Getting More Immersed with Indiewire


  The Penske Media purchase of Indiewire has resulted in an expansion of my role as crafts and awards season contributor.  Beginning this week, I begin Emmy coverage of below-the-line contenders along with my usual Oscar season crafts reporting, working closely

Immersed in Blu-ray: Hitchcock and Bogart


The WB Archive Collection gets Hitch and Bogie on Blu-ray and they've never looked better for home viewing. In Kent Jones' indispensable doc, Hitchcock/Truffaut, he reminds us that Truffaut was on a mission to correct misconceptions about Hitch as a lightweight

Immersed in Books: Farber on Film


For the first time, the complete writings of film critic Manny Farber is available from Library of America, edited by Robert Polito (Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson). Manny Farber (1917-2008) was the first modernist film critic to write like a modernist.

3-D

Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda Talk Minions

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Blu-ray, Clips, Crafts, Home Entertainment, Movies, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Minions turned out to be one of the biggest animated sensations of the year, grabbing $335 million domestically and $1.1 billion worldwide for Universal and Illumination Ent. It’s also an Oscar contender for its trippy, throwback ’60s satire and charming physical comedy. In honor of the Blu-ray/DVD combo release from Universal, I spoke to directors Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda. Read more

Voicing Arlo in The Good Dinosaur from Pixar

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Crafts, Movies, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Raymond Ochoa, the 14-year-old San Diego native, discusses his breakout voice role as Arlo, the Apatosaurus protagonist from The Good Dinosaur. Ochoa’s done voice work in Mr. Peabody & ShermanMars Needs Moms,Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III and A Christmas Carol, and will appear in next year’s The Angry Birds Movie. Read more

Trailering Kubo and the Two Strings from Laika

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Cinematography, Costume, Crafts, Movies, Production Design, Screenwriting, stop-motion, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Get a sneak peek of Laika’s next stop-motion adventure, Kubo and the Two Strings (Aug. 19, 2016), which embraces samurai and mythic Japan in ornate fashion. Read more

20 Advance in VFX Oscar Shortlist

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Below the Line, Crafts, Movies, Oscar, performance capture, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

 The Academy released the 20 VFX movies shortlisted for Oscar consideration, and thanks to a new rule expanding eligibility, you have the inclusion of the indie Ex Machina and the supporting Bridge of Spies.  Otherwise, the gang’s all here from Star Wars: The Force Awakens to Jurassic World to The Martian to Mad Max: Fury Road. The only noticeable omissions were Crimson Peak and the critically panned Pan.

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Pixar Grabs 25 Annie Noms

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Annies, Below the Line, Crafts, Events, Movies, Shorts, stop-motion, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

With two features and a short, Pixar led the Annie nominations with 25. Minions picked up 7, Peanuts 5 Home and Hotel Transylvania 2 got three each. Read more

How Pixar Animated The Good Dinosaur

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Crafts, Movies, previs, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Animating dinos was new to Pixar on The Good Dinosaur, with particular emphasis on Arlo, the young Apatosaurus protagonist, as well as the special brand of T-Rexes. Locomotion and efficiency were key, and the animators took their cues from studying elephants. However, for the T-Rexes, director Peter Sohn wanted them to look like cowboys on horseback. Animation director Rob Thompson and animator Kevin O’Hara discuss the challenges. Read more

Sneak Peeking Zootopia with Howard & Moore

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Crafts, Movies, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Zootopia (March 4, 2016), from directors Byron Howard (Tangled) and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph) and producer Clark Spencer (Wreck-It Ralph), represents Disney’s first anthropomorphic feature “designed for animals by animals.” Rookie bunny cop Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) teams up with sly fox Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) to solve a disappearance that could tear Zootopia apart. It’s about overcoming bias and Grammy-winning Shakira will voice pop star Gazelle and sing the anthem, “Try Everything.” Read more

Getting Animated About the Oscar Contenders

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Clips, Crafts, Movies, Oscar, previs, stop-motion, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Here are the five likely nominees for best animated feature: Pixar at its most abstract, Blue Sky’s masterpiece, two very different stop-motion triumphs and the hand-drawn Brazilian tapestry distributed by GKIDS. Read more

Revisiting Shaun the Sheep Movie from Aardman

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Blu-ray, Crafts, Movies, Oscar, stop-motion, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Last week’s Blu-ray/DVD combo pack arrival of Shaun the Sheep Movie from Lionsgate offered another opportunity to speak with directors Mark Burton & Richard Starzak about Aardman’s Oscar contender, which has racked up $100 million internationally and sparked a sequel from Studiocanal. Stop-motion without dialogue and exploring good vs. bad parenting during its rollicking adventure provided lots of new tricks, even for Aardman. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Ant-Man from Marvel

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Blu-ray, Clips, Crafts, Home Entertainment, Movies, previs, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Marvel’s Ant-Man with Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas arrives Dec. 8th on Blu-ray/DVD from Disney as an absurd superhero/heist movie. Read more