Contender – Costume Designer Sandy Powell, Carol

Had Todd Haynes’s film Carol been made when it was first developed 15 years ago, it would have been a very different looking film. Based on The Price of Salt, a 1952 semi-autobiographical novel by Patricia Highsmith, Carol owes much of its aesthetic, richly interpreted by Haynes in 16 mm, to the New York street photography of Vivian Maier, an unknown until her vast collection of negatives was discovered in 2007. […]


VFX Shop FuseFX Heads to Emmys with Two Hard-Won Nominations

It’s been a busy year for Burbank-based visual effects facility FuseFX. Known for its flexible, fast and deft handling of VFX across a surprisingly wide palette of feature film, episodic television and commercial projects, the studio expanded to New York and Vancouver last fall while continuing to create, on breakneck schedules, some of the most breathtaking and prolific effects work on television for Blacklist, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and American Horror Story: Freak Show. In February, FuseFX took home a Visual Effects Society award for its work on American Horror Story, which the facility has worked on for the past four seasons. Then the Emmy came calling – again. […]


The Fairytale Effect in Disney’s Cinderella

When transforming a beloved animated classic into a contemporary live-action film, do you handle it with kid gloves?

Director Kenneth Branagh’s remake of the 1950 Disney original keeps the gloves on, in a formal sense, by finding Cinderella‘s essential fairy tale heart and filling it with the mythical magic of Thor, the lightness of Shakespeare’s comedies and shimmering yet practically grounded effects, all spun together like cotton candy from the early days of Technicolor. To enhance the nostalgia implicit in the live-action reboot, Branagh chose to shoot on film with Haris Zambarloukos behind the camera. Costumes were designed by The Young Victoria Oscar winner Sandy Powell and the extensive sets were rendered by Dante Ferretti and set decorator Francesca Lo Schiavo, who won Oscars for Hugo and The Aviator. […]


Netflix Premieres 13-Episode Bloodline, A Steamy Cinematic Thriller

Bloodline, the latest scripted drama to take a big bow on Netflix, comes with an immaculate pedigree. A family saga-cum-thriller with an inventively complex and serpentine narrative, the show brings feature film actors Kyle Chandler, Sissy Spacek, Sam Shepard, Ben Mendelsohn, Linda Cardellini and Norbert Leo Butz to the Florida Keys in a 13-episode first season that premiered on March 20. Creators Glenn and Todd A. Kessler and Daniel Zelman, the team behind Damages and its successful five-year run, told reporters at Bloodline‘s recent press day in New York they wanted to put a different spin a contemporary family drama. Less whodunit than whydunit, the initial episode spills its violent denouement in a series of flash-forwards that reward the serial viewer. “It was important to us to let an audience know that’s where they were heading within the first hour so that they could watch events unfold,” said Glenn Kessler, who together with his brother Todd, has known co-creator Daniel Zelman for the past 25 years. “It’s really about things we’ve been discussing our entire lives.” Like Damages, the show is produced by Sony Pictures Television and the trio’s KZK Productions. […]


A Look at the 2015 Oscar Nominated Animated Short Films

This year’s Oscar nominees for best animated short film form a moving, stylistically diverse collection of entertaining confections built on mature themes that wryly dissect the perils of childhood, friendship, romance, family dynamics and aging. Still, with the form’s roots in comedy, humor mostly prevails, some of it darkly flipping the narrative on its head in the final frames. […]


The 2015 Oscar Nominated Live-Action Short Films

The five Oscar-nominated films contending for this year’s Best Live-Action Short Film remind us, like watching the film’s tidy narratives in succession, that even brief encounters with strangers can net unexpected points of view, connections and outcomes we never thought possible. Mostly international efforts featuring unknown actors from up-and-coming filmmakers in Switzerland, Ireland, France, China, Israel and Great Britain, the nominees include another star turn from Sally Hawkins, nominated last year for her performance in Blue Jasmine and the leading voice of last year’s animated short nominee, “Room on the Broom.”



Contender — Editor Barney Pilling, The Grand Budapest Hotel

English editor Barney Pilling had never worked with director Wes Anderson before, but during The Grand Budapest Hotel’s principal shoot in Görlitz, Germany, director and editor quickly settled into a copacetic flow, refining but mostly sustaining the small masterpieces of performance the film’s cast delivered for the cameras. “Wes is very much a proponent of the magic of what happens on set,” said Pilling, whose credits include Never Let Me Go and An Education. “He builds entire worlds for his characters to inhabit and every line, gesture and nuance these great performers deliver should be preserved at all times. We chimed instantly on that during our very first conversation.” […]

Art Direction

Contender — Production Designer Jon Hutman, Unbroken

For production designer Jon Hutman, the heart of director Angelina Jolie’s film Unbroken are the three successive and visually diverse POW camps that punctuate former Olympian Louis “Louie” Zamperini (Jack O’Connell)’s epic journey of resilience and survival during World War II. […]


EPs John Fusco and Dan Minahan, Netflix’s Marco Polo

Marco Polo, the new Netflix original series about the years the Silk Road’s most famous traveler spent in the court of Kublai Khan, is a sweeping historical drama with the mettle of a Chinese martial arts film. According to creator and executive producer John Fusco, “the martial arts component and the rigorous stunt training all of the actors went through is really the heart and soul of this whole production,” […]

Art Direction

Contender – Production Designer David Gropman, August: Osage County

The 10-room, pillared house at the center of the film adaptation of August: Osage County is as much a character in the Tracy Letts-penned drama as every member of the dysfunctional Weston family that populates it. But the house, which began life as a Sears, Roebuck & Company kit in 1918 and was lovingly “deconstructed, unremodeled and reimagined from head to toe” inside by production designer David Gropman and his team, is also a piece of real Osage County history and remarkably, located in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, the same town scripted in Letts’ play. […]