “We all had to be very brave to make an unconventional film, and that was seen and recognized by the Academy. The fact that this film is such a weird experiment in trying to push the conventions of cinema and it’s been recognized by this association is very rewarding.”

The Theory Of Everything

Eric Fellner, Working Title Co-Chairman and producer of The Theory Of Everything had just landed in the UK from Los Angeles when he spoke to Deadline. When he turned his phone off after touching ground it “started beeping. I figured if it was one or two beeps it was not such good news, but there were a lot of beeps.” Fellner has been involved in Oscar nominated pictures before, including Atonement and Les Misérables. Of Theory he says, “Ultimately we are a small British film and to get this kind of recognition is both a surprise and a pleasure… And to get this group of nominations is really something. It starts with belief in a story.” He also had high praise for the quality of James Marsh’s directing. Lead acting nominees Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, “were directed in those roles.”

Writer-producer Anthony McCartenThe Theory Of Everything 1 is a double nominee – for Best Adapted Screenplay and as a producer in the Best Picture category. The biggest challenge McCarten says he faced on the film was the first — convincing Stephen Hawking that he was the right man to bring the great scientist’s life story to the screen.

“That was an eight-year mission,” he said. “And then I had to become a student of theoretical physics, and any of my teachers will tell you that science was not my strong suit. I was crap at science. I was more like the guy who burned the lab down. So understanding Stephen’s work and turning that into cinematic imagery was a real challenge.” 

McCarten says he thinks he won Hawking over with a joke — one that let him know that he understood his sense of humor. This is the joke that got him the job: What’s the difference between an Englishman and an American? The English have an emotion and immediately suppress it, and an American expresses an emotion he doesn’t even have. Hawking, he said, “broke into a huge smile, and I think that may have reassured him that I understood his personality. He has a wicked sense of humor and an almost puckish sense of mischief that he’s had his entire life.”

Whiplash

Whiplash Oscar“There are stages of joy, like grief: At first it’s surreal and they announce everything so quickly. You don’t feel any different. As the day goes on it sinks in more and more. I’m now at the height of giddiness,” director Damien Chazelle told Deadline from his parked car in Los Angeles, where he spent Oscar nominations morning celebrating – and working on his next film, the Lionsgate musical La La Land.

Chazelle fought the odds to get his intense and intimate jazz music two-hander made, landing on the Black List before producers Jason Blum, Couper Samuelson, Helen Estabrook, and Jason Reitman jumped aboard for the ride. “The turning point from a total pipe dream to something that actually had some shot of being real was when these producers came on,” said Chazelle. “Ironically it was the same day as another project of mine I’d been working on a while was put into turnaround. I got an email saying ‘Reitman and Blum want to team up and do Whiplash with you.’ It still took a lot of time and twists and turns to get the movie made, but that was the first moment it had real life injected into it.”

whiplash“If it weren’t for Paranormal Activity we wouldn’t have this nomination and I’m very aware and appreciative of that,” said producer Jason Blum. The movie’s about a very universal topic, which is chasing your dreams, so for it to get this kind of recognition means maybe more people will go see it. That’s a great thing, because this is not a movie star movie. It’s the perfect version of a microbudget scary drama; it’s an extension of what we’ve been doing for a long time. Whether it’s Sinister or Whiplash or Insidious or Normal Heart, I’m focused on quality and making things as great as they possibly can be, so it’s super cool to be recognized for that. The things you put out in the world, you try to make as good as possible.”

Best Actress

Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Reese Witherspoon wild“Cheryl Strayed’s memoir was about a journey to make peace over the sense of grief she had after her mother died and her self-destructive behavior. It’s a film about letting yourself go and forgiving yourself. She’s not a good girl or a bad girl. Through complicated things, she compromised herself. She’s incredibly strong,” said the Wild producer and Oscar-nominated actress about what inspired her to bring the source material to the screen. Witherspoon said that after she optioned the book “there were a ton of studios interested in making the film as soon as it hit No. 1, but the main reason why I made it outside the studio system was because I wanted to get it made and strike while the iron is hot, to actually streamline the production.” Other projects that Witherspoon’s production label Pacific Standard has in the hopper: the Warner Bros. action/comedy Hot Pursuit starring Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara, as well as an eight-part miniseries Big Little Lies starring the Wild actress and Nicole Kidman, produced by David E. Kelly and based on Liane Moriarty’s book.

Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Cotillard“I’m in shock,” said Cotillard about her dark horse best actress nod for the Belgian film Two Days, One Night, which ironically never made the foreign film shortlist despite getting traction at last May’s Cannes Film Festival. “It was really unexpected,” said Cotillard. In the film, she plays a young Belgian mother who learns that her co-workers have opted for her dismissal in exchange for pay bonus. She is forced with the predicament of convincing them to relinquish their extra pay so that she can keep her job. It’s a role that Still Alice best actress nominee Julianne Moore acknowledge at the Golden Globes “blew her away at Cannes,” adding then that “there would be no justice in the world if Marion doesn’t get the Golden Globe best actress award for it.” Says Cotillard, “I think the search for authenticity by the (film’s directors) the Dardenne brothers is what makes audiences and people connect to their cinema and to the characters. When I read the script, I was moved by Sandra. I was touched by what happened to her at same time and thought it was such a brave movie that talks about what we can create in our society in terms of the isolation of people: How people start to question their place in society.” Up next for the Oscar-winning actress (who won in 2007 for La Vie en Rose): she’s working on an oratorio Jeanne D’arc Au Bucher (Joan at the Stake) at Lincoln Center in June. She is about to begin rehearsals in Paris.

Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Pike was awakened tonight in the Rosamund Pike gone girlUK “for the first time by someone who wasn’t my baby, wanting food.” Commenting how her villainous yuppie wife Amy Dunne resonated with moviegoers, Pike said, “It’s funny, we did these (post-screening) Q&As and people ask, ‘Why wasn’t justice done?’ I think people get disturbed rooting for; she’s a scheming manipulator and one relishes her in the same way that they’re watching Hannibal Lector.” But with a fierce intensity, Pike kept Dunne real, ensuring that she was never over-toned, even in the most campiest of situations. “I remember the murder bed scene with Neil Patrick Harris and I said to (director) David Fincher, ‘I feel like I’m in a totally different movie. He said, ‘Oh, you are.’ There were sections of the film where it felt like a Rock Hudson-Doris Day picture, but I grounded Amy Dunne in a reality with a thruline from childhood to adulthood.” As far as future projects on the horizon in the wake of Gone Girl, Pike said, “I had my baby and I’ve been able to enjoy (this season) without being besieged. I’m not ready to go back to work yet.”

Supporting Actress

Laura Dern, Wild
“I feel so grateful to the Academy for this gorgeous honor. It means so much to celebrate the life and the wisdom of Cheryl Strayed’s amazing mother, Bobbi. Reese, who worked so diligently to protect this story, and I share this with our amazing producers, as well as Jean-Marc Vallée and Nick Hornby, who gave their art to shape ‘Wild.'” -Laura Dern

Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Keira Knightley Imitation Game“What an exciting morning! I’m so honoured and grateful for this nomination and to be in the company of such talented and inspiring actresses. Thank you to the Academy for this recognition and also for honouring so many of the film’s storytellers. I would like to think the many recognitions the Academy has given our movie is a celebration of Alan Turing’s legacy.”-Keira Knightley

Emma Stone, Birdman
Stone is on vocal rest until her emma stone 2performance tonight in Broadway’s Cabaret, according to her publicist, but she released this statement: “Well, this is surreal. I am completely knocked out. Thank you to the Academy for this incredible honor. I am very proud and lucky to be a part of Birdman and can’t believe it came to this. I am so f***ing excited. Are you allowed to say f*** when you’re making a statement for the Oscars? I’m just really f***ing excited.” –Stone

Best Actor

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
“I am knocked for six by this. So excited and honoured to receive this recognition. It’s wonderful to be included by the Academy in this exceptional year of performances. To ring my parents who are both actors and tell them that their only son has been nominated for an Oscar is one of the proudest moments of my life.” -Cumberbatch

Supporting Actor

J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
JK Simmons“He’s a complex guy that we only see through the eyes of the protagonist, (student/jazz drummer Andrew Nieman),” said Simmons about his acerbic music conservatory professor, Fletcher. If you ever wondered if there were fierce dramatic scenes left on the cutting room floor between Fletcher and Andrew, the answer is No. Though Simmons did put out that Whiplash director did “cut all the scenes of Fletcher independent of Andrew Nieman.” It’s been a whirlwind year for Simmons with the critical success of Whiplash from last January at Sundance where the film won the audience awards and the grand jury prize through Cannes to now; one which has elevated the once supporting actor to bigger roles. “It’s interesting, my wife calls it the Whiplash effect. There have been offers for big movies to indie films and I’m trying to juggle the best I can. I’m on my way to a table read of The Accountant, a Ben Affleck-Anna Kendrick film where I play what is perceived as an alpha-male lord of his domain.” Simmons’ mantra getting through awards season: “This is cool, this is fun.”

Edward Norton, Birdman
“Just being involved in both of these films in one year left me as creatively satisfied as an actor could ever hope to be. This is a great compliment and especially fun because Mark Ruffalo and Ethan Hawke have been brothers in arms since my earliest days in NY theater and I’m so impressed and inspired by their work this year. In fact, I can’t think of a year in which more of my good friends and close collaborators have been celebrated together like this…it’s a very nice feeling.”-Norton

Director

Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
“I’m honored and thrilled beyond my wildest dreams to be recognized today alongside four other filmmakers who I respect immeasurably. Being a part of The Imitation Game and paying homage to the exquisite genius, Alan Turing, has been quite simply the experience of a lifetime. My immense gratitude goes to the Academy and my congratulations to the rest of the team on this film, who to me is second to none.”-Morten Tyldum

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
“I’ve been asked to make a “statement” Grand Budapest HOteleven though I feel it does sound more like bragging. Nevertheless, my producers and I send our very deepest thanks to the Academy and its 8000 members for a whole slew of Oscar nominations, especially for my long-time collaborators Robert Yeoman (our cinematographer who has worked with me on seven movies, if I count them right), Milena Canonero (our Italian costume designer), Alexandre Desplat (our French composer), Barney Pilling (our English editor), Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier (more English, hair/make-up), and Adam Stockhausen out of Wisconsin. Also, my friend Hugo Guinness (who co-wrote the movie with me) expresses his own gratitude. We feel very deeply honored and thrilled and, frankly, very, very pleased with ourselves all around.”-Wes Anderson

Animated Feature

Animated Feature Film

How To Train Your Dragon 2

Dean DeBlois, writer and director of How To Train Your Dragon 2, says he’s seen the film upwards of a hundred times. “It gets to the point I can’t watch it anymore,” he laughs. “The film pulls no punches when it comes to emotions,” he said, noting that it deals with recovery after the death of a parent. “It was well received critically and at the box office, and now to receive this recognition from our peers is especially heartening in a medium that often panders to children and keeps everything a little too safe. We try to make movies that appeal to the adults just as much as to the kids.” So now it’s on to the third in the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy, which he’s currently writing. He was Oscar nominated for each of the first two, and with any luck, Dragon 3 will make it a trifecta.

Big Hero 6

“This is my second nomination ,” said co-director Chris Williams. (He was previously nominated for Bolt.)  “When I hear those words coming out of my mouth, I can’t believe it. It’s amazing. When I was a kid, I liked to draw, and my mom was worried about what I would do for a living. The animation industry wasn’t what it is today. All I would ever do is draw. She didn’t see that as very lucrative, but she encouraged me to pursue animation.” In the background, his kids, four and seven, can be heard saying “Good-bye, Daddy,” as they rush off to school. The seven-year-old has seen the film four times already. “My daughter is pretty obsessed with it.” Naturally, he’s seen it many, many more times than that. “We have to make them great because we’re going to sitting through it over and over again, so we owe it to ourselves to make it a pleasant experience.”

The Boxtrolls

box trollsThe biggest surprise for Boxtrolls co-director Anthony Stacchi came when he drove to Ben Kingsley’s home north of London to record the Oscar-winning actor’s performance for the animated film. “He said he wanted to record in a reclining chair, almost flat on his back,” Stacchi recalled. “I thought he had a bad back or was sick, or tired. But it wasn’t that; he had a really clear concept about how he wanted the character’s voice to sound, and he could only do that if he was reclining. It was brilliant. I’d never heard of that, recording while reclining.”

The film, which had been in various stages of development of a decade, was in production for two years, employing 350 people in 20 different countries. Communicating with the Bulgarian animators was especially challenging, said co-director Graham Annable. “Most of them didn’t speak English,” he laughed, “so Anthony and I did a lot of pantomime and hand-signals to get our points across. It was quite comical.”

Working in stop-motion was particularly challenging. “You get one big conversation with the animator, you do a rehearsal, and then go for it,” Annable said. “It’s an incredibly intense discussion to cover every nook and cranny that’s going to be in that shot. And there are no do-overs. It’s like live theater — 18 months of opening nights, everyday.”

Song Of The Sea

“What an amazing surprise andsong of the sea honour for us all who worked on this film as a labour of love for so many years! The whole crew including all of our coproduction studios is delighted and excited that Song of the Sea will now be discovered by many more people thanks to this very special recognition by our peers in the Academy! We are all so grateful to everyone who made this possible.” Tomm Moore, director

Animated Short

The Dam Keeper

The biggest challenge for the makers of short animated films is getting their films seen by the public. “It’s a labor of love,” said Dam Keeper co-director Dice Tsutsumi, “but how do you share it? It’s really not easy. Not many people pay attention to animated short films.” One way to find an audience is through the film festival circuit. “We have been in over 90 film festivals around the world,” he said. The 18-minute film, about an unappreciated dam keeper who must save his town from being swallowed up by a lake of pollution, was a first-time project for Tsutsumi and co-director Robert Kondo, who both came out of Pixar’s animation department, where they worked on such films as Ice Age, Toy Story 3, Monsters University and Ratatouille. “We had no idea what we were signing up for,” Kondo laughed, saying that their biggest challenge was “learning how to keep from killing each other and make the best film possible.”

Documentary Feature


Last Days In Vietnam

For director Rory Kennedy, the war in Vietnam has always held a particular fascination. Her father, Robert F. Kennedy, was a assassinated while campaigning for president in 1968 to end the war, so it’s only fitting that her first Oscar nomination is for Last Days in Vietnam. “My father really jumped into that campaign because he was so committed to getting us out of Vietnam,” she said. “For me, from a young age, I was aware of the role the war played in our country’s history, and there continues to be lessons to learn from that war and to understand and appreciate them.”

The biggest challenge in making the film, she said, “was the edit. It’s a complicated film. We don’t have a narrator and we didn’t use any experts. It’s all first-person accounts of what happened. So it was a tough job in the editing room, making it all work. But we had a terrific editor and producers, and I think we pulled it off.”

Finding Vivian Maier

I’m thrilled. Even though we’re up for best documentary, I feel it’s the best acting I’ve ever done”- Jeff Garlin, Executive Producer

CitizenFour

Making a documentary about NSA hacker citizenfourEdward Snowden before anyone in the general public had ever even heard his name had its own set of unique challenges — first and foremost, keeping the information he gave the filmmakers private before they could go public with it. “The biggest challenge was doing it and making all the information secure,” director Laura Poitras said. “I was worried that the footage would be subpoenaed or the editing room would be raided. We kept our cell phones outside the editing room because we knew how easy it is to make a cell phone into a listening devise. We edited on Avid — not connected to the Internet. Those were the kind of things we thought about.” As for Snowden himself, “I am profoundly grateful to Edward Snowden for the risk he took to expose the truth, and for allowing me to document a moment in his life when the stakes couldn’t be higher, “ said Poitras. This is her second Oscar nomination.

Virunga

Virunga movieThis is director Orlando von Einsiedel’s first nomination and his first feature film. Virunga tells the story of park rangers in the Virunga National Park in the Congo who not only have to battle poachers and armed rebels, but a giant British oil company as well. “Every part of making this film was a huge challenge,” he said. “A war started as we were making it. Congo has a lot of political instability, and a couple of weeks after we arrived, a civil war started, and it centered on the park itself.” As for the danger involved, “Going up against a billion dollar oil company was a huge challenge,” he said. “One of our main characters was beaten up and risked his life gathering evidence about what this oil company was doing. The park rangers are amazing heroes, defending this incredible part of the planet.”

“Congrats to Orlando and Joanna. Everyone is incredibly humbled by this nomination. This film has always been about telling the stories of the incredible rangers of Virunga National Park. The work they do is truly heroic, and this recognition is a salute to their bravery. With only about 800 eastern lowland gorillas left in the wild, we hope that this honor will help to further raise awareness for this cause. Thank you to the Academy for recognizing our film in this way, and congratulations to all fellow nominees.- Leonardo DiCaprio (Executive Producer, Virunga)

Documentary Short Subject

Joanna
Making Joanna was particularly difficult because the film’s subject, Joanna Salyja, was dying of stomach cancer. But director Aneta Kopacz decided that she was not going to make a film about a dying woman, but about a woman living a normal life that was soon about to end (she died a few months after the film was completed.) “It’s about her daily life, full of love and small details,” Kopacz said.

The film was almost never made. “I read an article about her,” Kopacz said. “I saw her face and eyes in a photograph and it was like magic. I read her blog and was fascinated by her writing about the simple things in life. I emailed her, and when I met her, I told her I wanted to make a movie about her, and she said, ‘No way. I don’t want a movie.’ Several famous Polish directors had already asked her and she turned them down. So I said, ‘Give me one minute — if you say no, I won’t bother you. And in this one minute I explained from my heart how I wanted to show how she lived, an intimate picture, and she said ok.” -Aneta Kopacz

Foreign Language Film

Ida
(Poland)

IdaIda director Pawel Pawlikowski couldn’t find an actress to play the lead in his film. He looked all over Poland, but didn’t find the right one until be went downstairs to the cafe below his apartment in Warsaw and saw her sitting at a table there, reading a book. “She was a student at university who never wanted to be an actress,” he said. “She was grounded and calm. She looked like someone from a different era. She looked like someone who doesn’t watch a lot of TV, or none at all.” He knew then that he had found his star.

Finding financial backers for the films was even harder. “When I told them it was going to be in black and white, that was a real challenge,” he said. And then there was the weather. “The weather was a disaster. We had to shut down for three months waiting for the snow to melt. It was the winter of the century in Poland.”

Original Screenplay

Alejandro González Iñárritu, Alex Dinelaris, Armando Bo and Nico Giacobone, Birdman

birdman“We’re honestly very surprised and humbled by it all,” said Dinelaris. “When he first called us Alejandro was talking about a film that would make us face our self-doubt and look at the folly of what we are as artists. This was our look at ourselves. We’re surprised to realize people connected to it as strongly as they did. We feel like it’s an act of courage, not only for the actors and Alejandro but for the audience and critics to embrace it. And that’s been the extraordinary part of this.”

Birdman won the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay last weekend after racking up critics awards left and right. It all started with an image that would become the film’s striking opening scene featuring star Michael Keaton. “When Alejandro called us the first time and told us he had a vision of a guy levitating in his underwear and wanted to do it in one shot, everything sounded so crazy that today it feels so fantastic,” said Giacobone. “And it’s a courageous message for the Academy to support all of the nominated movies, which are so different.”

Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler
“All I remember are a lot of 18 hour nights, 24 in a row, on a 27-day shoot. We became nocturnal creatures. It was heads down and doing the work, and enjoying it,” said Gilroy. “We are a small independent film with a minimal budget for an awards push and were greatly heartened by the word of mouth and critical response we got.” Gilroy also made his directorial debut with Nightcrawler. This is his first Oscar nomination.

Dan Futterman, Foxcatcher
Sometimes there’s friction between a foxcatcher 2film’s director and screenwriter. That wasn’t the case with Foxcatcher, however — co-screenwriter Dan Futterman and director Bennett Miller have been friends since the 8th grade, and had worked together on Capote, as well.

“We went to junior high and high school together,” Futterman laughed, “so we were very much on the same page.”

The biggest hurdle Futterman and screenwriter E. Max Frye had to overcome to get the film made was the 2007-2008 writers strike.”Max worked on it a year, and after the writers strike, I came in on it,” Futterman said. “There was no financing. It was just kind of an orphan project for a while.”

Adapted Screenplay

Graham Moore, The Imitation Game
“I am so proud of our whole Imitation Game family this morning. To receive a response like this from the Academy is the most thrilling professional honor of my life, and getting to be involved in telling Alan Turing’s story on screen has been the most fulfilling personal honor imaginable. This was Alan’s life; I’m so proud to have gotten to help make a film about it.”- Graham Moore

Cinematography

Robert Yeoman, The Grand Budapest Hotel
“Obviously a great thrill for me and I am so pleased that our film has received such recognition. Wes always puts together a wonderful team of collaborators and I am honored to be a part of it. Congratulations to my fellow cinematography nominees!” -Yeoman

Roger Deakins, Unbroken
Unbroken, he said, was like makingUnbroken 2 four different films. “Anyone who sees the film can see the challenges. It was four different movies really: The B-24 bomber sequence; the ocean scenes; the prison camps, and young Louie’s life in Torrance. The challenge was doing four separate films and making them all seem like the same movie.” “I’ve been very lucky in my career,” he said about his 12th Oscar nomination. “You get recognized for some films and others you don’ I enjoy doing the work.” This, he said, will be his “12th free lunch.”

Deakins now has the most nominations for Cinematography of any living person with 12. Charles B. Lang, Jr. and Leon Shamroy share the all-time record with 18 nominations each.

Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman
“I am so honored to be nominated especially among all these great cinematographers. I am extremely happy for Birdman, which in a way was an experiment that thankfully turned out well. It’s so exciting to be recognized by our peers. I am especially lucky and grateful to work with Alejandro. We are up here in Canada shooting where it is very cold and all these nominations are warming us up!” -Lubezki

Related: Roger Deakins On The Cinematography Of Unbroken

Costume Design

Mark Bridges, Inherent Vice
Inherent Vice 4Bridges, who previously won an Oscar for The Artist, has worked on all seven of director Paul Thomas Anderson’s films. “I knew him when he lived in a little apartment in the Valley,” he laughs. “Someone recommended me to Paul 20 years ago and we hit it off and we worked together on everyone of his films. I am so proud of that. Over 20 years you develop a kind of short hand. He’s very thorough and I respect him so much. it’s very easy, like working with your family. I’ve seen all his kids raised.” One of the biggest challenges of the film, Bridges said, “was bringing Thomas Pynchon’s characters to life who weren’t very much described in his book. It became like detective work to make them three dimensional characters and to make them interesting to look at; researching the period, the myriad of language and clothes of the period, the ’60s beach community, and heightened realism of Pynchon and his work. All of that really made it a challenge to figure out how do we play the characters, out what they would wear in this period.”

Production Design

Maria Djurkovic, The Imitation Game
“I am thrilled and delighted by this tremendous honour. Filmmaking is such a collaboration and to have so many of my colleagues on this film also recognised is especially satisfying.”-Maria Djurkovic

Editing

Barney Pilling, The Grand Budapest Hotel
“This is a very proud day for me and all the staff at The Grand Budapest Hotel!
Working on this film gave me the opportunity to collaborate with so many people whose work I admire. The cast I have watched and respected for years, Bob Yeoman’s photography is superb, Alexandre Desplat – such a gifted composer, the design, costumes………I could name every department as being among the finest purveyors of their craft. Wes orchestrated and directed all of these creative elements with such precision and vision that for me as the editor, working at the final stage of these efforts coming together, was really exhilarating. I’m delighted that the academy has recognised the talent and hard work that went into realising this wonderful film.”-Pilling

William Goldenberg, The Imitation Game
“I’m thrilled and humbled that my work on The Imitation Game was recognized by the Academy this morning. We were all passionate about bringing Alan Turing’s story to the screen, and I’m honored to be part of the creative team.”-Goldenberg

Original Score

Jóhann Jóhannsson, The Theory of Everything

“I’m deeply honored to be nominated for composing this score. Filmmaking is a collaborative medium, and I was lucky to work with artists of amazing caliber on The Theory Of Everything: the actors, the screenwriter, and the director, James Marsh — who has my gratitude for inviting me to be a part of his team and for being a brilliant, inspiring and generous collaborator. My thanks to the AMPAS members for this recognition.”-Jóhannsson

Alexandre Desplat, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game
“What an incredible honor to be recognized this year by the Academy for two of my scores! Wes (Anderson) for The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Morten (Tyldum) for The Imitation Game, offered me wildly different great fields of inspiration, allowing me to do what I love the most: write music for films. Champagne! Twice!” -Alexandre Desplat

Hans Zimmer, Interstellar
Interstellar 1“Without a shadow of doubt, the score for Intersteller was Chris and I at our most collaborative. Even in this modern world of texting and emailing, sometimes all you need is a simple, type-written letter from your director to spark what undoubtedly became one of the most personal scores I’ve ever written. Chris and I make movies family-style – so much of the film’s music was written with our children in mind, and that’s what makes this honor by the Academy really special. This is as much his score as it is mine.” -Zimmer

Original Song

Gregg Alexander & Danielle Brisebois, “Lost Stars” from Begin Again

“I was snoozing when Danielle (Brisebois) woke me up with a phone call. I could tell she was surprised and excited because her voice was two octaves higher saying, ‘You’re not going to believe it – we’re nominated for best song!’ We’re very grateful and very happy. It was an amazing first journey making music for a film, especially a film that has so much to say about the changes in the music and cultural landscape we’ve all witnessed. We are thankful to director John Carney for bringing us on to write songs for the film as well as Keira Knightley and Adam Levine who both gave amazing performances. “Lost Stars” is a song about all of us…everyone’s relationships and mortality…where we and they stand in the universe. We hope that message continues to resonate. -Gregg Alexander

Diane Warren, “Grateful”, from Beyond The Lights
There’s a small misconception that legendary six-time Oscar nominated songwriter Diane Warren is a contender every year at the Academy Awards. Not necessarily so: The last time she was nominated was in 2001 for song “There You’ll Be” from Pearl Harbor. This year she’s up for “Grateful” from the Relativity pop star music industry pic Beyond The Lights. “I think it’s a song with a great message about being grateful. We all go through a lot of hard times. The song makes you appreciate your life more.” Known for ballads, Warren said that Beyond The Lights “isn’t just a love story. It’s also a love story and part of finding herself and her voice and everything (the main character Noni) she goes through.” Taking inspiration from the pop star’s character, Warren, “I had to define who she was, find her happiness.” Recently, the best song category has become fiercely competitive with 79 songs qualifying for nominations this year. “No pun, but I’m really grateful that they chose my song, it’s never taken lightly.”

Sound Mixing

Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landakker, Gary Rizzo, Interstellar
“An incredible experience. A true team effort from pre production, production, through post. So proud to have had the opportunity to have been a part of it.” – Weingarten

“When you have the creative insight of Christopher Nolan and the many talents that our team brought to the table it was a stimulating collaboration that I was honored to work on.” – Landakker

“I’m completely humbled. Being a part of Chris Nolan’s passion to push the envelope and bring the medium to new levels has been an epic experience.” – Rizzo

Sound Editing

Richard King, Interstellar
“I’m humbled and excited beyond belief, and thrilled the score and the sound mix was recognized as well.” – King

Visual Effects

Joe Letteri, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
This is Dawn Of The Planet Of dawn of the planet of the agesThe Apes‘ visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri’s 9th nomination, having already won four Oscars. “It never gets old,” he laughs. Filmmaking, of course, is not just about art; it’s also about science. That’s why it’s called Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, and keeping ahead of the science is the greatest challenge facing creators of today’s visual effects-laden films. “This picture couldn’t have been made two years ago,” Letteri said. “We learned a lot from Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, and applied that to the second film. You push things a little more.” A third, untitled Planet Of The Apes project, he said, “is in the works.”

Paul Franklin, Interstellar
“Interstellar’s nomination for Best Visual Effects is a great honor for us and sets a wonderful seal of approval on the amazing work from all the artists in our visual effects, special effects and miniature effects teams. We couldn’t be more excited!” – Franklin

Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer, X-Men: Days of Future Past
X-Men Days of Future  PastAs a little kid growing up in Fresno, Lou Pecora rode his bike to the local theater to see The Empire Strikes Back. “I was in awe,” he recalls. It remains one of his favorite movies of all time. Thirty-five years later, when the phone rang this morning at 5:30 AM with the good news that he’d been Oscar nominated as the visual effects supervisor for X-Men: Days Of Future Past, he was in awe again. “The phone was going crazy. The texts were going crazy,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it was happening.” Pecora was on vacation, and he and his wife had planned to take in the Hollywood Costume Exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, so they turned off the phone and went. Wandering through the exhibit, he saw Marilyn Monroe’s famous dress from The Seven Year Itch, Sean Young’s dress from Blade Runner, and the hat worn by Harrison Ford in Raiders Of The Lost Ark. “And then, there I was, face to face with Darth Vader,” he said. “I got goose bumps, and I started welling up. I think it must have been the first time anyone got emotional and all choked up standing in front of a Darth Vader costume. But it was like a lifelong loop just came together, and at that moment, it all became real. It was fantastic.”