Getting More Immersed with Indiewire


  The Penske Media purchase of Indiewire has resulted in an expansion of my role as crafts and awards season contributor.  Beginning this week, I begin Emmy coverage of below-the-line contenders along with my usual Oscar season crafts reporting, working closely

Immersed in Blu-ray: Hitchcock and Bogart


The WB Archive Collection gets Hitch and Bogie on Blu-ray and they've never looked better for home viewing. In Kent Jones' indispensable doc, Hitchcock/Truffaut, he reminds us that Truffaut was on a mission to correct misconceptions about Hitch as a lightweight

Immersed in Books: Farber on Film


For the first time, the complete writings of film critic Manny Farber is available from Library of America, edited by Robert Polito (Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson). Manny Farber (1917-2008) was the first modernist film critic to write like a modernist.

Cinematography

Christian Bale Talks Moses in Exodus: Gods and Kings

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Cinematography, Costume, Editing, Movies, Music, Oscar, previs, Production Design, Sound, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

While Christian Bale admitted that you can’t out-Heston Charlton Heston in playing the all-consuming Moses, the real question was if Ridley Scott can out-Gladiator Gladiator with Exodus: Gods and Kings (Dec. 12). After glimpsing about a half-hour of powerful footage that left us wanting more on Tuesday, the answer is definitely yes (watch the new trailer below). Read more

Academy Tech Council Adds 4 New Members

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Cinematography, Editing, Movies, Music, Oscar, previs, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

John Bailey, Gale Anne Hurd, John Knoll (pictured above, courtesy of sfgate.com), and Michael Tronick have joined the Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, bringing the Council’s 2014–2015 membership roster to 25. Read more

Laika/Focus Reteam for Three More Features

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Books, Cinematography, Clips, Costume, Editing, Movies, Music, Oscar, previs, Production Design, Sound, stop-motion, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Laika and Focus Features have renewed their distribution pact, with Focus distributing the next three stop-motion features domestically, and Universal Pictures International handling overseas. This is good news given the regime change at Focus and excellent box office start for The Boxtrolls, the Oscar contender which grossed $17.3 million last weekend, the biggest debut yet for Laika. Read more

Trailering Inside Out from Pixar

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Cinematography, Editing, Movies, Music, Oscar, previs, Production Design, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Pixar may be out of the Oscar race this year, but the first teaser for Pete Docter’s Inside Out (June 19, 2005) is a further proof that it’s the one to beat next season. Read more

Trailering More Intense Interstellar

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Cinematography, Costume, Editing, Movies, Music, Oscar, previs, Production Design, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

The new trailer for Interstellar  looks more intense and awe-inspiring. See it early Nov. 5 on film in 70mm IMAX, 70mm and 35mm and Nov. 7 in 4K and IMAX digital (The Chinese is being touted as the optimal experience). Read more

Directors Stacchi and Annable Talk The Boxtrolls

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Cinematography, Clips, Movies, previs, stop-motion, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

The Boxtrolls represents Laika’s most elaborate, action-packed stop-motion movie yet. It’s a feast for the eyes — more Hammer than gothic — and the two biggest challenges were the frantic waltz sequence and the Mecha-Drill mayhem. But overall, as director Graham Annable admits, “The growth and maturity of Laika, combined with the Victorian steampunk look, made for such a rich, ornate, detailed setting. It just pushed everybody’s skills to the max.” Read more

Bond 24 Gets Start Date and Cinematographer Hoytema

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Books, Cinematography, James Bond, Movies, Tech | Leave a comment

The week that Goldfinger celebrated its 50th anniversary, there were major announcements for Bond 24: it starts shooting on Dec. 6 and cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema replaces Roger Deakins. Read more

Shooting A Walk Among the Tombstones

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Books, Cinematography, Movies, Tech, Trailers | Leave a comment

For cinematographer Mihai Malaimare Jr., A Walk Among the Tombstones, now in theaters, represents his first atmospheric thriller as well as his first experience shooting in New York City. Of course, in discussing the visual style with writer-director Scott Frank, they decided to go for a ’70s gritty, de-saturated look, recalling The French Connection and The Parallax View. But adding to the paranoia is the fact that it takes place during the Y2K craze in 1999. Read more

Trailering Big Eyes from Tim Burton

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Cinematography, Movies, Music, Oscar, Production Design | Leave a comment

Watch the initial trailer for Tim Burton’s Big Eyes (Christmas Day, TWC), his first Oscar contender since Big Fish. Read more

Oscar Watch: Previewing the Craft Awards

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Cinematography, Costume, Editing, Events, Movies, Music, Oscar, performance capture, previs, Sound, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

The crafts buzz has already started with Emmanuel (Chivo) Lubezki’s extraordinary “continuous take” in Alejandro Iñárritu’s  Birdman. Will the experimental cinematographer snag his second Academy Award in a row after Gravity? Or will 11-time Oscar nominee Roger Deakins (just as digitally cutting edge) finally win his elusive prize for Unbroken, the epic biopic directed by Angelina Jolie about the late Olympian war hero Louis Zamperini (Jack O’Connell)? That’s probably the biggest mini-drama that will play out in this year’s below-the-line awards competition. Read more