Monday, February 28, 2011

The 83rd Annual Oscars: In Depth!

Hey all!

I'm back to follow-up my post from yesterday on the 83rd Annual Oscars.

Commentary included.

I'm not going to go talking about everybody's outfits..... I don't think I have any authority in that field. Thanks.

However, on the actual awards. Well.... read on....

[Click here to see a full list of winners and nominees.]

Best Picture: The King's Speech

I was happy for them: it was either them or The Fighter that I was rooting for to get Best Pic.

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Colin Firth (The King's Speech)

He did a good job. No comment, really.

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Natalie Portman (Black Swan)

While I'm definitely not supporting the movie, she gave a very sincere performance from the look of the clips they showed. I guess she earned it.

Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo (The Fighter) 

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale (The Fighter)

More goodness for The Fighter. I couldn't be happier.

However, I almost didn't recognize Christian Bale with the beard he had at the Oscars.....

Best Director: Tom Hooper (The King's Speech)

His mom called him up one day and told him she found his next movie project. It was The King's Speech. Good ol' mom, getting him an Oscar like that.

And The Director's Speech included a big thank-you to her, as well.

Best Original Screenplay: David Seidler (The King's Speech)

Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network)

I guess it was based on a book! Cool.

Best Animated Film: Toy Story 3

I'm sorry, guys.... while the ending was a tearjerker and all, I didn't like this third Toy Story installment. I wish How to Train Your Dragon had won, but I guess that was too much to hope.

Best Foreign Language Film: In a Better World 

The gal who made the speech was sweet. She paused a lot in her speech, but I wasn't sure whether it was because of the language barrier or being choked up. Probably both.

Best Cinematography: Inception 

Wally Pfister, cinematographer, took the award. He earned it.

Best Editing: The Social Network

I would have given it to any of the other nominees, but whatever.

Best Art Direction: Alice in Wonderland

For sure.... though True Grit could have taken it, too.

Best Costume Design: Alice in Wonderland

No kidding.

Best Makeup: The Wolfman

Brilliant makeup, fantastic makeup, creepy makeup. They earned it though.

Cate Blanchett, who announced the winner, was hilarious. They played a clip from The Wolfman, and after it was done she grimaced, made this totally disgusting face and said, "That's... gross."

Best Original Score: The Social Network

Again, I would have given it to any of the other nominees, but again..... whatever.

Best Original Song: We Belong Together, by Randy Newman (Toy Story 3)

It should have gone to Tangled's "I See the Light." Zachary Levi and Mandy Moore are so cute together. But congrats, anyway.

Best Sound Mixing: Inception


Best Sound Editing: Inception

Of course. I wish TRON: Legacy had gotten it, though.

Best Visual Effects: Inception

Rats. Alice in Wonderland or Harry Potter should have. Oooh, well.

Best Feature Documentary: Inside Job

It looked good. I hadn't heard of it until last night.

Best Short Documentary: Strangers No More 

Again, looked good. Congrats, guys.

Best Animated Short Film: The Lost Thing

Best Live Action Short Film: God of Love

The guy who accepted the Oscar cracked me up. ("Oh, man, I should have gotten a haircut." haha)

Again, congratulations to the champion of the evening, another addition to the history of filmmaking.

Well, if you're reading this, congratulations. You deserve an Oscar for reading all the way through this post.

PS. I was thinking about including the ridiculous, auto-tuned parody "music video" from the show, but after watching it again... eh. Not quite so appropriate. It was hilarious, though.

*yawns* Ah, well, g'night all.

Making-Of Monday!

Hey guys!

The featured movie of the week is Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.

I've been watching the bonus disc with a the bonus features lately, so this seemed most appropriate.

I'm afraid this will be short-ish, as I'm just figuring out how I want to do these posts ;)
What I'm thinking is I will list facts, trivia, and things that filmmakers can learn from. Not much of me "talking." Just listing. Mostly. I think. *thinks*

Anyway... carry on!

Captain Jack Aubrey: Russell Crowe

Dr. Stephen Maturin, Surgeon: Paul Bettany

Director: Peter Weir

Did you know.....

Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany both learned to play their respective instruments, the violin and cello. 
But when shooting the scenes in the cabin where they played together, a pre-recorded track of their pieces was played very loudly from a speaker during the takes. Crowe and Bettany would play with the track. 

There were three different versions of the Surprise, Captain Aubrey's command.
There was a full-life version, which was originally a frigate called The Rose. 
(Fox paid $1.5 million for the ship on Weir's request.)
There was also a Weta-made "big-ature."
As well, there was a digitally created ship. 

The goal of the filmmakers was for the audience to be unable to differentiate between the versions of the ships. 

Composer Christopher Gordon said that while swashbuckling, big-themed music was what would be expected for this type of film, his aim for the music was to be more like texture, to give feeling to the film- not a tune you would be whistling when you left the theater. 

Director Peter Weir would play sound effects or music from loudspeakers in between takes, so help with the mood and performance of the actors. While shooting the battle scenes, there were gunshots and other war-themed noises. Talk about intense!

The sense of rank was established from the moment the cast and crew set on board the frigate. 
Each rank from the officers, midshipmen, seamen, marines, to even the captain were given a different colored shirt. Red for the marines, navy blue for the officers, light blue for the midshipmen, and white for the rest of the ordinary seamen. 

Jot this down!
Peter Weir used multi-cameras several times, which in many cases can create more problems that it solves. 
However, they meticulously storyboarded the battle sequences and other scenes where they used multiple angles simultaneously, thus being prepared when they got on set. 
When using multiple cameras, storyboard the scene and lock it in. It will be more painless on set, then. 


That's all for now..... I'll be back with this next week!

Please, tell me in the comments: was this good? What should I do differently? More? Less? 
Lemme know ;)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

And The King Reigns... at the Oscars!!

Well, well, well-- the Oscars were quite a deal tonight! I didn't even eat dinner until after Best Picture was announced.

It was a pretty gratifying night.

(This is gonna be a short post, I'm sorry. I'll do a longer Oscar post with my very own commentary tomorrow, hopefully, after my Making-Of post {yay!})

And Anne Hathaway kept changing dresses, which was seriously amusing. After every single commercial break, the camera would come back to her and James Franco (who were hosting this year), and she would have a totally different dress on each time. She makes me laugh. 

I didn't realize how funny James Franco was until tonight. For such a hilarious guy, he gets some pretty intense roles! (127 Hours, and The Great Raid, for two.)

Did anybody else watch the Oscars tonight? How'd you feel about the fact that an animated film made it into the list of Best Picture Nominees?? I don't know- I know it's happened- last year with UP, and a while back with Beauty and the Beast-- it seemed strange to me anyhow.

Moving on....

Here's a quick list of the major categories/winners:

Best Picture of the Year:
The King's Speech

(very gratifying... *claps loudly*)

Best Actor in a Leading Role:
Colin Firth (The King's Speech)

Best Actress in a Leading Role:
Natalie Portman (Black Swan)

Best Director:
Tom Hooper (The King's Speech)

Best Original Song:
Toy Story 3 (We Belong Together by Randy Newman)

Best Achievement in Costume Design:
Alice in Wonderland

Best Original Score:
The Social Network

Best Supporting Actor:
Christian Bale (The Fighter)

Best Supporting Actress:
Melissa Leo (The Fighter)

Best Cinematography:

..... I think I might put a more thorough list in the sidebar later, now that I think about it. 

Anyway.. there's a short Oscar synopsis for you! Did anybody else watch? What did you think??

Well, I'll be back tomorrow! See y'all lovely folks later!

Friday, February 25, 2011

New Blogging Schedule!

Epic picture aside.... but isn't it so awesome?? *Loves!*

After much consideration, thought, and Endor's post at Fairy Tale Princess in a Modern Day World, I've decided to set a posting schedule.

Every Monday, I'll be posting a movie-related post. So it'll be Making-Of Mondays: movie facts, tips, and behind-the scenes. It'll be a different film featured each week.

Day after that is Quill Tip Tuesday. (Clever aren't I??) Which will include a writing tip, maybe a featured post from another writer's blog, or something else handy and writerly.

Wednesdays, I'll post a short devotional, most likely taking a verse or two from James and posting about it.

Saturdays are two things: I'll be posting one excerpt a month, and I'll post them on a Saturday, so keep your eyes out for those starting in March, naturally ;)
Also, Saturdays will be my review days: I'll alternate book and movie reviews. I think I'll be starting with a book review next Saturday, so stay tuned for that!

Well, there's that for you! The first thing will be Making-Of Monday next week, because I'll be cleaning the house for visiting relatives tomorrow, so no review time... sorry. But anyway, I'll be back on this Sunday, maybe, but Monday for sure!

See y'all later!

PS- to my two new followers, Ry and Prism: Hi! *hugs* Glad to have you here! :D

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Stolen by Brandon Heath

From his new album, Leaving Eden.

I love this song.

On books, books, and evening surprises

Wednesday is our family library day. Each week, after my sis and I get out of ballet, we get picked up and driven to the library, where I unvaryingly pick up a multitude of books on hold, and end up with a 20-foot stack of books distributed among the three siblings.

Needless to say, I end up with a huge stack of books around my bed... some weeks, I have to literally leap over the stack to get into bed. And not to mention, there's a whole 'nother group of books that I have purchased and are on the reading list, too.... So this is library books and purchased books that I have to leap over. Serious exercise, I tell you.

So, you can imagine that when I came home with a fresh arsenal of books tonight, I finally decided it was time for some organization.

Yes, my friends. That, up there, is maybe two months of accumulating books, library-owned or otherwise. 

I decided to categorize by either series, read, reading, or unread. 

Below: the series stack. And I'm seriously diggin' the Shadow Children series, so far.

Currently reading:

Already read:

Fresh from the library (mostly). To-read.

Aha! MORE books- and a couple DVDs.

So then I made lists. In my genetically ingrained doctor handwriting. 



...more books....

Can't wait to read these, either... :D

Give me about ten minutes of scrambling back and forth and making stacks and putting everything in place.....

And now! Here is what was a mass of chaos, and it now...

A mass of ordered chaos. 

With a tissue box on top.

Oh yes, and apparently all the CDs I checked out were blue. 


And now the highlight of the evening.....

Us Oregonians are extremely.... interesting... when it comes to weather. 

Particularly snow. 

We love it.

We don't get much of it. 

I guess there was a commercial that made a joke out of Portlander reactions to snow: like, a single flake floated down, everyone froze for a second, and then freaked out and started scrambling around to prepare like it was a blizzard. And then.... silence. No more snow. 

That's us. Half a centimeter of sticking snow, and school's canceled, everybody looks for their sleds and mitten and scarves..... compared to colder, snowier areas, we're ridiculous. 

Which is why the snow this evening was such a big deal. 

Yup! It snowed.... and it was sticking, too! Bonus!! 

Everyone around here was ecstatic: I know because I looked at my mom's Facebook page. 

**EDIT: Video will be back later**

So.... what did you lovely people do this evening??