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 Boxtrolls Grabs 13 Annie Nominations

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

Laika’s stop-motion The Boxtrolls led ASIFA-Hollywood’s 42nd annual Annie Awards with 13 nominations, bolstering its chances for an Oscar nom, followed by DreamWorks’ How to Train Your Dragon 2 with 10 noms (both will compete for best animated feature). The winners will be announced Saturday, Jan. 31st, 2015 at UCLA’s Royce Hall at 7:00 pm. Read more

Desplat on World War II: Imitation Game, Unbroken

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

Another Oscar season means another opportunity for prolific French composer, Alexandre Desplat, to finally earn his long-deserved Academy Award. Read more

Lensing and Scoring the Brutal Homesman

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

Tommy Lee Jones hauntingly turns the Western upside down in The Homesman, an exploration of harsh frontier life for women in 19th century Nebraska. The brutal winds were enough to make anyone go insane. Hilary Swank and Jones come together for the oddest of journeys, brilliantly photographed by Rodrigo Prieto with an innovative score by Marco Beltrami. Read more

Craft-Talking The Theory of Everything

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

James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything brilliantly turns Stephen Hawking’s life into a metaphysical love story about the collision of macro and micro Big Bangs. Read more

Craft-Talking the Sight and Sound of Interstellar

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

Composer Hans Zimmer, cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, sound mixer Gregg Landaker and costume designer Mary Zophres talk bringing Christopher Nolan’s space odyssey to life. Read more

Trailering Strange Magic from Lucasfilm

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

Watch the first trailer for Strange Magic (January 23, 2015 from Disney’s Touchstone Pictures), a musical, mischievous riff on A Midsummer Night’s Dream that looks like a cross between Willow and Moulin Rouge! Read more

Trailering More Into the Woods

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

Get a greater glimpse of Stephen Sondheim’s musical masterpiece, Into the Woods (Dec. 25), which explores the dark side of  ”I wish.” Read more

The Force Awakens in Star Wars

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

While announcing that principal photography has completed for J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII, starwars.com let it be known that the complete title is The Force Awakens. Read more

World Building The Rilao Project at USC

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Education, Events, Festivals, Movies, Music, Production Design, Tech, Videogames, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

USC 5D returned last Saturday with “The Rilao Project” at the 2014 Science of Fiction Festival, spearheaded by award-winning production designer and USC School of Cinematic Arts Professor Alex McDowell. I participated in the international one-day investigation, creating the fictional city of Rilao, a world build based on a mash-up of the DNA of Los Angeles and Rio. Read more

Trailering More Oscar-Contending Unbroken

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Books, Cinematography, Editing, Movies, Music, Oscar, Sound, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

The second Unbroken trailer introduces a larger conflict beyond the extraordinary survival story of the late Olympian war hero Louis Zamperini (Jack O’Connell). This will be an important factor in the Oscar race for best picture. Read more