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.

Sound

Autodesk Celebrates Oscar Nominees

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Clips, Events, Movies, Oscar, previs, Shorts, Sound, stop-motion, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | 1 Comment

Autodesk once again played a key role in the Oscar-contending movies and was honored by the Academy for Mudbox and FiLMBOX (the foundation of MotionBuilder) with a certificate and a Plaque. Read more

Anatomy of a Scene: ‘Hang Me’ from Llewyn Davis

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

The opening of Inside Llewyn Davis is a remarkable achievement: It not only sets the melancholy mood of Greenwich Village in ’61 with the eponymous singer (Oscar Isaac) performing “Hang Me, Oh Hang Me” at the iconic Gaslight, but it also sets us up for a confusing circular odyssey. I got the lowdown on the Coen brothers’ bizarre tale about folk music with the Oscar nominated cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel and sound mixer Skip Lievsay (also nominated for Gravity). Read more

CAS Goes for Gravity, Frozen

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

With a week to go before the Academy Awards, Gravity and Frozen topped the Cinema Audio Society 50th annual awards Saturday night at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. Read more

Trailering Guardians of the Galaxy

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

Watch the first trailer for the wacky Guardians of the Galaxy (Aug. 1), the Scooby-Doo of Marvel movies, underscored by B.J. Thomas  singing  ”Hooked on a Feeling” from ’69, the year the comic was introduced. Read more

Moonbot Debuts Silent Short Devoted to Sound

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Books, Clips, Events, Movies, Shorts, Sound, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Oscar-winning Moonbot Studios (The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore) unveiled a new short paying homage to sound, Silent, at the recent Sci Tech Academy Awards. It is produced byDolby and Moonbot; was directed by Brandon Oldenburg & Limbert Fabian, and the sound design/mix was done by Oscar-nominated Steve Boeddeker (All is Lost). Read more

Anatomy of a Scene: Gravity Opening

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

The extraordinary 13-minute opening of Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity is like a mini-movie, setting up the zero-gravity world in space, the two astronauts played by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, the mood, the tension, the crisis, and the metaphor. I break it down with Oscar-nominated cinematographer Emmanuel (Chivo) Lubezki, production designer Andy Nicholson, VFX supervisor Tim Webber, sound mixer Chris Munro, and editor Mark Sanger. Read more

Talking Smaug Sound

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

In returning to Middle-Earth for the second Hobbit adventure, The Desolation of Smaug, Oscar-nominated sound editors Brent Burge and Chris Ward were given a gift with the very hot Benedict Cumberbatch. But when he was first announced, they were apprehensive that his overexposure on Sherlock and Star Trek Into Darkness might make his voice too familiar. But that all changed when he showed up and got down on his hands and knees, played around with his voice, and became the dragon. Read more

Talking Oscar-Nominated Lone Survivor Sound

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

Peter Berg’s underrated Lone Survivor received its lone Oscar nominations in the sound editing and mixing categories, but it’s well-deserved. The fact-based adventure about a failed Navy SEAL mission in Afghanistan grabs us by the throat and never lets up. And the sound is among the most intense and immersive experiences for a modern war film. Read more

Crafts Roundup: Assessing the Gravity Oscar Factor

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

As anticipated, Alfonso Cuaron’s blockbuster Gravity dominated the Oscar nominations this week with 10 (tied with American Hustle), of which seven were craft-related (VFX, cinematography, production design, editing, sound editing, sound mixing, and original score). Meanwhile, best picture frontrunners 12 Years a Slave (which was re-released theatrically along with Gravity) and American Hustle each scored three craft noms.

Read more

Gravity Grabs 10 Oscar Nominations

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

The popular Gravity grabbed 10 Oscar nominations along with American Hustle (including best picture, best director for Alfonso  Cuarón, and best actress for Sandra Bullock), and dominated the crafts (production design, cinematography, VFX, editing, sound editing and mixing and original score). Disney’s Frozen and Get A Horse! Micky Mouse short were both nominatedbut Pixar’s Monsters University was shut out for only the second time in its history. Read more