“I was obviously incredibly honored,” admits cinematographer Linus Sandgren as we chat via webcam (watch above) about his Oscar bid for “La La Land.” Damien Chazelle‘s movie musical about a struggling pianist (Ryan Gosling) and an aspiring actress (Emma Stone) falling in love in Los Angeles received 14 nominations, tying the all-time record with “All About Eve” (1950) and “Titanic” (1997). “It was just an amazing moment where I felt so happy for Damien and the whole crew to get recognized for something that we worked so hard for,” adds Sandgren, who recently won the BAFTA award.
When it came to creating the film’s rich visual pallet, Sandgren reveals, “a lot of the inspiration for me was the music, actually, because it was very emotional.” Aside from that, “Damien really wanted us to make a film in the same sort of atmosphere as the films that were made in ’50’s Hollywood, since that was a big amount of the whole inspiration for the project.” Ultimately, “it was a matter of trying to make a film that is set in the present day, on real locations, as a contemporary film, but inspired by the backlot style of Hollywood filmmaking.”
In addition to Sandgren’s bid, the film also competes for Best Picture, Best Director (Chazelle), Best Actor (Gosling), Best Actress (Stone), Best Original Screenplay (Chazelle), Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, and twice for Best Song (“Audition” and “City of Stars”).
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