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.

Books

Production Designer Samuel Michlap Deconstructed

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

Animation layout artist-turned production designer Samuel Michlap has worked at Disney (The Lion King, Hunchback of Notre Dame) and DreamWorks (The Prince of Egypt, Shark Tale, Monsters vs. Aliens, Rise of the Guardians) and is currently working on his first live-action feature, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (May 5, 2017). His first local exhibition is on display at the Center Stage Gallery in Burbank through Sept. 13, where he will have a workshop on Aug. 29. A companion book, Cinematic Storytelling Deconstructed, will be available at CTN Expo Nov. 20-22.

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Happy Birthday, Snoopy!

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

Join the global celebration by wishing Charles Schulz’s beloved beagle Happy B-Day (#HappyBirthdaySnoopy). Read more

4 Directors Get Animated About The Prophet

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

The acclaimed Gkids release, Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, produced by Salma Hayek and overseen by Roger Allers, offers a who’s who of animation directors for what I call a philosophical Fantasia: 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

The Fearless Art of Mike Gabriel

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

This weekend concludes Mike Gabriel’s first solo art exhibition, “The Fearless Art of Mike Gabriel,” at Center Stage Gallery in Burbank, with more than 50 originals and hundreds of prints on display and for sale, presented by The Creative Talent Network. I can’t recommend it enough. The companion book published by CTN is also a must and features a comprehensive selection of Disney’s Oscar-nominated art director (Lorenzo) along with shout outs from Lorelay Bovè, Chris Buck, Ralph Eggleston, Paul Felix, Glen Keane, and John Musker, among others. Read more

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

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

The Dam Keeper Graphic Novel Bound

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Books, Clips, Movies, Oscar, Shorts, Tech | Leave a comment

The Oscar-nommed Dam Keeper animated short from Tonko House founders Robert Kondo and Daisuke “Dice” Tsutsumi will get the graphic novel treatment by First Second, an imprint of Macmillan, and is also being developed into a feature. Read more

Joyce and Oldenburg Talk Tall Short Numberlys

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

William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg of Moonbot Studios pay homage to Metropolis with their latest short The Numberlys, but for kids. In a world comprised of only numbers and black and white, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 create an alphabet and add a burst of color to their world. Read more

Arming Weta for The Hobbit Finale

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

Peter Jackson concludes his Hobbit trilogy and Tolkien six-pack with a bang, and The Battle of the Five Armies delivers the most impressive action of the director’s career, recalling D.W. Griffith and Ray Harryhausen. Read more

First Look at The Jungle Book from Disney/Favreau

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

Get a glimpse of the first concept art from Disney’s hybrid re-imagining of The Jungle Book (Oct. 9, 2015), directed by Jon Favreau (ChefIron ManElf). Read more