Bay Area filmmakers receive 9 Oscar nominations

February 2, 2010 9:11:16 PM PST
The 82nd Annual Academy Awards announced its Oscar nominations Tuesday, and the San Francisco Bay Area is represented well. Pixar's "Up" got one of 10 best picture nominations and Skywalker Sound and Industrial Light and Magic also scored.

They looked relaxed and casual around Pixar Tuesday morning, but do not believe that this was like any other day.

Jonas Rivera is one of those guys with a big name, on the screen, at least. He is an Academy Award best picture nominee for producing "Up" at Pixar, and he admits he did not get much sleep last night.

Writer and director Pete Docter could recite a long list of nomination honors.

"We have best score, best mixing, original screenplay, animated feature, and best picture," Docter said.

"I'm a bit cloudy today," Rivera said. In fact, a number of local filmmakers feel that way today. The Bay Area received nine nominations total. Skywalker Sound received nominations for "Avatar" and Industrial Light and Magic for visual effects in "Star Trek."

Russell Earl showed us how they took a basic shot on an oil platform in a parking lot at Dodger Stadium and added digital effects to take it out of this world.

"You could look at a shot that is five seconds and someone may work two or three months on that shot," he said.

The significance of all these nominations is that they represent a good showing by the San Francisco Bay Area. No one around here would want to call the region Hollywood North, but we're getting pretty good at developing home-grown talent.

"I was just as passionate about sweeping the floors here 15 years ago as I am now about producing," Rivera said.

Back at Pixar, both Rivera and Docter began right out of college and worked their way up from the bottom. For them, "Up" reflects five years of work and high pressure, even if the finished product looks like fun.

"There's a lot of nights when you wake up in sweat," Docter said.

So today feels pretty good, and maybe on Oscar night there will be plenty of people to thank on both sides of the bay.

Earl: I'll name them individually by name, alphabetically.

Freedman: What do you do when the orchestra starts playing?

Earl: You keep talking.

Freedman: And then what?

Earl: Then you lower yourself as the mic goes down.

A good reason to watch.