2022 BTL Oscar Contenders

Oscar Predictions for the Nine Crafts Categories, Where the Avatar and Top Gun Sequels Loom Large

Now that I’ve had a chance to catch up with a bunch of movies over the holiday break (Till, RRR, All Quiet on the Western Front), it’s time to update Below the Line‘s official Oscar predictions before the end of the year and the guild awards upend the season in early 2023. When we last weighed in on the Oscar race, Steven Spielberg‘s semi-autobiographical coming-of-age movie The Fabelmans seemed like the clear-cut frontrunner to win […]

Top 10 Movies of 2022

J. Don Birnam’s Top 10 Favorite Films of 2022

The end of the year means it’s time to reflect on those failed resolutions, plan new futile ones for 2023, and think back on the best moments of the previous 12 months. This includes sifting through some of our favorites in the world of entertainment to find the Top Ten “Best” (or, as I like to call them, my “Favorite”) films of the year, which has become something of a […]

A Man Called Otto

A Man Called Otto Review: Tom Hanks’ Familiar Remake of Hit Swedish Film Has Lost Something in Translation

Over the last few decades, American remakes of successful international films have a decidedly mixed track record. On the one hand, we have brilliant, refreshing second looks like The Ring (based on the Japanese film Ringu) or The Departed (based on the Hong Kong crime film Infernal Affairs), while on the other, there are spectacular duds ranging from Secret in Their Eyes (based on Argentina’s stunning The Secret in Their […]

Art Direction

Production Designers Guy Davis and Curt Enderle on Joining Forces for Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio and Turning the Director’s Fantastical Ideas Into Actual Sets

For decades, Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has been cited as an auteur whose movies often look fantastically original compared to other genre films. The Mexican filmmaker has long valued production design and the artists responsible for it, and that was the case once again with his new stop-motion animated movie Pinocchio, which is now streaming on Netflix.  Once again, del Toro worked with Guy Davis, a renowned comic book […]

Avatar: The Way of Water

Avatar: The Way of Water Editor Stephen Rivkin on Shaping the Sequel’s Story, Cutting the Movie Twice, and James Cameron’s Approach to 3D

With a worldwide haul of nearly a billion dollars after just 10 days in global release, it’s safe to say that James Cameron‘s long-awaited Avatar: The Way of Water — the first of four planned sequels to 2009’s mega-hit Avatar — is on its way to becoming another smashing success. Years in the making, the sequel once again stretched the technologies of moviemaking. Motion capture was just the first step […]

The Hip Hop Nutcracker

The Hip Hop Nutcracker Choreographer Jennifer Weber on Adding Modern Dance Moves to Tchaikovsky’s Classic Ballet

Around this time of year, young ballerinas are lacing up their pointe shoes, poised and prepared to dance The Nutcracker. The classic ballet, which is over three centuries old, premiered on Dec. 6, 1892, by order of Czar Alexander III in St. Petersburg Russia. Based on Alexandre Dumas‘ adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, it was originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a […]


Below the Line’s Awards Season Film, Television Craft Interview Round-Up

Now that it’s late December, we’re fully into the awards season where crafts people in the industry get to nominate their colleagues in various below-the-line categories. Unlike the past few years, we’re including both television and film craft here, because many of the guilds and societies will be nominating for their annual awards, which include both film and television. You can also get a quick reminder of some of our […]

Puss in Boots The Last Wish

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish Director Joel Crawford on Finding the Right Tone and Cast for the Sequel, and Mixing Animation Styles

For more than two decades, DreamWorks Animation (DWA) has been at the cutting edge of computer animation while also constantly pushing the limits of storytelling in that medium. Director Joel Crawford has now been in charge of two recent DWA sequels — The Croods: A New Age in 2020, and its latest release Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, which is meow, excuse me, now playing in theaters. A sequel […]

Jaclyn Philpott

Association of Film Commissioners International Names Jaclyn Philpott as Its New Executive Director

The Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) today announced the appointment of Jaclyn Philpott to lead the organization in the newly created role of Executive Director. Her official start date is Jan. 3, 2023. When Philpott takes the helm of AFCI, she will focus on growing what is already the most geographically and culturally diverse membership roster in the organization’s nearly 50-year history. A key focus will be helping film […]


Society of Composers & Lyricists Announces Nominees for 4th Annual SCL Awards

The Society of Composers & Lyricists has announced the nominees for its 4th Annual SCL Awards, which will be held on Feb. 15, 2023 at the Skirball Cultural Center. The event will be hosted by award-winning actor, singer, and songwriter Darren Criss. Films that received nominations for their scores included Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, scored by Alexandre Desplat; Michael Abels‘ score for Nope; Michael Giacchino‘s score for The Batman, John Powell‘s score for Don’t Worry Darling; and Rob Simonsen‘s score for The […]