Unemployed John Prestwick of Barnet was said to be in complete shock last night after bookies made him favourite to take the cinematography Oscar at this years awards ceremony. John was nominated for an Oscar for his pirate version of Hurt Locker that he filmed at the Odeon in Watford with his brother in laws’ camcorder which critics have since praised for adding a gritty, realistic layer to the original film.
Editor of Empire magazine David Maddison is a big fan of the ‘Prestwick treatment’ as it’s now being called saying ‘I applaud this type of guerrilla filming which gives a really nice documentary feel to the whole piece. When I saw the original I thought it was good but I felt like a lone outsider looking in though when you add in the coughs and whispers from the fellow audience members and the shaky camera it makes you feel like you’re sitting right there in the cinema, almost like a film within a film, a fantastic concept. When the guy with the popcorn walked in front of the camera at 1hr24m I craned my neck to try and look around him it was that convincing’
Others who have seen the film have cited the subplot of John trying not to be caught by the staff as a stroke of genius. President of the Academy of Motion pictures Tom Sherak said ‘I’m sure I wasn’t alone in holding my breath as John ducked down in his seat every time an usher walked past, with every shine of a torch beam I was literally gripping the seat in anticipation that any minute he could be frogmarched into the manager’s office. I was particularly keen on his journey to the toilet where the camera is focused on his feet the entire time with the dialogue of the film getting further away until it’s finally replaced by the sound of urination. Of course my favourite part was the omission of the last 15 minutes which leaves the audience hanging indefinitely, no credits just a blank screen and loud rustling noises , very reminiscent of early Lynch I thought’
As John was preparing to be flown out to Los Angeles by the organisers he spoke about his next big project ‘I’m planning to film the whole ceremony on my mobile phone and sell it down the market when I get back’