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

Clipping Ant-Man Trial by Fire

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

Watch the new Ant-Man clip, “Trial by Fire,” in which Paul Rudd tests his new suit and we glimpse the VFX macro unit in action. Read more

Alan Taylor on Terminator Genisys: Family Dysfunction

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

Alan Taylor’s definitely drawn to dysfunctional families, which were a staple of his acclaimed TV work (Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos), and that’s what attracted him to Terminator Genisys. Beneath the sci-fi, time travel, political tyranny, man vs. machine, shoot-em-up action lies a very trippy story of lovers and parents and guardians trapped in a continuous loop. Read more

Cinesite, Image Engine Join Forces

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

Consolidation is one way to stave off VFX competition, as UK-based Cinesite (X-Men: Days of Future Past) and Vancouver-based Image Engine (Chappie) announced a merger. Read more

Roger Allers Talks The Prophet

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

Roger Allers chuckled when I suggested that Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet is a philosophical Fantasia. It’s what he had in mind: an exquisite tapestry of different looks and moods based on the acclaimed book by the Lebanese poet, featuring segments from 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

Animation Show of Shows Hits Kickstarter Goal

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

The Animation Show of Shows achieved its Kickstarter campaign ”stretch” goal by raising $107,528. This will allow it to match ASIFA Hollywood’s $7,000 grant to restore Hangman (1964), directed by Les Goldman and Paul Julian. Read more

10 Things You Might Not Know About Inside Out

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

After 20 years, Pixar is still one of the industry’s biggest success stories, and Inside Out, the biggest original box office opener in history, certainly belongs in the top-tier of the studio’s animated features. Pete Docter explores childhood and emotions and memories and growing up, but from an adult perspective. He even proclaims that it’s not only okay to be sad, but that it’s essential to our maturity and emotional well-being. Read more

Exploring Dragons: Race to Edge on Netflix

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

While awaiting How to Train Your Dragon 3 in 2018, there’s a whole new world to explore in DreamWorks Animation’s new Netflix series, Dragons: Race to the Edge (with all 13 episodes premiering Friday and a total of 52 in the works). Jay Baruchel and America Ferrera return to provide the voices of Hiccup and Astrid, along with Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Fishlegs, and T.J. Miller as Tuffnut. Read more

Summer Previs Powered by The Third Floor

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

The LA and London-based boutique worked on Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mad Max: Fury Road, San Andreas, and Poltergeist, with Ant-Man and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation on deck. (Ultron image copyright Marvel 2015, Fury Road, San Andreas images copyright Warner Bros., Poltergeist image copyright Twentieth Century Fox; all images courtesy of The Third Floor Inc.) Read more

Pixar, DreamWorks Announce OpenSubdiv 3.0

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Movies, Shorts, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | 1 Comment

OpenSubdiv 3.0, the popular subdivision surface library, takes a bold step forward with a near complete rewrite of the library, greatly improving performance and simplifying the API. This joint effort by the Pixar and DreamWorks Animation graphics R&D teams brings improved performance and reduced memory consumption, while continuing to leverage the massive parallelism available on modern GPU and CPU architectures. Read more

Trailering Kung Fu Panda 3 from DreamWorks

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

Get the first glimpse of Kung Fu Panda 3 (Jan. 29, 2016), DreamWorks Animation’s first co-production in China (where a third of the work is animated). Read more