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.

Shorts

A Second Helping of the Feast Short

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

With the help of hand-drawn advice from veteran Dale Baer (watch the exclusive video below) and the new Hyperion ray-tracing renderer, Disney’s Oscar frontrunner, Feast, is a delectable short. Director Patrick Osborne  utilizes a quick-cutting, mockumentary style and a look comprised of warm colors, flat shapes, and shallow depth of field. Brian Scott, the head of animation, walks us through the tech highlights. Read more

Kondo and Tsutsumi Talk Dam Keeper Short

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

The Dam Keeper, Oscar shortlisted for best animated short, Annie-nominated, and winner of 25 festival awards, blends traditional hand-drawn animation with lush brushstrokes to bring a Dutch-inspired folk tale to life (watch the making of featurette below) . It was directed by former Pixar art directors Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi (Monsters UniversityToy Story 3). Narrated by Danish actor Lars Mikkelsen (Sherlock,  The Killing), the short is set in a desolate future, one small town’s survival is solely due to a large windmill dam that acts as a fan to keep out poisonous clouds. Despite bullying from classmates and an indifferent public, the dam’s operator, Pig, works tirelessly to keep the sails spinning in order to protect the town. Read more

Duet Launches Globally on Moto X

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Clips, Movies, Oscar, Shorts, Tech | Leave a comment

Acclaimed animator Glen Keane’s Duet –  shortlisted for Oscar consideration in the Best Animated Short category – is now available globally to users of Motorola’s new line of Moto X mobile devices and a wider launch planned for early next year. Read more

Feast Leads Oscar Shortlist for Shorts

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

The good news for Disney is that the buzzy Feast made the Oscar shortlist for animated shorts; however, Pixar’s lovely Lava did not (perceived as too lightweight perhaps given the highest of standards applied). William Joyce, Glen Keane, and Bill Plympton are also in the running  (watch clips and trailers below). Read more

Animag Summit Announces Hosts, Presenters

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

Animation Magazine announced its line-up of presenters for the award ceremony at the World Animation & VFX Summit, Opening Night Party, on Sunday, 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at the California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey. Read more

Nicolas Villarreal Talks Oscar-Contending Nieta Short

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

With Nieta, Nicolas Villarreal colorfully depicts childhood memories of a grandfather using a storm as the transcendent light force for a young girl. The short qualified for Oscar consideration at Cannes and I recently spoke with the Argentinian director, who previously made the short, Pasteurized, and worked on some animation for Fruitvale Station. Read more

Why Feast Short is the Oscar Frontrunner

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

Disney’s latest animated short, Feast, which highlights the importance of food and is uniquely told from a winsome dog’s POV, is the Oscar frontrunner for its engaging story and distinctive look (check out the teaser below). It opens with the Oscar-contending Big Hero 6 Marvel mash-up on Nov. 7. Read more

Alonso Highlights VES Summit

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

Victoria Alonso described “filling the gap” as the key to storytelling and VFX success at Marvel at yesterday’s 6th annual VES Summit at the W Hotel in Hollywood, while VFX specialist Ben Grossmann, production designer Bo Welch, and DP Dion Beebe discussed the need for VFX to evolve into a more front-loaded collaborative workflow. Read more

Alonso of Marvel to Keynote VES Summit

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

Victoria Alonso, Marvel Studios EVP of visual effects and post production, will keynote the 6th annual VES Summit, titled “Networking and Visual Imagery Evolution.”  The interactive forum will take place on Oct. 18 at the W Hotel in Hollywood. Read more

Enter Autodesk-Sponsored VES Student Award

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

Autodesk Inc.is once again supporting the Steven Spielberg-inspired award for “Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project” for the 7th year in a row. Read more