Clovis News

No Oscar wins for two with Valley ties

It was a tough night for locals at the Oscars.

Hanford native Larry Dias didn't pick up an Academy Award in the Art Direction category. Dias, along with production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas and fellow set decorator Doug Mowat, were nominated for their work on Christopher Nolan's "Inception." The Oscar went to the "Alice in Wonderland" team.

The evening didn't go well for Clovis West graduate Brian Oliver either. He was up for an Oscar as one of the producers of Best Picture nominee "Black Swan," but the Oscar went to "King's Speech."

Brian Oliver, a 1991 Clovis West graduate, was in the running for an Oscar along with Mike Medavoy and Scott Franklin as producers of "Black Swan."

Oliver is president of Cross Creek Pictures, the company behind "Black Swan." He has just finished two more films: "The Ides of March" with Ryan Gosling and George Clooney; and "The Lady in Black" with Daniel Radcliffe.

Oliver and Hanford's Dias, who was nominated in the Art Direction category, have become part of a rich Oscar heritage for San Joaquin Valley residents.

William Saroyan won the 1944 Oscar for Best Writing, Original Story for "The Human Comedy" and Pamela Wallace picked up an Oscar in 1985 in the Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen category as writer of "Witness."

Fresno's Sam Peckinpah was nominated in the Best Writing, Story and Screenplay Based on Material Not Previously Published or Produced category for his 1969 "The Wild Bunch" but didn't win.

They only lived here for a short time, but both Cher and Kevin Costner have picked up golden statues.

Star gazers

Fresno's Vince Garcia and Sara Quiring got the chance to go to the Oscars. The pair aren't nominees -- they won a pair of bleacher seats through a lottery held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

"They set aside several hundred seats in the bleachers above the red carpet. I saw online about the lottery and entered in September. I found out I had the tickets in October," Garcia said.

The local IRS workers had to arrive at 10 a.m. Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. After an identity check, they were to take their seats to await the arrivals that would continue until the 5:30 p.m. start.

Both hoped to get a glimpse of Johnny Depp because they're big fans.

After the last celebrity arrives, those in the bleachers were to be moved to a special area to watch the awards.