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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Sneaking Inside Out and Lava from Pixar

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

Pixar’s Inside Out is a year away, but on Thursday at the DGA Pete Docter gave a sneak peek and we were also treated to the premiere of the next short, Lava, a lovely Hawaiian-themed musical directed by animator James Murphy. They’re a good match and will screen together on June 19, 2015, but I believe Inside Out has the potential to be Pixar’s most profound movie in its exploration of how the mind works metaphorically. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: The LEGO Movie

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

The LEGO Movie, the year’s first animated blockbuster, arrived on Blu-ray this week from Warner Bros. Home Ent., and it’s a reference quality experience. Read more

Trailering Last Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

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

Watch the final trailer for Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (July 11). As Rise proved, this is a far cry from the original franchise. Read more

Trailering Penguins of Madagascar

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

DreamWorks pushed up the release of The Penguins of Madagascar Nov. 26th, and the first trailer reveals the comic and commercial potential. Read more

Patrick Osborne Talks Disney Feast Short

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

Disney’s latest animated short, Feast, which highlights the importance of food and is uniquely told from a dog’s POV, premiered Tuesday at Annecy, but Animation Scoop got an early sneak peek and an exclusive interview with director Patrick Osborne (head of animation on the Oscar-winning Paperman and co-head on the upcoming Big Hero 6 feature). In fact, Feast will fittingly open in front of the Marvel superhero adaptation on Nov. 7. Read more

Going Deeper Into HTTYD2

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

The first thing you notice about How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a lot more detail in the characters as well as in the more expansive environments, which reflect a real world sensibility and the beauty of Norway. And a lot of credit goes to the new Premo software package, which empowered the artists to go further creatively than ever before at DreamWorks. Read more

Trailering Fourth and Final Boxtrolls

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

Watch the final trailer for Laika’s The Boxtrolls (Focus Features, Sept. 26), which tells us more about the world and plot involving this unusual family. Read more

Sony Imageworks Talks Edge of Tomorrow Mimics

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

For the first time, Sony Pictures Imageworks, which is moving its headquarters from Culver City to Vancouver to stay competitive, embraced gritty, CG photorealism for Doug Liman’s smart and trippy Edge of Tomorrow. Truly War of the Worlds meets Groundhog Day, with Tom Cruise caught in a nightmarish loop, the aliens he’s up against were a strange, tough animation challenge for Imageworks. Read more

DeBlois Talks How to Train Your Dragon 2

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

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is quite simply the best animated feature yet from DreamWorks, and the obvious frontrunner for the Oscar race. Dean DeBlois has therefore exceeded all expectations with an ambitious vision for Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Toothless and the world they inhabit in Berk and beyond. It’s an important rite of passage as humans and dragons struggle to co-exist amid the forces of hatred and destruction. And DeBlois and I recently discussed his stunning achievement as first-time solo director. Read more

Talking Maleficent Pixie Facial Animation

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

The major tech advancement of Maleficent is Digital Domain’s facial capture of the three flower pixies played by Imelda Staunton, Lesley Manville, and Juno Temple, which required a more complex facial range and considerably more dialog than had previously been attempted. Video below produced by fxguide in partnership with Wired.

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