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Thompson on Hollywood

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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 wor...

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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 sup...

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    Anatomy of a Scene: Oscar-Nominated Editor Christopher Rouse Talks the Pivotal Attack in 'Captain Phillips'

    Best Picture nominee "Captain Phillips" is the ultimate in Paul Greengrass-style verite, given its life and death intensity and emotional epiphanies. More than just a fact-based heist gone bad, it raises deep concerns about our globalized world in conflict. Oscar nominee Christopher Rouse, who's alr...

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    Talking the Oscar-Nominated Sound Editing and Mixing of 'Lone Survivor'

    Peter Berg's underrated "Lone Survivor" received its lone Oscar nominations in the sound editing and mixing categories, but it's well-deserved. The fact-based adventure about a failed Navy SEALS mission in Afghanistan grabs us by the throat and never lets up. And the sound is among the most intense ...

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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" Emman...

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    Talking the Oscar-Nominated Costume Design of 'The Invisible Woman'

    Oscar-winning costume designer Michael O' Connor ("The Duchess") may be an expert at period pieces, but he was a Charles Dickens novice along with actor-director Ralph Fiennes before making "The Invisible Woman." And in this year's battle of the period pieces ("American Hustle," "The Great Gatsby," ...

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    Oscar-Nominated Papamichael Talks Making 'Nebraska' in Black-and-White (VIDEO)

    There was never any doubt about making Alexander Payne's "Nebraska" in black-and-white. It always lived in his imagination as the best way to convey the film's sense of isolation and loneliness. For Oscar nominee, Phedon Papamichael, it was like returning to his old still photography days when he wo...

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    Assessing the Craft Nominations

    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 fro...

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    Cinematographer Le Sourd Talks Anatomy of 'The Grandmaster' Train Fight

    Oscar contender Philippe Le Sourd, who scored an ASC nomination last week for lensing "The Grandmaster," discusses the standout train platform fight between Gong Er (Zhang Ziyi) and her father's killer and protege (Zhang Jin), which you can watch below. Not only was Wong Kar-wai's improvisational st...

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    The VFX Bakeoff: Mixing Old School and New School

    The Academy's VFX branch voted for the five nominees Thursday night, and while frontrunners "Gravity," "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," and "Pacific Rim" wowed the packed Samuel Goldwyn Theater, "World War Z," "The Lone Ranger," and "Oblivion" put on impressive presentations. The remaining con...

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