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

Brad Bird and Claudio Miranda Talk Tomorrowland

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Cinematography, Clips, How They Did It, Movies, previs, Production Design, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

The secret to Tomorrowland for Brad Bird is that it’s more about the journey than the destination, which explains why it’s such a subversive Disney fantasy/adventure, despite the pedigree and star power of George Clooney. Because once we get there, it’s not at all what it seems and there are no simple answers. Yet Bird and producer/co-writer Damon Lindelof still consider it more of a fun popcorn movie than a preachy, good-for-the-soul tonic. Read more

20 Years of Toy Story at FMX 2015

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

It just so happens that FMX and Toy Story converged 20 years ago, so it was great timing to have a Pixar reunion honoring the first CG-animated feature a couple of weeks ago in Stuttgart, Germany. Illuminator Christophe Hery (who hosted his own presentation on a new lighting path for Finding Dory) moderated a wonderful discussion with Bill Reeves (supervising technical director), Eben Ostby (director of technical artists) and Ralph Eggleston (the production designer who just completed Inside Out). Read more

Hotel Transylvania 2: Anatomy of a Teaser

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

Sony Pictures Animation just launched the first video in a three-part series dissecting what went into the making of the Hotel Transylvania 2 teaser trailer. Read more

ADG Presents An American in Paris

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

The Art Directors Guild (ADG) Film Society and American Cinematheque will present a screening of An American in Paris (1951), showcasing Oscar-winning Concept Artist/Costume Designer Irene Sharaff, Art Director E. Preston Ames and MGM’’s Supervising Art Director Cedric Gibbons, on May 31 at 5:30 pm at the Egyptian Theatre (6712 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood). This will be the ADG Film Society’’s second program of the 2015 “Confessions of a Production Designer” Series, sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter. Read more

Alex McDowell Brings Rilao Worldbuilding to FMX

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

Production Designer Alex McDowell of the USC Worldbuilding Institute takes his adventurous “Rilao Project” to FMX in Stuttgart, Germany (May 8, Room Heilbronn, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm). The Transmedia workshop will have a maximum of 50 participants. Read more

Going Inside Out with Pixar Designer Ralph Eggleston

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

Production Designer Ralph Eggleston has taken us undersea (Finding Nemo) to outer space (WALL·E) and to other imaginative Pixar places, but nothing compares with going inside the mind of 11-year-old Riley in Pete Docter’sInside Out (screening out of competition at Cannes ahead of its June 19th release). Read more

Eerie Connection Between Force Awakens, Tomorrowland

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

Thursday seemed eerily surreal in Anaheim, between The Force Awakens panel at Star Wars Celebration to the new Tomorrowland exhibit in Disneyland. It was like journeying through some inter-dimensional transport much like the one in Tomorrowland. And what was even stranger was discovering some striking similarities between J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars reboot and Brad Bird’s fantasy/adventure. Read more

FMX Celebrates 20th Anniversary with Special Tie-Ins

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

As part of FMX’s 20th anniversary celebration, there will be several anniversary tie-ins, including Toy Story, ILM and Weta. The FMX 2015 conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Transmedia will take place May 5-8 in Stuttgart, Germany. Read more

How They Did It: While We’re Young

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

While We’re Young is a tale of two Brooklyns for Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomie Watts) and Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried). For Oscar-winning production designer Adam Stockhausen (The Grand Budapest Hotel), who just finished Bridge of Spies with Steven Spielberg, it was a return to home in New York after five years of working elsewhere. But with a different character-driven design approach. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Into the Woods

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Blu-ray, Cinematography, Clips, Costume, Home Entertainment, Movies, Music, Production Design, Sound, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

In a musical mood? Check out Into the Woods, which arrived on Blu-ray this week (Disney Home Ent.), looking and sounding spectacular. Read more