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Thompson on Hollywood

Immersed in Movies: Production Designer Dennis Gassner Talks 'Skyfall'

One of the great pleasures of doing a Bond movie for Dennis Gassner is that he gets to be 007 before Daniel Craig. On "Quantum of Solace," his first, the Oscar-winning production designer ("Bugsy") created a pattern language based on the actor's blue eyes and craggy face. But on "Skyfall," he went further in shaping the world of Bond...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 28, 2012 2:31 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Sound Designer Paul Ottosson Talks 'Zero Dark Thirty'

Sound designer/re-recording mixer Paul Ottosson creates the year's most complex and disturbing soundscape with "Zero Dark Thirty," easily surpassing his work on "The Hurt Locker," which earned him two Oscars. Indeed, his strategy of maximizing audience identification with the obsessive CIA officer, Maya, played by Jessica Chastain, brilliantly complements the narrative thrust of the acclaimed, if controversial, fact-based thriller about the decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 26, 2012 3:00 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Cinematographer Don Burgess Talks 'Flight'

Being reunited with director Robert Zemeckis on "Flight" was just like old times for cinematographer Don Burgess. The last time they worked together was on "The Polar Express" in 2004, Bob Z's first foray into performance capture. But in terms of live action, you have to go back to "Cast Away" in 2000...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 24, 2012 3:08 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Costume Designer Jany Temime Talks 'Skyfall'

Jany Temime effortlessly transitioned from dressing Harry Potter to James Bond because 007 has always been a part of her life. Temime knew exactly what she was getting into when she got the call from director Sam Mendes: "When you get to do a Bond, you take with you all that makes Bond," she proclaims.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 21, 2012 1:30 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Uli Hanisch and Hugh Bateup Talk 'Cloud Atlas' Production Design

While "Cloud Atlas" may be the most polarizing movie of the year (winding up on both year-end best and worst lists), there's no denying its ambition and beauty: it's the ultimate time travel movie about connecting and reconnecting and grappling with free will and destiny.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 19, 2012 1:30 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Joe Letteri Talks 'Hobbit' VFX, Gollum

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" represents a VFX benchmark for just how far the wizards of Weta have come in the last decade since "The Lord of the Rings." This is definitely not a case of been there, done that.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 17, 2012 1:30 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Cinematographer Ben Richardson Talks 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" is like a tasty cinematic gumbo: part Mark Twain, part "Where the Wild Things Are," and part neo-realism. And Ben Richardson (who won the best cinematographer award at Sundance) wonderfully captures the unique flavor of the Louisiana bayou through the innocent eyes of Hushpuppy...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 14, 2012 1:30 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Immersed in Movies: Editor Jay Cassidy Talks 'Silver Linings Playbook'

While rom-coms seldom win Best Picture, there's something about the eccentric charm, naked truth, and refreshing unpredictability about "Silver Linings Playbook" that makes it worthy of consideration. And while it might not rise to the level of "The Apartment" or "Annie Hall," director David O. Russell...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 12, 2012 2:21 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Previewing JJ Abrams' 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Prologue

I got an early glimpse on Sunday of the nine-minute prologue for "Star Trek into Darkness" in IMAX 3D, followed by a meet and greet yesterday at director J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot studio in Santa Monica...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 11, 2012 4:09 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Production Designer Rick Carter Goes Inside Out with 'Lincoln'

For Rick Carter, "Lincoln" represents the culmination of a decade-long encounter with "the nature of conscience and the Goya-esque disasters of war." It's been a cathartic journey also encompassing "War of the Worlds," "Munich," "Avatar" (for which he won the Academy Award), "Sucker Punch," and "War Horse." But "Lincoln" is special.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 10, 2012 3:13 PM
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