Crafting Could Make ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ a Best Picture Candidate


In 2018, “Black Panther” won the best picture race and showed that the industry was ready to recognize the superhero film. It also landed five other nominations and made Oscar history when Ruth E. Carter and Hannah Beachler won in their respective costume design and production design categories.

This year’s ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’, which just returned to the top of the box office, is once again leading the conversation for all the reasons mentioned here by Owen Gleiberman, showing why a superhero movie should be considered. as worthy of cracking the best picture race – especially as the number of nominees has grown to 10 possible locations.

Although “Spider-Man” didn’t land a SAG ensemble nomination, it did earn nominations from the Visual Effects Society and Motion Picture of Sound Editors and Cinema Audio Society. Plus, it contains all the elements of an emotional storyline grounded in reality with a team of craftsmen to help deliver the realism director Jon Watts sought.

Kelly Port, the film’s visual effects supervisor, is nominated for an award from the Visual Effects Society. He worked alongside director Watts, leading the way as VFX houses around the world, including Digital Domain, Framestore and Imageworks, brought back villains from previous Spider-Man films. Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock, Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin, Thomas Haden Church’s Sandman and Jamie Foxx’s Electro were among those returning. Port also had to create visual effects when Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange was called in to help people forget Spider-man’s identity.

Watts emphasized to Port and the creative heads that this film had to be grounded in realism. Said Port, “Yeah, there’s all this crazy, fantastical stuff going on, but we wanted it to happen in a world where it felt like it was believable and you weren’t taken out of the movie.”

The spell-casting sequence, where Tom Holland’s Peter Parker begs the wizard Doctor Strange to cast a spell that will make everyone forget their identity, took over a year and a half to come together. Port and the team worked on other sequences, but the key was to bring the visual language of the fate of Cumberbatch’s reactions as close as possible. “We kept coming back to it because it was about making the visuals clear and consistent.”

In all, Port delivered 2,500 VFX shots for the film, with realism at the heart of every shot, regardless of the size of the sequence. Adds Port, “Jon wanted us to never make a shot where it couldn’t have been shot live.”

Enhancing this realism was Mauro Fiore’s cinematography, which he reflected in his lighting. For the high bridge sequence, Fiore oriented her set to match the direction of the sun from the actual location in New York.

“If we have to do it in the studio, it’s about things that make it as real as possible,” says Fiore. At Ned’s grandmother’s house, Fiore lit the set with practical lighting and applied enhanced lighting to close-ups and effects. “It’s a dark vibe until we’re joined by some unexpected company,” he says.

This outing for Spider-man had a lot more emotional weight than previous films. It was up to sound designers Tony Lamberti and Ken McGill to step back for those scenes that would strike a chord. When Zendaya’s MJ falls, Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man saves her. It’s a touching moment for many reasons, remembering that her character couldn’t save Gwen (Emma Stone). Said Lamberti, “It was branded with a giant chorus, but when Tom Rothman, the head of the studio saw the playback, he told the room and everyone involved that we were selling ourselves short by not doing it. not a real breathing moment.”

This comment led Lamberti and the team to delete the music. “We made it a sound design moment at the 11th hour,” says Lamberti. However, for this emotion to work, it was essential to know where all the sound design would take place. Lamberti adds: “Andrew catches her and they fall to the ground. They have their little moment of emotion, then it’s back to the music.

These elements of weaving, bobbing, and stripping were integral to the amplification of realism that Watts sought to achieve in his storytelling.

With the design of the film’s costumes, Sanja Milkovic Hays had to build on years of tradition while honoring fans’ love for these characters and costumes. Hays says, “The sensibility was different. The fashion was different and the technology was different, so it was all about partially updating those Spider-Man suits and bringing them to 2021.”

Given that the crafted elements of the film are increasingly recognized by guilds, the underlying names involved say there’s no reason the idea of ​​”best picture” shouldn’t encompass all types of cinematic achievement and recognize “Spider-Man: No Way”. Homepage.”

Lamberti concludes that the film is “not lacking in sequences and scenes that really move you, whether it’s the sadness Peter experiences or seeing Peter struggle with his own anger and rage. It’s all of these retellings of history that really have an impact, whether it’s a superhero movie or not.

Adds Hays of the film’s best image chances: “The typical Academy voter, in history, has voted for more drama-based films. They opt for acting because the largest branch of the Academy is made up of actors. Every item that can win best picture can be found in “Spider-Man: No Way Home”; It’s the acting, it’s the music, it’s the story. There’s no reason it shouldn’t be part of the best picture conversation.


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