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 World War Z Super Bowl Spot

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Books, Cinematography, Movies, previs, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Check out the Super Bowl spot for Paramount’s World War Z (June 21) starring Brad Pitt and directed by Marc Forster. Read more

A ‘Lean, Smart, and Agile’ FMX 2013

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Events, Festivals, Movies, previs, Shorts, stop-motion, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Videogames, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

FMX 2013  — Conference on Animation, Effects, Games, and Transmedia (April 23-26 in Stuttgart, Germany) has adopted the slogan “Lean, Smart, and Agile” and will feature smart technologies, adaptive approaches, and flexible strategies for the ongoing paradigm shift. Read more

J.J. Abrams Leaps from Star Trek to Star Wars

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

Disney and Lucasfilm made it official: J.J. Abrams will direct Star Wars: Episode VII (2015). Also consulting on the project are Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back) and Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes).  Read more

Trailering Upside Down

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

View the trailer for Upside Down (March 15) , a futuristic Romeo and Juliet love story directed by Juan Diego Solanas in which Jim Sturgess and Kirsten Dunst are separated by space as well as class. Thus, the two worlds have their own gravitational pulls but are on top of one another. It looks like a trippy metaphor for a dystopian world. Read more

SIGGRAPH 2013 Call for Submissions

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Education, Events, Music, performance capture, previs, Shorts, Tech, VFX, Videogames, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

SIGGRAPH 2013 is coming to Anaheim July 21-25 for its 40th year and is asking for your submissions. Read more

Image Engine Creates Stealth VFX for ZDT

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Oscar, previs, Tech, Trailers, VES, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Image Engine provided more than 300 shots for the Oscar-contending  Zero Dark Thirty, which has been nominated for a 2013 Visual Effects Society Award for Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture. This included creating the CG Stealth Hawk helicopters), as well as augmenting the bustling military encampments with computer-generated environments, digital soldiers, vehicles and FX. Read more

Immersed in Oscars 2013: Life of Pi Rules Tech Noms

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

Life of Pi not only grabbed 11 nominations (second only to Lincoln’s 12), including best picture, but Ang Lee’s spiritual epic also dominated the tech categories with eight nods for cinematography, production design, editing, VFX, sound editing and mixing, original score, and original song — “Pi’s Lullaby.” Read more

Immersed in Oscars 2013: Animation and VFX Nominees

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

The big Oscar nomination surprises in terms of animation and VFX were that Sony/Aardman’s The Pirates! Band of Misfits beat out DreamWorks’ Rise of the Guardians, (which means that all three stop-motion contenders were honored), and that Snow White and the Huntsman upended The Dark Knight Rises. Read more

VFX Bakeoff 2013: The Last Stand

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

Thursday night at the Academy we were treated to a VFX snapshot of 2012 during the annual Oscar bakeoff. Ten semi-finalists competed before the committee, five of which were nominated and will be announced next Thursday. From Richard Parker to Gollum 2.0 to the Hulk to the last of Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight to the emotional destruction of the Aston Martin DB5, it was about grounding the fantastical in its own reality. Read more

Marc Petit Leaves Autodesk

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

Marc Petit, head of Autodesk’s Media & Entertainment division, has departed the company to pursue other initiatives. He served as SVP since 2002 after working at Softimage for nearly a decade. Read more