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

Trailering Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

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

Get a first look at one of the stars of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Evie Frye, and the variety of deadly weapons she employs in her fight alongside Jacob and the rest of The Rooks to control London’s criminal underground. From her unique version of the signature Assassin’s hidden blade to her elegant cane sword and deadly throwing knives, Evie is a force to be reckoned with.
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Spirited Away from Miyazaki Goes Blu

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Blu-ray, Crafts, Home Entertainment, Movies, Tech, Trailers | Leave a comment

Spirited Away, the 2002 Oscar winner from Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghiblio arrived on Blu-ray (Disney Home Ent.) along with The Cat Returns. It has never looked better. Read more

Phyllis Smith Goes Inside Out with Sadness

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

Animation is smartly turning to TV stars and character actors for voice work, and Pete Docters’ instincts were spot-on in casting the dead-pan Phyllis Smith (The Office, Bad Teacher) for Inside Out. She plays Sadness, who turns out to be crucial and steals the movie from Amy Poehler’s protagonist, Joy. Not bad for Smith’s first foray in animation. Let’s hope it leads to more voice work. Read more

Pete Docter Talks Inside Out Dinner Scene

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

There’s nothing that epitomizes the greatness of Inside Out more than the dinner scene. It introduces Riley’s unhappiness moving to San Francisco and provides a glimpse not only inside her mind but also inside her parents’. It’s a brilliant study in conflict and contrast: the difference between our outer and inner worlds (read more about the production designcamera/layout, and lighting). Pay close attention, and you’ll notice that Sadness helms her mom’s headquarters and Anger rules her dad’s. It’s all about growing up, which Pete Docter delves into in our latest conversation. Read more

Gkids Acquires Three Animated Features at Annecy

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Clips, Festivals, Movies, Oscar, Tech, Trailers, VFX | Leave a comment

Now we know more about the Gkids upcoming Oscar slate: the indie distributor has been busy at Annecy this week, acquiring North American rights to Phantom Boy, Extraordinary Tales, and April and the Extraordinary World. Read more

Trailering The Peanuts Movie from Blue Sky

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Movies, previs, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | 1 Comment

Watch the first full-trailer for The Peanuts Movie (Nov. 6) and find out how Charlie Brown tries to reinvent himself to attract the Little Red-Haired Girl. Read more

Humanizing Jurassic World with Indominus Rex

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

For Colin Trevorrow, the transition from Safety Not Guaranteed to Jurassic World meant finding a deeply personal theme that he could relate to: reconnecting with our humanity in the face of greed, which, of course, took him back to the Amblin movies he grew up with in Vermont.  And the creation of the hybrid Indominus Rex enabled him to contrast the old with the new. Read more

ILMxLab Poised to Push VR Boundaries

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

For years, John Gaeta (The Matrix trilogy) has been preaching and incubating the total immersive entertainment experience, tapping Silicon Valley and Hollywood (watch our conversation below), and now he’s making it a reality as creative director of the new ILM Experience Lab (ILMxLab).

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Teasing the Anthropomorphic Fun of Zootopia

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

Disney returns to its anthropomorphic roots with Zootopia (March 4, 2016) and highlights this in the first teaser trailer. Read more

Animation Show of Shows to Expand

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

Producer Ron Diamond (Acme Filmworks/AWN) will be turning his annual shorts showcase, The Animation Show of Shows, into a non-profit organization to preserve and promote animated shorts. Read more