The thespians aren't the only ones who have to “perform” on set. Camera operators and directors of photography have their own marks to hit and creative decisions to make, working closely alongside the director to capture images that will compose the final product. Since I'm so crazy about cinematography in general, I determined that this category needed its own post.
Birdman's recent win notwithstanding, this category has been dominated by 3D movies of late. Robert Zemeckis' The Walk will take us high above New York City in an attempt to give is all vertigo as we follow Philippe Petit's legendary tightrope stunt, and the premise sounds tailor made for the stereographic gimmick. Could it earn some love for cinematographer Dariusz Wolski?
Here's a filmmaker/DP partnership that never disappoints; Quentin Tarantino and Robert Richardson have developed a signature visual flare over the last decade, and all eyes will be eager to catch sight of their super widescreen imagery for The Hateful Eight.
Another invigorating filmmaker/DP duo (albeit one with fewer collaborations under their belt so far) is Ron Howard and Anthony Dod Mantle, who really should have been nominated for 2013's Rush. In the Heart of the Sea looks to provide major visual spectacle smack dab in the middle of awards season, and maybe bring Mantle his followup nomination seven years after Slumdog Millionaire.
Another branch favourite – although sadly one whose genius the Academy hasn't gotten wise to yet – is Roger Deakins, who has racked up seven nominations in the last eight years (hey, AMPAS, this branch is trying to tell you something)! Could Sicario, the latest from Prisoners helmer Denis Villeneuve, continue the hot streak?
Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Everest, Spectre