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.

Cinematography

Cinematography Crafts Roundup

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

It’s been a great year for cinematography, with such an emphasis on survival, turmoil and trying to find beauty or redemption within the suffering. Gravity12 Years a Slave, Captain Phillips, Nebraska, Inside Llewyn Davis, The Grandmaster,  and Rush are among the standouts. Whether they used digital or film, the results are organic to theme and design. Read more

Cinematographer Lubezki Talks Gravity

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

With three out of the last four Oscars for cinematography going to hybrid movies, is it any wonder that Emmanuel (“Chivo”) Lubezki is the frontrunner for Gravity? Especially after Lubezki and his collaborators devised a brilliant new lighting system for simulating the physics of space in the game-changing and emotionally-gripping blockbuster. Read more

Kindle Edition of James Bond Unmasked Available

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Books, Cinematography, Costume, Editing, James Bond, Movies, Production Design, Tech | Leave a comment

I’ve updated my book, James Bond Unmasked (Spies), to include a Skyfall chapter, an exclusive interview with Sam Mendes, and new Daniel Craig quotes from various press conferences. JBU is currently available in a Kindle edition and coming soon to Nook and other e-readers. Read more

Nicholson Talks Designing Gravity

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

Gravity production designer Andrew Nicholson was at the ADG and USC this week and we discussed the special synergy between the art department and VFX. Read more

Clipping The Croods Tech

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

Watch an informative making of clip for DreamWorks’ Oscar contender,  The Croods, which will be presented this week at SIGGRAPH Asia in Hong Kong. Read more

Ballhaus Talks The Book Thief

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

The Book Thief might be flying under the Oscar radar, but it’s still a gentle gem worth considering. True, it’s old-fashioned and sentimental while contemplating the vicarious power of storytelling. But it’s a unique Holocaust story told from a child’s point of view as well as Death’s (adapted from the best-seller by Markus Zusak). And that’s what attracted DP Florian Ballhaus, best known for comedy (The Devil Wears Prada), and the son of the great cinematographer Michael Ballhaus (who’s worked with both Fassbinder and Scorsese). Read more

Trailering Noah

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

Watch the first trailer for Darren Aronofsky’s Noah (March 28, 2014) with Russell Crowe as the divine prophet and the first environmentalist. Read more

Trailering Maleficent

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

Angelina Jolie makes a menacing Maleficent in the teaser for the live-action version of Disney’s classic Sleeping Beauty opening May 30, 2014.

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Digital Domain Talks Ender’s Game Zero-G VFX

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

As co-producer of Ender’s Game, the rebooted Digital Domain 3.0 has a lot more at stake than cool zero-g and simulated battles in space. One of LA’s few remaining VFX studios (now under the post-bankruptcy ownership of Sun Innovation and Reliance MediaWorks), DD is also experimenting with content creation as a new business model.

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VES Summit: Contemplating a New Reality

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Cinematography, Events, Movies, Tech, VES, VFX, Virtual Production | 3 Comments

Is it time for the visual effects industry to change its name to digital production to face the changing paradigm shift? And should the Academy Awards consolidate cinematography and VFX into a visual imaging Oscar since virtual production has blurred them? These were topics discussed yesterday at the fifth annual VES Summit at the W in Hollywood. Read more