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.

Production Design

Trailering Latest Kubo and the Two Strings from Laika

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

There’s more exquisite beauty and stop-mo complexity in the latest trailer for Laika’s Kubo and the Two Strings (Aug. 19, Focus Features). Read more

Oscar Wrap-Up: The Outsiders Get the Spotlight

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Cinematography, Clips, Costume, Crafts, Editing, Events, James Bond, Makeup/Hair, Movies, Music, Oscar, Production Design, Score, Screenwriting, Shorts, Sound, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Turns out there was a great deal of surprising diversity among last night’s Oscar winners. And it was all about championing the outsider. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Spectre is Back

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Blu-ray, Cinematography, Clips, Crafts, James Bond, Movies, Production Design, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Spectre arrived on Blu-ray this week from Fox, the second-best Bond grosser ever, looking and sounding demo quality. Read more

How They Designed Mad Max: Fury Road

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

Colin Gibson wasn’t even sure he wanted to tackle the production design for Mad Max: Fury Road, but it certainly worked out for the Art Directors Guild award-winner and Oscar frontrunner. He re-imagined a fresh and arresting return to the post-apocalyptic wasteland that George Miller made famous. Read more

Trailering More Kubo and the Two Strings

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Cinematography, Costume, Crafts, Editing, Makeup/Hair, Movies, Music, previs, Production Design, Screenwriting, Sound, stop-motion, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Watch the first full trailer for Kubo and the Two Strings (Aug. 19 from Focus Features) and witness a glimpse of greater stop-motion supremacy by Laika, embracing samurai and mythic Japan in ornate fashion. Read more

Design for Living: Production Design Nominees

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

A new twist on George Miller’s post-apocalyptic wasteland; a frozen wilderness transformed into a haunting dreamscape; space travel and the colonization of Mars; war-torn East Berlin; and a transgender tale defined by art and contrasting cityscapes compete for the Academy Award. Read more

Sneak Peeking the Design of Zootopia

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Clips, Crafts, Movies, Music, Production Design, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

In conjunction with the creation of more than 1,000 distinctive animals of all shapes and sizes (gnus to shrews, lemmings to leopards, rabbits to rhinos) the Zootopia design team built a mammal metropolis with the necessary scale and climate conditions. There are zones such as Sahara Square, Tundra Town, Little Rodentia, Rainforest District and Bunny Burroughs, divided by a climate wall. But what’s unique about Zootopia is that it’s a global city built by animals for animals. Read more

The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road Dominate Oscar Noms

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Cinematography, Costume, Crafts, documentary, Editing, Events, Makeup/Hair, Movies, Music, Oscar, performance capture, previs, Production Design, Screenwriting, Shorts, Sound, stop-motion, Tech, TV, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

The Oscar race is on with The Revenant grabbing 12 noms, Mad Max: Fury Road snagging 10 and Star Wars: The Force Awakens taking five. Pixar front-runner Inside Out led an animation field (while also earning an original script nod for Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley) that now embraces more indies. Read more

How They Created The Hateful Eight Western Vibe

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Cinematography, Clips, Costume, Crafts, How They Did It, Movies, Oscar, Production Design, Sound, Tech, Trailers | Leave a comment

Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight is a Western version of And Then There Were None with period detail that pops, thanks to the large-format, widescreen splendor of Ultra Panavision 70. As a result, it should garner several craft Oscar nominations next week. Read more

Getting Epic and Intimate with The Martian

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

The Martian crafts people echoed the same thing: it was an inside-out journey centered around Matt Damon’s engaging astronaut/botanist, who’s in peril but who never loses his optimism or humor. Therefore, it became a balancing act between the epic and the intimate. Read more

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