I went to BAFTA/LA's champagne brunch at UCLA with the intention of watching a live satellite feed of the awards--which only came through at the moment when Sir Anthony Hopkins was accepting his lifetime achievement award from Sir Dickie Attenborough. Then the show was over!
I usually have a bunch of Anglophile pals over to watch the show, which is witty and short and fun (especially when Stephen Frye is host). I was sitting next to ILM animation supervisor Hal Hickel, down from the Bay area to attend the VES awards tonight, who won the FX BAFTA award last year and was up this year for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. So he anxiously looked up the winners on his iPhone--and Golden Compass won. (They had already been leaked on the BAFTA website, even before the live show.) So now I'll watch the BBC America telecast with everyone else, already knowing the winners. Jeez.
So I had a yummy lunch with Hickel and his wife. I learned how complex and pioneering the swirling 20-minute Maelstrom storm in Pirates 3 was (water, water everywhere) and how much of the VFX in Iron Man have to do with Robert Downey, Jr's complex suit. Apparently director Jon Favreau likes to shoot as much live stuff as he can--which VFX people love, cause it makes their job easier.
I also talked to Little Miss Sunshine producer Ron Yerxa, who told me how up to the last minute at the Oscars last year, even sitting in the audience at the Kodak, he and partner Albert Berger kept being told one thing and then another about whether they should go up on stage. Right before the announcement, they were told they could go on. But then Sunshine didn't win.
Yerxa was up at Sundance with the Steve Coogan comedy Hamlet 2, which was rushed into completion for the fest--to his credit, Geoff Gilmore pushed the filmmakers to complete the film in time-- and sold to Focus Features for $10 million. Like Little Miss Sunshine, Yerxa and Berger had developed it for years before it finally got financed and made. It's ironic that the last thing admitted to the fest was its biggest sale.
The BAFTA winners are on the jump:
Atonement -- produced by Tim Bevan/Eric Fellner/Paul Webster
BEST BRITISH FILM
This Is England -- Mark Herbert/Shane Meadows
THE CARL FOREMAN AWARD for Special Achievement by a British Director, Writer or Producer for their First Feature Film
Matt Greenhalgh (Writer) -- Control
No Country For Old Men -- Joel Coen/Ethan Coen
Juno -- Diablo Cody
The Diving Bell And The Butterfly -- Ronald Harwood
FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
The Kite Runner -- William Horberg/Walter Parkes/Rebecca Yeldham/Marc Forster
Ratatouille -- Brad Bird
Daniel Day-Lewis -- There Will Be Blood
Marion Cotillard -- La Vie en Rose
Javier Bardem -- No Country for Old Men
Tilda Swinton -- Michael Clayton
La Vie En Rose -- Christopher Gunning
No Country For Old Men -- Roger Deakins
The Bourne Ultimatum -- Christopher Rouse
Atonement -- Sarah Greenwood/Katie Spencer
La Vie En Rose -- Marit Allen
The Bourne Ultimatum -- Kirk Francis/Scott Millan/David Parker/Karen Baker Landers/Per Hallberg
SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS
The Golden Compass -- Michael Fink/Bill Westenhofer/Ben Morris/Trevor Wood
MAKE UP & HAIR
La Vie En Rose -- Jan Archibald/Didier Lavergne
The Pearce Sisters -- Jo Allen/Luis Cook
Dog Altogether -- Diarmid Scrimshaw/Paddy Considine
THE ORANGE RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public)
[Originally appeared on Variety.com]