After weeks of speculation as to who would sweep the 84th Annual Academy Awards, frontrunners The Artist and Hugo tied for wins this weekend, with both films receiving five statues. The Artist took the top prize of Best Picture, with Michel Hazanavicius receiving Best Director, and lead Jean Dujardin chosen for Best Actor. It also garnered Best Original Score and Best Costume Design.
In addition to the artistic achievement, the recognition was great news for five Full Sail graduates who worked on the film. The team’s efforts were seen on set during the production, and included Joe Crowder (rigging grip), Jennifer Ann Henry (first assistant “A” camera), Michael Krikorian (production sound mixer), Nathan Lewis (camera trainee), and Joseph Mason (art department assistant).
Hugo’s string of Oscars came in many of the technical categories – Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects. Four graduates of our Computer Animation program helped create the film’s award-winning visuals. These were Christopher E. Brown (digital effects artist), Joe Harkins (CG supervisor), Rob Price (digital artist), and ZhouTao Zhang (character modeler). Of this group ZhouTao worked on Hugo at Pixomondo, the visual effects studio that received the Oscar statue.
Grads were also on both winners in the animation categories. Rango took Best Animated Feature, and included five Recording Arts alumni on its audio team, Chuck Choi (score technical engineer), Daniel Kresco (music engineer), Jeremy Luena (editorial production assistant), Dee Selby (Foley editor), and Sebastian Zuleta (score technical engineer). Best Animated Short Film went to The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, whose crew included Recording Arts grad Oliver Benavidez (sound designer) and Film grad Stephanie Sousa (lighting technician).
Other notable winners featuring Full Sail alumni came in both of the writing categories, Midnight in Paris (Best Original Screenplay) and The Descendants (Best Adapted Screenplay). Grads were also on Beginners (Best Supporting Actor), The Help (Best Supporting Actress), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Best Editing), and The Muppets (Best Original Song).
In total, 42 Full Sail graduates worked on 10 of this year’s Oscar winning projects, and we’d like to congratulate all of the nearly 100 alumni who contributed to the range of films nominated at the 84th Annual Academy Awards.