Oscars 2009: Backstage Q & A with the Winners

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2008 were presented on Sunday, February 22, 2009, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center and televised live by the ABC Television Network. Here are a number of backstage interview snippets with the winners!

CATEGORY: Achievement in directing / Best motion picture of the year
INTERVIEW WITH: Danny Boyle and Christian Colson
FILM: "Slumdog Millionaire"

Q. Hello. Congratulations.

A. Thank you very much.

Q. Earlier, Simon Beaufoy was talking about the role that love plays in this film. How was it for you, taking a different direction from 28 DAYS LATER, directing a film about love?
A. Yeah. It is a love story, but it's like heavily disguised.

Q. It's in there.
A. Danny Boyle: I tried to do a love story once before, and it didn't really work really. I think I have to heavily disguise them really and then got a chance. I mean I loved what I loved about his script, genuinely, is that apparently at the beginning, the spine of the story appears to be the game show. And actually what happens, this is different from the novel, is that of course as you peel back the spine, there's another spine underneath, which is a love story, which is much stronger than a television show. It's much deeper, more profound, more recognizable, more loveable, more timeless than a game show. I love that about it. And it's a chance to get yourself lost in romance. And listen, we all want to get ourselves lost in romance if you get a chance, if we can find a reason to do it and to disguise it at the same time. It's great.

 

CATEGORY: Achievement in cinematography
INTERVIEW WITH: Anthony Dod Mantle
FILM: "Slumdog Millionaire"

A. I haven't done this before it will be funny.

Q. Congratulations to you. I am very curious if if you can speak a little bit about your experience with Dogme filmmaking and how that's affected your film making for SLUMDOG?
A. Absolutely, not at all. I mean, with Dogme I think Dogme was wonderful. I think Dogme was more attached to my background as a documentarist, really. You know, it's look at light, not make the light but see the light and hunt the light. You have to find and see what's going on in a very short period of time and grab it. I know which tree you're barking up with a certain amount of available light shooting and with SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE that's true. Maybe my background, which I think is more from documentary from Dogme, is probably more relevant. Dogme was like five weeks with Thomas Vinterberg, five weeks with Soren Kragh Jacobsen, (inaudible) and five or six weeks with my dear friend Harmony Korine. I spent like 10 years in documentaries so, I guess that's the balance.

 

CATEGORY: Best Live Action Short Film
INTERVIEW WITH: Jochen Alexander Freydank
FILM: "Spielzeugland (Toyland)"

Q. Congratulations.
A. Thank you very much.

Q. I'm wondering if you feel like the distribution of the films they're now getting at the theater and people can actually get a look at them helps you or helps the movies?
A. Getting any kind of distribution is extremely complicated, but these days when you have the Internet streaming, it's a bit easier to get distribution, and I'm quite sure that this one is going to help distribute the film. The makers of the movie just want people to see it and I hope many, many people can watch this movie now.

 

CATEGORY: Adapted screenplay
INTERVIEW WITH: Simon Beaufoy
FILM: "Slumdog Millionaire"

Q. Is it starting to become real, this SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE "express" that we've been witnessing over the last, you know, number of months now, that you've got this thing in your hand? Are you starting to feel like, "Oh, my gosh, it really is all that"?
A. I'm sure it's a real shock to actually have this in your hands; very heavy. And it's a kind of icon I can image of cinema. Suddenly, SLUMDOG, which was this little Indie film, for a while, nobody really wanted it. Then, suddenly, in
the you know, it's going to be, it's sort of in the halls of fame now. As soon as you get one of these, it's written up on the walls of this this place, which is just extraordinary.

 

CATEGORY: Achievement in Costume Design
INTERVIEW WITH: Michael O'Connor
FILM: "The Duchess"

Q. Hi, Michael. Congratulations.
A. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Q. You've done the film. Talk about what this award means to you and what it's going to do for your career.
A. Well, I'm sure it will do great things for my career, but you just the truth is you do not ever realize you're going to get this. Never. So even now it's just kind of amazing and I just think and hope that it just opens more doors. And you can be more particular, not that I haven't been in the past about the work I've done. And so I don't know.

 

CATEGORY: Best documentary feature
INTERVIEW WITH: James Marsh and Simon Chinn
FILM: "Man on Wire"

Q. This film has been honored all around the world culminating in tonight's Oscar. What do you think it is about tonight's Oscar that made so many connect with it?
A. James Marsh: I think it's a very beautiful fairytale that has to be true. And obviously, it's something that's about something that's illegal and subversive, and what's created is something that doesn't take anything away from anyone. It gives something to somebody. Take all those little reasons, why the film has connected so well with people. What do you think?
A. Simon Chinn: I also think I completely agree what James says. It does have this incredible context, which I suppose for kind of modern audience, post 9 11 where it never mentioned the film does provide kind of poignancy to the story that, you know, lifts it to another level.

Q. Philippe, this movie to a large degree is about your fantastic spirit. Are you inspired to do other feats now this one's been clearly so well received?
A. Yes. But I almost was going to say I don't inspiration. It's in my veins. I have to keep working and, yes, I am 60 years old. I have thousands of projects. One in New York City very soon. So, yes, I keep working.

 

 

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