Kicking off the Academy Awards

Nearly 45 million viewers tuned in to the 76th Academy Awards, the biggest audience in several years, drawn in part by the return of go-to host Billy Crystal and the promise of a signature big show opening. And Crystal delivered, leading his musical monologue with a montage parody in which he is inserted — in full costume, and lack thereof — into actual scenes from nominated films. Crystal convincingly slays a giant elephant from “Lord of the Rings,” comes conspicuously between Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton in “Something’s Gotta Give” and climbs both “Cold Mountain” and the final mountain in “Rings,” complete with a relocated Kodak Theater and Hollywood sign. Director Troy Miller of LA-based Dakota Pictures shot much of the film against green screen backgrounds, using clever composites to convince the audience that Crystal was really “there.” And to convince themselves that the illusions were working, the Dakota crew used PowerBooks and a Power Mac G5 editing station running Final Cut Pro to create and view the shots on the fly, on set, as the footage was captured. Check out the process. Source: Apple Hot News Thanks to Rob for the link!

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