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Santa Barbara Variety Artisans Awards Honors Rachel Morrison, Alexandre Desplat and Mark Bridges

All of this year’s recipients of the Santa Barbara Variety Artisan Award recipients were Oscar nominees. The Artisan Awards are a tribute to the “unsung heroes” paying tribute to production designers, sound editors, composers and costume designers.

Moderated by Tim Gray, the honorees were Paul D. Austerberry, production design, The Shape of Water; Mark Bridges, costume design, Phantom Thread; Alexandre Desplat, music score, The Shape of Water; Morrison, cinematography, Mudbound; John Nelson, visual effects, Blade Runner 2049; Tatiana Riegel, editor, I, Tonya; Julian Slater, sound mixing, Baby Driver; Arjen Tuiten, makeup, Wonder; and Matthew Wood, sound editing, Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Desplat talked about composing the score for Del Toro’s Shape of Water, “I wanted the music to be right there with them, not removed.” Austerberry told the audience how Del Toro had originally wanted to shoot the film in black and white but changed to color. He created sets that were, “voluptuously curved and romantic.”

Morrison who is the first female cinematographer to be nominated in the history of the Academy talked about capturing the palette for Dee Rees in Mudbound. She used Les Blank’s documentary The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins, fine art and sculpture pieces as inspiration. Talking about the significance of her work, Morrison said it was a “symbol of hope for the future.”

Watch the videos from the discussion below:

Tatiana S. Riegel

Rachel Morrison

Paul D. Austerberry

Alexandre Desplat

Arjen Tuiten

John Nelson

Julian Slater

Mark Bridges

Matthew Wood