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.

Production Design

Talking Adult Appeal of Inside Out

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

With next week’s arrival of Inside Out on Blu-ray, it’s a great opportunity to delve into Pixar’s most adult-oriented movie, which has been passionately embraced both critically and commercially and obviously enters the Oscar race as the strongest contender. Inside Out has grossed $355.3 million domestically, making it the third highest grossing movie of the year, the third highest grossing Pixar movie and the seventh highest grossing animated movie of all time. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Kwaidan from Criterion

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Books, Cinematography, Costume, Crafts, Home Entertainment, Makeup/Hair, Movies, Music, Production Design, Sound, Tech, Trailers | Leave a comment

Just in time for Halloween comes Masaki Kobayashi’s rapturous quartet of ghost stories, Kwaidan, making its Blu-ray debut from Criterion in glorious TohoScope. Read more

How They Designed Cold War-Era Bridge of Spies

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

Bridge of Spies is a far cry, of course, from 12 Years a Slave and The Grand Budapest Hotel, but for Oscar-winning production designer Adam Stockhausen the big advantage was access to real footage of the construction of the Berlin Wall, which has never been depicted before in a Hollywood movie. This was key in recreating an authentic-looking war-torn East Berlin in the Polish town of Breslau, which borders Germany, along with using the actual Glienicke Bridge in Berlin, where the titular swap of spies occurred. Read more

Finding the Line in The Peanuts Movie Design

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

As director Steve Martino emphasized in our first interview, Blue Sky had to raise its game to get pen line accurate in translating Charles Schulz’s’ iconic 2D aesthetic into the CG version of The Peanuts Movie. Funnily enough, the design team had no idea that it would turn out to be its most difficult challenge. Read more

VES Summit Highlights: VR Rules

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Cinematography, Crafts, Events, Movies, performance capture, previs, Production Design, Tech, TV, VES | Leave a comment

Dean Devlin emphasized breaking up the layers between VFX and the rest of production in his VES Summit keynote last Saturday at the W Hotel in Hollywood, and Virtual Reality took center stage as the new frontier. Read more

Final Trailering of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Cinematography, Costume, Crafts, Movies, Music, previs, Production Design, Sound, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Watch Rey (Daisy Ridley), a scavenger from the desert planet of Jakku, go up against Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), commander of the First Order, who wants to finish what Darth Vader started. It’s 30 years later but what’s old is new again. Read more

Trailering More of The Revenant

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

Watch more of Leonardo DiCaprio going after Tom Hardy in Best Picture contender The Revenant, Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning Birdman.

Read more

Four Legendary Ladies to Enter ADG Hall of Fame

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Costume, Crafts, Events, Music, Oscar, Production Design, Tech | Leave a comment

Four legendary women will be inducted into the– Art Directors Guild (ADG) Hall of Fame at the 20th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards (Jan. 31, 2016 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel): production designer Carmen Dillon, production and costume designer Patricia Norris, art director and set designer Dorothea Holt Redmond, and illustrator Dianne Wager. Read more

VIEW Announces Keynote, Guest Speakers

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

Keynoters Mark Osborne (The Little Prince), Randy Thom (The Peanuts Movie), Jorge Gutierrez (The Book of Life) and Shannon Tindle (On Ice) join guest speakers Scott Carroll (The Peanuts Movie), Michael Kurinsky (Hotel Transylvania 2), Kim White (Inside Out), and Richard Starzak and Paul Kewley (Shaun the Sheep Movie) at the upcoming the VIEW conference in Turin, Italy, Oct. 19-23.

Read more

D23 and the Power of Legacy Building

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

There’s a reason why Disney has become the envy of the industry after buying Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm: chairman/CEO Robert Iger has figured out how to incorporate and expand all of the legacies within the Disney empire. Talk about a shared universe. Last weekend at the D23 Expo in Anaheim (which has truly become a mini Comic-Con), Disney forcefully demonstrated how all of this is falling into place. Read more