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.

Animation

Getting to Know Dinotrux from DreamWorks/Netflix

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Clips, Tech, TV, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Dinotrux, the new original series from DreamWorks Animation Television and Neflix, launched on Friday. The series is based on Chris Gall’s illustrated children’s book series, which features a fictional prehistoric world inhabited by hybrid characters that are part dinosaur and part mechanical construction vehicle. It centers around Ty Rux, a massive Tyrannosaurus Trux, and his best friend Revvit, a razor-sharp Reptool. The Dinotrux and Reptools join forces for the first time ever to build a better world and battle the D-Structs, an evil Tyrannosaurus Trux who threatens to wreck everything they’ve built. Ron Burch & David Kidd are the exec producers and Randy Dormans the supervising producer. I recently spoke with Dormans. Read more

Autodesk Revs Up Workflows at SIGGRAPH 2015

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

Autodesk has new extension releases for Maya 2016 and 3ds Max 2016, a new set of features for Shotgun 6.3, and unveiled a new 3D marketplace on Creative Market, – its online platform for purchasing and selling custom content developed by artists.  Read more

Pixar to Open-Source Universal Scene Description

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

Pixar will release its Universal Scene Description software (USD) as an open-source project by summer 2016. USD addresses the ever-growing need in the CG film and game industries for an effective way to describe, assemble, interchange, and modify high-complexity virtual scenes between digital content creation tools employed by studios. Read more

Happy Birthday, Snoopy!

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

Join the global celebration by wishing Charles Schulz’s beloved beagle Happy B-Day (#HappyBirthdaySnoopy). Read more

4 Directors Get Animated About The Prophet

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Books, Crafts, Movies, Tech, Trailers, VFX | Leave a comment

The acclaimed Gkids release, Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, produced by Salma Hayek and overseen by Roger Allers, offers a who’s who of animation directors for what I call a philosophical Fantasia: Tomm Moore (Song of the Sea), Joan Gratz (Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase), Bill Plympton (Cheatin’), Nina Paley (Sita Sings the Blues), Joann Sfar (The Rabbi’s Cat), Paul and Gaetan Brizzi (“Firebird Suite” in Fantasia 2000), Michal Socha (Chick), and Mohammed Harib (Freej) Read more

Going Silent with Shaun the Sheep Movie

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Crafts, Movies, Music, Sound, stop-motion, Tech, Trailers, VFX | Leave a comment

With Shaun the Sheep Movie, Aardman’s back doing what it does best with the purest form of stop-motion and British whimsy. Summer boredom turns into a wild adventure from the farm to the Big City, as Aardman takes the hit series to the big screen, helmed by Mark Burton (a scribe on the Oscar-winning Wallace and Gromit Curse of the Were-Rabbit) and Richard (Golly) Starzak (Creature Comforts series 2). And best of all: “It’s an adult film you can take your kids to.”  I spoke to Starzak, who worked on the series, about adapting Shaun into a feature. Read more

Pixar Licenses NVIDIA Tech

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

To accelerate production of its features and shorts, Pixar is licensing a suite of NVIDIA technologies related to image rendering. Read more

Dean Devlin to Keynote VES 2015 Summit

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

 

Filmmaker and Electric Ent. president Dean Devlin (Geostorm, Independence Day) will keynote the VES 7th annual Summit, “Visualization to Virtualization: Storytelling Expands,” on Oct. 17th at the W Hotel in Hollywood.

Read more

The Disney Science Behind the Hyperion Renderer

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

The Walt Disney Animation Studios Technology team created this helpful, 1950s classroom-style tutorial on the new Hyperion renderer (which made the complexity possible for the Oscar-winning Big Hero 6). It’s now doing wonders with next year’s Zootopia, among others. Read more

Henry Offers Empathy-Generating VR

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

Oculus premiered its second Virtual Reality short on Tuesday about a huggable hedgehog, upping the emotional factor. Read more