Blackwolf @ the Oscars 2012: LIVE, As It Happens! (Episode One)
Tonight, dearests, marks a potential end of the filmmaking world as you and I have come to know it. As I have been saying in recent weeks, if, as I suspect will be the inevitable conclusion, The Artist, an unexpectedly unique French-financed, Hollywood-shot-and-set film, emerges triumphant as the 2011 Best Picture of the Year, the possibility your Dragonmaster has been predicting will indeed be fulfilled: that for the first time in some 80-plus years, Mortal-reckoning, a Best Picture Oscar winner will NOT be one that has been produced and distributed entirely within these United States.
What this means, goodlies, is that the potential exists whereby we Americans will lose our prestige as the dominant force in the world community of motion pictures. As an honest-to-Merlin All-American Wizard, that surely matters to me; doubtless, fellow Magic-users, it should matter to all of you out there as well. While I utter these words knowing that I may likely never eat lunch in L.A. for merely sharing that opinion with ye, I share it nonetheless in light of the fact that I, like most of me Brother Mages, am pretty much a traditionalist --- one who, in younger days, prefered to live by honest, All-American virtues, and to uphold their traditions as boldly as possible.
But in recent years, as I've observed, the struggle between right and wrong has been blurred to an extent so unprecedented that we now no longer know how to separate the differences that right and wrong are supposed to represent. Doubly so in terms of the film community. This year's crop of movies has run the gamut from the blockbuster franchises that ended much too soon to those wannabe film concepts that just didn't ring a viewer's particular bell. How, then, to justify the honor of giving out the Academy Awards in this manner?
Well, in a few hours, we'll all know the answers to all those questions, as awards in 24 key categories are presented over a three-hour period, with beloved and glorious Billy Crystal as our fearless guide to it all. The presenters: the ladies from Bridesmaids (Rose Byrne, Ellie Kemper, Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Kirsten Wiig); Jennifer Lopez; Tom Hanks; Tom Cruise; Cameron Diaz; Milla Jovovich; Penelope Cruz; Emma Stone; Bradley Cooper; Chris Rock; Ben Stiller; Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy; Tina Fey; Michael Douglas; Will Ferrell; Zach Galifikianis; Meryl Streep; Christian Bale; Colin Firth; Melissa Leo; Natalie Portman --- and a one-time-only special performance from Cirque du Soleil.
The team: Don Mischer, executive producer/director; Brian Grazer, co-executive producer; Hans Zimmer and Pharell Williams, musical consultants; John Myhre, production designer; Bob Dickinson, lighting designer; Michael Seligman, supervising producer.
Now, as you know, they're not gonna have time on the telecast to identify the Scientific and Technical Oscar winners --- did you honestly doubt that, dearests? --- so that means I'll have to identify them for you. Listen up, nerds, for these are the Mortals you will wanna grow up to be later:
TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT CERTIFICATE:
* Andrew Clinton and Mark Elendt, for inventing and integrating micro-voxels in the Mantra software.
SCIENTIFIC & ENGINEERING PLAQUE:
* Radu Corlan, Andy Jantzen, Petru Pop and Richard Toftness, for creating the Phantom family of ultra-high-speed cameras.
* Dr. Jurgen Noffke for the optical design, and Uwe Weber for the mechanical design, of the ARRI Carl Zeiss Master Prime Camera Lenses.
* Michael Lewis, Greg Marsden, Raigo Alas and Michael Vellekoop, for the overall concept and implementation of the Pictorvision Eclipse, an electronically stabilized aerial camera platform.
* Bob Nettmann for the concept and system architecture, Michael Sayovitz for the electronic packaging and integration, Brad Fritzel for the electronic engineering, and Fred Miller for the mechanical engineering --- of the Stab-C Classic, Super-G and Stab-C Compact stabilizing heads.
* John D. Lowry, Ian Caven, Ian Goden, Kimball Thurston and Tim Connolly, for developing a unique, efficient noise reduction system that helps provide high-quality images for motion picture production.
* FUJIFILM Corporation, Hideyuki Shirai, Dr. Katsuhisa Oozeki and Hiroshi Hirano, for creating FUJIFILM's black-and-white recording film, code name ETERNA-RDS-4791, for use in archival preservation of film and digital images.
ACADEMY AWARD OF MERIT STATUETTE:
* Franz Kraus, Johannes Steurer and Wolfgang Reidel, for creating the ARRILaser Film Recorder.
JOHN A. BONNER MEDAL OF COMMENDATION:
* Jonathan Erland, for his over 30 years of contributions to the scientific and technical film community.
So there you are: the geeks you wanna be when you grow up. Had to get all of that outta the way before the telecast signed on, folks. Well, I need to at this point wrap up Episode One of this LIVE, as-it-happens blog from the Academy Awards. Be assured, though, I'll stay on top of the evening as much as I can, or until I have to return to the humble hovel. No worries, though: Episode Two, comin' up. Right now.