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

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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!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Post-Oscar Blog Thoughts

These words'll have to be rather short, Mortals, as I have but a rather short time to be with you all today:

After three hours, 12 minutes, plus commercials, that was probably the fastest-moving Academy Awards show in recent memory! As always, I'd love to hear your responses to that statement.

Master Blackwolf

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.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Blackwolf @ the Oscars 2012: Preview and Rant

Well, Mortals, barring your average miracle, assuming that there is one, methinks that, by this time about eight or so days from hence, The Artist will likely have the dubious distinction of becoming the first Best Picture Oscar winner in the modern sound-on-film era that has NOT been produced and/or released entirely in these United States. Note that I have emphasized the word "not."

To Academy purists, whose legion includes myself, this would be a tad anathema, in that, for most of us, the Academy Awards is, by and large, as wholesomely All-American as, say, baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet. But when you find yourself dealing with an Academy that, like Miss America, is waging what your Dragonmaster strongly suspects is an ongoing battle to maintain relevancy in an ever-changing digital realm, the question must be asked:

Will Oscar persist as it has for lo, these near nine decades, or will it be forced to submit to a world where the mere tradition of its very existence will be branded dead on arrival?

These are not easy questions, not even for the likes of New York's Unofficial Wizard, to pursue. And I hear that, alas, Bruce Vilanch will not be writing the show this year (Damn you, Bruce!), forcing our dear Billy to do the job of entertaining and pulling off the classic Oscar one-liners on his own (in which case, fie 'pon ye, Brian Grazer! No wonder Mrs. Audrey Geisel, widow of Dr. Seuss, hates you for what you did to the Grinch and the Cat in the Hat!). The point, kiddos, is that Oscar's gotta fight to survive like everybody else, or else the Academy Awards are just not gonna matter in this present day and age. And that, dearests, is the name of that tune.

As ever, I wanna know what you think, America. Gimme an e-mail at either or

Master Blackwolf

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Frustrations and Controversies: A Mage Reflects (Grumpily as Usual)

Y'know, Mortals, these days one can't get the things he or she wants around this town without folks being a bit grumpy and stuff.

Well, we kvetched about that yesterday. Your Dragonmaster is tired, m'dears; and everybody I try to get in touch with is either busy or otherwise occupied or worse. And Google ---'s parent company --- often gives me a whole mess of grief every bloomin' time I try to share a few new adventures with you here in the Diary of Magecraft. I know, I know: I'm kvetching re the status of me documentary movie, Quite an Imagination: The Story of New York's Unofficial Wizard; I barely have time, if ever, to invade Castle Lordi (my Official Rock Band barely updates their damn website, blarst it all!); and as if that's not enough, you folks probably are wondering why you haven't even seen another exciting Dispatch from Dun Morogh and Ironforge. Knowing ol' King Magni Bronzebeard, I'm sure he'd want you all to know what's been happening in ye olde World of WarCraft.

And what about those witty Guest Blogger posts, Master Blackwolf? I hear you asking. Haven't had time for those, either. Drat! Frankly, I need another laptop. I can't continue sticking out me neck three days a week to answer all me e-mails, much less maintain responsibility for me Dark Chambers, and Uncle Fergus websites.

So here it is, just before noon on a Thursday, I'm in the middle of me Mardi Gras binge --- and right now, this be one o' those times where I just feel the need to get drunk on me usual quota of Coca-Cola Classic! Aargh!

Yeah, kids, it's just another twisted Thursday for your Dragonmaster. Come, have some Coke with me; or, failing that, Diet Coke.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Master Blackwolf on: Being Asked to Do the Unexpected!

There are those Mortals, I think, who repeatedly have it against the little guy, who wants only little more than to connect with the outside world. To do so in places other than where I am now, well, let's put it this way: you know how it is when people have to do their job as usual --- and then, must confront rather silly nonsense like having to tell one to go home. At nearly 10 a.m.? Really!

Y'know, I can understand when people make false and misleading statements about a Wizard such as myself, who often battles to remain as silent as a churchmouse. And yet it's the churchmouse who in the end must suffer.

There are at least one or two amongst you out there who would seek to see to it that I remain among the have-nots, the culprits in question being those who, for various reasons, don't want me to have access to you, be it through this, my Diary of Magecraft, or my Dark Chambers website, or, the and still under re-construction Uncle Fergus sites. While I appreciate your kind words concerning these places, I advise you all herewith: I don't intend to offend you, but I cannot abide those who would make rude remarks about me. Please do not do so unless you wish to approach me with such complaints in a way whereby we can discuss them in a manner that's both civilized and amiable.

And interrupting me chain of thought is likewise a no-no. I've done all me best to give me all to you, but I can't do my job if there are those who are, whatever the reason, offended by my ability to do that job --- fearlessly and responsibly. Having said that, I must now very likely seek out an alternative means to do my job without arousing distraction. In a place such as New York, such a quest tends to be often difficult and, from time to time, dangerous to do. I battle day in and day out to maintain my job like a noble-hearted soul; after all, the High Istari did not send your Dragonmaster here to this dimension, that I might be humiliated in such a fashion, thank you very much.

Now, assuming the sillies at Google,'s parent company, stop changing me password, let's have a decent day today; and maybe, just maybe, we can get back to doing me blarsted job as I would wish to do it. I do hope we're clear on this.

Master Blackwolf

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dragonmaster Grumbles Again!

Y'know, Mortals, there comes a time in every Wizard's life when one has to literally fight for the things he or she wants. Once more, the forces that be have seen fit to cause agita within meself as me Mortal-born alter ego, Master Richard.

Mere moments ago, I posted the latest update concerning the status of Quite an Imagination: The Story of New York's Unofficial Wizard, Stephen Steinberg's feature-length documentary about yours truly. Frankly, kids, I'm running out of excuses, and I'm getting a little fed up because the film's just not getting finished as it ought to be! So now, I have no other option but to tell you, my loyal fans: Please pester Stephen Steinberg about the status of the movie. Like him on Facebook as much as possible. Motivate him into fulfilling his directorial responsibilities as the man who wants my story told on the screen as badly as I do.

The footage we shot for the film is now two years old. I can't afford now to feel stale about it. We need YOUR help, people! ('Nuff said.)

Master Blackwolf

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Blackwolf @ the Oscars 2012: And the Nominees Are.....

* The Artist, La Petite Reine; La Classe Americaine-uFilm/JD Prods.-France 3 Cinema; The Weinstein Co. Thomas Langmann, producer/presenter; Emmanuel Montamat, producer; Antoine de Cazotte, Daniel Delume and Richard Middleton, executive producers; Jeremy Burdek, Nadia Khamlichi, Adrian Politowski and Gilles Waterkeyn, co-producers.

* The Descendants, Ad Hominem Enterprises/Fox Searchlight/Newscorp. Alexander Payne, Jim Burke and Jim Taylor, producers; George Parra, co-producer.

* Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Scott Rudin Prods./Time Warner. Scott Rudin, producer; Nora Skinner and Celia Costas, executive producers; Talik Karam, co-producer.

* The Help, Dreamworks-Reliance Entertainment/Participant Media-Imagenation Abu Dhabi/1492 Pictures-Harbinger Pictures/Disney-Touchstone. Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan and Brunson Green, producers; Mohammed Khalaf Al-Mazrouei, Nate Berkus, Tate Taylor, L. Dean Jones, Jr., Jennifer Blum, Mark Radcliffe, John Norris and Jeff Skull, executive producers; Sonya Lunsford, co-producer.

* Hugo, GK Films/Infinitum Nihil; Paramount-Viacom. Martin Scorsese, Graham King, Johnny Depp and Tim Headington, producers; Barbara Di Fina, David Crockett, Christi Dembrowski, Georgia Kacandes, Charles Newirth and Emma Tilinger, executive producers.

* Midnight in Paris, Gravier Prods.-Mediapro/Televisio de Catalunya/Versatil Cinema; Sony Pictures Classics. Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum and Jaume Roures, producers; Javier Mendez, executive producer; Jack Rollins, co-executive producer; Raphael Benoliel and Helen Robin, co-producers.

* Moneyball, Scott Rudin Prods.-Michael De Luca Prods./Film Rites-Specialty Films; Sony. Brad Pitt, Michael De Luca and Rachael Horovitz, producers; Andrew S. Karsch and Mark Bakshi, executive producers; Alissa Phillips, co-producer.

* The Tree of Life, Brace Cove Prods.-Plan B/River Road Entertainment; Fox Searchlight-Newscorp. Brad Pitt, Grant Hill, Bill Pohlad and Sarah Green, producers; Donald Rosenfeld, executive producer; Steve Schwartz and Paula-Mae Schwartz, co-executive producers.

* War Horse, Dreamworks-Reliance Entertainment/Kennedy-Marshall Co./Disney-Touchstone. Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, producers; Frank Marshall and Revel Guest, executive producers; Adam Somner and Tracey Seaward, co-producers.

* Demian Bichir as Carlos Galindo in A Better Life.

* George Clooney as Matt King in The Descendants.

* Jean Dujardin as George Valentin in The Artist.

* Gary Oldman as George Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

* Brad Pitt as Billy Beane in Moneyball.

* Glenn Close as Albert Nobbs.

* Viola Davis as Abileen Clark in The Help.

* Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

* Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady.

* Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn.

* Kenneth Branagh as Sir Laurence Olivier in My Week with Marilyn.

* Jonah Hill as Peter Brand in Moneyball.

* Nick Nolte as Paddy Conlon in Warrior.

* Christopher Plummer as Hal Fields in Beginners.

* Max von Sydow as the Renter in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

* Berenice Bejo as Peppy Miller in The Artist.

* Jessica Chastain as Celia Foote in The Help.

* Melissa McCarthy as Megan in Bridesmaids.

* Janet McTeer as in Albert Nobbs.

* Octavia Spencer as Minny Jackson in The Help.

* Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris.

* Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist.

* Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life.

* Alexander Payne, The Descendants.

* Martin Scorsese, Hugo.

* Michel Hazanavicus, The Artist.

* Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, Bridesmaids.

* J.C. Chandor, Margin Call.

* Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris.

* Asghar Farhadi, A Separation.

* Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, The Descendants. Based upon the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings.

* John Logan, Hugo. Based upon the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.

* George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon, The Ides of March. Based upon the stage play Farragut North by Beau Willimon.

* Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin and Stan Chervin, Moneyball. Based upon the book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis.

* Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Based upon the novel by John le Carre.

* Guillaume Schiffman, The Artist.

* Jeff Cronenweth, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

* Robert Richardson, Hugo.

* Emmanuel Lubezki, The Tree of Life.

* Janusz Kaminski, War Horse.

* Laurence Bennett and Robert Gould, The Artist.

* Stuart Craig and Stephenie McMillan, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.

* Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schaivo, Hugo.

* Anne Seibel and Helene Dubreuil, Midnight in Paris.

* Rick Carter and Lee Sandales, War Horse.

* Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist.

* Kevin Tent, The Descendants.

* Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

* Thelma Schoonmaker, Hugo.

* Christopher Tellefsen, Moneyball.

* Lisy Christl, Anonymous.

* Mark Bridges, The Artist.

* Sandy Powell, Hugo.

* Michael O'Connor, Jane Eyre.

* Arianne Phillips, W.E.

* Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnson and Matthew W. Mungle, Albert Nobbs.

* Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight and Lisa Tomblin, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.

* Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland, The Iron Lady.

* John Williams, The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse.

* Ludovic Bource, The Artist.

* Howard Shore, Hugo.

* Alberto Iglesias, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

* "Man or Muppet?" from The Muppets. Music and Lyrics by Bret McKenzie.

* "Real in Rio" from Rio. Words and music by Sergio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown and Siedah Garrett.

* Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.

* Robert Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning, Hugo.

* Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Danny Gordon Taylor and Swen Gillberg, Real Steel.

* Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett, Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

* Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew E. Butler and John Frazier, Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

* A Cat in Paris, Folimage-Digit Anima/France 3 Cinema-Lumiere/Lunanime; Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol, writers-directors; Jacques Remy Girerd; co-writer-producer; Emmauel Bernard, executive producer.

* Chico & Rita, Isle of Man Film/CinemaNX/Estudio Mariscal-Trueba Producciones Cinematograficas S.A./Magic Light Pictures. Fernando Trueba, Tono Errando and Javier Mariscal, directors; Cristina Huete, Martin Pope and Michael Rose, producers; Steve Christian and Marc Samuelson, executive producers.

* Kung Fu Panda 2, Dreamworks Animation/Paramount-Viacom. Jennifer Yuh Nelson, director; Melissa Cobb, producer; Guillermo del Toro, executive producer; Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, co-producers.

* Puss in Boots, Dreamworks Animation/Paramount-Viacom. Chris Miller, director; Joe Aguilar and Latifah Ouaou, producers; Guillermo del Toro, Andrew Adamson and Michelle Riamo, executive producers; John H. Willaims, co-executive producer.

* Rango, Industrial Light & Magic-Blind Wink Prods./GK Films-Nickelodeon Movies; Paramount-Viacom. Gore Verbinski, director; Graham King and John B. Carls, producers; Tim Headington, executive producer.

* David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

* Tom Fleischman and John Midgley, Hugo.

* Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, David Giammarco and Ed Novick, Moneyball.

* Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Pater J. Devlin, Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

* Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson, War Horse.

* Lon E. Bender and Victor Ray Ennis, Drive.

* Ren Klyce, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

* Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty, Hugo.

* Ethan van der Ryn and Erik Aardahl, Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

* Gary Rydstrom and Richard Hymns, War Horse.

* Hell and Back Again, Danfung Dennis, director-producer; Martin Herring and Thomas Brunner, executive producers.

* If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, Lucky Hat Entertainment and Marshall Curry Prods. in association with the BBC for POV and Independent Television Service, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; Oscilloscope Pictures. Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman, directors; Matt Hamachek, producer; Steve Bannatyne, Marcia Carver, Sally Jo Fifer, Nick Fraser and Simon Kilmurry, executive producers.

* Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, HBO Documentary Films. Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky and Jonathan Silberberg, producers; Sheila Nevins and Justin Wilkes, executive producers.

* Pina, Neue Road Movies/Eurowide Filmproduktion/ZDF/ARTE-L'Arche Editeur-Recorded Picture Co. in association with the Pina Bausch Foundation and Pictorion_das Werk; IFC Films. Wim Wenders, director; Gian-Piero Ringel, producer; Jeremy Thomas, executive producer.

* Undefeated, 5 Smooth Stones Prods.-Level 22 Prods./Zipper Bros. Films/Spitfire Pictures; The Weinstein Co. Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Martin, directors; Ed Cunningham, Seth Gordon, Daniel Lindsay and Glen Zipper, producers; Ralph Zipper, Paolo Coppola, Michele Farinola, Neraj Kohli, Jillian Longnecker, Chris Miller and Nigel Sinclair, executive producers.

* The Barber of Birmingham: A Foot-Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement, Chicken & Egg Pictures. Gail Dolgin and Robin Fryday, directors; Judith Helfand, producer.

* God is the Bigger Elvis, Documentress Films-HBO Documentary Films. Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson, directors; Sheila Nevins, executive producer.

* Incident in New Baghdad, James Spione, director-producer; Carol Anne Grayson, executive producer; Mike Altman, co-producer.

* Saving Face, Daniel Junge, director-producer; Alison Greenberg, Davis Coombe, Sharmeen Obadi-Chinoy and Sabiha Surnar, executive producers.

* The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom, Lucy Walker, director.

* Pentecost, Peter McDonald, writer-director; Eimear O'Kane, producer.

* Raju, Max Zahle, director; Stefan Gieren, producer; Arindam Sil, executive producer.

* The Shore, Seamus Prods.-Northern Ireland Screen-Lough Shore Investments-Tourism Ireland. Terry George, writer-director; Oorlagh George, producer; Danny Moore, Stephen Morrow and Cathy Mooney, executive producers.

* Time Freak, Andy Bowler, writer-director; Gigi Causey, Luke Geissbuhler, Michael McDermott and Geoffrey Richman, producers.

* Tuba Atlantic, the Norwegian Film School. Hallvar Witzo, director; Gudrun Austli, producer.

* Dimanche (Sunday), Patrick Doyon, director.

* The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, Moonbot Entertainment. William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, directors; Iddo Lampton Enochs, Jr., Trish Farnsworth-Smith and Alissa M. Kantrow, producers.

* La Luna, Disney-Pixar. Enrico Casarosa, writer-director; Kevin Reher, producer; John Lasseter, executive producer.

* A Morning Stroll, Grant Orchard, writer; Sue Goffe, producer.

* Wild Life, the National Film Board of Canada. Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby, writers-directors; Marcy Page and Bonnie Thompson, producers; David Christensen and David Verrall, executive producers.

* From Belgium: Bullhead, Savage Film-Eyeworks Film & TV Drama-Waterlan Film & TV; Drafthouse Films. Michael Roskam, director; Bart van Langendonck, producer.

* From Israel: Footnote, Movie Plus-United King Films/Sony Pictures Classics. Joseph Cedar, director; Leon and Moshe Edery and David Mandil, producers; Michal Graidy, executive producer.

* From Poland: In Darkness, the Film Works-Zeba Films/Schmidtz Katze Filmkollektiv; Sony Pictures Classics. Agnieszka Holland, director; Leander Carell, Marc-Daniel Dichant, Eric Jordan, Patrick Knippel, Juliusz Machulski, Steffen Reuter and Paul Stephens, producers; Carl Woebcken and Anna Maria Zundel, executive producers.

* From Canada: Monsieur Lazhar, micro_scope; Music Box Films. Phillippe Falardeau, writer-director; Luc Dery and Kim McCraw, producers.

* From Iran: A Separation, Asghar Farhadi Prods.-Sony Pictures Classics. Asghar Farhadi, writer-producer-director; Negar Eskandarfar, executive producer.

Well, kids, there they are --- the 84th Annual Academy Award Nominees! Now go make your picks for the winners over at --- and look for the results and my recap of the show here in the ol' Diary of Magecraft, on the Monday after the telecast! See ya then!

Master Blackwolf