‘Hail, Caesar!’ Production Designer Jess Gonchor On His Appetite For An Old Hollywood Moviemaking Approach
Working with the Coen Brothers over the course of six films, production designer Jess Gonchor has received Oscar nominations for two of these collaborations— 2010’s True Grit and last year’s Old Hollywood caper comedy Hail, Caesar! A meticulously designed throwback to the Hollywood of yore, the noir-tinged film is an ambitious endeavor, emulating sets from various cinema classics, including Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, sword-and-sandal stapes and the canon of Esther… Read
How ‘Passengers’ Production Designer Guy Hendrix Dyas Prepped A Big-Budget Sci-Fi Universe In Ten Weeks
From the global scope of Indiana Jones to the spiraling hallways of Inception, two-time Oscar nominated production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas knows his way around an audacious big budget adventure film; with Passengers, though—from The Imitation Game helmer Morten Tyldum—Dyas saw an opportunity to enter an entirely new realm. Or, more specifically, to create it.
With Passengers, Dyas could design his own spacecraft—the starship Avalon—unbeholden to any one… Read
Denzel Washington Q&A: Can SAG Award Winner Notch Third Oscar?
When was the last time you could consider Denzel Washington an underdog? That’s the role he has played in this Oscar race, as Manchester By The Sea star Casey Affleck collected enough of the Best Actor awards to consider him a clear front runner. Until the SAG Awards, where Washington prevailed for his overpowering performance in Fences, the adaptation of the August Wilson play which Washington also directed. The SAG Award is considered a strong tell over who’ll win on… Read
‘Lion’ Star Dev Patel On His Indian Journey & Preparing For Saroo: Q&A
Editors Note: This story originally ran on November 22, 2016.
Dev Patel’s career started in his native United Kingdom, with a role on the hit teen drama Skins. But it was with Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle's Oscar-winning 2008 film, that he became a real star. Equally adept at drama and comedy, Patel went on to join the cast of Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom, as well as star alongside acting royalty in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel duology. This year, he's in The Man Who… Read
How ‘Suicide Squad’ Makeup And Hair Designer Distanced Himself From The Comics To “Build Something Imaginary”
Dreading studio interference on his first comic book project, Suicide Squad makeup and hair designer Alessandro Bertolazzi found none, overcoming the challenges of trying something new, and receiving his first Oscar nomination for his contributions. Working with director David Ayer on several projects—from visceral war film Fury to the upcoming Netflix-backed Bright—Bertolazzi finds great freedom in this collaborative pairing, compelled by Ayer’s willingness to… Read
‘La La Land’ DP Linus Sandgren On The Challenges Of Capturing The Poetic LA Musical In Long, Fluid Takes
Undoubtedly, award-winning Swedish cinematographer Linus Sandgren has worked with the best. With a resume comprised of collaborations with David O. Russell (American Hustle, Joy) Lasse Hallström (The Hundred-Foot Journey) and other auteurs, Sandgren found an exciting energy in wunderkind writer/director Damien Chazelle that inspired him to shoot a musical. The recipient of a record-breaking seven Golden Globes, Chazelle’s La La Land also recently received 11 BAFTA… Read
How ‘La La Land’ Composer Justin Hurwitz Used “Sleight Of Hand And Deception” To Create His Dynamic Score
With his three Oscar nominations for La La Land—in the areas of Best Original Score and Best Original Song—composer Justin Hurwitz can count one for each film currently on his resume. In the span of just eight years, Hurwitz has collaborated with college peer and longtime friend Damien Chazelle on three music-based films and two audacious, original jazz musicals—projects in which the value of the composer’s contributions cannot be underestimated. While some may see a… Read
Mel Gibson, Andrew Garfield And Bill Mechanic On The 15-Year Ordeal To Scale ‘Hacksaw Ridge’
Editors Note: This story originally ran on December 1, 2016.
When Mel Gibson and Andrew Garfield gather to speak on their WWII film Hacksaw Ridge, each has jetted into LA from Europe where they are making other movies. Gibson left the set of The Professor and the Madman, a movie he's starring in with Sean Penn. Garfield was deep into developing the semi-schizophrenic character he was about to start playing in Under the Silver Lake, but it doesn't take much time for them… Read
‘Star Trek Beyond’ Makeup Artist Joel Harlow Discusses Designing Makeup For 56 Unique Alien Races
A connoisseur of special makeup effects and an admitted Trekkie, makeup artist Joel Harlow signed on to return for Star Trek Beyond after working on the 2009 reboot, without any hesitation. Boasting a blockbuster resume of three decades, it's in the Star Trek films specifically that Harlow finds "the opportunity for creativity." Indeed, Harlow led a sprawling team in designing special makeup effects for 56 alien races represented in the film, all of which are rooted in… Read
Awash With 6 Oscar Noms, How ‘Manchester By The Sea’ Navigated Storms But Didn’t Capsize
The road to Best Picture for independent films is usually filled with uncertainty and adversity. Only in hindsight does it seem like some beneficent movie god plotted the course, and that calamities along the way would in retrospect seem like big breaks. Manchester by the Sea might be defined by its rapturous 2016 Sundance premiere, followed hours later by a $10 million Amazon Studios deal that christened its long voyage to the Oscars. But it was an exhausting journey to… Read
Don Granger Promoted To Skydance Pic Production Prexy
Skydance has promoted Don Granger to President of Feature Film Production, where he will oversee the development and production of David Ellison’s ambitious film slate. Granger had been EVP of the film division.
Granger, who served executive stints at Paramount, United Artists, C/W and the Mutual Film Company, has been a producer on Skydance co-productions including Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. He is executive producer on Skydance’s… Read
Kiska Higgs Upped At Focus Features
Kiska Higgs has been upped to senior VP, acquisitions and co-production for Focus Features, the company behind both Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals and Jeff Nichols' Loving, which garnered an Academy Award nomination for Ruth Negga as Best Actress. Higgs will continue to report to Focus President Robert Walak.
In her new job, she will be charged with overseeing both worldwide acquisitions and co-productions for Focus as well as its Focus World distribution arm.