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.

Clips

Clipping Anomalisa: Meet Michael and Lisa

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

Watch two new featurettes from Anomalisa, the Oscar-contending adult stop-motion feature from Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson, which opens this week in LA and NY from Paramount. Read more

How They Designed The Force Awakens

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Below the Line, Clips, Oscar, Production Design, Tech | Leave a comment

Oscar-winning production designer Rick Carter divulges the Zen of Star Wars, the character arc of Han Solo and the inspiration for the Yoda-like Maz Kanata. (SPOILER ALERT!)

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Ranking the 6 Best Editing Oscar Contenders

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

Among the year’s editorial achievements: a metaphysical journey, the economic collapse as black comedy, a massive Catholic Church cover-up, post-apocalyptic adventure, one man’s colonization of Mars and LA’s “reality rap” story. Read more

How They Puppeteered Anomalisa

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

With Oscar-contending Anomalisa from Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson, stop-motion studio Starburns Industries blurs the line between animation and live-action. Caroline Kastelic, the puppet supervisor, tells us how they did it, 3D-printing 1,261 faces to go along with more than 150 puppets. Meanwhile, the Museum of the Moving Image is currently presenting “The World of Anomalisa,” an installation of two sets and puppets through March 27, 2016. Read more

How Blue Sky Rigged The Peanuts Movie

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

Given the Picasso-esque posing of Charles Schulz’s beloved characters, Blue Sky departed from its customary procedures for the Oscar-contending The Peanuts Movie. This included rigging and materials. They created hundreds of poses, but to hit all of the poses that Schulz drew and stay on model, they built a system of parts that they could move, slide, switch out and replace. When I was up at Blue Sky last summer, I spoke with Sabine Heller, character development supervisor, Justin Leach, rigging supervisor and Nikki Tomaino, lead materials tech director
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Recreating The Twin Towers for The Walk

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

The Walk, which recreates Philippe Petit’s amazing high-wire act across the World Trade Center Twin Towers in 1974, has been shortlisted for the VFX Oscar. And on Tuesday, it was the subject of a special case study on virtual production held at Sony for a joint tech committee comprised of the ASC, ADG, VES, the Previs Society, the PGA and the ICG. Read more

The 6 Best Score Oscar Contenders

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

It’s an awards season full of musical riches: the rousing update of a legendary score, the return of an iconic composer at home with the Western, a chamber piece for a journalism triumph, the fascination of forbidden love and a sublime animated tour-de-force. Read more

Clipping 10 Years of Innovative Laika Stop-Motion

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

Portland-based Laika has released a terrific video reel commemorating 10 years of bold storytelling and innovative stop-motion (Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls and next year’s Kubo and the Two Strings). Read more

How They Scored Steve Jobs as Three-Part Symphony

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Clips, Crafts, Movies, Music | Leave a comment

In keeping with Aaron Sorkin and Danny Boyle’s vision for Steve Jobs as a trio of product launches (the Macintosh in ’84, the NeXT in ’88 and the iMac in ’98), composer Daniel Pemberton wrote three different pieces that underscore the story arc and complement the distinct visual styles of director of photography Alwin H. Küchler. In fact, it became a very personal journey for the surprise Golden Globe nominee for Best Original Score, who exclusively composes on the Mac. (Watch an exclusive featurette on the making of the score below, and listen to it on SoundCloud, via USA Today.) Read more

Evaluating the Top Oscar Costume Contenders

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

Forbidden love, immigration, transgender awakening, the Hollywood Blacklist and post-apocalyptic survival are explored in the top five costume contenders. Read more