Oscars 2012 Nominations: The Contenders' Reactions

The Weinstein Co. "The Artist"
The Weinstein Co. "The Artist"
 The Weinstein Co.

Nominations for the 84th annual Academy Awards were announced Tuesday morning with Hugo leading the way with 11 and The Artist following with 10.

The nominees sound off on what the noms mean to them:

COMPLETE LIST: 2012 Academy Award Nominations

BEST ACTRESS: VIOLA DAVIS, THE HELP
"This second nomination will affect my career even more than the first one," Davis told THR. "Honestly, I can't wait to get back to doing what I love: acting. On Feb. 27, when this is all over, I will get back to my life. I love the awards I've won, I'm so proud and happy to have received them, but I don't take them to bed with me. All I am at the end of the day is an actor. I'm also incredibly happy that Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close was nominated for best picture. It was the last film called and I was just thrilled, I really was. … We often honor films that are technically proficient, but not necessarily coming from the heart. I always love the underdog story, the dark horse that comes out of nowhere. It proves you can't predict what reaches people." -- Merle Ginsberg

BEST ACTRESS: GLENN CLOSE, ALBERT NOBBS
“Just elated. Elated, elated,” Glenn Close described her state of mind the morning of the nominations. She had come back to her home from a green tea latte with her husband in New York’s East Village with the Oscars not even on her mind when her publicist rang with the news. Perhaps even more satisfying than her own nomination was Close hearing that Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle were nominated for best make-up. “I think their work is the opposite of the work in Harry Potter or Iron Lady. It was minimalist. It represents the fineness of the craft. I could not have done Albert without them.” Close said the work was crucial technically and emotionally. Sitting the chair, she said, “was a meditative. You had time to watch the character come to life. And then there was the tipping point where it wasn’t you anymore.” -- Borys Kit

 

STORY: Oscars' Biggest Snubs: Steven Spielberg, Ryan Gosling, David Fincher, 'Harry Potter' Among Academy's Notable Omissions

BEST ACTRESS: ROONEY MARA, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
“I was sleeping and my phone started going crazy,” recalled Rooney Mara. The movie had been skirting around the edges of the awards season and was one of those question marks on pundits’ radar. “I knew there was a small chance, but I wasn’t expecting it. I don’t know about the politics of (awards), but it came late in the game and it seems to me that a lot of the movies that got the awards came out early. I feel really honored and humbled to be on the list.” One of the first people she talked to was Tattoo director David Fincher. While Mara kept most of the details of the conversation to herself, she revealed that she told him, “I could not have done it without him and he should feel responsible for the nomination and take pride in it.” -- Borys Kit

BEST ACTOR: GARY OLDMAN, TINKER TAILOR SOLDER SPY
"I'm in Berlin; we have the premiere of Tinker Tailor over here tonight," he told THR. "I was in the middle of an interview with a German newspaper when I found out [about the nomination]. My manager walked in with tears in his eyes. I personally was not expecting anything. It was a normal workday. If you took the temperature of the last month, from some of the critics and award nominations, we've been absent from those. This was my very last interview for press for Tinker Tailor. Ironic, isn't it? Now it's a whole new round of them." -- Merle Ginsberg

STORY: Brad Pitt 'Doubly Excited' With 'Moneyball' and 'Tree of Life' Oscar Nominations

BEST ACTOR: DEMIAN BICHIR, A BETTER LIFE
"I got the news in Mexico City, where I am rehearsing a play that goes up in two weeks," Bichir told THR. "We are two hours later than L.A., it was 7:45 a.m. I am feeling sick, I started to feel it last night. So I went to sleep early and slept through the nominations because I have to be well by the time the play opens. Of course, an Oscar nomination is making me feel much better! My girlfriend called me from L.A. with the news, and since I'm running a fever, I thought I was just having a feverish dream! Then my wonderful publicists and producers called to congratulate me. I honestly did not expect this at all." "I know most Americans don't know me, even though I've been acting for almost 30 years. A number of actors were virtually unheard of in the States before their Oscar nominations – Geoffrey Rush, for instance. It is the best career catalyst! So I am hoping this leads to more American filmmakers and producers offering me more beautiful roles."  -- Merle Ginsberg

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: JANET MCTEER, ALBERT NOBBS
Janet McTeer tuned in to ABC to watch the nominations while in the green room for NBC's Today show. And while she admitted she wasn't bouncing off of the walls with the nomination (being British), she says she's good at keeping a stiff upper lip, she concedes: "I'm bouncing off in my skin." McTeer was barraged by texts in the morning -- she was amazed she got a congratulatory text from her mother in England, saying "I don¹t even know how she knew they were today" ­ but delighted in talking to Glenn Close, who was nominated for best actress for Nobbs. "We just giggled like mad, that our film, that took so long to get out the door, was getting recognized. The delay of gratification makes it more charming. It's a small film with big heart, and we didn¹t have ton of money. Now hopefully more people will go and see it." -- Borys Kit

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: BERNICE BEJO, THE ARTIST:
"This is amazing. We watched the nominations live on TV at 2:30 p.m. Paris time. Mine was the first name called. I felt like, whoa! You see your face, your picture and your name on the screen. In France, I think there are not so many French actresses to ever have been nominated for Oscars. Only three have won. And only one French film has ever been nominated for best picture, as opposed to best foreign film. So we are doing something very special for the French! People say this will change my career, but we'll see. I can't really compete with American actresses, I have an accent. We'll see what can happen with me. I am going to work on my American accent. And – I'll be in L.A. for the next two weeks if someone needs to meet with me!" -- Merle Ginsberg

PHOTOS: 12 of Oscar 2012's Biggest Snubs and Shockers

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER, BEGINNERS
Plummer was sleeping at his home in Los Angeles when the nominations were announced and was woken by a phone call. That's how he learned he’d been nominated for best supporting actor for Mike Mill’s Beginners. “The film is enchanting, warm and touching,” he said, adding that he didn’t have any reservations about the role. “The story was so well constructed and so wonderfully conceived,” he said. Plummer said he was pleased that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo co-star Rooney Mara landed in the best actress category. --Pamela McClintock

BEST DIRECTOR: MARTIN SCORSESE, HUGO
A natural night owl, Martin Scorsese was asleep at his New York City home when the nominations were announced (when he’s not working, he usually stays up until 2:30 a.m. or 3 a.m., waking around 9:30 a.m.). He’s got a strict phone-free policy until 1 p.m., but in this case was willing to take a call from his agent, WME’s Ari Emmanuel. That’s how he learned that Hugo had picked up 11 nominations, the most of any film. “It’s one thing to to get excited, but you can’t get your hopes up. I’m trying to stay reserved,” Scorsese told THR. He’s hoping that the nominations introduce more moviegoers to his film, which has earned north of $55 million in North America and north of $27 million overseas, where it has just now started to rollout. Hugo ties with Scorsese’s The Aviator in terms of the number of nominations. --Pamela McClintock

PHOTOS: 2012 Academy Awards: The Nominees

BEST PICTURE: HUGO
Producer Graham King was basking in the 11 nominations for Hugo and the best animation nom for Rango. King was happy to see Hugo receive recognition in the below the line categories since “every department had to roll their sleeves up and figure out how to do it. It took a group effort.” And while the Martin Scorsese movie seemed to be chugging on the awards train, King reiterated that you can’t count on anything. “I’m still trying to figure out how it got nine nominations for BAFTA but not a best picture but here it did. One never knows,” he said. -- Borys Kit

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: OCTAVIA SPENCER, THE HELP
Octavia Spencer
spent the night at the Four Seasons having a bit of a slumber party with some of her cohorts from The Help. Director Tate Taylor, producer Brunson Green, and actors Alison Janney, Ahna O’Reilly and Chris Lowell went out, had too much wine, and some ended up crashing in several rooms. “We hadn’t really celebrated The Help privately for its box office success, the critical success or the social success and we didn’t know what today would bring,” Spencer said. The group, minus Janney, got up to watch the nominations together and “we screamed. We screamed at every nomination, and for people like Melissa McCarthy, and for everyone we knew,” she said. And she said that despite that long awards season in which The Help has popped up everywhere, she took nothing for granted. “I’m glad the surprise was still there. I did not want to assume anything,” she said. -- Borys Kit

BEST PICTURE: WAR HORSE, THE HELP
“I’m thrilled all the way around,” said DreamWorks co-chairman-CEO Stacey Snider said. DreamWorks is the only company to have two films nominated for best picture—The Help and Steven Spielberg’s War Horse. “This represents so much to all of us. What’s gratifying is that both films were recognized for their profound themes.”  --Pamela McClintock

Steven Spielberg added: “I am thrilled with our multiple nominations for The Help and War Horse. It is the first time that I have experienced two Best Picture nominations in the same year. One is a high honor. Two is humbling but very exciting. It is a tribute to all those who joined with Stacey Snider and our DreamWorks Studios team to develop and make these two films with stories that we passionately felt we had to make.”

BEST DOCUMENTARY: PINA
“I think it’s an amazing thing,” said German director Wim Wenders on hearing the news that Pina, his 3D documentary on the late dance choreographer Pina Bausch had received an Oscar nom for best documentary. “It’s particularly amazing when you think we almost abandoned this film after Pina’s death. But we, her dancers and I, carried on with this adventure and it has taken us farther than we had ever imagined.” Wenders who received an best documentary nomination, but didn’t win, in 2000 for Buena Vista Social Club, said we was being careful not to jinx his chances this time. “I’ve very excited but I learned with Buena Vista Social Club that it’s not good to focus on whether you will win," Wenders said. -- Scott Roxborough

PHOTOS: The Making of 'Midnight in Paris'

BEST PICTURE, THE HELP
The producers of The HelpBrunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan—got worried after the first five best picture nominations were announced, and still no nod for their film, a box office sensation. “I started to have this awful feeling that it might not happen,” said Columbus, who was at his house in San Francisco. But their fears were unfounded—The Help was No. 7 out of the nine films nominated. --Pamela McClintock

BEST PICTURE: THE DESCENDANTS
“Nobody woke me. I set my alarm. I’ve never been nominated for an Academy Award before, and I was hoping today would change that," producer Jim Burke told THR. "Alexander Payne’s in Rome, so I sent him an email, and everybody who was nominated. Shailene [Woodley] was left out. It’s gotta probably hurt a little. She’s totally fantastic. I sent her a text too. We make films that rely on word of mouth and critical response, and now that we’ve won the Golden Globes and gotten five Academy Award nominations, it will really help encourage people go out and see it. I’ve heard many other people say it’s a quiet film, and it may at first seem that way, but if you see it more than once you see there’s a lot more going on.” -- Timothy Appelo

BEST ANIMATED FILM: PUSS IN BOOTS
“It is the best kind of strange,” said Chris Miller, director of DreamWorks Animation's Puss in Boots. “Surreal, dreamy, thrilling—everything imaginable. I can’t believe it."
He admits: “I was nervous, I couldn’t sleep. … I had just fallen asleep (when the call came in).” He added that he was “very impressed” with the category nominees. “I love all of these films. It was a pretty great year in animation and speaks to the diversity. “2D, 3D, CG, a hand-drawn approach—and very international,” he continued. “I’m proud to be a part of it.” -- Carolyn Giardina

BEST ANIMATED FILM: KUNG FU PANDA 2
“I was in bed, watching it streaming on my tablet,” said first-time nominee Jennifer Yuh Nelson, director of DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 2. “I’m ecstatic; I’m still in shock. It’s a huge honor.” The director said she received a lot of phone calls, emails and texts — and was planning to go the the DreamWorka Animation campus today to “get together to hug and toast. I don’t think people realize that between 300-400 people worked on the this film. I’m really happen for everyone on the crew.” -- Carolyn Giardina

STORY: Angelina Jolie and 'Kung Fu Panda 2' Director Jennifer Yuh Nelson on Hollywood's Female Director Deficit, New 'Kung Fu Panda 3'

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: BRIDESMAIDS
“I was sleeping and my husband came in and said, ‘You should come in here for a second. You got nominated for an Academy Award.’ I almost passed out," Annie Mumalo told THR. "My mom said she thinks what connected with audiences was that the story feels real. Life is painted with everything. There’s comedy in the darkness. Nothing is ever one note in life. It would be great for comedies to be recognized. I do not have a dress, but thank you for bringing that up. What we go through to be in any fancy dress anytime! Hopefully, something like [what happens to dresses in Bridesmaids] will not be involved.” -- Timothy Appelo

BEST FOREIGN FILM, BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: A SEPARATION
“The nomination for original screenplay is more important for me because more than everything I consider myself a writer," Asghar Farhadi told THR. "When my assistant gave me the news I was writing a scene I’ve been struggling with for a few days. It was less probable than the other nomination. This nomination is an image that the Iranian people would like to show. They would like to be seen for their culture. There is a bigger picture: the common language of people all around the world is cinema and through this nomination we can understand it better.  If I win this Oscar, it will be not just for me but for all the directors work work in a language other than English. It means language is not a barrier in cinema. It’s a world industry. The memory of Ingmar Bergman’s films is still inside my head, and the fact that makes this Oscar more precious to me is that Max von Sydow, who worked with Bergman, is one of the nominees.” -- Timothy Appelo

BEST PICTURE: THE TREE OF LIFE
Producer Bill Pohlad was at his home in Minneapolis when the Oscar nominations were announced, including top noms for Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life, which Pohlad financed and produced. “We were getting our seven-year-old ready for school, and we all watched it together. I was shocked and excited. You always hope it’s going to happen, but you try to talk yourself down,” he told THR, adding that he spoke with Malick not long after. “Even Terry seemed a little speechless.” There are four other producers on the film — Brad Pitt (who also stars), Dede Gardner, Pitt’s partner at Plan B, Sarah Green and Grant Hill — and it’s not yet clear who will get credit from AMPAS (the Academy usually likes to limit it to three producers, or four). --Pamela McClintock

Sarah Green, producer on The Tree of Life, says she got the news while at the Austin Humane Society, where she volunteers to walk dogs. “Today they were trotting around the block,” she laughed. “It was very exciting." "I think one of the most exciting things is that (audiences) want to talk about it … There is nothing more exciting than being part of something that had an effect on people," Green said, who added that she was planning to see director Terrence Malick and the team. -- Carolyn Giardina

BEST PICTURE: MONEYBALL
Moneyball producer Michael De Luca said he felt of the film’s six nominations “like hitting the game winning homerun in the extra inning.” De Luca had set his alarm and was “euphoric” when he heard the names. “It was a long haul with this film. And to be here, and see the recognition and the acclaim from the Academy and the audience, it’s been great. We’re very grateful that the movie got to this place.” One nomination the movie didn’t receive was one for Bennett Miller in the best director category. “He got us here and it was his vision,” said De Luca. “As much as anyone, he is the author of this movie with the writers and with Brad (Pitt). There are a lot of big gun directors this year. It was competitive but I think he’s reflected in our nominations." -- Borys Kit

PHOTOS: Behind the Scenes of 'Moneyball' With Brad Pitt

BEST EDITING: KEVIN TENT, THE DESCENDANTS
“It’s thrilling and it’s shocking,” The Descendents editor Kevin Tent said of receiving his first Academy Award nomination. “I overslept so I went online. I got emails … then my sister called from Buffalo.” He noted that he was already scheduled to have dinner on Wednesday with producer Jim Burke. “He has been a real supporter—and Alexander (Payne) too … Alexander loves being in the cutting room and we worked closely.” -- Carolyn Giardina

BEST PICTURE: MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
Midnight in Paris producer Letty Aronson, in town visiting her Malibu-based daughter, was pretty certain the Woody Allen movie would receive a best screenplay nomination but was extremely pleased for the best director and best picture. Aronson believes a major factor in the success of the movie is “everyone identifies with the concept of thinking that life would be better in a different time, with someone else. It’s a fantasy but a special effects fantasy. It’s a guy going into a car in a dark street and you’re transported. It’s not sci-fi. That makes it more believable, more real.” -- Borys Kit

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: MARGIN CALL
"In September, as things [with the Occupy movement] started to build, we were freaking out this would be a classic case of too close to the bone," writer J.C. Chandor  told THR. "I'm convinced that if the movement had gone violent, people would not have wanted to engage [with the film]. What came out of that movement was that the general population was ready to engage in a dialogue in this matter. It's the canary in the cold mine; it's a ticking time bomb: this country is spending more money than it's taking in and it's something we'regoing to have to be talking a lot about. For the film to come into that while still be entertaining and shedding light on the subject is more than you can hope for when you sit down to write something three years ago." -- Lesley Goldberg

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY, HUGO
The Oscar nomination morning seemed to be much like 2011 for wonderscribe John Logan, nominated for best adapted screenplay for Hugo but also enjoying seeing his Rango nominated for best animated feature: action-packed. Logan was furiously doing rewrites on the new James Bond movie Skyfall, then
checking the television for the noms, then going back to Skyfall. Both Hugo and Rango have unique attributes for Logan. He called Hugo a “kind story” and a “gracious story” and theorized that Hollywood loved seeing Scorsese explore the world of cinema that was so dear to him. Rango he described as an “anarchic pleasure” and that whenever there was a fork in the road in the making of it, “we embraced the knarly, embraced the eccentric.” Logan had no plans to celebrate since a Skyfall action sequence needed his immediate attention and he had to prepare for a meeting with Frankie Valle since he is also writing the adaptation on The Jersey Boys. -- Borys Kit

BEST ORIGINAL SONG: "MAN OR MUPPET" FROM THE MUPPETS
New Zealand-based Bret McKenzie, nominated for best original song for The Muppets’ "Man or a Muppet" was celebrating Kiwi style, by eating vegemite on toast. McKenzie said the song is his favorite of all the songs he wrote for the Disney movie, which he was relieved to see getting some awards love after being snubbed by the Golden Globes. Notable this year in the song category was the inclusion of only two songs. “It seems pretty unusual. The only thing that would be better would be if there was only one nomination," he told THR. -- Borys Kit

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY
“I was here in Madrid writing music for a concert when I got the call," Alberto Iglesias told THR. "I stopped, and then I forgot my ideas for the concert. The film is about spies, people listening to everything, some saying almost nothing. The music becomes the feeling, especially of Smiley, Gary Oldman. The music takes part for his mind, the things he knows and feels but does not say. I feel very good. I would like to thank all my colleagues who voted for me.” -- Timothy Appelo

BEST FOREIGN FILM: IN DARKNESS
“I’m in Warsaw and when the news came it was amazing, I’m a celebrity now, like I’m the soccer team representing Poland in the World Cup,” said Agnieszka Holland, on hearing that her Holocaust drama In Darkness received a nomination for best foreign language film. “The movie is in its third week in the theatres here and its been incredibly successful. For this kind of movie, that’s sort of a miracle.” Holland has been nominated twice before: Angry Harvest received a best foreign language nomination in 1986 and Europa got a nom in the best adapted screenplay category in 1992. “The first time, I was just so surprised to be nominated, I didn’t think beyond that,” she said. “The second time, I knew I would never win for best screenplay against all the English ones nominated, so it was less dreadful. It wasn’t like this time where I have the pressure of an entire country on me. But I’m usually pretty cool about these things. I take it with a healthy fatalism. One you win, one you lose. Like life.” -- Carolyn Giardina

BEST FOREIGN FILM: MONSIEUR LAZHAR
Today, Montreal director Phillippe Falardeau learned the poignancy of hearing extraordinary news in ordinary surroundings: “I’m renting this totally unremarkable condo here in Sundance, but now I’m going to remember it for the rest of my life,” he observes with a laugh. More remarkable was Falardeau’s decidedly joyful response to the news that Monsieur Lazhar, a voluptuous meditation on suicide and grief from the point-of-view of schoolchildren, had been nominated for Best Foreign Feature: “I was screaming so hard, I didn’t hear the title of the film – I just heard ‘Canada,’ and I jumped into my producer’s [Luc Dery’s] arms, simultaneously hoping I wasn’t going to break his back.” His second call, after his girlfriend, was to his parents: “My father mentioned there was a huge storm going on in Quebec and that the schools were closed. He said, ‘I thought it was because of your film – I thought it was because of you.’” --Jeanie Pyun

BEST FOREIGN FILM: FOOTNOTE
“In Israel the announcement is at 3:30 in the afternoon, so we have a whole afternoon of anxiety and stress, a whole day of eating our fingernails," writer/director Joseph Cedar told THR. "I was at home with my curtains closed. In our little country it’s a pretty big event. Everyone was waiting for me outside. I felt like the flatmate in Notting Hill when he opened the door. It’s completely blown out of proportion in our small provincial country but there’s something beautiful about that. It’s a film about meaningful awards are. Or how meaningful they are when you don’t receive them. The stars are both trying on their tuxedoes and starting to diet.” -- Timothy Appelo

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: THE TREE OF LIFE
"I'm very happy, very excited, very honored," said Emmanuel Lubezki, director of photograpy of The Tree of Life, on receiving his fourth Academy Award nomination for best cinematography. "I was leaving my house, I'm working today on a commercial [in Los Angeles], and I started getting texts from many friends an family. I'm excited, [and particularly] excited about Terry [Malick] getting a nomination. I hope this gives the movie another round where people can go and see it." -- Carolyn Giardina

BEST ART DIRECTION: HUGO
"This is number ten… not bad,” chuckled Hugo production designer Dante Ferretti, who received his tenth Academy Award nomination. He previously won Oscars for The Aviator and Sweeney Todd. Ferretti got the news this morning in Vancouver, where he is in preproduction on The Seventh Son. “I received many phone calls this morning,” he said. “I’m really happy. I love (Hugo) and we did a big job because we built everything from scratch.” He related that the elaborate Paris train station took roughly six months to design and build on stages at Shepperton and Longcross in the UK. -- Carolyn Giardina

BEST ANIMATED FILM: CHICO & RITA
“Martin [Pope] and I heard via text from the office while having lunch in Soho. It's fabulous feeling and we are all thrilled and delighted that the Academy has recognized the film with this nomination," said Michael Rose, producer of best animated film nominee Chico & Rita. (Rose produced with Martin Pope, both of London based Magic Light Pictures, who pick up their second successive nomination for animated films. In 2011, Magic Light’s production of The Gruffalo was nominated in the best animated short film category.) -- Stuart Kemp

BEST EDITING: HUGO
“It is thrilling. Eleven (nominations for Hugo)! I freaked out when I heard on radio,” says Hugo editor and longtime Scorsese collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker, who received her seventh Academy Award nomination. She has won Oscars for Scorsese’s Raging Bull, The Aviator and The Departed. Schoonmaker is currently working with the nominated director, cutting a documentary about British cinema. “I will see (Scorsese) this afternoon. We’ll probably break out the champagne. There are so many people who work on his films,” she said citing members of the entire team including archivists, researchers and interns. “We’ll have a celebration (with the team). They work so hard.” -- Carolyn Giardina

BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM: UNDEFEATED
Documentary filmmakers T.J. Martin and Dan Lindsay have a plan for celebrating their first Oscar nomination: To pop a bottle of champagne — earlier rather than later.
The were each awakened by Weinsten Co. publicist Pantea Ghaderi who called them — “screaming,” Martin says, with the news that they were nominees, and while Lindsay was on the phone with her, he “grabbed this very nice bottle of champagne someone sent us when we made the short list and put it in the fridge to cool. We’re going to pop that one today.” “I’m going to go to Dan's house,” agrees Martin. “He's set the tone for the rest of day: “Wake up, then go drink champagne before noon. It’s not every day you get an opportunity to do that.” “It’s totally crazy to think that we didn’t even watch the Oscars last year because we were sitting in our editing bay still trying tofinish this film — which we didn’t know if anyone would ever see,” Lindsay says. “Here we are a year later, and we’re going to the Oscars.” --Noela Hueso

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON
"There is nothing like it,” said Transformers: Dark of the Moon’s VFX supervisor Scott Farrar of receiving what is his sixth Oscar nomination. (He won the trophy for Cocoon.) “I got up, made coffee… picked up my mobile phone and saw what was happening. The first call was from Miles Perkins (ILM’s director of marketing and communications).” Farrar—who is currently working on World War Z—said of this year’s VFX nominations: “Every (nominated) movie is a different style; that is cool. The work is getting really good. It is an exciting time.” -- Carolyn Giardina

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
Senior VFX supervisor Joe Letteri of Weta Digital received the news that the Rise of the Planet of the Apes team had been nominated for its VFX from Wellington, where he is working on The Hobbit. “I woke up and checked email, and had a bunch of congratulations,” he said. “It feels great, it’s really pretty exciting.” This is Letteri’s sixth nomination for VFX work. He has won Oscars for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, King Kong and Avatar. “I enjoy using visual effects to create characters. It seems that was what was recognized this year,” he said, citing not just Apes, but several fellow nominees. “There is something that connects with the audience.” He added: “We still have a lot to do today (on The Hobbit). We’ll celebrate tonight.” Letteri is nominated for the VFX on Apes with Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett. -- Carolyn Giardina

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: REAL STEEL
"My producer called my cell phone at 5:45, but I wasn’t asleep,” said Real Steel VFX supervisor Erik Nash of how he learned of his second Oscar nomination. “It feels great; I felt it was a long shot because it was such a huge year for visual effects. It’s a real honor.” The bot fights in Real Steel were created on a motion capture stage, in advance of principal photography. “The virtual production pipeline enabled us to shoot the movie in 71 days, which for a VFX movie is short, especially as there was no second unit. … I think it opened some eyes to ways to do different types of effects. (Virtual production) added flexibility and efficiency that could be game changer." Nash is nominated for Real Steel along with John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg. -- Carolyn Giardina

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: HUGO
“Everybody was up early,” said Hugo VFX supervisor Rob Legato, who learned of his third Academy Award nomination at home. He previously won an Oscar for Titanic. “My daughter woke up early, put on the TV. We watched the announcement and then went to the website." “It’s such a rare thing, it wonderful how supportive and gracious everyone is,” he added of the congratulations that he received. “For me, it is the calibre of the collaborators, starting with Marty,” Legato said of Hugo. “He has an adoration of movies -- making them and watching them. Everyone shared that… It is a collective of all of these great artists making a movie about a great artist.” Hugo’s VFX nominees are Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning. -- Carolyn Giardina

PHOTOS: 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' First Look

BEST ANIMATED SHORT: A MORNING STROLL
Nominated producer Grant Orchard and director Sue Goffe, along with their team, watched the live announcement in their conference room at London’s Studio AKA, and then went online to find that their A Morning Stroll was nominated for animated short. "We made a lot of noise,” said Goffe. “The champagne is about to arrive.” Chuckled Orchard: “There was hugging, which is unusual for us. ... That is not done over here." The pair explains that the self-financed six-minute short was completed over two years in between commercial projects at AKA. “My hands have stopped shaking,” said Goffe. “It is unreal; it is the most amazing recognition.” -- Carolyn Giardina

BEST ANIMATED SHORT: WILD LIFE
Nominated Calgary animators Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby had the same reaction to the news: “We’re jubilant,” says Forbis. “We’re in a great state of excitement,” says Tilby. “Tonight we’re going to have a party in the skate track, where we play hockey. Doesn’t that sound Canadian? Everybody brings food, it’s a potluck party. Lots of beer and wine.” Says Forbis, “It’ll be a wild night.”  -- Tim Appelo

BEST COSTUME DESIGN: HUGO
“I was in a car in a traffic jam (in) rainy London,” said Hugo costume designer Sandy Powell of where she was when she learned that she had received her tenth Academy Award nomination. (She has won Oscars for The Young Victoria, The Aviator and Shakespeare in Love.) “I wasn’t driving which was lucky. My supervisor called me. It is always exciting.” She then found herself in a department store, where she admitted she was looking at men’s underwear to use in her next production. “My phone is having a meltdown,” she said. “I think I’m on my last bit of battery life. It is really nice to receive the messages. I’m really pleased for everyone on Hugo.” Of keeping the leading characters in the same costumes, she explained: ”It was deliberate, there is so much going on, we need to recognize them... There was no need to change their clothes, it didn’t add to the story.” -- Carolyn Giardina

BEST SOUND MIXING: WAR HORSE
For Gary Rydstorm, today’s recognitions for sound editing and sound mixing on War Horse are his 15th and 16th Academy Award nominations. “I was sleeping. Phil Benson, who runs Skywalker Sound called from Sundance (with the news,” he related, noting that he had actually stepped away from sound for a while, to direct shorts -- including his Oscar-nominated Lifted -- for Pixar Animation Studios. “The reason I can back was for this movie. I heard about War Horse; it sounded so good for sound,” Rydstorm explained. “World War I was an interested backdrop… For sound it is fun to bring characters (in this case the horses) to life. When we did the sound mix, we leaned heavily on how emotional the music was. I’m happy (composer) John Williams was nominated as well.” -- Carolyn Giardina
 

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