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.

performance capture

Gravity Grabs 10 Oscar Nominations

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Cinematography, Costume, Editing, Movies, Music, Oscar, performance capture, previs, Production Design, Shorts, Sound, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

The popular Gravity grabbed 10 Oscar nominations along with American Hustle (including best picture, best director for Alfonso  Cuarón, and best actress for Sandra Bullock), and dominated the crafts (production design, cinematography, VFX, editing, sound editing and mixing and original score). Disney’s Frozen and Get A Horse! Micky Mouse short were both nominatedbut Pixar’s Monsters University was shut out for only the second time in its history. Read more

2014 VFX Sneaks: Rise of the Anti-Hero

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

Anti-heroes join superheroes this year with the return of Captain America, Spider-Man, the X-Men, Transformers, Apes, Godzilla, and The Hobbit along with such newcomers as Guardians of the Galaxy, Noah, Jupiter Ascending, and Interstellar.
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Holiday Book Guide: CG Animation and Fairy Tales

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

Two must-own, complementary histories of CG animation, a Roy Disney remembrance, and a Taschen treat comprise my book recommendations. Read more

Trailering Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

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

See the first trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (July 11, 2014) with Andy Serkis’ Caesar wearing war paint. Read more

VES Launches Open Source Camera Initiative

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

The Visual Effects Society (VES) has worked for more than a year with data management specialists Shotgun Software and 5th Kind and leading VFX companies to standardize data fields and specify data transfer formats to create a new universal system for providing reliable camera sheets and metadata.  The format is open sourced and is available with no fees or restrictions. As a result of this effort, the VES has now released a standardized interchange for camera reports, allowing essential VFX information to be better captured and transferred through production into post.

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Academy Announces VFX Shortlist

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

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has shortlisted 10 movies for VFX Oscar consideration for the 86th Academy Awards, led by Alfonso Cuaron’s blockbuster Gravity and The Desolation of Smaug, the second in Peter Jackson’s popular Hobbit trilogy. Read more

Frozen, MU, DM2, Croods Dominate Annie Noms

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

Universal/Illumination’s blockbuster Despicable Me 2 led the 41st Annie Award nominations with a total of 11 (nine if you discount the short and commercial nods); however, Disney’s record-breaking Frozen (which bowed with $93.6 million over the Thanksgiving holiday) and Pixar’s Monsters University dominated the movie categories with 10, while DreamWorks’ The Croods also scored nine.

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Jackson Sneaks New Footage at Hobbit Fan Event

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

As a kind of mea culpa for missing out on Comic-Con, Peter Jackson more than made up for it with last Monday’s Hobbit-Con global fan event for The Desolation of Smaug, held simultaneously at theaters in LA (the Grove), New York, London, and Wellington. Appearing in Wellington (barefoot, like a hobbit), Jackson unveiled his latest vlog of pick-ups (see below), footage of British pop star Ed Sheeran recording the end song, “I See Fire,” and an exclusive sneak peek of 20 minutes that fleshed out some of the thrilling action glimpsed in the new trailer that was also released (see below as well). Read more

Academy Tech Council Adds 5 New Members

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

Wendy Aylsworth, Rob Bredow, Douglas Greenfield, Rob Hummel, and Bev Pasterczyk have joined the Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, bringing the Council’s 2013–2014 membership roster to 25. Read more

Fox/Chernin Grab The Bone Season from Serkis

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

Andy Serkis’ UK production company, The Imaginarium, has entered into a one-year first-look deal with 20th Century Fox, and the first project is an adaptation of  Samantha Shannon’s dystopian novel, The Bone Season. Peter Chernin Ent., which optioned The Bone Season from Imaginarium, will produce with Serkis and his partner Jonathan Cavendish. Read more