The artisan categories are often overlooked, especially when it comes to the overseen and the overdue Academy Awards. This year, there is a fresh crop of talent in each Oscar race, but several craftspeople who have worked on this year’s contenders should have received nominations long ago.
Many of these artisans have made the Oscars shortlist for their respective categories for this year’s nominations, which will be announced on March 15. With the voting opening on March 5, it’ll be a photo finish for many to garner AMPAS voters’ attention.
Here are a few of the contenders.
David Crank, production designer
“News of the World” (Universal Pictures)
Snubs: “The Master” (2012),
“Knives Out” (2019)
The designs of Crank have been seen in the industry for over two decades; he’s served as both an art director and production designer for film and television. Art directors don’t receive Oscar nominations, which is sad considering anyone who had a hand in the gorgeous sets of “There Will Be Blood” (2007) and the Oscar-winning “Lincoln” (2012) deserves recognition. After being passed over for Paul Thomas Anderson’s drama “The Master” and the infectiously cool backdrops of Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out,” he seems to have finally found his vehicle in the Western genre in the Tom Hanks contender with Paul Greengrass at the helm.
Sean Bobbitt, cinematographer
“Judas and the Black Messiah”
Snubs: “12 Years a Slave” (2013), “Stronger” (2017)
It’s bonkers that Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” nabbed nine Oscar nominations in 2014 — later winning three, including best picture — and the main element of its success, which is the stunning camera movements of Bobbitt, went unrecognized. While his other collaborations with McQueen such as “Widows,” “Shame” and “Hunger,” have garnered some notice, he’s established himself as one of the few cinematographers who can beautifully light and shoot dark skin on film, an attribute that the industry takes far too lightly. It’s no surprise then that his work with Shaka King and “Judas and the Black Messiah” only elevated the masterful performances and gave the 1970s-esque filmmaking style a uniquely harrowing edge.
Sarah Flack, editor
“On the Rocks” (A24/Apple TV Plus)
Snubs: “Lost in Translation” (2003),
“The Beguiled” (2017)
Sofia Coppola films have been a staple in the independent film realm. Even when she made history becoming the first American woman to be nominated for best director for “Lost in Translation,” along with the film being nominated for best picture, none of the film’s technical merits found love in the artisan races, most notably Flack’s editing. Comedies are too often ignored in this key race as you can argue that most of the funniest films of our cinematic medium are all successful due to a brilliant editor that allows every chuckle to land. That same formula is repeated with her collaboration with Coppola again with the heartwarming “On the Rocks,” showcasing the best of moments for Rashida Jones, Bill Murray and Marlon Wayans.
Other artisans to consider:
April Napier, costume designer,
“First Cow” (A24) – snubbed for “The Cell” (2000)
Nakoya Yancey, hair department head,
“One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios) – snubbed for “If Beale Street Could Talk” (2018)
Paul Hsu, re-recording mixer,
“Da 5 Bloods” (Netflix) – snubbed for “Spotlight” (2015)
Matt Kasmir, visual effects supervisor,
“The Midnight Sky” (Netflix) – snubbed for “Edge of Tomorrow” (2014)
Benjamin Wallfisch, composer,
“The Invisible Man” (Universal Pictures) – snubbed for “Blade Runner 2049” (2017)
Daniel Pemberton, co-songwriter of
“Hear my Voice” from “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix) – snubbed for “Gold” (2016)