Full disclosure. I hold the cinematography Oscar close to my heart as the single most prestigious honor of the evening outside of the Big Eight. I feel like it’s the most esteemed award a movie can win to elevate its reputation and help alleviate the sting of neglect in the “star” categories. Cinematographers are stars, to me, and the Oscars for There Will Be Blood and Pan’s Labyrinth have been personal highlights of the night the past couple of years.
Ari Presler is president and founder of Silicon Imaging, the geniuses behind the super-portable SI-2K digital camera used by Anthony Dod Mantle to such astonishing effect in Slumdog Millionaire. Ari’s been sending amazing material this season with behind-the-scenes anecdotes and all kinds of cool insider dish for a cinematography buff like me to devour. I held onto most it, because (a) Slumdog Millionaire was doing just fine without any extra push, and (b) I truly admire the work done this year by Wally Pfister on TDK and Claudio Miranda on Benjamin Button. I’d have felt guilty of betrayal if we’d overhyped Slumdog to the detriment of the other two. Now that votes are all counted and whatever will be, will be, I’m ok with sharing some terrific quotes from Anthony Dod Mantle and Danny Boyle, after the cut.