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Thompson on Hollywood

Talking the 'Her' Score with Arcade Fire Oscar Nominee William Butler

Oscar-nominated William Butler's first-time experience composing the wistful score for Spike Jonze's "Her" with his Arcade Fire partner Owen Pallett was a bit of a romance as well as a crash course in moviemaking. And yet the experience opened him up more intuitively to the collaborative process.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 18, 2014 2:58 PM
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Anatomy of a Scene: Dissecting the Bravura 'Gravity' Opening

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.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 14, 2014 2:45 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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Michelle Manning Explains Why She's the Latest Hollywood Producer to Indiegogo

More Hollywood producers are starting to come around to the idea that crowd funding sites like Indiegogo can help them get their independent projects made. On Wednesday, writer-director Mary Agnes Donoghue ("Beaches"), producers Michelle Manning and Gail Levin are launching a new campaign on IndieGoGo to raise post-production finishing funds for indie romantic comedy "Jenny's Wedding," starring Katherine Heigl.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 12, 2014 5:38 PM
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David O. Russell and Oscar-Nominated Crew Talk the Craft of 'American Hustle'

David O. Russell's on a roll with his Oscar-contending "American Hustle," his most personal and popular movie yet. It's smart and funny, and has obviously touched a nerve with its story of survival and reinvention during the cultural and political upheaval of the late '70s. "I don't care about pure dissipation or pure cynicism -- I've gotta have the thing that people live for," he insists. So in a recent roundtable discussion, we explored how this passion spilled over to his Oscar-nominated crew: production designer Judy Becker, costume designer Michael Wilkinson and editor Jay Cassidy.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 12, 2014 2:50 PM
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Leonardo DiCaprio: Hollywood Indie, from 'This Boy's Life' to 'Wolf of Wall Street' (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Leonardo DiCaprio explains why he's been an independent since he was 15, how 'Titanic' allowed him to be a producer and chart his own course, and how McConaughey and Hill exploded the process on Martin Scorsese's 'The Wolf of Wall Street.'
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 12, 2014 2:12 PM
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Talking 'The LEGO Movie' with Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller

There's more than meets the eye in "The LEGO Movie." It's not only smart and witty but it also explores the essence of LEGO and Master Building and, finally, storytelling in a Pirandello-like way. I spoke with directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (at LEGOLAND, of course) about making a subversive movie at Warner Bros. that pokes fun of studios, franchises and safe storytelling.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 7, 2014 4:15 PM
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Talking Johnny Depp's Oscar-Nominated Makeup and Hair in 'The Lone Ranger'

When it came to Johnny Depp's trippy Tonto in "The Lone Ranger," there were two makeup and hair challenges: the middle-aged Native American as well as the old man (a tribute to legendary Dick Smith's Jack Crabb from "Little Big Man"). We get the lowdown from Oscar-nominees Joel Harlow, who's become Depp's go-to makeup guy, and hairstylist Gloria Casny.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 7, 2014 2:28 PM
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Anatomy of a Scene: Talking the 'Her' Office with Oscar-Nominated Production Designer K.K. Barrett

Spike Jonze's beautiful and beguiling "Her," the dark horse in the best picture Oscar race, offers a warm and inviting fusion of LA/Shanghai, with its intoxicating use of red. And the opening scene in the office -- a high rise on Hope near Bunker Hill -- wonderfully sets up the delicate mood and world inhabited by the forlorn Joaquin Phoenix. Oscar-nominated production designer K.K. Barrett discusses his artistic choices and the impact.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 31, 2014 2:05 PM
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Oscar-Nominated 'The Square' Team Talk Filming a Revolution (VIDEO)

TOH! interviews the team behind Oscar-nominated documentary "The Square," now streaming on Netflix.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 31, 2014 12:29 PM
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