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January 2016

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Page 22 of 53 19 POST JANUARY 2016 O S C A R buzz Although Oscar-winner Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs stumbled at the box office, it may still pack a punch with voters thanks to its impressionistic Aaron Sorkin script, strong direction and inspired, entertain- ing performances by Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet. Above all, it features a brilliant visual storytelling device, as Boyle and his DP Alwin Kuchler used digital, 35mm and 16mm — one format for each act, and great editing from Elliot Graham (Oscar nominated for Milk), who was originally brought on as the assem- bly editor. "He was so good we just kept him," reports Boyle, who, as usual, did all the sound mixing at Pinewood, with Glenn Freemantle and his team at Sound 24. "And I did all the visual effects with my usual guy, VFX supervisor Adam Gascoyne at Union Effects in London," he adds. "He's done all my films for a long time now, and he's very much a part of building it all." The DI was done at Technicolor in London with Boyle's regular colorist, Jean-Clement Soret. "It was very complex as we shot on 16mm, 35mm and digital, and all that had to be graded but retaining their original quali- ty," he notes. Writer-director Todd Haynes was Oscar-nominated for his Far From Heaven '50s drama, and his new film, Carol, about two women from very different backgrounds — Therese, a store clerk (played by Rooney Mara) and Carol (Cate Blanchett), an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage — who meet and then find themselves in an unexpected love affair in 1950s New York, is already gener- ating a lot of Oscar buzz for its stars' performances and for Haynes, whose credits include the acclaimed Bob Dylan picture I'm Not There, Velvet Goldmine, Safe, and Mildred Pierce. Post was done at Goldcrest Post in New York — "The cutting, the sound, the VFX and the DI," reports Haynes. The film was edited by Affonso Goncaves, whose credits include Winter's Bone, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and who worked with Haynes on Mildred Pierce. "He's just a great partner and very sensitive, smart and knowl- edgeable," says the director. "He was so attentive to temp tracks and finding really useful music to cut to. Music was always going to be a key element in Carole, and he has a great ear for that." Says Goncaves, "We spent nearly five months on the edit, building in very specific rhythms, so that it allowed all the very complex subtext to come through." Period films always have a lot of VFX, and Haynes says, "There was a lot of removal of contemporary elements — stuff you often don't even see until you're in post, and cosmetic work. And we also had about six key shots that needed ex- tensive VFX. And we did a lot of work in the DI with colorist John Dowdell, who's a real artist, to get that very specific, slightly soiled palette. It's a very different look from Far From Heaven." Another writer-director, Tom McCarthy, Oscar-nominated for Up, shot Spotlight in Boston and Toronto, and he gives the drama a gripping slow-burn thanks to his clean, understated direction coupled with unfussy editing from Tom McCardle, and an effective score from Oscar-winning veteran Howard Shore (The Lord of the Rings). VFX were done by Spin VFX. Beasts of No Nation was a "brutal" shoot and "tough" post, but may pay off with an Oscar nod. Brooklyn, which reflects immigration in the 1950s, was shot in New York, Ireland and Montreal.

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