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Feb '17 | Bay Area Video Producer on the Oscars

It’s Oscars season and as someone who works for a Bay Area Video Producer I find myself getting wrapped up in all the hype and excitement surrounding the nominated films this year. It’s fun to read through the media speculation of who will win, who will wear it best, and even what your favorite picks reveal about your political affiliations. With that, I just can’t miss this opportunity to add my 2 cents to the fray.

Though I have not yet seen all 9 of the films up for Best Picture, I find a need to reflect on the selection, and, of course, highlight my favorites in the process – how could I work for a Bay Area Video Producer if I didn’t. Let’s take a look at some Oscars contenders!

Moonlight

This film is one of those strange phenomena that seems to both get a lot of buzz – it’s practically drowning in critical acclaim – and yet still rest in obscurity because it’s not one of the big budget populist blockbusters that seem to define the American imagination these days. Well general public, the critics got it right. This film is amazing. It manages to both be excitingly fresh in its storytelling, with one of the most original visual languages I’ve seen on screen, while it explores a familiar theme — the coming of age of a boy who finds himself different from his community. Barry Jenkins did something amazing with this film and I’m so thrilled it got nominated. I hope he gets some wins!

Hidden Figures

Possibly one of the best told stories I’ve ever seen, Hidden Figures tells a fascinating tale I was surprised to never hear of before because it is definitely something that should have been common knowledge. Well, thanks to Theodore Melfi and his incredible cast, it is now. This story is being told at the right time too. Not to get political, but we all know there is a tide of feeling in our country right now that reflects racial bias felt in the ’60’s and, especially after a white-washed nomination season last year, this film deserves the recognition it’s getting. This story, and the three inspirational women at its core, is now rightly memorialized into a great film and is proving it’s relevance as history we can learn from and, hopefully, retain in our American consciousness. 

La La Land

While actually seeing this movie has been weirdly elusive for me (I tried to see it twice but life got in the way) I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it because I am a certifiable a musical geek, which makes me disproportionately excited to have a musical nominated for best pic this year. Despite all the issues I’ve heard around the film (actors can’t sing, Gosling looks at his shoes when he dances) the movie musical helped form Hollywood into the creative (and yes, sometimes formulaic) institution it is today. I’m happy there’s a reinvention of this Hollywood staple at the Oscars. Plus it’s bound to give us at least one great musical number during the show!

While I can’t go into the other 6 films, as I unfortunately have not seen them, all the hype I’ve heard puts me in the mindset that this is a great selection this year. The nominees are all obviously great films, but what excites me most about this Oscars is that they all seem be relevant in some way — to tell a story that needs to be told, share a glimpse into a life most people can’t relate to, and reflect a bit on our country’s trajectory. These are the types of films that should be nominated, which has not always been how nominations have gone in the past (The Martian I’m looking at you).

In conclusion, on Sunday we can expect awesome wins by deserving nominees, hopefully some amazing musical numbers, and, judging by the prior award shows this season, some politically minded acceptance speeches.

So pick your favorites, get out your finest red carpet styles, and enjoy the Oscars on Sunday! You know this Bay Area Video Producer will.

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Sophie Gunther

Sophie Gunther is a native San Franciscan and long-time lover of the performing and media arts. After graduating from UCLA with a B.A. in World Arts and Cultures, she pursued her passion for film and started working in production. For over a year, she's been producing behind the camera, and she gets her consumer fix by working various film festivals throughout the Bay. Sophie is thrilled to have the opportunity to learn, explore, and develop her craft with Patina Pictures!