Oscar Legacy

Best Picture Winners from 1943 to 2014.

Category: Music Video
Release: January 2016

I came up with this concept in 2012, while I was listening to this beautiful soundtrack composed by Hans Zimmer. I had a retrospective in mind, something like a timelapse of decades of filmmaking. And soon enough I thought about the Oscars, and the idea remained stuck in my head.

The concept was quite interesting: when you think about the films that won the Academy Award for Best Picture, you will probably think about Titanic, Ben-Hur, Platoon or Schindler’s List… but what about Going My Way? Marty? The Apartment or even Tom Jones? Well, not sure you’ve seen all of them, and that’s normal, considering they didn’t have the same impact on people’s mind.

In order to make this tribute to the various Oscar Winners, I wanted a very specific editing that would allow the same timing for every film, and Zimmer’s score for Inception was a great choice. Every piano note in this music is a good audio clue to make the transition between each movie, allowing 1-2 shots per laureate (i.e. 5 seconds approximately). You will probably ask why? Why choosing this systematic pattern rather than freeing myself from the music? Well, my main goal for this video was to give the same importance to each movie, because the truth is they’re all incredible. Also, I liked the idea of changing the movie at every beat, giving the impression that time (music title) is unstoppable, steady…

Another question you may ask would be: why starting the video with Casablanca (1943), while the first Academy Award received (“Outstanding Picture” category) was for Wings in 1928? It was actually a very difficult decision, but there’s a lot of reasons to that. First and foremost, given my very precise and music-focused editing, I had to respect the timing of the latter, meaning that I had to count every beat in this piece and the number would determine from which year I had to start. Also, Casablanca was one of the first black & white movie I’ve seen, it was obviously a perfect start.

After this reflexion about the edit, I started watching all the films, one by one, most of the time in the chronological order, and then pull out some selects from each movie (shots that are either iconic, truthful to the story or simply beautiful). In the end, It was a fantastic journey, and I really hope this short montage will make you follow the same adventure through film history.