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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Trailering More Wreck-it Ralph

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

There’s a new Wreck-It Ralph (Nov. 2) trailer, which not only reveals more humorous footage involving other characters but also hints at the dangerous, unintended consequences of Ralph’s actions to reinvent himself as a hero. Read more

The VFX Tipping Point?

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

I assess the Digital Domain fallout and the symptoms plaguing the VFX industry in my latest TOH/Indiewire column.  However, I also point out a few success stories to counter the gloom and doom. Read more

Will Digital Domain Survive?

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

Digital Domain Media filed for Chapter 11 in Florida and Canada, listing total debts of $214.9 million and total assets of $205.0 million. Meanwhile, Searchlight Capital Partners has purchased DD’s Oscar-winning VFX company for $15 million — temporarily saving jobs, salaries, and benefits in Venice, San Francisco, and Vancouver, reports¬† Daily Variety. Read more

Trailering Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters

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

Wouldn’t you know it, even the Brothers Grimm get the superhero treatment in the upcoming Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters (January, 2013). Read more

The Future of Cinema at the Palo Alto Film Fest

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

I will be returning to the second annual Palo Alto International Film Festival (Sept. 27-30), moderating “The Future of Cinema: Extended and Experiential.” Joining me on Sept. 29 at 1:00 pm at Talenthouse will be filmmaker/technologists John Gaeta (creative director/founder, Float Hybrid), Kim Libreri (VFX supervisor at ILM), Rudy Poat (creative director, Microsoft Studios), and Habib Zargarpour (creative director, Microsoft Studios). Read more

Revisiting The Avengers VFX

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

Unlike the Oscar race for best animated feature, there’s already a clear front-runner for VFX: The Avengers, with its dazzling work from Industrial Light & Magic (especially the Hulk). I recently visited ILM, where I saw some impressive presentations and sat down with animation director Marc Chu, VFX supervisor Jeff White, and associate VFX supervisor Jason Smith. Read more

Raiders Comes to IMAX This Weekend

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Blu-ray, Home Entertainment, Movies, previs, Sound, Tech, Trailers, VFX | Leave a comment

In anticipation of Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures debuting on Blu-ray (Paramount Home Media., Sept. 18), Raiders of the Lost Ark will bow in IMAX for one week starting today. There will additionally be a marathon of all four Indy films on 69 AMC screens on Sept. 15. Tickets and a list of participating theaters are available at www.imax.com. Tweet #ImaxIndy for a chance to win prizes. Read more

Financially Beleaguered Digital Domain Restructures

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

After defaulting on a $35 million loan and to avoid bankruptcy, Digital Domain Media Group has initiated a strategic realignment to protect its core VFX and CG animation business. The beleaguered John Textor is out as CEO and chairman of DDMG; and long-time Digital Domain exec Ed Ulbrich has been promoted to CEO of Digital Domain Prods. Read more

SPA Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Screening Series

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

The 10th anniversary celebration of Sony Pictures Animation (SPA) continues with a five-week series of special screenings in September featuring its legacy of animated and hybrid films, as well as reunions with filmmakers participating in Q & As following each screening, rare footage/materials from the SPA archives, and giveaways. The series, held in conjunction with ASIFA-Hollywood and Animation Magazine, will culminate with an exclusive screening of Hotel Transylvania (opening Sept. 28.) Read more

Clipping Alternate Avengers Opening

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Blu-ray, Cinematography, Clips, Costume, Home Entertainment, Movies, performance capture, previs, Production Design, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

A more somber, post-9/11 vibe underscores this alternate opening to The Avengers (available as “Maria Hill Investigation” on the Blu-ray/DVD combo Sept. 25 from Disney Home Ent.) Incidentally, blockbuster superhero movie returns to theaters Labor Day weekend for a one-week run. Read more