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

Exploring Dragons: Race to Edge on Netflix

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

While awaiting How to Train Your Dragon 3 in 2018, there’s a whole new world to explore in DreamWorks Animation’s new Netflix series, Dragons: Race to the Edge (with all 13 episodes premiering Friday and a total of 52 in the works). Jay Baruchel and America Ferrera return to provide the voices of Hiccup and Astrid, along with Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Fishlegs, and T.J. Miller as Tuffnut. Read more

Marc Forster to Direct Downslope Kubrick Script

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

Stanley Kubrick’s unproduced Civil War script, The Downslope, will be produced and directed by Marc Forster (World War Z, Quantum of Solace). The project is the first in a trilogy, which Forster will also produce. Read more

David Spaltrow Goes … In the Dark

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Cinematography, Crafts, Movies, Music, Oscar, Sound, Tech, Trailers, VFX | Leave a comment

Award-winning indie director David Spaltrow (Things I Don’t Understand, …Around) has just completed the horror film, …In the Dark, a new spin on the haunted house trope, a joint production with Seven Oaks Films and Intimation Prods., exec produced by Sital Sal Jain, produced by Jesse R. Tendler, and line produced by Lee Gillentine. Read more

Trailering Kung Fu Panda 3 from DreamWorks

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

Get the first glimpse of Kung Fu Panda 3 (Jan. 29, 2016), DreamWorks Animation’s first co-production in China (where a third of the work is animated). Read more

Trailering Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Crafts, previs, Tech, Trailers, Videogames, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Get a first look at one of the stars of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Evie Frye, and the variety of deadly weapons she employs in her fight alongside Jacob and the rest of The Rooks to control London’s criminal underground. From her unique version of the signature Assassin’s hidden blade to her elegant cane sword and deadly throwing knives, Evie is a force to be reckoned with.
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Spirited Away from Miyazaki Goes Blu

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Blu-ray, Crafts, Home Entertainment, Movies, Tech, Trailers | Leave a comment

Spirited Away, the 2002 Oscar winner from Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghiblio arrived on Blu-ray (Disney Home Ent.) along with The Cat Returns. It has never looked better. Read more

Phyllis Smith Goes Inside Out with Sadness

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

Animation is smartly turning to TV stars and character actors for voice work, and Pete Docters’ instincts were spot-on in casting the dead-pan Phyllis Smith (The Office, Bad Teacher) for Inside Out. She plays Sadness, who turns out to be crucial and steals the movie from Amy Poehler’s protagonist, Joy. Not bad for Smith’s first foray in animation. Let’s hope it leads to more voice work. Read more

Pete Docter Talks Inside Out Dinner Scene

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

There’s nothing that epitomizes the greatness of Inside Out more than the dinner scene. It introduces Riley’s unhappiness moving to San Francisco and provides a glimpse not only inside her mind but also inside her parents’. It’s a brilliant study in conflict and contrast: the difference between our outer and inner worlds (read more about the production designcamera/layout, and lighting). Pay close attention, and you’ll notice that Sadness helms her mom’s headquarters and Anger rules her dad’s. It’s all about growing up, which Pete Docter delves into in our latest conversation. Read more

SPECTRE Vlog #4: Bondizing Day of the Dead

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

The latest SPECTRE vlog takes us behind the scenes of the elaborate Day of the Dead Bond opener with 1,500 extras in full costume. Read more

Humanizing Jurassic World with Indominus Rex

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

For Colin Trevorrow, the transition from Safety Not Guaranteed to Jurassic World meant finding a deeply personal theme that he could relate to: reconnecting with our humanity in the face of greed, which, of course, took him back to the Amblin movies he grew up with in Vermont.  And the creation of the hybrid Indominus Rex enabled him to contrast the old with the new. Read more