Road to the Oscars: The ASC, ACE, and ADG Announce Their 2015 Nominees

By January 6, 2016

As we countdown to next week’s Oscar nominations (to be announced on Thursday, January 14), various industry guilds have rolled out there own nominees, with yesterdays Producers Guild taking many by surprise by including films like Straight Outta Compton, Ex Machina and Sicario (at the expense of The Hateful Eight, Room, Carol, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens).

A number of other industry groups have also added fuel to the Oscar fire, including the Art Directors Guild (ADG) and American Cinema Editors (ACE), both of which announced their nominees earlier this week. This morning added a new set of contenders, released by the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC). Later today, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) will also be announcing their nominees (the Directors Guild announces next week).

Here’s a roundup of these technical nominations (cinematographers, editors, and production designers).

american-society-of-cinematographers-awards-logo-01-600×466The ASC Award (Cinematographers)

BRIDGE OF SPIES – Janusz Kaminski

CAROL – Ed Lachman


THE REVENANT – Emmanuel Lubezki

SICARIO – Roger Deakins

I’ve been saying for months that this would end up being one of the toughest awards categories of the year, given the number of visually captivating films that were released in 2015. One can hardly argue with any of these nominees, though it’s hard not to wish that the work of Adam Arkapaw (Macbeth), Dariusz Wolski (The Walk and The Martian), Cary Fukanaga (Beasts of No Nation), Ping Bin Lee (The Assassin), and Luca Bigazzi (Youth) could also be included. At the end of the day, however, it’s hard to imagine anyone beating Emmanuel Lubezki (for the guild award or the Oscar) for his stunning all natural light work on The Revenant…except for the fact that it would be his third win in a row (after Gravity and Birdman), which possibly opens the door for Roger Deakins to FINALLY win an Oscar for Sicario (it’s hard to believe the man behind The Shawshank Redemption, No Country For Old Men, Fargo, The Assassination of Jesse James, and Kundun, just to name a few, hasn’t won yet! Though he has won the ASC prize for Shawshank, Skyfall, and The Man Who Wasn’t There). Don’t count out John Seale either, given the positive reception Mad Max: Fury Road has been getting by…well, everyone.

The 30th Annual ASC Awards (which also includes categories for television) will take place on February 14th.

ACE-Eddie-Awards-orange-600x275The ACE Eddie Awards (Editors) 

Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic):

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD – Margaret Sixel

THE MARTIAN – Pietro Scalia (ACE)

THE REVENANT – Stephen Mirrione (ACE)

SICARIO – Joe Walker (ACE)

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS – Maryann Brandon (ACE) and Mary Jo Markey (ACE)

Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy):

ANT-MAN – Dan Lebental (ACE) and Colby Parker, Jr. (ACE)

THE BIG SHORT – Hank Corwin (ACE)

JOY – Jay Cassidy (ACE), Alan Baumgarten (ACE), 
Christopher Tellefsen (ACE) and Tom Cross (ACE)


TRAINWRECK – William Kerr (ACE) and Paul Zucker

Best Edited Animated Feature Film:

ANOMALISA – Garret Elkins

INSIDE OUT – Kevin Nolting (ACE)

THE GOOD DINOSAUR – Stephen Schaffer (ACE)

Best Edited Feature Documentary:

AMY – Chris King

COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK – Joe Beshenkovsky and Brett Morgen


HE NAMED ME MALALA – Greg Finton (ACE), Brian Johnson and Brad Fuller

THE WRECKING CREW – Claire Scanlon

Like the Golden Globes, the Eddies are split into dramatic and comedic categories, so while ten films are recognized here, only five will be up for the Best Editing Oscar. The “comedy” film most likely to make the cut next week is The Big Short, brilliantly edited by Hank Corwin (Natural Born Killers, Nixon, Tree of Life), while the other four slots should go to four of the dramatic films listed above. Margaret Sixel, for Mad Max: Fury Road, and the team of Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey, for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, are good bets, as is longtime Ridley Scott collaborator, Pietro Scalia, for his work on The Martian. Stephen Mirrione, who won for 2001’a Traffic, is back with The Revenant, as is Joe Walker, who was nominated for 2013’s 12 Years a Slave, with Sicario. Another editor who could possibly be in the mix next week is Tom McArdle for his subtle work on Spotlight.

The 66th Annual Eddie Awards (which also includes categories for television) will take place on January 29th.

2014-adg-logoThe Art Directors Guild Awards (Production Designers) 

Excellence in Production Design for a Feature Film:

Period Film:

BRIDGE OF SPIES – Adam Stockhausen

CRIMSON PEAK – Thomas E. Sanders



TRUMBO – Mark Ricker

Fantasy Film:

CINDERELLA – Dante Ferretti

JURASSIC WORLD – Edward Verreaux

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD – Colin Gibson

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS – Rick Carter and Darren Gilford

TOMORROWLAND – Scott Chambliss

Contemporary Film:

EX MACHINA – Mark Digby

JOY – Judy Becker

THE MARTIAN – Arthur Max

SICARIO – Patrice Vermette

SPECTRE – Dennis Gassner

Again, like some of the other guilds, the ADG splits their awards into multiple categories, so a much wider breadth of films are honored with nominations. Which five will be in the running for the Best Production Design Oscar is therefore a bit harder to predict, but the Academy has a history of going with period films in this category. It’s likely, then, that at least a few from the ADG’s “Period Film” list will make the cut. I’d say Crimson Peak and The Danish Girl are the most likely, with Bridge of Spies also standing a good chance. Of the films mentioned in the fantasy category, Cinderella has a good shot at a Best Costume nomination, while Star Wars may get the nod here (especially given how much the film’s practical props and effects were emphasized). If one of the films in the contemporary category sneaks in, I would say Ex Machina has the best odds given its very distinct and elegant look and setting.

The 20th Annual ADG Awards (which also includes categories for television) will take place on January 31st.

Stay tuned for the Writers Guild nominees (later today), the Directors Guild nominees (next Tuesday) and, of course, the Oscar nominations, themselves (next Thursday)!

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Rachel Cushing
Rachel is a television editor by day and either a Jedi knight, vampire slayer, or elvish warrior by night. In between she makes time for movies, movies, and more movies (plus a few books, television shows, and then…more movies). When she’s supposed to be sleeping, she writes about movies as well, both here on and on her own blog. Tweet her @RachelJCushing