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.

Crafts

How NYFCC Winner Lachman Shot Carol

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

Carol is definitely a far cry from Todd Haynes’ Douglas Sirk-inspired Far From Heaven. It’s a completely different aesthetic, of course: the difference between expressionism and naturalism, the difference between Hollywood artifice and more delicate photography. Which is why Haynes’ long-time DP Ed Lachman, who last week won Best Cinematography from the New York Film Critics Circle, chose to shoot the gorgeous Patricia Highsmith-adapted love story starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara on Super 16 film. Read more

How Shore Composed Spotlight for Chamber Orchestra

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

Howard Shore’s score for Spotlight might be the highlight of his distinguished career, which has already earned him two Oscars for his epic Lord of the Rings work. The key inspiration after reading the script was conceiving it as a chamber piece for 10-piece orchestra, evoking the tragedy and triumph of Tom McCarthy’s fact-based journo procedural. Read more

How Pixar Animated The Good Dinosaur

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

Animating dinos was new to Pixar on The Good Dinosaur, with particular emphasis on Arlo, the young Apatosaurus protagonist, as well as the special brand of T-Rexes. Locomotion and efficiency were key, and the animators took their cues from studying elephants. However, for the T-Rexes, director Peter Sohn wanted them to look like cowboys on horseback. Animation director Rob Thompson and animator Kevin O’Hara discuss the challenges. Read more

Sneak Peeking Zootopia with Howard & Moore

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

Zootopia (March 4, 2016), from directors Byron Howard (Tangled) and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph) and producer Clark Spencer (Wreck-It Ralph), represents Disney’s first anthropomorphic feature “designed for animals by animals.” Rookie bunny cop Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) teams up with sly fox Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) to solve a disappearance that could tear Zootopia apart. It’s about overcoming bias and Grammy-winning Shakira will voice pop star Gazelle and sing the anthem, “Try Everything.” Read more

Disney/Dali Destino Art: Lost, Found, Reconstructed

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

At long last, the narrative puzzle for Salvador Dali and Disney’s Destino has been put back together, thanks to the recovery of a “lost” collection of Destino art, which was presented for the first time at Chapman University on Tuesday by animation art conservationist Ron Barbagallo (view a clip here). Images by permission of the Research Library at Animation Art Conservation. Read more

Transforming Eddie Redmayne Into The Danish Girl

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

The subtle craft of transforming transgender pioneer Lili Elbe (Eddie Redmayne) in The Danish Girl is one of the great stories this awards season involving production design, cinematography, hair/makeup and costume design. Read more

How They Shot Mad Max: Fury Road

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

Fury Road was a reinvigorating adventure for veteran cinematographer John Seale, who came out of retirement to collaborate once again with George Miller. Only this was no Lorenzo’s Oil, the last film he shot for Miller. Read more

Getting Animated About the Oscar Contenders

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

Here are the five likely nominees for best animated feature: Pixar at its most abstract, Blue Sky’s masterpiece, two very different stop-motion triumphs and the hand-drawn Brazilian tapestry distributed by GKIDS. Read more

Revisiting Shaun the Sheep Movie from Aardman

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

Last week’s Blu-ray/DVD combo pack arrival of Shaun the Sheep Movie from Lionsgate offered another opportunity to speak with directors Mark Burton & Richard Starzak about Aardman’s Oscar contender, which has racked up $100 million internationally and sparked a sequel from Studiocanal. Stop-motion without dialogue and exploring good vs. bad parenting during its rollicking adventure provided lots of new tricks, even for Aardman. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Ant-Man from Marvel

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

Marvel’s Ant-Man with Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas arrives Dec. 8th on Blu-ray/DVD from Disney as an absurd superhero/heist movie. Read more