So how did they make Ted present at the Oscars?

In an Oscars segment that has received considerable praise in reviews of the telecast, a computer-generated Ted, from the Seth MacFarlane movie, presented the Sound Mixing and Sound Editing categories with his co-star Mark Wahlberg.

Tippett Studio, which had also worked on the feature film, along with Iloura, was responsible for the gag. The studio had earlier animated a digital Ted for a Jimmy Kemmel segment last December. Since the Oscars was being broadcast live, the pre-recorded segment with Wahlberg this time had to integrate seamlessly with the Oscar night performance.

The presentation was conceived with the co-operation of MacFarlane, telecast director Don Mischer and the Awards broadcast team. Tippett’s Blair Clark, who was also the visual effects supervisor on Ted, led the animation effort.

To film the segment, a duplicate of the Academy Awards stage was constructed at CBS Studios, with lighting and cameras arranged to match the Dolby Theatre set up. Then, Tippett animated Ted and MacFarlane provided the voice-over.

With five nominees in each category, 10 different outcomes were rendered (Tippett relied on Dell Precision workstations) in a four week schedule. The correct ones were played on the night. Interestingly, in the Sound Editing category Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty tied, which presumably meant that the segment ended earlier than intended and cut back to a live Wahlberg – without anyone at home knowing.

1 thought on “So how did they make Ted present at the Oscars?”

  1. Pretty amazing – I had discounted the possibility that they’d mocked up the whole set and assumed there was some sophisticated matting going on.

    Does that means we should see some continuity mismatch in the walk-on shot between the rear view of the audience members in the front rows and the actual attendees on broadcast night? Please don’t tell me they had the seating chart and body-doubled everybody in those front rows…

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