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Thompson on Hollywood

Talking Editing with the Oscar Nominees

Editorially, all five films take us out of our comfort zones in this strange season of survival and rebirth: from the chameleon-like con of "American Hustle" to the abduction at sea in "Captain Phillips" to the weightless terror of "Gravity" to the ticking clock death sentence of "Dallas Buyers Club" to the horror of having your life and liberty snatched away in "12 Years a Slave." I got an insider's view from Jay Cassidy ("American Hustle"), Christopher Rouse ("Captain Phillips"), John Mac McMurphy ("Dallas Buyers Club"), Mark Sanger ("Gravity"), and Joe Walker ("12 Years a Slave").
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 20, 2014 4:28 PM
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Talking Cinematography with Oscar Nominees Lubezki, Deakins, Delbonnel, Le Sourd and Papamichael

The Oscar nominees for best cinematography are not only filled with indelible images but they're all constructed around the common theme of survival, disconnect, and rebirth. I discuss the works with all five Oscar nominees: Philippe Le Sourd ("The Grandmaster"), Emmanuel (Chivo) Lubezki ("Gravity"), Bruno Delbonnel ("Inside Llewyn Davis"), Phedon Papamichael ("Nebraska"), and Roger Deakins ("Prisoners").
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 13, 2014 2:13 PM
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Crafts Roundup: Talking Production Design with the Five Oscar Nominees

The five Oscar nominees for production design ("American Hustle," "Gravity," "The Great Gatsby," "Her," and "12 Years a Slave") certainly capture the zeitgeist of the season in a variety of creative ways. They're about survival, self-invention, reinvention, and rebirth, and we reflect on this with all the nominees.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 6, 2014 2:28 PM
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Crafts Roundup: Talking VFX with the Five Oscar Nominees

The "Gravity" juggernaut, the surprising entry of "The Lone Ranger," the new and improved "Iron Man 3," the ascendance of "Star Trek Into Darkness" and the J.J. Abrams factor, and the power of the eponymous dragon from "The Desolation of Smaug." We reflect on the great year for VFX with the lead supervisors of all five Oscar nominees.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 30, 2014 2:05 PM
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Does the Academy Need a Visual Imaging Category?

With VFX taking a much more prominent role in the virtual lighting of hybrid movies, the question of who's responsible for cinematography in evaluating Oscar contenders has prompted the Academy to consider a new visual imaging category. Obviously the discussion has intensified with "Gravity's" Emmanuel ("Chivo") Lubezki being the frontrunner this year. He would be the second cinematographer in a row to win the Oscar for virtual cinematography and the third in Academy history.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 23, 2014 2:05 PM
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Crafts Roundup: Assessing the Craft Nominations and the 'Gravity' Factor

As anticipated, Alfonso Cuaron's blockbuster "Gravity" dominated the Oscar nominations this morning 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" and "American Hustle" each scored three craft noms.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 16, 2014 2:00 PM
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Crafts Roundup: Disco, Flappers and Old Men Dominate the Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar Race

The Oscar race for makeup and hairstyling has been very contentious. Making the shortlist were "American Hustle," "Dallas Buyers Club," "The Great Gatsby," "Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters," "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa," and "The Lone Ranger." However, the list of snubs include "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," "Rush," "12 Years a Slave," "Lee Daniels' The Butler," "Oz the Great and Powerful," and "Star Trek Into Darkness," and "Man of Steel."
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 9, 2014 2:05 PM
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Crafts Roundup: Best Costume Design Contenders Play Dress-Up for the Past and Future

Costumers finally got their own branch this year, which mean they're no longer lumped in with the other designers, so we'll see how that impacts the nominations in two weeks. Not surprisingly, there's an abundance of upscale period pieces ("American Hustle," "12 Years a Slave," "Lee Daniels' The Butler," "The Great Gatsby," "Philomena," "Inside Llewyn Davis"). But even when dealing with the future ("Her") there's a retro vibe, save for the idiosyncratic and flamboyant "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" (see our TOH! interview with Trish Summerville)
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 2, 2014 2:48 PM
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Best of the Week: Ten Steps to a Best Picture Oscar, How to Stream the Year's Best Films, Talent Lost in 2013 & More

The top stories of the week from TOH!
  • By TOH!
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  • December 28, 2013 12:48 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Crafts Roundup: Editors Talk About the Journeys of Survival and Reinvention

With such an emphasis this year on survival and reinvention, the journeys required special editorial attention to shifts in tone and unconventional arcs while conveying internal struggles that we cared about. Here's a sampling from "12 Years a Slave," "Gravity," "All Is Lost," "American Hustle," "Before Midnight," and "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty."
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 26, 2013 2:10 PM
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