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.

Editing

Crafts Roundup: Editors Talk Survival and Reinvention

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

With such an emphasis this year on survival and reinvention, the journeys required special editorial attention to shifts in tone and unconventional arcs while at the same time conveying internal struggles that we cared about. Here’s a sampling from 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, All Is Lost, American Hustle, Before Midnight, and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

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Craft Talking 12 Years a Slave

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

The visual power of 12 Years a Slave derives from a juxtaposition of horror and beauty that director Steve McQueen calls “Goya-esque.” It immerses us in the totality of Solomon Northup’s experience, a brutal inhumanity that nonetheless took place on gorgeous plantations. Production designer Adam Stockhausen, cinematographer Sean Bobbitt, costume designer Patricia Norris, and editor Joe Walker collaborated on this rich tapestry, which has helped make 12 Years a Slave the best picture Oscar frontrunner. Read more

Gravity, Her Tie for LAFCA Best Picture Honors

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

The LA Film Critics Assn. was deeply divided in its picks, winding up with three ties, including best picture (Gravity and Her), best actress (Blue Jasmine’s Cate Blanchett and Blue is the Warmest Color’s Adele Exarchopoulos), and best supporting actor (Spring Breaker’s James Franco and Dallas Buyers Club’s Jared Leto). Read more

Kindle Edition of James Bond Unmasked Available

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

I’ve updated my book, James Bond Unmasked (Spies), to include a Skyfall chapter, an exclusive interview with Sam Mendes, and new Daniel Craig quotes from various press conferences. JBU is currently available in a Kindle edition and coming soon to Nook and other e-readers. Read more

Trailering New Wolf of Wall Street

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

Now that Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-contending The Wolf of Wall Street has been finished in time by editor Thelma Schoonmaker for a Christmas release, we have a new trailer to watch. Read more

Talking Prisoners with Editors Cox & Roach

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

Lucky for director Denis Villeneuve that Clint Eastwood’s A Star is Born remake with Beyonce Knowles fell through, allowing him to work with Eastwood’s long-time editors Joel Cox and Gary Roach on the riveting child kidnapping thriller, Prisoners, which took the top spot at last weekend’s box office. It meant that Villeneuve (Incendies) was in good hands editorially on his first Hollywood movie, a parable about anger, obsession, and vulnerability that gets under your skin like Silence of the Lambs or Zodiac. Read more

Talking A Single Shot with Director Rosenthal

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

Although David Rosenthal started out directing comedies (See This Movie and Falling Up), what he really wanted to do was neo-noir and he finally got his chance with A Single Shot, the Tribeca Film release that opens theatrically Sept. 20 and is currently available on VOD. Read more

Clipping 12 Years A Slave: Solomon Northup Portrait

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

The Oscar buzz is tremendous for Steve McQueen’s powerful 12 Years A Slave (Oct. 18), which screened at the TIFF this weekend. The new featurette, “A Portrait of Solomon Northrup,” offers a glimpse into the character and narrative. Read more

FOST Adds Perlmutter Evolution of Cinema Video

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Books, Clips, Editing, Events, Movies, Music, Production Design, Sound, Tech, Videogames | Leave a comment

The Future of StoryTelling (FoST) will host its second annual summit in New York City on Oct. 3, exploring how technology is making storytelling more interactive, and one its participants, Tom Perlmutter, chairperson, National Film Board of Canada and Government Film Commissioner, has created a video presentation on the “Evolution of Cinema and the Birth of a New Art Form,” which you can view below. Read more

Tomorrowland Starts Shooting

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

Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland (Dec. 12, 2014) officially started shooting in Vancouver, still veiled in secrecy. About all we know for sure is that it stars George Clooney as a disillusioned genius inventor, who teams with a prodigious teen Britt Robertson (Under the Dome) on a miraculous journey through time and space. Read more