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

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

Pixar Lights Joy from Inside Out

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

There might not be any holy grails left for Pixar to conquer but there are still major tech hurdles. A new kind of lighting approach was needed for  Pete Docter’s Inside Out given the nature of the five key emotions personified by energy particles, particularly Joy (Amy Poehler). She’s not only the main character but also the shining light. Indeed, she’s a direct source of light. As a result,  Angelique Reisch, the character lighting lead, had to create a special model to illuminate Joy, who’s comprised of glowing particles and possesses her very own luminescence. Read more

Inside the Toxic Storm of Mad Max: Fury Road

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

There’s definitely a strange and scary beauty to the Toxic Storm from Mad Max: Fury Road,  the movie’s biggest VFX sequence. The cataclysmic event goes beyond the random havoc George Miller wanted overall, sweeping up vehicles into the sky. It achieves an otherworldly spectacle, courtesy of the magnificent fluid sim work by Australia-based Iloura. Read more

Lin, Lord, Osborne Join Google Spotlight Series

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

At Friday’s Google ATAP session at Google I/O, acclaimed feature director Justin Lin (Fast & Furious films, True Detective, Star Trek 3) will make a special appearance and premiere the newest Spotlight Story, Help. The short tells the story of a young woman who investigates what appears to be a meteor that has crashed into a downtown Los Angeles street and eventually finds an unexpected surprise inside. Read more

Halon Powers Tomorrowland Previs

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

Halon worked with Brad Bird to figure out the futuristic architecture and activities of Tomorrowland. Read more

Clipping Full Animation Scrapped from Tomorrowland

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

Watch the complete 2D-animated origin story sequence from Pixar that was cut from Tomorrowland. Read more

Check Out Rival Newman, McQueen Racing Docs

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Clips, Crafts, documentary, Tech, Trailers | Leave a comment

Paul Newman and Steve McQueen were not only acting rivals but also avid speed racers. And there are two new revealing docs about their passion for racing: Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman, which opens this weekend theatrically and VOD, and Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans, which premiered last week at Cannes. Newman’s is upbeat while McQueen’s is downbeat. Both deserve our attention. Read more

Hotel Transylvania 2: Anatomy of a Teaser 2

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

Director Genndy Tartakovsky shares his insight on the specially made animation for the Hotel Transylvania 2 teaser. Read more

Roel Reine Talks Admiral as Guerilla Filmmaking

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Cinematography, Crafts, Movies, Tech, Trailers | 2 Comments

Dutch director-cinematographer Roel Reiné (Death Race 2 & 3)  has made a dazzling epic portraying one of the most important events in his country’s history: the 17th century Anglo Dutch wars. Admiral stars Frank Lammers as beloved Dutch Admiral Michiel de Ruyter, who commanded the Dutch fleet when the Netherlands was attacked by England, France, and Germany. Read more

20 Years of Toy Story at FMX 2015

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

It just so happens that FMX and Toy Story converged 20 years ago, so it was great timing to have a Pixar reunion honoring the first CG-animated feature a couple of weeks ago in Stuttgart, Germany. Illuminator Christophe Hery (who hosted his own presentation on a new lighting path for Finding Dory) moderated a wonderful discussion with Bill Reeves (supervising technical director), Eben Ostby (director of technical artists) and Ralph Eggleston (the production designer who just completed Inside Out). Read more