‘Ford v Ferrari’ Q&A: James Mangold and his crew on how building a champion car is like building a movie [LISTEN]

20th Century Fox recently revved up their Oscar campaign for “Ford v Ferrari” with a panel discussion highlighting the film’s below-the-line talent. Gold Derby was on-hand at the event, which was hosted by Gregory Ellwood (The Playlist) at the DGA Theater in Los Angeles. It featured director James Mangold, production designer Francois Audouy, costume designer Daniel Orlandi, film editors Andrew Buckland and Michael McCusker, composer Buck Sanders, sound re-recording mixer David Giammarco and casting director Ronna Kress. Listen to the full 28 minute Q&A above.

“Ford v Ferrari” tells the true story of the Ford Motor Company’s efforts to build a race car that could challenge champion Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in 1966. Matt Damon stars as auto designer Carroll Shelby, who teams up with expert racer Ken Miles (Christian Bale) to create the superior machine. By his own admission, Mangold is “not a big motor sports guy,” but he was attracted to “the character story.” The filmmaker identified with the plight of Shelby and Miles because “the effort to make a car isn’t all that different than to make a movie in some ways. The kinds of battles they fought seemed familiar to me.”

SEE ‘Ford v Ferrari’ turns into Christian Bale versus Matt Damon as both actors will vie as leads during awards season

Recreating the historic Le Mans race was a significant challenge; it had to be filmed in bits and pieces across four different locations in Georgia and California since the original track no longer exists the way it once did. “Every time you see a car make one lap, it’s traveled essentially 4,000 miles,” Mangold joked. But in all seriousness, “you have to remember that from the editing team to the sound team, to the on-set continuity and dressers and painters,” dramatizing that race was a daunting task. Everything from the weather to the positions of the cars “has to be figured out to make one continuous lap” be seamlessly cut together.

Mangold received his first Oscar nomination for co-writing the X-Men movie “Logan” (2017). Before that his Johnny Cash biopic “Walk the Line” (2005) brought McCusker his own Oscar bid for editing, while his western “3:10 to Yuma” (2007) earned Giammarco the first of two noms for sound mixing (the second came for “Moneyball” in 2011). Sanders previously contended for his score for “The Hurt Locker” (2009) alongside Marco Beltrami, with whom he also collaborated on “Ford v Ferrari.” Audouy, Buckland and Orlandi are all in the hunt for their first nominations.

Be sure to make your Oscar nominee predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on January 13. And join in the fun debate over the 2020 Academy Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

SIGN UP for Gold Derby’s free newsletter with latest predictions

More News from GoldDerby