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.

Music

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

Lady Gaga Performs Til It Happens to You

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

Tuesday night at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, we witnessed the tender side of Lady Gaga, as she hit the campaign trail in support of Best Original Song Oscar contender “Til It Happens to You,” from The Hunting Ground, the Oscar-shortlisted doc about sexual assault on college campuses. (L to R – Diane Warren, Lady Gaga, Kirby Dick – photo credit Todd
Williamson/Getty Images.) Read more

6 Best Original Songs Get Deeply Personal

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

These songs strike an emotional chord: A love letter from a conductor, hanging up a license to kill, two stirring docs, a tribute to the late Paul Walker and an ode to the power of persistence. Read more

Getting Epic and Intimate with The Martian

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

The Martian crafts people echoed the same thing: it was an inside-out journey centered around Matt Damon’s engaging astronaut/botanist, who’s in peril but who never loses his optimism or humor. Therefore, it became a balancing act between the epic and the intimate. Read more

Creating Those Good Vibrations for Love & Mercy

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

The making of The Beach Boys’ ground-breaking Pet Sounds album in Bill Pohlad’s Love & Mercy necessitated a soul-searching exploration of Brian Wilson’s musical genius. It began with Atticus Ross’ use of score, which aesthetically crossed over into sound design. 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

Ren Klyce Talks Inside Out Sound Design

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Clips, Crafts, Movies, Music, Oscar, Sound, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

To complement the imaginative animation for Pixar’s Inside Out, sound designer Ren Klyce of Skywalker Sound was recruited to create an experimental soundscape. Known primarily for his brilliant work with David Fincher (nine features, from Se7en to Gone Girl), Klyce, who also worked on The Boxtrolls at Laika and the Lava short at Pixar, discusses some of his sonic secrets for Riley’s emotions and core memories. Read more

Trailering More Zootopia with Shakira

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Movies, Music, previs, Production Design, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Celebrate Zoo Year’s Eve with the new trailer for Disney’s Zootopia  featuring the original song, “Try Everything,” written by singer-songwriter Sia and songwriting duo Stargate, and performed by Grammy-winning  Shakira. The single will be available everywhere Jan. 8th. Read more

The 6 Best Score Oscar Contenders

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

It’s an awards season full of musical riches: the rousing update of a legendary score, the return of an iconic composer at home with the Western, a chamber piece for a journalism triumph, the fascination of forbidden love and a sublime animated tour-de-force. Read more

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