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Variety Artisans Honorees Billie Eilish, Rodrigo Prieto, Ludwig Göransson and More Share the Films and Music That Speaks to Their Careers

The 10th annual Variety Artisans Awards at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival hosted its biggest crowd to date at this year’s event, with 2,000 attendees packing the Arlington Theater to hear artisans behind Oscar-nominated films discuss their projects.

After one-on-one conversations, honorees Stephane Ceretti, visual effects supervisor on “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” Billie Eilish and Finneas, songwriters on “Barbie’s” “What Was I Made For,” Ludwig Göransson, composer on “Oppenheimer,” Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer, production designers on “Barbie,” Kazu Hiro, makeup artist on “Maestro,” Jennifer Lame, editor on “Oppenheimer,” Rodrigo Prieto, cinematographer on “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Michael Semanick, re-recording mixer on “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” and Holly Waddington, costume designer on “Poor Things,” gathered for a panel discussion.

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Senior artisans editor Jazz Tangcay challenged the honorees to name their favorite rainy day movies.

“Amadeus,” came up a few times. Goransson mentioned he had two children under the age of five, so he and his wife, musician Serena Goransson, had spent much time debating what would be the first film they would introduce them to. “My Neighbor Totoro,” Goransson replied, referring to the Miyazaki film.

Eilish also picked Miyazaki, citing “Spirited Away” as her go-to movie for when she’s stuck inside. She added, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” as another option, while Lame chose whatever was on TV or “She’s All That.”

Tangcay also asked the panel to pick a film or piece of music from their body of work as a way to get to know them.

Stefane Ceretti

SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 11: Honoree Stephane Ceretti poses with his Variety Artisans Award during the 39th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival at The Arlington Theatre on February 11, 2024 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)
SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 11: Honoree Stephane Ceretti poses with his Variety Artisans Award during the 39th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival at The Arlington Theatre on February 11, 2024 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Stefane Ceretti

“It’s really hard to choose between the kids. I would say ‘Doctor Strange,’ for sure. But there’s also another film — I love ‘The Prestige’ that I worked on, it’s such a special movie for me.”

Billie Eilish

“I find it very frustrating that I can’t control what people listen to. Sometimes I’ll get a text from a new friend and it’ll be like, ‘Oh, I was listening to,’ and they’ll name some song. And I’m like, ‘No. ’I love them all. I’d say aside from ‘What Was I Made For?’ I have this one called ‘Male Fantasy’ that I really love. I think that’s a good one.”

Finneas

SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 11: Honoree FINNEAS speaks onstage at the Variety Artisans Award ceremony the 39th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival at The Arlington Theatre on February 11, 2024 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)
SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 11: Honoree FINNEAS speaks onstage at the Variety Artisans Award ceremony the 39th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival at The Arlington Theatre on February 11, 2024 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

“We wrote a song a couple of years ago just called ‘TV.’ That one.”

Ludwig Göransson

“I would go with the TV show ‘called “‘Community.’ It was six seasons and it was just so much, and it was a movie. Every episode was different, and that was my first job. I just learned so much of scoring, and I got to really flex my muscles and learn how to score different genres of films.”

Sarah Greenwood

“We (Katie and I) talk about it as being the cousin of ‘Barbie,’ which is ‘Anna Karenina’ because it was this complete world that we created and they lived in a theater.”

Katie Spencer

SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 11: Katie Spencer speaks at the Variety Artisans Awards during the 39th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 11, 2024 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images for SBIFF)
SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 11: Katie Spencer speaks at the Variety Artisans Awards during the 39th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 11, 2024 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images for SBIFF)

“I’m going to go for a slightly earlier one, ‘Atonement’ because it’s like three films in one.”

Kazu Hiro

“‘Darkest Hour’ and ‘Bombshell'”

Jennifer Lame

SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 11: Honoree Jennifer Lame speaks onstage at the Variety Artisans Award ceremony during the 39th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival at The Arlington Theatre on February 11, 2024 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)
SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 11: Honoree Jennifer Lame speaks onstage at the Variety Artisans Award ceremony during the 39th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival at The Arlington Theatre on February 11, 2024 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Jennifer Lame

“I’m going to go with ‘Frances Ha,’ just because it was my first editing job. It was very personal to me, and I felt very connected to what the character was going through.”

Rodrigo Prieto

“‘Brokeback Mountain’ — it was a long time ago, but that was special. That was special. My mother was from Montana, from a sheep ranch, and my uncle, her brother, was gay. He was a ballet dancer. So for me it was kind of going to that side of my family and trying to understand that.”

“The other one would be the movie, ‘Biutiful’ by Alejandro González Iñárritu. That was a totally different look to it, but visually the cinematography was something that I felt, Okay, it worked. What I was going for visually came out in the movie.”

Michael Semanick

SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 11: Michael Semanick speaks at the Variety Artisans Awards during the 39th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 11, 2024 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images for SBIFF)
Michael Semanick speaks at the Variety Artisans Awards

“You’ve got a lot of homework. But it’ll be ‘The Fellowship of the Ring,’ ‘The Social Network,’ ‘Coco,’ and ‘There Will be Blood.’ You got four. Those would be the ones I would say show some of my best work.”

Holly Waddington

SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 11: Holly Waddington speaks at the Variety Artisans Awards during the 39th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 11, 2024 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images for SBIFF)
SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 11: Holly Waddington speaks at the Variety Artisans Awards during the 39th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 11, 2024 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Holly Waddington

“I was going to say ‘Lady Macbeth’ because this is a film I’ve done that I am very proud of. It was done with very little. And in contrast to ‘Poor Things,’ it was austere and pared back.”

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