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

Backstage at the Oscars: Birdman Soars, Disney Sweeps

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

Here are some of the craft and animation highlights backstage last night at the Oscars, topped by Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki taking home his second consecutive cinematography award for the single-take Birdman experiment, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar winning the VFX prize, and Disney’s surprise animation sweep with Big Hero 6 and Feast, continuing the momentum from last year’s Frozen.

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How They Did It: The Imitation Game

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

The best scene in The Imitation Game occurs when Alan Turing (played by Oscar-nominated Benedict Cumberbatch) finally gets his computer to work and breaks the Nazi Enigma code with his research team. Oscar contending editor Billy Goldenberg, production designer Maria Djurkovic and composer Alexandre Desplat discuss the making of this pivotal scene. Read more

How They Did It: Mr. Turner

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

The four Oscar-nominated crafts team reveals the secrets behind the most ambitious scene in Mike Leigh’s acclaimed movie about J.M.W. Turner: “Varnishing Day” at the Royal Academy. Read more

Clipping Aloha from Cameron Crowe

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

Cameron Crowe looks like he’s back in great rom-com form with Aloha (May 29), a very personal movie about second chances that was worth the wait. Read more

Boyhood Takes International Online Film Critics Poll

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

The International Online Film Critics’ Poll announced winners for the 4th biannual awards, with Boyhood earning best picture honors. Read more

How They Did It: Interstellar Docking

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

There is no greater showcase of  Interstellar’s VFX and sonic excellence than in the “emergency docking” scene. The Oscar-nominated VFX involves both full CG and practical, as well as a combination of the two, while the Oscar-contending sound editing and mixing immerse us in the action in a most visceral way. (Watch the scene below.) Read more

Jóhannsson Talks Scoring Theory of Everything

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

Jóhann Jóhannsson (best known for his melancholy Prisoners score) likes simplicity and pattern-based construction. And he’s found the perfect artistic expression in The Theory of Everything, conjuring a musical Big Bang about physics and love that just might earn him the Oscar. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: The Boxtrolls

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Annies, Below the Line, Blu-ray, Cinematography, Clips, Costume, Events, Home Entertainment, Movies, Music, Oscar, previs, Production Design, Sound, stop-motion, Tech, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

The Boxtrolls, the stop-motion Oscar contender from Laika, is out on Blu-ray/DVD (Universal). It’s reference quality image and sound, representing the naturalistic, tactile quality of this steampunk marvel. Read more

10 Oscar Takeaways from Animation and Crafts Noms

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

A Lego Movie snubbing and Grand Budapest Hotel grabbing six craft noms highlight my Oscar analysis. Read more

Inside Editing Jazzy Whiplash

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

Damien Chazelle’s very hot Whiplash has the most powerful cutting style of any of this year’s editing Oscar contenders, with a very visceral jazz vibe. Read more