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

How Blue Sky Rigged The Peanuts Movie

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

Given the Picasso-esque posing of Charles Schulz’s beloved characters, Blue Sky departed from its customary procedures for the Oscar-contending The Peanuts Movie. This included rigging and materials. They created hundreds of poses, but to hit all of the poses that Schulz drew and stay on model, they built a system of parts that they could move, slide, switch out and replace. When I was up at Blue Sky last summer, I spoke with Sabine Heller, character development supervisor, Justin Leach, rigging supervisor and Nikki Tomaino, lead materials tech director
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The 6 Best Score Oscar Contenders

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

It’s an awards season full of musical riches: the rousing update of a legendary score, the return of an iconic composer at home with the Western, a chamber piece for a journalism triumph, the fascination of forbidden love and a sublime animated tour-de-force. Read more

Alê Abreu Talks Boy and the World from Gkids

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

Boy and the World, the hand-drawn Brazilian festival fave from Alê Abreu, unfolds like a sumptuous tapestry for a small stick figure of a boy, who experiences an exciting yet difficult rite of passage. At the same time, Abreu offers a devastating political critique as the boy travels from the simple line drawings of his village to bushels of cotton-lined country roads to industrial landscapes filled with animal-machines, whirling carnival colors, exploding fireworks and flashing neon adverts. All of this accompanied by pan-flute, samba and Brazilian hip-hop. The visceral impact is startling for this Gkids Oscar contender. Read more

Clipping 10 Years of Innovative Laika Stop-Motion

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

Portland-based Laika has released a terrific video reel commemorating 10 years of bold storytelling and innovative stop-motion (Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls and next year’s Kubo and the Two Strings). Read more

Gabriel, Hall Collaborate on Swamp Ghost Art

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Crafts, Events, Tech | Leave a comment

 

Pacific Aviation Museum is honoring the famed World War II-era B17 “Flying Fortress,” affectionately named “Swamp Ghost,” with Disney artists Mike Gabriel (director, “Pocahontas,” “The Rescuers Down Under” and the Oscar-nominated short, “Lorenzo”) and Klay Hall (director, Disneytoon Studios “Planes”) worked together to create original nose art, to be exclusively displayed at the Museum. Read more

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

Trailering The BFG from Steven Spielberg

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Books, Cinematography, Costume, Crafts, Editing, Makeup/Hair, Movies, Music, Oscar, performance capture, previs, Production Design, Sound, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

We get our first peek of the eponymous giant (a performance-captured Mark Rylance by Weta Digital) from Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Roal Dahl’s The BFG (July 1, 2016), which also marks his first directorial effort at Disney. Read more

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