Blackwolf the Dragonmaster's Diary of Magecraft

Being a Chronicle of the Inner Secrets of, and Spells of Magick as Wielded by, the Philosopher of the Internet and Unofficial Sorcerer-in-Residence of the City of New York

My Photo
Location: New York, New York, United States

As New York's Unofficial Wizard, my mission is to encourage the Mortals of Manhattan to imagine responsibly!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Blackwolf @ the Oscars 2012: LIVE, As It Happens! (Episode Nine)

Michael Douglas is here to present Best Director. As we approach the 11 p.m. (Eastern time) zone, we have, I think, moved it up to the really huge awards! Again, as expected, Michel Hazanavicius has emerged triumphant, thanking even Uggie for his outstanding performance. The inevitable triumph of The Artist has begun.

Meryl Streep is here now, to introduce the winners of the Academy's third annual Governors Awards: Dick Smith, for his veteran contributions to the world of makeup; James Earl Jones, for his unique contributions to acting; and Oprah Winfrey, this year's recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

As per tradition, we start Hour Three with the serious and reverent Oscar Necrology, the remembrance of those we lost since our previous Oscar telecast, including two of Oscar's faithful producers, Laura Ziskin and Gil Cates. What a Wonderful World is sung by Esparanza Spalding, with the Southern California Children's Community Choir.

Now, Natalie Portman with Actor in a Leading Role. Jean Durjadin has won it!

And now, at last, after an epic NINE episodes of Blackwolf @ the Oscars 2012, as we come near toward 11:30 p.m. Eastern time, we come down to the two awards that truly matter: Colin Firth, presenting Actress in a Leading Role. Our latest ascendant unto that specific throne: Meryl Streep! 17 nominations, the most EVER by any performer, and now, at long last, the most powerful actress in the Multiverse. Huzzah!, Meryl, and long may ye endure!

Tom Cruise, ya wanna come out and bring us home here? Presenting the last Oscar of the evening, Best Picture of the Year, is all yours! And so, the Best Picture of the Year for 2011 is, as expected, The Artist! Speaking now is producer-presenter Thomas Langmann.

Well, kids, the first Best Picture Oscar winner is NOT produced or released entirely in these United States! Wonder what Kyle Smith and Lou Lumenick will have to say about all that in tomorrow's New York Post!

P.S.: Well, I was right about Tom Kane, but who's Melissa Disney?

Blackwolf @ the Oscars 2012: LIVE, As It Happens! (Episode Eight)

Well, it's 10:30 p.m. Eastern time, kids, and Billy intros Angelina Jolie. She wants you to learn about Best Screenplay Adaptation. Alexander Payne, Jim Rash and Nat Faxon win for The Descendants. They skipped nursery school to go to the movies, you know! Angelina now switches to Original Screenplay. The Woodman, who, as usual, never shows up for Oscar Night, lands it for Midnight in Paris. Blow that clarinet, Woody!

So far, my Twitter pages are going bonkers! Milla Jovovich shares the Sci-Tech Oscar winners, whom I identified for you earlier, these are the nerds the show didn't have time for. Now, it's the BIG moment for the Bridesmaids. They're presenting the Live Action, Documentary and Animated Short Films, starting with Live-Action Short. The winner: from Northern Ireland, The Shore, Terry George, writer-director. Next, Documentary Short. Winner: Saving Face, Daniel Junge, writer-director, and Sharmeen Obadi-Chinmoy, executive producer. Finally, there's Animated Short. Winner: Moonbot Studios' The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, co-directors.

My goodness, we've made it through eight episodes so far, Mortals! Have ye had enough --- or are ye thirstin' fer more?

Blackwolf @ the Oscars 2012: LIVE, As It Happens! (Episode Seven)

Ben Stiller and Emma Stone are up now, with the nominees for Visual Effects. (This after a strange encounter between Billy and one of the Bridesmaids girls.) Hugo yet again! Robert Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning.

Next, Melissa Leo joins us for Best Supporting Actor, just we get into the 10 p.m. (Eastern time) hour. Christopher Plummer is just now getting a huge standing ovation --- he becomes now the oldest actor to be honored with an Oscar. Huzzah!

My apologies, by the way, for the slowness of the moment; so much is happening now, your dear Dragonmaster would not be surprised if we wound up crashing online. Time for Billy's old "What are they thinking?" segment. Here comes Academy President Tom Sherak, who honors all in the filmmaking process. Thank you, Tom, and thank you for whipping the crowd into a frenzy.

Penelope Cruz and Owen Wilson sharing Best Original Score now. The winner: Ludovic Bource for The Artist, his first award and nomination. I have so much to give, says he. Will Ferrell and Zach Galifinakis enter crashing cymbals, to present the (ick!) two Original Song nominees. Bret McKenzie wins it with "Man or Muppet?" from the The Muppets. Well, thanks for bringing the show down like that.....

Well, here comes Episode Eight. Are you ready?

Blackwolf @ the Oscars 2012: LIVE, As It Happens! (Episode Six)

Rare footage of a focus group exploring The Wizard of Oz --- played for laughs! Wo.

Tina Fey and Bradley Cooper are now with us for Film Editing; and Kirk Baxter and Angus Wong have won for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. They're thanking everybody; but then, Brad and Tina take us to Sound Effects Editing; Hugo's team, Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty are thanking everybody who's ever been born again. One more: Sound Mixing and Re-recording. Hugo yet again: this time, it's Tom Fleischmann and John Midgeley.

Well, Episode Six rolls on. Here are Kermit and Piggy! They're here to introduce Cirque du Soleil, and the music of Danny Elfman. It is the largest cast of Cirque veterans in the ensemble's 30-year history!

Billy next ponders age. Christopher Plummer and Max von Sydow are the two oldest nominees; but then, we go to Gwenyth Paltrow and Robert Downey, Jr. with the Documentary segment, starting with Feature. The team from Undefeated have emerged triumphant (Yes!); Chris Rock, one-time Oscar host, salutes Animation, starting with Feature. Pirates of the Caribbean icon Gore Verbinski has won, along with Industrial Light and Magic, for Rango. Right now, Puss in Boots is in the green room, thirsty for vengeance.

OK, gang! Ready for Episode Seven? It starts now!

Blackwolf @ the Oscars 2012: LIVE, As It Happens! (Episode Five)

OK, Mortals! This is bloomin' well it! The 84th Annual Academy Awards is ON THE AIR!

Morgan Freeman has just taken the stage with a Prologue that will show us what's about to happen --- and yes, Billy has done it! His ninth time hosting has begun with a bang! Killer monologue, explosive opening --- Karl Schlaybel who has been filling the seats for 59 years, as Tom Hanks starts us off with Cinematography.

Robert Richardson has won it, and there's a lady announcer in the booth --- methinks it be either Randy Thomas or Gina Tuttle. Tom now takes us into Art Direction/Set Decoration. Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo have won it for Hugo. Francesca says she's thanking Scorsese and Italy! Methinks we've an apparent tag-team of announcers! Be it Tom Kane and Randy Thomas, or Tom Kane and Gina Tuttle?

Following our first package on classic movie moments we all love, Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez come out with Costume Design --- and Mark Bridges lands The Artist its first Oscar of the night. Mark, who dreamed, slept and ate movies, enjoyed himself. Cam and J.Lo now offer the Makeup nominees; Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland win for The Iron Lady, and thank Meryl Streep for their efforts.

Well, I think they've gone into commercial; but, about two minutes later, we're with Foreign Language Film. A Separation from Iran has won for its country, its first-ever Oscar; speaking is the film's writer-director, Asghar Farhadi; Christian Bale now comes to the stage with Actress in a Supporting Role. As expected, Octavia Spencer has won for her role as Minny Jackson in The Help.

We've come into the 9 p.m. zone, kiddos; Episode Six, coming up!

Blackwolf @ the Oscars 2012: LIVE, As It Happens! (Episode Four)

We are now at T-minus 23 minutes until dear Don Mischer signals that we be in business, dearests! Robin Roberts and company are getting their last few interviews in, and I think we're going to have loads of fun watching the show; as we journey to the first of several too-short spots, our two accountants from PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLC have strolled down the red carpet, wielding the briefcases containing the 24 delightful winners of this year's awards. I could tell you who won, but I'd have to beat you up, so I won't.

Meanwhile, if I may, I need you goodlies to hang out with the Lorax this Friday, as his new film will officially kick off Universal Pictures' 100th Anniversary Celebrations! That, plus you'll be the first to see Universal's 100th Anniversary logo! Cool!

Dinnertime for me, kids! Episode Five comin' up!

Blackwolf @ the Oscars 2012: LIVE, As It Happens! (Episode Three)

Well, we've just seen the doings On The Red Carpet, from the abc7/Los Angeles Eyewitness News Team; and now Robin Roberts, Tim Gunn, Jess Cagle and friends have begun the Academy-sanctioned live 90-minute final countdown. Believe me, kids, Hollywood's Biggest Night is a moment that your Dragonmaster does not take very lightly. Which explains why this foolish old Mage is multitasking all telecast long.

There are more interviews and special features happening, and throughout the show, footage from the nine nominees for Best Picture will be interspersed as lead-ins to the commercial breaks. A whole lot of features and video packages are going to be seen; blarst, there's so much to take in!

Well, anyway, Episode Four comin' up. Right now, I gotta go to me Twitter presence,, so I can share the adventure with those wanting to be there now!

Blackwolf @ the Oscars 2012: LIVE, As It Happens! (Episode Two)

And so our Oscar Night Adventure continues, dearests! We begin, as you might expect, with KABC-Los Angeles'; their Evening at the Academy Awards, anchored by George Pennacchio, Marc Brown and Michelle Tuzee, and produced for the ABC-Owned Television Stations, only lasts but a mere 30 minutes; as in past years, I have long grumbled that we here in New York --- that would be our Byg Appyl's abc7 Eyewitness News Team (Sandy Kenyon, Lucy Yang and Toni Yates) --- should have that 30-minute special (blarst you!)

Afterwards, Robin Roberts, Tin Gunn, Jess Cagle, Louise Roe and Nina Garcia will be in charge as the Academy-sanctioned 90-minute countdown kicks in. Expect the customary interviews, etc. There are going to be so many surprises that Brian Grazer and Don Mischer have demanded that we just watch as the telecast pushes itself over the three-hour period. Jimmy Kimmel Live's 7th annual post-Oscar ribaldry will again originate from Disney's El Capitan Theatre.

Now, we're dealing with 24 categories for achievements in 2011-2012 motion pictures; but you don't need ol' Blackwolf to figure that out! As for our announcer, Dave Karger from Entertainment Weekly has been assigned that job; as you read this, he's welcoming many of the stars onto the red carpet before they ask him to enter the booth to do all the announcements for the telecast (though I still think Tom Kane is gonna announce again).

The highlight of Hour One, of course, is Billy Crystal integrating himself into some of the year's major films! (Cool!) Meanwhile, as we get down to less than 40 minutes, your humble Dragonmaster is weaving through the plot synopses of some of the nominees in the lesser categories. A lot of these --- especially those in the Documentary and Short Film categories --- will very likely air on, or will be available, through HBO. Sheila Nevins rules!

The various fashions and jewelry from a whole army of L.A.-based designers are sparkling, bordering on spectacular, and even fabulous --- by Merlin's beard, you all bloomin' know my feelings re the gowns, jewels, accessories, etc. I'm just observing the proceedings, say I!

All right, kids, end of Episode Two. Here comes Episode Three --- right now!

Blackwolf @ the Oscars 2012: LIVE, As It Happens! (Episode One)

Greetings, Mortals, on this, Hollywood's Biggest Night --- the 84th Annual Academy Awards, coming to you from what will soon officially be renamed Hollywood & Highland Center in downtown Los Angeles!

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:


* Andrew Clinton and Mark Elendt, for inventing and integrating micro-voxels in the Mantra software.


* 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.


* Franz Kraus, Johannes Steurer and Wolfgang Reidel, for creating the ARRILaser Film Recorder.


* 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.