These are the big categories. In addition to talking about the Best Picture race itself, we will be looking at what are historically the four most important categories. Not necessarily because they get the most press attention — we covered the acting categories first — but because films getting nominated and winning in these categories have a significant statistical relationship with success in the Best Picture race.

Best Film Editing


For this entry, we are going over who is likely to win in the following categories and why: Best Cinematography, Production Design, Costume Design, Makeup & Hairstyling, and Visual Effects.

These categories can generally abide by a simple rule: more is more. When most of the voting body doesn't necessarily understand the more subtle aspects of a given craft (the three biggest Academy branches are actors, producers, and executives), then it helps when the craft in a given movie calls a lot of attention to itself.

For a cinematographer, this means shooting a really long take without visible cuts. See……


I tried to come up with a nicer name for this subsection of categories, but its a fitting description. These are the categories aside from Best Picture that award entire films.

Specifically, we are going to go over Best Animated Feature, Best International Feature Films, Best Documentary Feature, Best Live Action Short Film, and Best Animated Short Film.

Best Animated Feature


In this entry, we will be going over the likely winners for the categories of Sound, Original Score, and Original Song.

It has been said by many in the film industry that audio quality is more important than the picture. It may initially sound counterintuitive, given that film is a visual medium, but trust me, you are far more likely to have a negative reaction to a crisp image with middling sound quality than the opposite.

It’s reasonable to say that a lot of the nuance in these categories goes underappreciated.

Best Sound

Sound mixers and editors don't really get their due…


I haven't posted in a few weeks due to a busy work schedule. So, to make up for lost time; I’m going to write a series of articles to offer odds and insight into all the Oscar races (yes, even the categories that don't involve celebrities) before the big night: the 93rd Academy Awards on April 25th, just over a week from today.

I’ve been doing this for a while and rarely miss more than 3 categories. This is because I put too much thought into it, due to it being an intersection of my two great passions: film and…


Memes. Not war.

Vespa 150 TAP

Also known as “Bazooka Vespa”, this idea was originally designed for a cheap transportation (its literally just a modified Vespa) option to send down with French (of course) paratroopers. The gun was supposed to be removed before firing, but who were they kidding? The idea of sending dudes in their late teens or early twenties down with a gun-mounted scooter and them not firing it while in motion is almost as absurd as the initial idea of a Bazooka Vespa.

The Krummlauf Curved Rifle


Yes, I will give you the context behind this beautiful, bizarre image.

As a nerd of history — and other things — who is on the spectrum, I like to show people stuff I'm interested in. The issue is what I am interested in is often boring to normal people, so I have to be selective.

So, when it comes to historical photos, I tend to go for the ones that are either funny, evocative, have a story, involve cute animals, or (my personal favorite) the ones that elicit an “Oh shit! That happened?” from people.

In no particular order.

Jingle All the Way


Not on the list. But it makes a good clickbait image, doesn't it?

The pointy end goes in the other man! Theres hardly a type of prop as iconic as an awesome looking sword. Coming in all shapes and sizes in science fiction, fantasy, kung fu, and historical epics; the ur-badassery of the long blade is a staple of film and TV cuture.

Here are my 7 personal favorites based on design, function, plot utility, and straight-up cool factor.

7. Sulu’s Retractable Sword — Star Trek (2009)


Something you notice a lot on Reddit discourse and even public proclamations from sitting government officials is that people like to ascribe political slants that favor their side onto their favorite pieces of pop culture. It’s mostly unthinking projection and posturing to portray your own side as unambiguously good and vice versa. It’s way more interesting to examine the big baddies of movies and TV through a genuine analytical lens. I’m here to provide that lens. Why focus on villains specifically? First, to narrow the scope. Second, because it’s way more fun. So, without further ado, here’s…. Further ado. …


I have never blogged before. Not really. I’m all too familiar with the brainfart nature of social media posting, but I wanted a place where I can share my more elaborate thoughts.

My intention is for this blog to be a casual outlet for my musings on various subjects. From pop culture, politics (and the unholy intersection between the two) along with history, art, the creative process, and perhaps reviews of…. honestly, whatever I feel like.

I just want to hold myself to putting something out in the world every Wednesday or Thursday.

To keep it short–possibly for the last time–that’s the intro, the first blog is tomorrow.

PT Philben

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store