Idaho's Road to the Oscars

"Honestly, one of our goals was to make something that could win an Academy Award."


When NBC News wanted to put together a profile on Lee Schatz, they contacted Marcia Franklin about her Boise Weekly Citizen interview of the Idaho native, whose real-life drama was the foundation of Argo, one of tonight's big favorites to take home some bling from the Motion Picture Academy.

BW readers first got to know Schatz in October 2012 (BW, Citizen, "Lee Schatz," Oct. 31, 2012), several weeks after BW reported from Argo's world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (BW, Cobweb, "TIFF 2012: Argo Is As Good As It Gets," Sept. 13, 2012).

"I got into this business originally because I thought I could make a difference. And you try to do that," said Schatz, a University of Idaho grad who went on to work at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. "You can't be afraid, because if you are, you're not going to be able to do your job."

Schatz's connection to Argo isn't Idaho's only connection to this year's Oscars, though.

"Honestly, one of our goals was to make something that could win an Academy Award," Boise High grad Nels Bangerter told BW. "We thought we did a pretty great job."

Indeed they did. Bangerter's work as film editor on Buzkashi Boys was good enough to garner an Oscar nomination for Best Live Action Short Subject (BW, Screen, "From Boise to Kabul to the Oscars," Feb. 6, 2013).

Bangerter will be watching tonight's ceremony from his Oakland, Calif., home with his wife Saira and their newborn.

Meanwhile, Bangerter's mom, Heidi, will be watching from her Boise home.

"We always used to joke that one day we would go to the Oscars," she said, but added that watching tonight's ceremony from home with friends and family rooting for her son will be almost as thrilling.