SPIKE LEE’S 2007 OSCAR COMMERCIALS

In 2006, the Academy commissioned Spike Lee to direct a series of short television commercials to promote the 79th Annual Academy Awards, which took place on February 25, 2007. In August of 2006 in New York City, Lee filmed 123 individuals delivering iconic lines from Academy Award-winning and nominated films.

Six commercials were released and aired on ABC and its affiliates.

The Academy Film Archive holds the master elements to the commercials, including dailies and behind-the-scenes footage of the 2006 shoot which can be seen here: http://youtu.be/2WrRM2qXqxM

The Academy’s series “By Any Means Necessary: A Spike Lee Joints Retrospective” kicks off on June 26 with a screening of 25th Hour and the opening of the exhibit “WAKE UP! David C. Lee Photographs the Films of Spike Lee” at the Linwood Dunn Theater. The exhibit showcases photographs by David C. Lee taken on the sets of his brother’s films over the years. The Spike Lee retrospective continues with screenings celebrating the 25th anniversary of Do the Right Thing on June 27 in Los Angeles at the Bing Theater and June 29 in New York, with more films running through July at the Bing Theater and the Linwood Dunn Theater.




SECRETS OF THE SILVER SHEET

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By the time the first issue of The Silver Sheet was published in 1920, filmmaker Thomas H. Ince (seen below) was already a revolutionary motion picture producer and director. This publication marks the formation of his last motion picture company, the Thomas H. Ince Studios in Culver City before his untimely dea...
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MAKE YOUR OWN CARTOONS

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The Animators Kartoon Kit, a boxed set aimed at children and young artists, was filled with materials to make animated color cartoons at home, including the same paint used to create Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons. There weren’t enough blank cels in the kit to produce much of a film however, the accompanying booklet documents the common practice of washing the paint off the cels for reuse after photography.

The kit was the brainchild of young entrepr...
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SPIKE LEE'S START

Before he turned the heads of moviegoers with Do the Right Thing and She’s Gotta Have It, young filmmaker Spike Lee earned a Student Academy Award in 1983 for his first feature-length film, Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads, his masters thesis at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Horace Long and Monty Ross are seen here in the film, which will have a rare public screening as part of our ...
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ADVERTISING AND THE OSCARS: 1955 FLASHBACK

Did you know that in the early years of the Academy Awards, commercials were integrated directly into the telecast?

In 1955, directly after Gene Milford receives an Oscar® statuette for Film Editing for On the Waterfront, Bob Hope introduces a commercial for the Oldsmobile Holiday, featuring Lee Bowman. The telecast, which lasted 104 minutes, featured only four commercials, all of which advertised the Oldsmobile.

On Friday, June 6, the Academy celebrates the 60th anniversary of On the Waterfront with special guest Eva Marie Saint.




DOCUMENTING WORLD WAR II: HOLLYWOOD SUPPORTS THE WAR EFFORT

As America plunged into World War II following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, members of the motion picture community rushed to assist in the war effort. Many of these highly-skilled film industry professionals lent their talents to the Army Pictorial Service (APS), a division of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Established in 1942 by George C. Marshall, the APS counted among its most important tasks the visual documentation of the war.

In January 1943, director George Stevens joined the Army and was later selected to head the Special Motion Picture Coverage Unit (SPECOU) of the Allied Expeditionary Force. Working...
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DRAWING ON THE WATERFRONT

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You can almost hear Leonard Bernstein’s jazz score in this conceptual illustration by Richard Day for the 1954 classic, On the Waterfront, which will screen at the Academy on June 6 with special guest Eva Marie Saint. Working from the script, Day’s exploration of the film’s scenic design is a road map to its overall mood and look....
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PIECING TOGETHER JACQUES KAPRALIK

Using an assortment of materials including satin roses, yarn, buttons, fabric, paper, balsa wood and an array of small trinkets, Jacques Kapralik fashioned an immediately identifiable graphic style.

A commercial artist whose career began in Romania creating caricatures of European celebrities and events, Kapralik immigrated to the US in 1936 where he began rendering editorial caricatures focusing on movie personalities. This led to his best known and loved work, the trade ads he created for the movie studios...
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SAUL BASS

In honor of what would have been Saul Bass’ 94th birthday this week, we highlight some previously unseen photographs from the Academy’s Saul Bass Collection. In arguably his best known and most acclaimed film, “Why Man Creates” (1968, Academy Award® winner for Documentary Short Subject), the section entitled “The Process” features photographs and voices of influential figures. The sequence, which includes Thomas Edison, Ernes...
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DRESSING "THE TEN COMMANDMENTS"

In the Spring of 1952, Cecil B. DeMille announced that he would direct a remake of his 1923 biblical epic The Ten Commandments. As was typical of a DeMille film, the production involved hundreds of crew members and months of research and preparation, leaving not even the smallest detail unattended. For the period costuming required, DeMille relied on Paramount’s chief costume designer, Edith Head, to lead a team that included four other credited designers: Arnold Friberg, Dorothy Jeakins, Ralph Jester and John Jensen. In this image from the ...
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