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.

Clips

SPECTRE Sam Smith Vlog: Capturing the Emotion

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

Just as the overwhelmingly positive UK reviews are in for SPECTRE (opening next week in the UK and Nov. 6 stateside), we have the music vlog devoted to Sam Smith’s record-breaking main title theme, “Writing’s On the Wall.” Read more

Houdini 15 Offers RenderMan Plug-In

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

Houdini 15 has been released with onion skinning, new shader building tools, crowd ragdolls, RenderMan 20 and RIS shading support and Houdini Engine 2.0. Read more

How They Shot Crimson Peak as Gothic Throwback

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

Guillermo del Toro has always been great at morphing genres into his own deliciously baroque stew, and, with Crimson Peak, he magnificently turns the Gothic romance and haunted ghost story on their heads in classical fashion. For Danish cinematographer Dan Laustsen, who last worked with del Toro on The Mimic, it was a refreshing return to a brightly-colored palette after a string of desaturated movies (including Brotherhood of the Wolf). Read more

Clipping Sanjay’s Super Team from Pixar

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

Watch the first clip from Pixar’s compelling short, Sanjay’s Super Team, opening in front of The Good Dinosaur (Nov. 25).

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Clipping The Good Dinosaur: 20 Years of Friendship

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

Capitalizing on the 20th anniversary of Toy Story, Pixar highlights buddies from Woody & Buzz to Arlo & Spot from The Good Dinosaur (Nov. 25). Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Aladdin Shines Again

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Blu-ray, Clips, Crafts, Home Entertainment, Movies, Music, Oscar, VFX | Leave a comment

Aladdin, the beloved animated feature from ’92, makes its Blu-ray bow this week from Disney Home Ent. (also available on Digital HD and DMA). Aside from its demo-quality picture and sound, the Diamond Edition boasts never-before-seen tributes to the late Robin Williams, the “Genius behind the Genie.” Read more

Zemeckis Talks The Walk as Career-Defining

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

The Walk, which fittingly opened the New York Film Festival last week, couldn’t have happened without Bob Zemeckis’ pioneering (if controversial) performance capture work (The Polar Express) in IMAX 3D and his previous tech wizardry on Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Back to the Future and Forrest Gump. Read more

What We Learned This Week About SPECTRE

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

A new action vlog and the release of Sam Smith’s personal (if controversial) theme song provide some more clues about SPECTRE (opening stateside Nov. 6). Read more

The Terrors of Shooting Everest

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

Cinematographer Salvatore Totino (Concussion, Inferno) now has a greater understanding of what the real-life climbers encountered when they were hit with one of the fiercest blizzards during their final ascent toward the summit of Mount Everest in 1996. He discussed the terrors of shooting Baltasar Kormákur’s Everest. Read more

Tartakovsky Talks Hotel Transylvania 2

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

Genndy Tartakovsky couldn’t make the Popeye he wanted at Sony but he continues his cartoony sensibility in Hotel Transylvania 2 and hopes to make the very ambitious Can You Imagine? The gang’s all back as Mavis (Selena Gomez) and Johnny (Andy Samberg) get married and have a son and Drac (Adam Sandler) adjusts to being a grandpa and a world where monster and human co-exist. There’s even a cameo by Mel Brooks as his dad, Vlad. Read more