Circuit Breaker Interview: Paul Austerberry, Sidney Wolinsky, and Dan Laustsen Discuss ‘The Shape of Water’

Guillermo del Toro‘s film “The Shape of Water” is a favorite among various film festivals, critics groups, and guilds. At the Academy Award nominations last week, the film paced the field with 13 nominations, including Best Picture and Director.

The film has been described as a sort of grown-up fairy tale. It is the Cold War-era story of Elisa, a mute woman who works as a cleaning person in a research facility in Baltimore. Elisa’s structured life changes when an Amazonian creature is brought to the lab. Elisa strikes up a friendship of sorts with the creature before it eventually turns into something more.

Sally Hawkins stars as Elisa in a performance that many have lauded as her career best. Her work is supported by an outstanding cast that includes Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer, Richard Jenkins, and Michael Stuhlbarg.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with three members of the crew about their experiences working on the film, and about the creative genius that is Guillermo del Toro.

Paul D. Austerberry is the Production Designer and newly anointed BAFTA nominee. His previous credits include “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” and “Shut In.”

Editor Sidney Wolinsky has worked on some 50 films and series over his career. He has worked in television on series from “The Walking Dead” to “The Man in the High Castle.” His film credits also include “Not Fade Away” and “Terms of Endearment.” He won a Primetime Emmy for “Boardwalk Empire.”

Director of Photography Dan Laustsen is one of Guillermo del Toro’s biggest fans. It was during the filming of “Crimson Peak” that the director first approached him about “The Shape of Water.” Last year, Laustsen also worked on “John Wick 2.”

CLICK THE CATEGORY TO SEE THE OSCAR PREDICTIONS:

MOTION PICTURE | DIRECTOR |
LEAD ACTOR | LEAD ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | 
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE |
PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING | SOUND MIXING | SOUND EDITING | VISUAL EFFECTS |
ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG |
FOREIGN LANGUAGE | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE |