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Thompson on Hollywood

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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Cinema Audio Society Nominations Include 'Captain Phillips,' 'Inside Llewyn Davis,' 'Gravity' and More

The Cinema Audio Society has revealed its nominations for 2014. Landing nods for live-action Motion Picture are "Captain Phillips," "Gravity," "Iron Man 3," "Inside Llewyn Davis" and "Lone Survivor." Check out the list below, including the animated Motion Picture category.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • January 14, 2014 10:28 AM
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Things I Learned on the Awards Party Circuit, from AFI, BAFTA and Spirits to Paramount, CBS and the Globes

If you've ever wondered why Hollywood invests so much time and money on the votes of 82 admittedly idiosyncratic members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the reason is that the Golden Globe awards show helps to sell their movies and TV series.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 13, 2014 4:26 PM
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'Gravity' Set to Dominate Oscar Craft Nominations: Talking the Film's Sound, Music and Editing

As we approach Wednesday's Oscar voting deadline, at least one thing's for certain: "Gravity" is a lock for a majority of the craft nominations. We've already covered production design, cinematography, and VFX in depth, so now let's look at the corresponding design for sound and music, which were made for the immersive Dolby Atmos surround experience, along with the editing of what was essentially an animated movie.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 3, 2014 2:07 PM
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PGA Nominations 2014: Ten Features Reveal Where Oscar Voters Might Go, Weinsteins Shut Out

The Producers Guild has unveiled its ten 2014 nominees, with a shocking shutout of all the Weinstein' Co.'s potential Best Picture contenders.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 2, 2014 12:54 PM
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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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Watch: 'Gravity' Behind-the-Scenes Video

As "American Hustle" and "The Wolf of Wall Street" come on strong at the end of the year, don't count out "Gravity" in the Oscar race. That's a movie that most people have already seen and liked. At the Warner Bros. holiday fete hosted by Sue Kroll at Lucques last week, packed with Academy members, most of them hadn't yet seen the late entries or such small films as "All is Lost." Watch this video backgrounder on how "Gravity" got made. Academy members--as you saw last year with "Life of Pi"-- appreciate this degree of difficulty and risk-taking.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 23, 2013 6:46 PM
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Critics Choice Movie Awards: '12 Years a Slave' and 'American Hustle' Tally 13 Nominations, Bullock Grabs Three, Lawrence Two, Johansson and Larson, One

Last year "Argo" began its drumbeat of wins from the Critics Choice Movie Awards, which are often a bellwether for the Oscars. "I want to thank the Academy," quipped Ben Affleck as he accepted his prize on the evening he was snubbed by the Academy director's branch. This year's Critics' Choice nominees are led by critics' faves “12 Years a Slave” and “American Hustle,” with thirteen nominations each.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 16, 2013 11:47 AM
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