The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune -- all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent.

"the grand budapest hotel" "wes anderson" "saoirse ronan" "ralph fiennes" "edward norton" "willem dafoe" "jude law" "owen wilson" "bill murray" "adrien brody" "tilda swinton" "jeff goldblum" "jason schwartzman" agatha dmitri henckels hotel concierge europe jail painting comedy drama interview featurette "the story" vchan

Allow Things to Breathe

12 Years a Slave Featurette.

The Director's Vision (HD) Steve McQueen In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.
Director: Steve McQueen Writers: John Ridley (screenplay), Solomon Northup
Stars: Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Great interviews with many of the cast and crew, revealing the hidden depths of Steve McQueens many talents.
Hit the HD settings after the jump.

The Counselor: Reiner & Malkina

21st Century Fox have just released the next viral ahead of Ridley Scotts new film The Counselor. Reiner (Javier Bardem) and Malkina (Cameron Diaz) appear in a brief vignette, hinting at some form of a backstory which gives a small insight into what may happen in the feature itself.

The spot was directed by Luke Scott who also worked on the viral for Prometheus featuring Guy Pearce as Peter Weyland in TED 2023.

Remeber to hit the HD toggle after the jump.

The Counselor is released on NOV. 15 in the UK.

Gravity: A Technical feat in Cinematic Engineering.

Gravity

Alfonso Cuarón is a Mexican born director, best known for his films Y Tu Mamá También, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Children of Men. His latest endeavour Gravity sees George Clooney and Sandra Bullock attempt to survive in space when high-speed debris strikes the Explorer and detaches Stone from the shuttle leaving her tumbling through space.

The Dissolve's review constructs a formidable intro into perhaps why this film visually breaks all boundaries of what is like to be in space.

In one of 2001: A Space Odyssey’s most chilling scenes, the once-helpful, now-murderous computer HAL decides his astronaut companions have become a liability. After sending one, Frank, outside the ship for an unnecessary repair, HAL uses a shuttle to clip the astronaut’s oxygen tube. Until this point, shots of Frank feature the sound of his breathing. Then, aside from a few cuts to Frank’s companion Dave watching the events unfold, the soundtrack goes silent. Frank flails for a bit; then his body floats away. He’s HAL’s victim, but he’s also a victim of the immutable laws of physics, and the limitations of a human body unequipped to survive in vacuum without technological protection. No one who’s seen the movie ever forgets that moment, but Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity suggests he’s spent more time thinking about it than most, wondering what it might be like for someone only slightly luckier than poor Frank to brave the abyss and stare down odds capable of going from slim to incalculable in the blink of an eye. Gravity suggests, too, that Cuarón has wondered about what it takes to survive, not just in terms of wits and strength, but what one would need to to defy instinctive terror and ignore the seeming inevitability of death.

The Hubble Telescope & ISS

Cuarón has assembled some of the leading talents within the industry to realise this vision.

Emmanuel Lubezki (Chivo) is one of the most notable Cinematographers in his field, his relationship with his childhood friend from Mexico, director Alfonso Cuarón, is truly one of the great partnerships in the history of the medium. If this sounds overblown, then you probably haven’t seen their work together, which can now be acclaimed, 22 years after their first feature film together, as one marked by a commitment to making films that are marvels of innovation, technique, and most importantly, visceral emotion.

Children of Men - every shot 45 seconds or longer from Refocused Media on Vimeo.

Tim Webber is a VFX supervisor based out of the Framestore in London. His degree in Maths,Physics and Art provided a strong foundation to how he forged complicated lighting and camera moves that spearhead the way in which Gravity was pre visualised. The technicalities involved were so complex that the relationship between both the Cinematographer and VFX Supervisor were blurred, with both departments collaborating on the various problems each encountered.

Clearly, shooting in this way was going to mean that Gravity would be unlike any other film before it. That was something we were aware of as we were working on it, recalls Webber. It was clear because whenever a new person came to join in any department, not just in visual effects, it would kind of take two weeks before they could understand the process and the way the film worked. It was so different to any previous method of making a film, really. It took that long for people just to understand what we were talking about.

The Gravity Lightbox

The FX_Guide have a informative article going into great detail on how the technicalities were achieved and overcome. A PodCast is also available to listen to where Tim Webber covers the main aspects that the Framestore had to resolve.

Skip Lievsay was the sound re-recording mixer and his use of sound is extraordinary. This also highlights the technology that the team behind Dolby_Atmos have been perfecting over the past year.

Bullock & Clooney in <em>Gravity</em>

Bot & Dolly provided the Motion Control robots that allowed the pre visualised moves to come to life on set.

More than just a tool for camera control, IRIS is a platform for automating the entire set. Move lights, actors and set pieces in perfect synchronisation, then watch in real-time as they match your CG elements. Automate cues, trigger hardware and coordinate across departments, all from an intuitive touch interface.

Bot&Dolly IRIS_rig

The Box is a short film showcasing this technology, the robots definitely seem to have opened the creativity now available to all film makers.

Bot & Dolly produced this work to serve as both an artistic statement and technical demonstration. It is the culmination of multiple technologies, including large scale robotics, projection mapping, and software engineering. We believe this methodology has tremendous potential to radically transform theatrical presentations, and define new genres of expression

GRAVITY opens on November 8th, the bfi_IMAX is screening the 91 minute event in real3D.

Michael Fassbender's Viral Extra for The Counselor

The Counselor

Michael Fassbender stars with Game of Throne's Natalie Dormer in this viral for the upcoming Ridley Scott production of The Counselor.

Penned by Cormack McCarthy of No Country For Old Men fame, this spot was directed by Johnny Hardstaff who's previous viral promotional work, David8 was commissioned by 20th Century Fox for the feature Prometheus.

In this brief vignette Fassbender finds himself buying lingerie for a yet unknown character, perhaps someone to whom he has a relationship with in the actual narrative.

Hardstaff adds his own twist at the end of the spot, alluding to what the viewer could possibly expect once the feature is released.

The Counselor opens in America on the 25th of October and in the UK on the 15th of November.