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.

Oscar

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

Dawn of the Apes, Big Hero 6 Dominate VES Awards

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

 

The top VFX prize for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and a Big Hero 6 sweep provide Oscar boosts at 13th annual Visual Effects Society confab.  And J.J. Abrams talked Star Wars: The Force Awakens backstage. Read more

How They Did It: The Grand Budapest Hotel

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

We explore “We Must Go To Her” from Wes Anderson’s Oscar-buzzy contender that leads the crafts race with six noms. 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

Breaking Down a Crucial Birdman Scene

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

The Oscar-nominated crafts team from Birdman explores a crucial scene that takes us deeper inside the labyrinth of this wild journey. Read more

Ranking the Editing Oscar Nominees

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

It’s all about capturing the rhythm of the movie and these five contenders are all editorial gems: American Sniper is a ticking bomb about to explode simultaneously on the war front and home front; Boyhood, the frontrunner, is a unique 12-year journey of adolescence told in real-time and patched together like a fine quilt; The Grand Budapest Hotel is a prism that spins wild pre-war and post-war memories; The Imitation Game captures the inner turmoil of a mathematical genius trying to break the Enigma code; and Whiplash is a war between instructor and student that builds to a frenzied drum solo. Read more

Boyhood, Grand Budapest, Lego Get ACE Awards

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Editing, Events, Oscar | Leave a comment

Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel were the big winners at Friday night’s 65th annual ACE Eddie Awards at the Beverly Hilton. Richard Linklater’s Oscar favorite topped rivals American Sniper, The Imitation Game and Whiplash for drama, while Wes Anderson’s artsy romp beat Birdman for comedy/musical. Read more

Dragon 2 Grabs 6 Annies

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

How to Train Your Dragon 2  followed up its Golden Globe win with ASIFA Hollywood’s top prize at the 42nd annual Annie Awards Saturday night at UCLA’s Royce Hall. The Oscar contender from beleaguered DreamWorks Animation won six Annies (also for director Dean DeBlois, character animation, editing, storyboarding and music by John Powell and Jonsi). Read more

Dave Walvoord Talks Dragon 2 VFX

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

Go behind-the-scenes of the VFX in DreamWorks’ Annie winner (watch three exclusive making of videos below). Read more

Going Into the Big Hero 6 Portal

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

Interstellar isn’t the only Oscar contender with a wormhole. Big Hero 6 has a pretty cool one, too, which is nominated for a VES award. In fact, BH6 has five VFX noms at Wednesday’s 13th annual VES Awards. We get the lowdown on “Into the Portal” for the first time with directors Don Hall and Chris Williams and producer Roy Conli. We also have four exclusive images as well. Disney’s lighting and effects team wanted to create a time portal unlike any seen before. They turned to nature and fractals for inspiration in their design, looking to push the complexity and color palette of the environment. Read more