Rian Johnson Receives ‘Visionary’ Director at Hamilton Behind the Camera Awards

Rian Johnson Receives ‘Visionary’ Director at Hamilton Behind the Camera Awards

It’s rare for sequels to make a big splash on the awards circuit; only two have ever won best picture – “The Godfather II” and “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.” But director Rian Johnson’s star-studded feature “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” is also proving to be an exception, with the 48-year-old filmmaker taking home the Visionary Award for his work on the upcoming whodunnit movie at this year’s 12th annual Hamilton Behind the Camera Awards.

“I’m very lucky that I have the family around me that I’ve worked with for years and years,” Johnson said during his acceptance speech, crediting his co-collaborators with helping him to achieve his cinematic vision. “My producer Ram Bergman — we’ve been working together since my first film ‘Brick,’ my cinematographer Steve Yedlin — we met freshman year in the dorms at USC, my composer Nathan Johnson — he’s my cousin, and we’ve been making movies together since we were 10-years-old. Find those people, gather them around you like a family, and it makes it a lot more special.”

Actor Kathryn Hahn, one of the film’s many stars, presented the award to Johnson at the Nov. 6 ceremony, but not before a heartfelt tribute that had the audience erupting into laughter. Hahn said, “I can’t say enough about this jerk, I love him so much.”

The Hamilton Behind the Camera Awards annually serves to recognize the outstanding artisans who contribute to the overall success of a feature film behind-the-scenes. Honorees represent a wide spectrum of vocations in the film industry from production design to sound editing.

This year’s ceremony took place at Avalon Hollywood & Bardot and was hosted by standup comedian Fortune Feimster. The event is an annual collaboration between the Hamilton Watch Company and Los Angeles Confidential, and all of the evening’s honorees were able to pick out their own Hamilton watch after the awards.

Director Jordan Peele, critically acclaimed for features like 2018 Oscar winner “Get Out” and the 2019 thriller “Us,” presented the VFX award to visual effects supervisor Guillaume Rocheron, who he credited with revolutionizing day-for-night shooting while working on the neo-Western, sci-fi film “Nope.”

“I quickly realized there are a few reasons people don’t make UFO movies that often,” Peele said in his opening remarks. “The clouds, for one. There are a lot of clouds in this screenplay: aliens hiding in clouds, people talking about clouds, people pointing at clouds and also talking about them. Clouds move, too; you can’t control clouds. You can’t control the sky. All of this fell on Guillaume’s plate. And every shot of the sky in “Nope” was Guillaume’s work.”

The task was made far more complex due to the film’s location, which is primarily set on a ranch in the dark of the evening. Undeterred, Rocheron found a workaround using infrared technology to paint each shot frame-by-frame with a unique color palette that mimics “the effect of our pupils dilating,” Peele said.

“What I love about our work on ‘Nope’ is that a lot of the visual effects were meant to be invisible, while others were designed with just enough mystery and playfulness to fully engage the audience’s imagination,” Rocheron told the audience.

The full list of honorees for the 2022 Hamilton Behind the Camera Awards includes Rocheron, Davis, Johnson, Al Nelson, Ben Smithard, Cathy Schulman, Christopher Donaldson, Eddie Hamilton, Ethan Tobman, Guillaume DeLouche, Julius Tennon, Karen O’Hara, Luc Montpellier, Luca Guadagnino, Marci Rodgers, Peter Cosco, Quita Alfred, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Jamika Wilson and Louisa Anthony.

Celebrity presenters featured Peele, Davis, Hahn, Carey Mulligan, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Aimee Carrero, Jaimie Alexander, Florian Zeller, Frankie Faison, Jalyn Hall, Jay Ellis, Laura Dern, Monica Barbaro, Paul Adelstein, Paul Dano, Sarah Polley, Taylor Russell and Thuso Mbedu.

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