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

Clipping Into the Woods with a Singing Streep

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Cinematography, Clips, Costume, Editing, Makeup/Hair, Movies, Music, previs, Production Design, Sound, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

The new featurette for Into the Woods (Dec. 25) finally embraces its musical strengths and explains more about the fairy tale mash-up. We get to hear Meryl Streep’s Witch sing the sorrowful  ”Stay with Me.” Read more

USC 5D Returns with Rilao Science of Fiction

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

After last year’s successful “The Science of Fiction: World Building in Action,” USC 5D returns with “The Rilao Project” at the 2014 Science of Fiction Festival on Saturday, spearheaded by award-winning production designer and USC School of Cinematic Arts Professor Alex McDowell. Read more

Stitching Birdman Together

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

Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu may not want to give away the “continuous take” gag in his extraordinary Birdman, but Oscar buzz continues to mount because he’s achieved the ultimate in POV narrative. And his long-time editors Douglas Crise and Stephen Mirrione “stitched” Birdman together in a very unique way, compiling an assembly of rehearsal footage before principal photography and cleverly erasing the cuts with the VFX and post teams. Read more

Jorge Gutierrez Feasts on Book of Life

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

As an ode to Mexico and animation, The Book of Life is a breakthrough for both Jorge Gutierrez and Reel FX. Experimental yet accessible with a stunning visual look and tactile nature, it reminds us that the most personal stories can also be universal. Read more

Christian Bale Talks Moses in Exodus: Gods and Kings

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

While Christian Bale admitted that you can’t out-Heston Charlton Heston in playing the all-consuming Moses, the real question was if Ridley Scott can out-Gladiator Gladiator with Exodus: Gods and Kings (Dec. 12). After glimpsing about a half-hour of powerful footage that left us wanting more on Tuesday, the answer is definitely yes (watch the new trailer below). Read more

Academy Tech Council Adds 4 New Members

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

John Bailey, Gale Anne Hurd, John Knoll (pictured above, courtesy of sfgate.com), and Michael Tronick have joined the Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, bringing the Council’s 2014–2015 membership roster to 25. Read more

Laika/Focus Reteam for Three More Features

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Books, Cinematography, Clips, Costume, Editing, Movies, Music, Oscar, previs, Production Design, Sound, stop-motion, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Laika and Focus Features have renewed their distribution pact, with Focus distributing the next three stop-motion features domestically, and Universal Pictures International handling overseas. This is good news given the regime change at Focus and excellent box office start for The Boxtrolls, the Oscar contender which grossed $17.3 million last weekend, the biggest debut yet for Laika. Read more

Trailering Inside Out from Pixar

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

Pixar may be out of the Oscar race this year, but the first teaser for Pete Docter’s Inside Out (June 19, 2005) is a further proof that it’s the one to beat next season. Read more

Trailering More Intense Interstellar

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

The new trailer for Interstellar  looks more intense and awe-inspiring. See it early Nov. 5 on film in 70mm IMAX, 70mm and 35mm and Nov. 7 in 4K and IMAX digital (The Chinese is being touted as the optimal experience). Read more

Composer Marianelli Waltzes Through The Boxtrolls

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

Oscar-winning composer Dario Marianelli (Atonement) didn’t hesitate to work on the Victorian steampunk madness of The Boxtrolls. He loves the way the animators at Laika conjure “the surreal, the dark, the grotesque, and the comedic.” Read more