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.

Crafts

Pixar to Open-Source Universal Scene Description

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

Pixar will release its Universal Scene Description software (USD) as an open-source project by summer 2016. USD addresses the ever-growing need in the CG film and game industries for an effective way to describe, assemble, interchange, and modify high-complexity virtual scenes between digital content creation tools employed by studios. Read more

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

Going Silent with Shaun the Sheep Movie

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

With Shaun the Sheep Movie, Aardman’s back doing what it does best with the purest form of stop-motion and British whimsy. Summer boredom turns into a wild adventure from the farm to the Big City, as Aardman takes the hit series to the big screen, helmed by Mark Burton (a scribe on the Oscar-winning Wallace and Gromit Curse of the Were-Rabbit) and Richard (Golly) Starzak (Creature Comforts series 2). And best of all: “It’s an adult film you can take your kids to.”  I spoke to Starzak, who worked on the series, about adapting Shaun into a feature. Read more

Pixar Licenses NVIDIA Tech

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

To accelerate production of its features and shorts, Pixar is licensing a suite of NVIDIA technologies related to image rendering. Read more

Dean Devlin to Keynote VES 2015 Summit

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

 

Filmmaker and Electric Ent. president Dean Devlin (Geostorm, Independence Day) will keynote the VES 7th annual Summit, “Visualization to Virtualization: Storytelling Expands,” on Oct. 17th at the W Hotel in Hollywood.

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The Disney Science Behind the Hyperion Renderer

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

The Walt Disney Animation Studios Technology team created this helpful, 1950s classroom-style tutorial on the new Hyperion renderer (which made the complexity possible for the Oscar-winning Big Hero 6). It’s now doing wonders with next year’s Zootopia, among others. Read more

Henry Offers Empathy-Generating VR

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

Oculus premiered its second Virtual Reality short on Tuesday about a huggable hedgehog, upping the emotional factor. Read more

Hollis-Leick Talks Performance Capture and Training

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

Oliver Hollis-Leick, founder of The Mocap Vaults (an educational resource with online tutorials and live workshops), is a 13-year performance capture/mocap acting vet (GodzillaHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), who discusses the particular acting craft and how software such as the markerless iPi Motion Capture from iPi Soft is helping change the profession. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Home from DreamWorks

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

DreamWorks is back doing cultural satire with Home (out in a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD combo from Fox Home Ent.). Jim Parsons and Rihanna team up as Oh and Tip in this alien invasion buddy comedy with Steve Martin and Jennifer Lopez co-starring. Read more