7 Great Filmmakers On Their Craft

This week we’ve been sharing Movies OnDemand’s video interviews with some of this year’s Oscar nominees on their craft. In parts I, II and III, we've heard what artists such as Alejandro G. Iñárritu, J.K. Simmons, Felicity Jones, Keira Knightley, Ethan Hawke, Edward Norton, and Bennett Miller have had to say about their craft.

It’s the case every single year, however, that films and filmmakers get left off the nominee list that could have easily been selected. It’s always a tricky business codifying art, saying what’s “best” in a medium in which there’s so many different ways to tell a story and so many talented people doing so in their own, singular style. Just looking at one category like Best Director and you see how painful it is to choose between artists. Directors like Ava DuVernay, David Fincher and J.C. Chandor are a few of the people who could have (and for DuVernay, perhaps really, really should have) been nominated. Filmmaking is not football, there are no set rules, there is no bounded area in which you must perform, and there's no score. Passionate filmmakers don’t embark on a journey to win something. In fact, the creative world is made up of people who actively avoided the zero-sum world of sports.

Anyway. The point is this year, like every year, had a lot of great films that were overlooked by the Academy voters. It happens, there are just too many good films and not enough spots to go around. When Movies OnDemand started interviewing filmmakers for their ‘Contender’ series, they weren’t sure who was going to get nominated, and many of their subjects, like first-time writer/director Jon Stewart for Rosewater and actress Katherine Waterson for Inherent Vice could have easily been nominated, but weren’t.

So onto the un-nominated, then. This crop of talented filmmakers had a good year, regardless, and no one among us should cry for them. They'll likely be back in the hunt again soon.

Katherine Waterson, Inherent Vice

“Fun Ride”

Chris Rock, Top Five

“Writing the Script”

Jon Stewart, Rosewater

“Getting Involved”

Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler

“The World of Nightcrawler”

Atticus Ross, Gone Girl

“The Process”

Chaz Ebert on Steve James’ documentary about her husband, Roger Ebert, Life Itself



Oscar Issac, A Most Violent Year

“Choosing a Role”





The Credits

The Credits is an online magazine that tells the story behind the story to celebrate our large and diverse creative community. Focusing on profiles of below-the-line filmmakers, The Credits celebrates the often uncelebrated individuals who are indispensable to the films and TV shows we love.