Oscars 2017: John Gilbert wins Best Editing Oscar

Two New Zealanders have won back-to-back categories at the 89th Academy Awards.

New Zealand Dan Lemmon won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects for The Jungle Book alongside fellow animators Robert Legato, Adam Valdez and Andrew R. Jones.

Visual effects artists Dan Lemmon, Andrew R Jones, Adam Valdez and Robert Legato celebrate their Oscars win for Best Visual Effects for The Jungle Book. Photo/Getty
Visual effects artists Dan Lemmon, Andrew R Jones, Adam Valdez and Robert Legato celebrate their Oscars win for Best Visual Effects for The Jungle Book. Photo/Getty

Wellington-based editor John Gilbert then won Best Editing for his work on the Mel Gibson WWII drama Hacksaw Ridge.

John Gilbert accepts his Oscar trophy for best film editing at the Academy Awards. Photo/AP
John Gilbert accepts his Oscar trophy for best film editing at the Academy Awards. Photo/AP

"The story of Desmond Doss and his courage and selflessness was as good as you get," Gilbert said in his acceptance speech. "So that was a great start for me. I needed good material."

He also thanked the film's director, Mel Gibson.

"Mel, I had a fabulous time working on this film with you, and I hope there's more where it came from.

"Thank you very much. I appreciate this so much."

Gilbert's award was presented by comedian Seth Rogen and Back to the Future star Michael J Fox.

The Jungle Book beat other nominees Deepwater Horizon, Doctor Strange, Kubo and the Two Strings and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Dan Lemmon is a visual effects supervisor at Weta Digital. This was his third nomination, after visual effects nods in 2012 for Rise and in 2015 for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Hacksaw Ridge won over Arrival, Hell or High Water, La La Land and Moonlight.

John Gilbert accepts the award for best film editing for Hacksaw Ridge at the Oscars  in Los Angeles. Photo/AP
John Gilbert accepts the award for best film editing for Hacksaw Ridge at the Oscars in Los Angeles. Photo/AP

Gilbert told Newstalk ZB that at a Film Australia function celebrating the country's record 14 nominations, his Best Editing nod was celebrated as a 15th.

"They were trying to count me as an Australian but I told them to make it 14.5 - I really am a New Zealander when I comes down to it.

Read more: All the action from the Oscars

"New Zealand and Australia, we're just seen as the same kind of area I suppose."

He admitted he was "vaguely terrified" by the Oscars.

Mel Gibson directed the film Hacksaw Ridge. Photo / AP
Mel Gibson directed the film Hacksaw Ridge. Photo / AP

"You sit in this auditorium with 1000 people, knowing that there's 100 million people watching, and the idea of having to get up and actually win the award and speak to all those people is a bit of a worry.

"I don't expect to win, but if I do I'll be nicely surprised."

As an Academy member, Gilbert wasn't ashamed to say he voted for himself.

This year is his second chance at an Oscar win, with a nomination in 2002 for the first Lord of the Rings instalment.

- NZ Herald

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