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 The Revenant Changed Lubezki

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

Emmanuel (Chivo) Lubezki could make Oscar history as the first cinematographer to win three consecutive Academy Awards. What’s more, Gravity, Birdman and The Revenant comprise his very own personal survival trilogy, and the first two movies prepared him for the more harrowing adventure in the frozen wilderness with director Alejandro González Iñárritu and Leonardo DiCaprio portraying 19th century trapper Hugh Glass. Read more

Evaluating the Top Oscar Costume Contenders

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

Forbidden love, immigration, transgender awakening, the Hollywood Blacklist and post-apocalyptic survival are explored in the top five costume contenders. Read more

Trailering The BFG from Steven Spielberg

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

We get our first peek of the eponymous giant (a performance-captured Mark Rylance by Weta Digital) from Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Roal Dahl’s The BFG (July 1, 2016), which also marks his first directorial effort at Disney. Read more

20 Advance in VFX Oscar Shortlist

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

 The Academy released the 20 VFX movies shortlisted for Oscar consideration, and thanks to a new rule expanding eligibility, you have the inclusion of the indie Ex Machina and the supporting Bridge of Spies.  Otherwise, the gang’s all here from Star Wars: The Force Awakens to Jurassic World to The Martian to Mad Max: Fury Road. The only noticeable omissions were Crimson Peak and the critically panned Pan.

Read more

Clipping the Making of Anomalisa

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

Find out how stop-motion blurs the line between animation and live-action in the Oscar contending Anomalisa from Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson. Read more

How NYFCC Winner Lachman Shot Carol

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

Carol is definitely a far cry from Todd Haynes’ Douglas Sirk-inspired Far From Heaven. It’s a completely different aesthetic, of course: the difference between expressionism and naturalism, the difference between Hollywood artifice and more delicate photography. Which is why Haynes’ long-time DP Ed Lachman, who last week won Best Cinematography from the New York Film Critics Circle, chose to shoot the gorgeous Patricia Highsmith-adapted love story starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara on Super 16 film. Read more

How Shore Composed Spotlight for Chamber Orchestra

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

Howard Shore’s score for Spotlight might be the highlight of his distinguished career, which has already earned him two Oscars for his epic Lord of the Rings work. The key inspiration after reading the script was conceiving it as a chamber piece for 10-piece orchestra, evoking the tragedy and triumph of Tom McCarthy’s fact-based journo procedural. Read more

Transforming Eddie Redmayne Into The Danish Girl

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

The subtle craft of transforming transgender pioneer Lili Elbe (Eddie Redmayne) in The Danish Girl is one of the great stories this awards season involving production design, cinematography, hair/makeup and costume design. Read more

Getting Animated About the Oscar Contenders

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

Here are the five likely nominees for best animated feature: Pixar at its most abstract, Blue Sky’s masterpiece, two very different stop-motion triumphs and the hand-drawn Brazilian tapestry distributed by GKIDS. Read more

Revisiting Shaun the Sheep Movie from Aardman

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

Last week’s Blu-ray/DVD combo pack arrival of Shaun the Sheep Movie from Lionsgate offered another opportunity to speak with directors Mark Burton & Richard Starzak about Aardman’s Oscar contender, which has racked up $100 million internationally and sparked a sequel from Studiocanal. Stop-motion without dialogue and exploring good vs. bad parenting during its rollicking adventure provided lots of new tricks, even for Aardman. Read more