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

How They Made the 12-Year Boyhood

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Cinematography, Clips, Editing, Oscar, Tech | Leave a comment

Boyhood editor Sandra Adair and director of photography Shane Kelly reveal the secrets behind the making of Richard Linklater’s Best Picture frontrunner. Read more

Lubezki Talks One-Shot Illusion of Birdman

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Cinematography, Clips, Movies, Oscar, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

How did Chivo do it? The Oscar-winning cinematographer walks us through Birdman. Read more

First Look at The Jungle Book from Disney/Favreau

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

Get a glimpse of the first concept art from Disney’s hybrid re-imagining of The Jungle Book (Oct. 9, 2015), directed by Jon Favreau (ChefIron ManElf). Read more

A Look at Five Cinematography Frontrunners

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

Will Roger Deakins (Unbroken) finally win his elusive Oscar after 11 nominations? Or will Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki (Birdman) earn two in a row? Will Dick Pope (Mr. Turner) grab his first Academy Award on the 10th film with Mike Leigh, or will Jeff Cronenweth (Gone Girl) finally strike gold with David Fincher? Can the very hot Hoyte van Hoytema (Interstellar) take home his first prize as the lone film practitioner (primarily using IMAX)? All of the work is extraordinary as cinematography once again signifies the most exciting of the craft races. Read more

Roger Deakins Talks Unbroken

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

Roger Deakins, the 11-time Oscar nominee and the guru of naturalism, provides his most beautiful work for Angelina Jolie’s powerful Unbroken, the biopic about Olympic runner turned war hero Louis Zamperini (Jack O’Connell).

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Trailering More Inside Out from Pixar

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

Go deeper into next year’s most anticipated animated feature: Pixar’s Inside Out (June 19, 2005) from director Pete Docter. Read more

Cracking the Alan Turing Code of Imitation Game

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

In an awards season dominated by biopics, The Imitation Game is the most unconventional, flashing forward and back to decode the enigmatic mathematician, scientist and spy Alan Turing, played by the Oscar-buzzy Benedict Cumberbatch. Read more

Shooting Mr. Turner Straight Up Digitally

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

There are few movies this awards season as breathtakingly beautiful as Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, the biopic that takes us into the visionary mind of eccentric 19th century British painter J.M.W.  Turner (brilliantly played by Timothy Spall). It certainly represents the best work of the director’s longtime cinematographer Dick Pope, who’s chasing his first Oscar. Read more

Lensing and Scoring the Brutal Homesman

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Cinematography, Clips, Movies, Music, Oscar, Sound, Tech, Trailers, VFX | Leave a comment

Tommy Lee Jones hauntingly turns the Western upside down in The Homesman, an exploration of harsh frontier life for women in 19th century Nebraska. The brutal winds were enough to make anyone go insane. Hilary Swank and Jones come together for the oddest of journeys, brilliantly photographed by Rodrigo Prieto with an innovative score by Marco Beltrami. Read more

Creating Ballroom Dancing in The Boxtrolls

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

Without a doubt, the exquisite ballroom dance sequence from The Boxtrolls (a romantic interlude combined with a frantic chase and culminating with public humiliation) was the most difficult to pull off, particularly in stop-motion. It required special planning, some creative experimentation, and extra effort from all the departments. And the sequence is enhanced by Dario Marianelli’s pretty waltz (watch the exclusive “Let’s Dance” making of featurette below, with the David Bowie cover composed by McKenzie Stubbert). Read more