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.

Costume

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 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

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

Clipping The Boxtrolls and Nature of Creation

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

Enter the world of Laika and watch how they bring the elements to life for The Boxtrolls (Sept. 26) in “The Nature of Creation” featurette. Read more

Immersed in the Laika Boxtrolls Set Visit

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

With The Boxtrolls (Sept. 26), Laika tackles its first period piece — Victorian Steampunk — as well as its first creature-oriented tale about an orphan boy, Eggs, raised underground by cave-dwelling trash collectors. The result is a more stylized, theatrical look along with more ambitious storytelling. And judging by my set visit last year in Portland and footage screened last month, The Boxtrolls is sure to be one of the year’s best animated features and a prime Oscar contender. Read more

Trailering Fourth and Final Boxtrolls

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

Watch the final trailer for Laika’s The Boxtrolls (Focus Features, Sept. 26), which tells us more about the world and plot involving this unusual family. Read more

Backstage at the 86th Academy Awards

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

As expected, 12 Years a Slave earned best picture Sunday night at the 86th Academy Awards, while Gravity dominated the crafts, winning seven, as well as best director for Alfonso Cuaron. The reverse-engineered blockbuster took home awards for cinematography, VFX, editing, sound editing, sound mixing, and original score. Read more

Oscar-Nominated Chang Talks Grandmaster Costumes

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Costume, Editing, Oscar, Production Design | Leave a comment

William Chang is certainly “The Grandmaster” of production/costume design and editing in terms of his long-time collaboration with director Wong Kar-wai. And even though he’s received his first Oscar nomination for costume designing the lyrical Ip Man martial arts extravaganza, you can’t separate his contribution to the overall look and editorial style of the movie. Read more

Craft Talking American Hustle

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

David O. Russell’s on a roll with his Oscar-contending American Hustle, his most personal and popular movie yet. It’s smart and funny, and has obviously touched a nerve with its story of survival and reinvention during the cultural and political upheaval of the late ’70s. “I don’t care about pure dissipation or pure cynicism — I’ve gotta have the thing that people live for,” he insists. So in a recent roundtable discussion, we explored how this passion spilled over to his Oscar-nominated crew: production designer Judy Becker, costume designer Michael Wilkinson, and editor Jay Cassidy. Read more

Talking Oscar-Nominated Costumes for Invisible Woman

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

Oscar-winning costume designer Michael O’ Connor (The Duchess) may be an expert at period pieces, but he was a Charles Dickens novice along with actor-director Ralph Fiennes before making The Invisible Woman. And in this year’s battle of the period pieces (American Hustle, The Great Gatsby, The Grandmaster, 12 Years a Slave), O’Connor is somewhat of a surprise nominee for this biopic about the secret affair between the middle-aged Dickens (Ralph Fiennes) and a teenage actress, Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones). Read more