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.

Movies

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

How They Edited Straight Outta Compton

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

With its dense, real-life narrative, Straight Outta Compton posed a unique challenge for editors Billy Fox and Michael Tronick. Their dilemma? How to streamline F. Gary Gray’s biopic of hip-hop group N.W.A to make it accessible to a wide audience, while remaining true to subjects Ice Cube and Dr. Dre—both producers on the film. The result is a portrait of N.W.A’s ”reality rap” as a cultural document of gang life, drug dealing, and police harassment in ’80s and ’90s L.A. that’s rooted in the fascinating stories of its three central figures: Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), and Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell). 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

Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda Talk Minions

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

Minions turned out to be one of the biggest animated sensations of the year, grabbing $335 million domestically and $1.1 billion worldwide for Universal and Illumination Ent. It’s also an Oscar contender for its trippy, throwback ’60s satire and charming physical comedy. In honor of the Blu-ray/DVD combo release from Universal, I spoke to directors Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda. Read more

Voicing Arlo in The Good Dinosaur from Pixar

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

Raymond Ochoa, the 14-year-old San Diego native, discusses his breakout voice role as Arlo, the Apatosaurus protagonist from The Good Dinosaur. Ochoa’s done voice work in Mr. Peabody & ShermanMars Needs Moms,Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III and A Christmas Carol, and will appear in next year’s The Angry Birds Movie. Read more

Trailering Kubo and the Two Strings from Laika

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

Get a sneak peek of Laika’s next stop-motion adventure, Kubo and the Two Strings (Aug. 19, 2016), which embraces samurai and mythic Japan in ornate fashion. 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

20 Advance in VFX Oscar Shortlist

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

 The Academy released the 20 VFX movies shortlisted for Oscar consideration, and thanks to a new rule expanding eligibility, you have the inclusion of the indie Ex Machina and the supporting Bridge of Spies.  Otherwise, the gang’s all here from Star Wars: The Force Awakens to Jurassic World to The Martian to Mad Max: Fury Road. The only noticeable omissions were Crimson Peak and the critically panned Pan.

Read more

Pixar Grabs 25 Annie Noms

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

With two features and a short, Pixar led the Annie nominations with 25. Minions picked up 7, Peanuts 5 Home and Hotel Transylvania 2 got three each. Read more

Clipping the Making of Anomalisa

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

Find out how stop-motion blurs the line between animation and live-action in the Oscar contending Anomalisa from Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson. Read more