Oscar Predictions: Tech Awards

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The Academy Awards aren’t until March 2nd, so we have plenty of time to make our predictions over here at (Pop) Culturally Informed! And we’re not going to just predict the main categories; we’re going to do our best to help all of you with your ballots and pools on Oscar Night by going through each category (yes, even Best Documentary Short) and letting you know who we think will be taking home that lucky award that evening.

We’ll start with the awards given in the technical categories;

Best Film Editing

12 Years a Slave

American Hustle

Captain Phillips

Dallas Buyers Club

Gravity

In Oscar folklore, it is foretold that those nominated in this category are the most likely to win Best Picture. This is true, as back through 1981, the Best Picture Winner has always been included in this category, though that film has not always won the award, per say. For the most part, the film that wins this category will either be (a) the Best Picture winner, or (b) a more “tech savvy” film. When The Artist didn’t win, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo did. When The King’s Speech didn’t win, The Social Network did. When No Country for Old Men didn’t win, The Bourne Ultimatum did. You get the idea. This likely means that Best Editing will go to either 12 Years a Slave or Gravity, and I’m giving the edge to Gravity, as it already fulfills that role of the more “tech savvy” film.

My Pick: Gravity, but watch out for 12 Years a Slave.

Best Visual Effects

Gravity

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Iron Man 3

The Lone Ranger

Star Trek Into Darkness

For those who have seen Gravity, you know that this is no contest. The film is 80% visual effects, and those effects are stunning, breathtaking, and revolutionary. The world Gravity creates is unlike any other. To not award it in this category will be criminal. And the Academy is very aware of that.

My Pick: Gravity. Anything else would be criminal. And dumb.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Dallas Buyers Club

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

The Lone Ranger

Could a Jackass movie actually win an Oscar? Well….actually, yes. For the most part, this award is given to the Makeup/Hairstyling team that really assists in the storytelling of the film. And with The Lone Ranger having the flop reputation it does, and Dallas Buyers Club maybe having a bit too subtle of an appearance in this category, this could definitely lead to Bad Grandpa taking the award. It’s definitely the most “showy” of the nominees, but if you look at Johnny Knoxville before and after his makeup, the work is quite astounding, and to give that team an Oscar wouldn’t be that bad at all.

My Pick: Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa. If the Academy is feeling especially prestigious this year, then Dallas Buyers Club.

Best Costume Design

12 Years a Slave

American Hustle

The Grandmaster

The Great Gatsby

The Invisible Woman

If you take a look at the winners in this category over the last ten years, you’ll see the winner is usually the very garish, period drama with the fancy clothes and flowing dresses. The only film that really exists in that era in this category would be The Invisible Woman, but I don’t know if we should place our bets on that one. My gut is telling me that Gatsby could be the one to watch out for, with it’s playful take on the 1920’s wardrobe. I guess it all depends on the mood of the Academy, and how nostalgic they truly feel.

My Pick: The Great Gatsby, with The Invisible Woman as a dark horse…

Best Sound Editing

All is Lost

Captain Phillips

Gravity

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Lone Survivor

You may see the Sound categories year after year and think “What the hell is the difference between Sound editing and Sound mixing?” Well, I’m here to pretend I’ve been to film school and explain the difference! Sound Editing is the practice of choosing the sounds for the film and placing them where they need to go for the film. Sound Mixing is the practice of layering these sounds on top of each other in the film, which can include layering dialogue, underscoring, sound effects, and atmospheric sound, so it’s definitely a challenging job on both ends. That’s the end of Wikipedia Film School for everyone!
So, who will win for Sound Editing? I’m thinking Gravity is going to sweep the tech categories, but definitely keep an eye out for Captain Phillips and All is Lost, two dramas set at sea that definitely have to rely on key sound decisions.

My Pick: Gravity, with the two boat dramas as dark (sea)horses. I’m sorry for that, I couldn’t help it.

Best Sound Mixing

Captain Phillips

Gravity

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Inside Llewyn Davis

Lone Survivor

For Sound Mixing, I’m inclined to g0 with Gravity again, though I do want to throw in Inside Llewyn Davis as our dark horse, just because of the major musical element throughout the film. But don’t be surprised if Gravity continues it’s sweep here.
 
My Pick: Gravity. It’d be nice to see Inside Llewyn Davis win though.
 
Best Production Design

12 Years a Slave

American Hustle

Gravity

The Great Gatsby

Her

 If your film creates a nice, showy world, that is able to transport the audience for two hours or so, your chances are pretty good in this category. We’ve got a lot of good contenders in this category, each doing a damn good job in establishing the world where their story is set. Past winners usually present a large, grand world, so my instinct is it will either be The Great Gatsby or Her. I think Gravity might seem too small and insular of a world for this award, so my vote goes to Gatsby.

My Pick: The Great Gatsby, with Her not too far behind.

Best Cinematography

The Grandmaster

Gravity

Inside Llewyn Davis

Nebraska

Prisoners

There’s only one reason I can think of that Gravity might not win in this category, and that may be due to some sort of backlash because the majority of the film is shot using digital effects. If that is somehow the case, then Inside Llewyn Davis would likely sneak up and grab this award. I don’t see that happening though, and I think voters will get lost in the transcendent shots seen here in Gravity.

My Pick: Gravity, unless there’s a backlash, which I don’t see happening.

That’s my take on the tech awards, with Gravity likely to clean up come Oscar Night. Stay tuned for more Oscar Predictions, when we’ll look at songs, screenplays, and more!

2 thoughts on “Oscar Predictions: Tech Awards

  1. Pingback: (Pop) Culturally Informed | Oscar Predictions: The Big Ones

  2. Pingback: (Pop) Culturally Informed | Our Guide to the Oscars!

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