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.

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

Getting Animated with the Feature Oscar Nominees

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

Here are the highlights of my interviews with the Oscar-nominated animated feature directors: Pete Docter (Pixar’s Inside Out), Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson (Starburns Industries’ Anomalisa), Mark Burton & Richard Starzak (Aardman’s Shaun the Sheep Movie), Alê Abreu (Boy and the World from Gkids) and Hiromasa Yonebayashi (Studio Ghibli’s When Marnie Was There, also from Gkids). What you come away with is a group of contenders grappling with family, identity and greater self-awareness. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Snow White and Bridge of Spies

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Blu-ray, Clips, Crafts, Home Entertainment, Movies, Music, Oscar, Shorts, Sound, Tech, Trailers | Leave a comment

Last week Disney released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on Blu-ray with a slew of new bonus features along with Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-contending Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance. Read more

GKids Launches Animated 8 Oscar Series

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

GKids demonstrates its indie Oscar prowess with a screening series next Friday in LA. Read more

Clipping Anomalisa Landing for the Oscar Contender

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

This “Anomalisa Landing” clip demonstrates the sophisticated storytelling and aesthetics behind the stop-motion Oscar contender from Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson. Read more

Fury Road and The Big Short Split ACE Awards

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Crafts, documentary, Editing | Leave a comment

Editors Margaret Sixel (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Hank Corwin (The Big Short) were the big ACE winners Friday night at the Beverly Hilton thanks to the split between drama and comedy. Meanwhile, Inside Out (edited by Kevin Nolting) and Amy  (edited by Chris King) took animation and doc, respectively. Read more

Mixing the Chilling Bridge of Spies Sound

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

Steven Spielberg gave his sound team a gift by opening Bridge of Spies with a Hitchcock-inspired chase through the New York subway with no dialogue and a sense of mystery surrounding Soviet spy Mark Rylance (nominated Best Supporting Actor).
Read more

Margaret Sixel Talks Editing Mad Max: Fury Road

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Crafts, Editing, How They Did It, Movies, Oscar, Tech, Trailers | Leave a comment

Oscar nominee and ACE winner Margaret Sixel had a major advantage on Mad Max: Fury Road: her candor. Read more

Evaluating the Best Cinematography Oscar Nominees

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

All five cinematography contenders explore journeys of love and hate in the most brutal or beautiful environments, and the high-stakes obstacles are both personal and external. Read more

How DreamWorks Made Kung Fu Panda 3

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

Kung Fu Panda 3 marks a new phase for DreamWorks Animation: the start of a $330 million joint venture in Shanghai with China Media Capital and Shanghai Media Group to expand its global reach in the world’s dominant market. This includes an east/west artistic collaboration through the new Oriental DreamWork studio, which will make movies for both China and a worldwide audience. As a result, KFP3 contains two animated versions and separate casts for American and Chinese consumption. Read more