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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Clipping ILM VFX from Winter Soldier

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

Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier is one of the 10 shortlisted movies competing for the VFX Oscar and ILM has released a great new breakdown clip in anticipation of the bakeoff on Jan. 10. Read more

Arming Weta for The Hobbit Finale

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

Peter Jackson concludes his Hobbit trilogy and Tolkien six-pack with a bang, and The Battle of the Five Armies delivers the most impressive action of the director’s career, recalling D.W. Griffith and Ray Harryhausen. Read more

Knight to Direct Samurai Kubo for Laika

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Annies, Below the Line, Blu-ray, Events, Home Entertainment, Movies, previs, stop-motion, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Laika goes samurai for its fourth stop-motion feature with Focus Features, Kubo and the Two Strings, marking the directorial debut of studio head Travis Knight (Aug. 19, 2016).

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First Look at The Jungle Book from Disney/Favreau

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

Get a glimpse of the first concept art from Disney’s hybrid re-imagining of The Jungle Book (Oct. 9, 2015), directed by Jon Favreau (ChefIron ManElf). Read more

The Making of the Interstellar Tesseract

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

Christopher Nolan certainly likes puzzles and the most ingenious one in Interstellar appears inside the black hole. Read more

Guardians of the Galaxy Goes Blu

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

The number one hit of the year, Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, arrived in a reference quality Blu-ray this week from Disney Home Ent. Read more

Trailering More Inside Out from Pixar

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

Go deeper into next year’s most anticipated animated feature: Pixar’s Inside Out (June 19, 2005) from director Pete Docter. Read more

Seven Films That Dominate the VFX Race

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

With the VFX Oscar shortlist coming in the next week, I predict the race will come down to seven contenders: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Interstellar, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Godzilla, Transformers: Age of Extinction, and Maleficent. Beyond that, look for the big battle between Caesar, Gargantua, and Groot. Read more

Creating Ballroom Dancing in The Boxtrolls

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

Without a doubt, the exquisite ballroom dance sequence from The Boxtrolls (a romantic interlude combined with a frantic chase and culminating with public humiliation) was the most difficult to pull off, particularly in stop-motion. It required special planning, some creative experimentation, and extra effort from all the departments. And the sequence is enhanced by Dario Marianelli’s pretty waltz (watch the exclusive “Let’s Dance” making of featurette below, with the David Bowie cover composed by McKenzie Stubbert). Read more

Trailering Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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

Watch the first Force Awakens teaser (a breathless 88 seconds), which definitely reawakens our interest in the Star Wars franchise with some stylish updating of the iconic tropes. Read more