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.

Makeup/Hair

Oscar Wrap-Up: The Outsiders Get the Spotlight

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Cinematography, Clips, Costume, Crafts, Editing, Events, James Bond, Makeup/Hair, Movies, Music, Oscar, Production Design, Score, Screenwriting, Shorts, Sound, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Turns out there was a great deal of surprising diversity among last night’s Oscar winners. And it was all about championing the outsider. Read more

Designing Characters and Sounds for Fury Road

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Costume, Crafts, Makeup/Hair, Movies, Sound | Leave a comment

For costume designer Jenny Beavan and the makeup & hairstyling team of Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega, and Damian Martin, the journey of Mad Max: Fury Road was all about figuring out a day in the life of the wasteland survivors: Max (Tom Hardy), Furiosa (Charlize Theron), Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and his wives, and the War Boys. Read more

Trailering More Kubo and the Two Strings

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

Watch the first full trailer for Kubo and the Two Strings (Aug. 19 from Focus Features) and witness a glimpse of greater stop-motion supremacy by Laika, embracing samurai and mythic Japan in ornate fashion. Read more

The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road Dominate Oscar Noms

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Cinematography, Costume, Crafts, documentary, Editing, Events, Makeup/Hair, Movies, Music, Oscar, performance capture, previs, Production Design, Screenwriting, Shorts, Sound, stop-motion, Tech, TV, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

The Oscar race is on with The Revenant grabbing 12 noms, Mad Max: Fury Road snagging 10 and Star Wars: The Force Awakens taking five. Pixar front-runner Inside Out led an animation field (while also earning an original script nod for Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley) that now embraces more indies. Read more

How They Transformed Ian McKellen as Mr. Holmes

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Clips, Crafts, How They Did It, Makeup/Hair, Movies | Leave a comment

Makeup artist and Sherlock Holmes nerd David Elsey finally got his chance to transform the famous Baker Street sleuth in an entirely new way—as a 93-year-old struggling to solve the case that led to his retirement. Read more

Going Inside the Crime World of Black Mass

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

From the makeup and hairstyling to costumes, cinematography, and score, it all revolves around Johnny Depp’s dead-on portrayal of crime lord Whitey Bulger in Black Mass. Read more

Trailering The BFG from Steven Spielberg

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Books, Cinematography, Costume, Crafts, Editing, Makeup/Hair, Movies, Music, Oscar, performance capture, previs, Production Design, Sound, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

We get our first peek of the eponymous giant (a performance-captured Mark Rylance by Weta Digital) from Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Roal Dahl’s The BFG (July 1, 2016), which also marks his first directorial effort at Disney. 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

Immersed in Blu-ray: Kwaidan from Criterion

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Books, Cinematography, Costume, Crafts, Home Entertainment, Makeup/Hair, Movies, Music, Production Design, Sound, Tech, Trailers | Leave a comment

Just in time for Halloween comes Masaki Kobayashi’s rapturous quartet of ghost stories, Kwaidan, making its Blu-ray debut from Criterion in glorious TohoScope. Read more

SPECTRE Vlog #4: Bondizing Day of the Dead

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Clips, Costume, Crafts, James Bond, Makeup/Hair, Tech, VFX | Leave a comment

The latest SPECTRE vlog takes us behind the scenes of the elaborate Day of the Dead Bond opener with 1,500 extras in full costume. Read more