‘Dune’ at the 94th Oscars – Shortlists Deep Dive

The movie is shortlisted for all eligible categories announced so far

It’s safe to say that Dune: Part One is a favorite this film awards season. The movie has already secured one win at the 2022 Golden Globes—Hans Zimmer took home the Globe for Best Original Score in a Motion Picture—as well as being awarded in three categories, including Best Cinematography, by the San Diego Film Critics Society. While we anticipate continued success for Dune, for example during next month’s HCA Film Awards, the Oscars recently announced their shortlists for nominees.

When the 94th Oscars Shortlist came out (late December 2021), Dune made its presence known. The science fiction film appears in four categories—all of those for which it was eligible to be included. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science has shortlisted Dune for:

  • Makeup and Hairstyling
  • Music (Original Score)
  • Sound
  • Visual Effects

Before the Oscars ceremony airs on Sunday, March 27, 2022, the Academy will continue to make cuts and announce their final list of nominees. The aforementioned shortlist only contains 10, of the 24 total, categories that the Oscars award. With hopes of Dune securing its already shortlisted spots, we can also look forward to potential nominations in some of these categories:

  • Best Actor in a Leading Role
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role
  • Best Actress in a Leading Role
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role
  • Best Adapted Screenplay
  • Best Art Direction
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Costume Design
  • Best Director
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Picture
  • Best Sound Editing
  • Best Sound Mixing

The official Academy Awards nominations will be announced Tuesday, February 8, 2022.

In the meantime let’s dive deeper into each of the shortlisted nomination categories. In the following videos, director Denis Villenueve and crew explain how they were able to bring key aspects of the Dune universe to the big screen:

Hair and Makeup

‘Beware the Baron’, one of the extras included with the Blu-ray and some digital versions of Dune‘s home video release, features astounding work by Donald Mowat (makeup and hair department head, prosthetic designer) and his team as they bring the Harkonnen characters to life.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to watch it, here’s an earlier cut of that inside look with Denis Villeneuve, Donald Mowat, David Dastmalchian (Piter de Vries), and Stellan Skarsgard (Baron Harkennen) discussing how they interpreted these characters for the screen (three minutes). We reported on this behind-the-scenes feature last year and there’s also a transcript available in that article.

Music (Original Score)

As covered on the Dune Talk show last fall, our team has been unreserved with enthusiasm for Hans Zimmer’s, now award-winning, soundtrack for Dune: Part One. Also see our earlier written review of the movie’s score.

In this ‘Celestial Sounds’ featurette, again a shorter cut of a Blu-ray extra (‘A New Soundscape’), the composer and director discuss translating their lifelong favorite book into a story of voices, sounds, and instruments to develop an otherworldly score (four minutes).


The crafting of Dune‘s unique soundscapes was led by Ron Bartlett (recording mixer), Theo Green (supervising sound editor and sound designer), and Mark Mangini (supervising sound editor). In this feature, the sound team and director explore the process of coming up with ideas and creating the sounds that accompany the characters, nature, and technology of this rich universe (29 minutes).

Visual Effects

This individual interview with Paul Lambert (VFX supervisor), on Allan McKay’s podcast, covers everything related to the visual effects we see in the Dune movie. Lambert discusses the keys to photorealism, the sandworm and its environment, how characters interact with the sand, as well as the vehicle functionality on Arrakis (6.5 minutes).

Finally, here’s an inside look at designing the sandworms in Dune: Part One. Denis Villenueve, Mark Mangini, and Theo Green talk about the many decisions involved in creating such a vital creature of Arrakis (5.5 minutes).

On the topic of sandworms, we’ll be seeing a lot more of these enormous creatures in Dune: Part Two and expectation is that this will leverage more practical effects. In a 2020 interview, art director Tom Brown talked about how they already built part of a physical sandworm model, in preparation for the second movie.