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 the Making of Anomalisa

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

Find out how stop-motion blurs the line between animation and live-action in the Oscar contending Anomalisa from Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson. Read more

How Pixar Animated The Good Dinosaur

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

Animating dinos was new to Pixar on The Good Dinosaur, with particular emphasis on Arlo, the young Apatosaurus protagonist, as well as the special brand of T-Rexes. Locomotion and efficiency were key, and the animators took their cues from studying elephants. However, for the T-Rexes, director Peter Sohn wanted them to look like cowboys on horseback. Animation director Rob Thompson and animator Kevin O’Hara discuss the challenges. Read more

Sneak Peeking Zootopia with Howard & Moore

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

Zootopia (March 4, 2016), from directors Byron Howard (Tangled) and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph) and producer Clark Spencer (Wreck-It Ralph), represents Disney’s first anthropomorphic feature “designed for animals by animals.” Rookie bunny cop Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) teams up with sly fox Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) to solve a disappearance that could tear Zootopia apart. It’s about overcoming bias and Grammy-winning Shakira will voice pop star Gazelle and sing the anthem, “Try Everything.” Read more

Disney/Dali Destino Art: Lost, Found, Reconstructed

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

At long last, the narrative puzzle for Salvador Dali and Disney’s Destino has been put back together, thanks to the recovery of a “lost” collection of Destino art, which was presented for the first time at Chapman University on Tuesday by animation art conservationist Ron Barbagallo (view a clip here). Images by permission of the Research Library at Animation Art Conservation. Read more

Getting Animated About the Oscar Contenders

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

Here are the five likely nominees for best animated feature: Pixar at its most abstract, Blue Sky’s masterpiece, two very different stop-motion triumphs and the hand-drawn Brazilian tapestry distributed by GKIDS. Read more

Revisiting Shaun the Sheep Movie from Aardman

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

Last week’s Blu-ray/DVD combo pack arrival of Shaun the Sheep Movie from Lionsgate offered another opportunity to speak with directors Mark Burton & Richard Starzak about Aardman’s Oscar contender, which has racked up $100 million internationally and sparked a sequel from Studiocanal. Stop-motion without dialogue and exploring good vs. bad parenting during its rollicking adventure provided lots of new tricks, even for Aardman. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Ant-Man from Marvel

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

Marvel’s Ant-Man with Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas arrives Dec. 8th on Blu-ray/DVD from Disney as an absurd superhero/heist movie. Read more

Trailering Zootopia Sloth from Disney

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

Watch the new trailer for Zootopia (March 4, 2016) featuring the hilarious Sloth scene. Read more

Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson Talk Anomalisa

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

With the Oscar-contending Anomalisa (Dec. 30), Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson take stop-motion in a deeply personal and provocative adult direction. Inspirational speaker Michael Stone (David Thewlis) suffers a nervous breakdown while preparing for a lecture in a strange hotel in Cincinnati. That is, until he meets homely Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh) with a heavenly voice and has a glimmer of hope. Read more

Framestore Gets a Grip on Spectre Main Titles

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

Designer Daniel Kleinman and Framestore tackled the Octopus in Spectre’s main title sequence. Read more