The Power of the Dog has earnt a remarkable 12 Academy Award nominations. Behind each of those accolades are hundreds of people, many of them Aucklanders, who helped make the film a success.

Applause across the globe

If ever there was an example of filmmaking as a collaborative process, it’s The Power of the Dog. The movie’s 12 Academy Award nominations encompass almost the full range of the movie maker’s art. 

As director, Dame Jane Campion has rightly earnt plaudits for her vision. Similarly, it’s hard to argue against acting nominations for Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Kodi Smit-McPhee. Ari Wegner should be in the mix for best cinematography. Jonny Greenwood’s movie scores have been nominated for so many awards there’s an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to them – will this be the year he earns his first Oscar (and will he have room for it in a house already full to bursting with the trophies won by his band, Radiohead)? 

Then there’s best adapted screenplay, production design, editing, sound and, of course, best picture. What a list, and all so, so deserving of recognition.

Celebrating our local talent

Yet that’s just the tip when it comes to making a film. Beyond the nominees, hundreds of other people worked together to make The Power of the Dog a success – each one adding a crucial piece to the production jigsaw.

And because the production was based in Tāmaki Makaurau, a lot of these people were and are Aucklanders. The skill, knowledge and experience to produce a 12-time Oscar nominated movie exists right here. 

Some, like costume designer Kirsty Cameron, are already legendary, and have previously worked on Oscar-winning films. Kirsty grew up in Pakuranga. Others have less of an international profile, but just try running a production without them. Doof Doof, for example, is a mobile catering company that specialises in serving film crews. Doof Doof’s owners, Jo Warren and Mark Reihana, cannily base their business in west Auckland, within easy reach of Tāmaki Makaurau’s world-class studio facilities and stunning locations. 

The Academy Award winners are about to be announced. We will cheer them all; they deserve it, and their individual achievements also represent the unnamed people standing behind them. But we will save our biggest cheers for anyone who wins an Oscar for The Power of the Dog – because it was based in Tāmaki Makaurau, and so many of the people who contributed to its success are our own.