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

Reitman to Direct Animated Beekle for DreamWorks

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

Jason Reitman (Up in the Air, Juno), who’s been up and down with his edgy rom-coms, will write and direct DreamWorks’ Beekle, based on Dan Santat’s award-winning children’s book, The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend.  It’s the first feature for co-presidents Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria and definitely the kind of offbeat buddy comedy that Jeffrey Katzenberg likes best. Read more

Halon Powers Tomorrowland Previs

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

Halon worked with Brad Bird to figure out the futuristic architecture and activities of Tomorrowland. Read more

Clipping Full Animation Scrapped from Tomorrowland

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

Watch the complete 2D-animated origin story sequence from Pixar that was cut from Tomorrowland. Read more

Hotel Transylvania 2: Anatomy of a Teaser 2

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

Director Genndy Tartakovsky shares his insight on the specially made animation for the Hotel Transylvania 2 teaser. Read more

Yonebayashi Talks When Marnie Was There

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Books, How They Did It, Movies, Tech, Trailers | Leave a comment

With When Marnie Was There (opening this weekend in LA and NY from Gkids in an English-language version), Studio Ghibli fittingly concludes its remarkable production run during this hiatus on a mysterious and meditative note. It’s based on Joan G. Robinson’s popular YA novel (one of Miyazaki’s favorites) and explores the magic and melancholy of adolescence with shy, artistic Anna encountering strange, empathetic Marnie in the marshes of a seaside town. The English voicecast includes Hailee Steinfeld, Kiernan Shipka, Geena Davis, John C. Reilly, and Vanessa Williams. Director Hiromasa Yonebayashi (The Secret World of Arriety) discussed his second feature, which is somewhat of a visual departure for Ghibli, via email. Read more

20 Years of Toy Story at FMX 2015

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

It just so happens that FMX and Toy Story converged 20 years ago, so it was great timing to have a Pixar reunion honoring the first CG-animated feature a couple of weeks ago in Stuttgart, Germany. Illuminator Christophe Hery (who hosted his own presentation on a new lighting path for Finding Dory) moderated a wonderful discussion with Bill Reeves (supervising technical director), Eben Ostby (director of technical artists) and Ralph Eggleston (the production designer who just completed Inside Out). Read more

Plympton & Lujan Team on Revengeance

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

Bill Plympton finally took notice of LA underground cartoonist/animator Jim Lujan and they’ve struck up a dynamic collaboration on Revengeance, which we should be viewing this time next year. And with four days left in their Kickstarter campaign, they’ve raised more than $62,000 in their goal to secure $80,000 (with a few select $1,500 contributors becoming animated extras). Read more

What You Should Know About the Future of VR

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

Virtual Reality is definitely real now that the tech has arrived, the investment is pouring in and the entertainment industry is jumping in. So VR was the hot topic last week at the 20th FMX confab in Stuttgart, Germany, following all the tech trade shows this year and Sundance, where young filmmakers admitted they were more interested in VR than in movies. Read more

Joss Whedon on Self-Doubt and Hawks in Age of Ultron

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

If Joss Whedon echoes Ultron in saying, “Everyone creates the thing they dread,” it’s because he bit off more than he could creatively chew with his “Avengers” sequel. Apart from extraordinarily high expectations and financial pressure that inevitably pushed back, he ambitiously attempted a better movie. Read more

Moonbot Snags 2 Emmy Awards for Silent Short

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

Moonbot Studios’ Silent animated short for Dolby Laboratories, in collaboration with CAA, has received two Daytime Creative Arts Emmy awards Friday night: Outstanding Special Class Animated Program and Outstanding Directing in an Animated Program. Read more