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.

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Disney Announces Frozen 2

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

Now that Disney chairman/CEO Bob Iger announced that Frozen 2 is in active development at a shareholder’s meeting this morning in San Francisco, will it center on Olaf, the lovable snowman voiced by Josh Gad (who was also present at the announcement)?

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Edwards to Direct Rogue One Star Wars Spinoff

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

This morning at a shareholder’s meeting in San Francisco, Disney chairman/CEO Bob Iger revealed that the Gareth Edwards-directed Star Wars spinoff will be called Rogue One, featuring  Oscar nominee Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything). Read more

Trailering More Inside Out from Pixar

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

Pixar is definitely back with Pete Docter’s Inside Out (June 19), already touted as the one to beat for the Oscar. The second trailer delves into the conflict between Joy (Amy Poehler) and Sadness  (Phyllis Smith) and what happens when a core memory inadvertently gets tampered with.

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Trailering Full Tomorrowland from Brad Bird

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

Watch the full trailer for Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland (May 22), in which George Clooney and Britt Robertson try to save the future from Hugh Laurie. Read more

How They Did It: Chappie Becomes a ‘Real Gangsta’

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

Chappie, the adorable sentient police bot (voiced by Sharlto Copley, who also donned the gray suit on set for “the poor man’s mocap”), represents this year’s Baymax or Groot. And one of the best moments is the “Real Gangsta” scene (watch below), in which he transitions from awkward toddler to cool struttin’ teenager.  VFX supervisor Chris Harvey of Vancouver-based Image Engine explains how they did it. Read more

Trailering More Avengers: Age of Ultron

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

In the latest trailer for Age of Ultron (May 1), the eponymous villain declares his plan for human extinction and we get a glimpse of Paul Bettany’s Vision. Read more

Oscar Winners Interstellar, BH6 FMX Bound

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

VFX and animation Oscar winners Interstellar and Big Hero 6 will be part of FMX’s Lighting & Rendering track (overseen by Pixar’s Christophe Hery), which will also include Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Oscar Winner Big Hero 6

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

Disney’s Oscar-winning Big Hero 6 is now available in a stunning Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD collector’s edition from Disney Home Ent. Read more

Backstage at the Oscars: Birdman Soars, Disney Sweeps

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

Here are some of the craft and animation highlights backstage last night at the Oscars, topped by Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki taking home his second consecutive cinematography award for the single-take Birdman experiment, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar winning the VFX prize, and Disney’s surprise animation sweep with Big Hero 6 and Feast, continuing the momentum from last year’s Frozen.

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How They Did It: Interstellar Docking

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

There is no greater showcase of  Interstellar’s VFX and sonic excellence than in the “emergency docking” scene. The Oscar-nominated VFX involves both full CG and practical, as well as a combination of the two, while the Oscar-contending sound editing and mixing immerse us in the action in a most visceral way. (Watch the scene below.) Read more

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