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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Evaluating the VFX Oscar Nominees

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

Here are the contenders: the return to a galaxy far, far away and the original post-apocalyptic world, an incredible bear, a bronze Mars, and a seductive female android. Read more

The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road Dominate Oscar Noms

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Cinematography, Costume, Crafts, documentary, Editing, Events, Makeup/Hair, Movies, Music, Oscar, performance capture, previs, Production Design, Screenwriting, Shorts, Sound, stop-motion, Tech, TV, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

The Oscar race is on with The Revenant grabbing 12 noms, Mad Max: Fury Road snagging 10 and Star Wars: The Force Awakens taking five. Pixar front-runner Inside Out led an animation field (while also earning an original script nod for Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley) that now embraces more indies. Read more

Trailering More Zootopia with Shakira

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

Celebrate Zoo Year’s Eve with the new trailer for Disney’s Zootopia  featuring the original song, “Try Everything,” written by singer-songwriter Sia and songwriting duo Stargate, and performed by Grammy-winning  Shakira. The single will be available everywhere Jan. 8th. Read more

Creating the VFX for The Force Awakens

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

Industrial Light & Magic has always been at its best with Star Wars, and the VFX powerhouse that George Lucas launched 40 years ago certainly upped its game for the return of the signature franchise, and is also the Oscar frontrunner. Read more

10 VFX Contenders Chosen for Oscar Bake-Off

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

The Academy’s Visual Effects branch executive committee determined a shortlist for the bake-off that includes two blockbusters (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World) and two surprises (Ex-Machina and The Revenant). Read more

Recreating The Twin Towers for The Walk

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

The Walk, which recreates Philippe Petit’s amazing high-wire act across the World Trade Center Twin Towers in 1974, has been shortlisted for the VFX Oscar. And on Tuesday, it was the subject of a special case study on virtual production held at Sony for a joint tech committee comprised of the ASC, ADG, VES, the Previs Society, the PGA and the ICG. Read more

Clipping 10 Years of Innovative Laika Stop-Motion

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

Portland-based Laika has released a terrific video reel commemorating 10 years of bold storytelling and innovative stop-motion (Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls and next year’s Kubo and the Two Strings). Read more

Trailering The BFG from Steven Spielberg

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Books, Cinematography, Costume, Crafts, Editing, Makeup/Hair, Movies, Music, Oscar, performance capture, previs, Production Design, Sound, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

We get our first peek of the eponymous giant (a performance-captured Mark Rylance by Weta Digital) from Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Roal Dahl’s The BFG (July 1, 2016), which also marks his first directorial effort at Disney. Read more

How Pixar Animated The Good Dinosaur

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

Animating dinos was new to Pixar on The Good Dinosaur, with particular emphasis on Arlo, the young Apatosaurus protagonist, as well as the special brand of T-Rexes. Locomotion and efficiency were key, and the animators took their cues from studying elephants. However, for the T-Rexes, director Peter Sohn wanted them to look like cowboys on horseback. Animation director Rob Thompson and animator Kevin O’Hara discuss the challenges. Read more

Getting Animated About the Oscar Contenders

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

Here are the five likely nominees for best animated feature: Pixar at its most abstract, Blue Sky’s masterpiece, two very different stop-motion triumphs and the hand-drawn Brazilian tapestry distributed by GKIDS. Read more