Billie Eilish and her brother, Finneas O’Connell, made a rare appearance on Sunday at the Variety Artisans panel at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF).
The panel, sponsored by Variety magazine and moderated by Artisan Editor Jazz Tangcay, featured film artisans whose work appears in the year’s most recognized films. This is one of the most interesting SBIFF panels, especially for those who enjoy learning about the filmmaking process.
There is usually a relatively small crowd that draws around 400 to 500 people to Arlington. However, Eilish’s appearance made the panel a different experience this year. There were crowds of fans to greet his arrival, leading to the closure of a few streets around Arlington. The crowd grew to 2,000 people inside the theater.
During Eilish’s appearance with her brother, she spoke about their soulmate relationship and said she would never want to work with him. The affection between the two of them was genuine. They talked about writing Barbie’s hit song, Why am I made, relatively quickly, finding the melody after 30 minutes of watching the film. They also noted that the images in the related video are home movies and photos of the cast and crew of barbie.
The crowd was attentive, only one guy blurted out “Will you marry me?” awkwardly in the middle. She said “yeah sure dude” in a playful way.
The crowd stayed for all the other artisans (full list below) which included not other pop stars but film industry heavyweights in their own right. Ludwig Göransson, the composer of “Oppenheimer” and Holly Waddington, costume designer of “Poor Things”.
Thus, Eilish’s experience may have served to broaden the understanding of cinema to audiences who otherwise may not have been exposed to the required artistic disciplines.
Here is a full list of winners:
1. Stéphane Ceretti – Visual effects, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3″
Stéphane Ceretti played an integral role in the Marvel blockbuster by contributing to the compelling story of Rocket Racoon, voiced by Bradley Cooper. Working closely with the VFX team, Ceretti brought baby Rocket to life at different stages of his evolution, focusing on animating the character’s emotions.
2. Billie Eilish and Finneas – “What Was I Made For” song from “Barbie”
Billie Eilish and Finneas created a melancholy ballad called “What Was I Made For” for the smash hit “Barbie.” The song is featured in a pivotal scene between Margot Robbie’s Barbie character and the iconic doll’s creator, Ruth Handler, played by Rhea Perlman.
3. Ludwig Göransson – Composer, “Oppenheimer”
Ludwig Göransson’s score for “Oppenheimer” has received widespread praise, with critics saying his composition immerses the audience in Oppenheimer’s perspective, using the violin as the main instrument.
4. Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer – Production Designer/Scenic Decorator, “Barbie”
Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer took on the challenge of building Barbieland on the UK’s soundstages for the film ‘Barbie’. To create a sense of scale and realism, Greenwood and Spencer reduced the designs by 23 percent. This intentional distortion allowed the actors playing the dolls to appear larger in comparison. Adhering to a unique set of rules, they infused the world with fuchsia and pink hues, eschewed black, white, and brown colors, eliminated natural elements like fire and water, and used depictions of food resembling toys.
5. Kazu Hiro – Hair/Makeup, “Maestro”
Kazu Hiro’s incredible prosthetic makeup work involved transforming Bradley Cooper into renowned musician Leonard Bernstein in “Maestro.” Covering different stages of Bernstein’s life, Hiro used multiple layers of makeup, including prosthetics for the nose, lips, chin, and numerous details for the top of the head, forehead, eyelids, and more.
6. Jennifer Lame – Editor, “Oppenheimer”
Jennifer Lame’s work as an editor on Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” involved tackling complex historical events, rivalries and relationships. Blade aimed to shine a spotlight on female characters, ensuring they felt multidimensional and complex.
7. Rodrigo Prieto – Cinematography, “Killers of the Flower Moon”
Rodrigo Prieto used a distinct visual language in “Killers of the Flower Moon” to differentiate the Osage natives from the newcomers in 1923 Oklahoma. Prieto’s creative approach involved the use of techniques developed by Technicolor Rome and the Brothers Light to describe the tragic story of the Osage murders.
8. Michael Semanick – Re-recording mixer, “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”
Michael Semanick’s expertise as a re-recording mixer contributed to the immersive audio experience of “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.” Using both digital and analog equipment, Semanick skillfully balanced reflective moments and action sequences.
9. Holly Waddington – Costume Designer, “Poor Things”
Holly Waddington played Emma Stone’s character, Bella Baxter, in “Poor Things” and gradually undressed Bella throughout the film, symbolizing her childish nature. In the end, Bella wore lightweight fabrics reflecting her freedom, empowerment, and enlightenment. The use of quilted fabrics earlier in the film emphasized Bella’s childlike qualities.
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts and education organization dedicated to discovering and presenting the best in independent and international cinema. Learn more at sbiff.org