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.

Sound

USC 5D Returns with Rilao Science of Fiction

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Education, Events, Festivals, Movies, Music, Production Design, Sound, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

After last year’s successful “The Science of Fiction: World Building in Action,” USC 5D returns with “The Rilao Project” at the 2014 Science of Fiction Festival on Saturday, spearheaded by award-winning production designer and USC School of Cinematic Arts Professor Alex McDowell. Read more

Trailering American Sniper from Clint Eastwood

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Books, Cinematography, Costume, Editing, Movies, Oscar, Production Design, Sound, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Watch the first teaser for Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper (opening Dec. 25).  He looks in top form again. Could the two-time Oscar winner pull off another Million Dollar Baby? Read more

Christian Bale Talks Moses in Exodus: Gods and Kings

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

While Christian Bale admitted that you can’t out-Heston Charlton Heston in playing the all-consuming Moses, the real question was if Ridley Scott can out-Gladiator Gladiator with Exodus: Gods and Kings (Dec. 12). After glimpsing about a half-hour of powerful footage that left us wanting more on Tuesday, the answer is definitely yes (watch the new trailer below). Read more

Laika/Focus Reteam for Three More Features

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Books, Cinematography, Clips, Costume, Editing, Movies, Music, Oscar, previs, Production Design, Sound, stop-motion, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Laika and Focus Features have renewed their distribution pact, with Focus distributing the next three stop-motion features domestically, and Universal Pictures International handling overseas. This is good news given the regime change at Focus and excellent box office start for The Boxtrolls, the Oscar contender which grossed $17.3 million last weekend, the biggest debut yet for Laika. Read more

Oscar Watch: Previewing the Craft Awards

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Cinematography, Costume, Editing, Events, Movies, Music, Oscar, performance capture, previs, Sound, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

The crafts buzz has already started with Emmanuel (Chivo) Lubezki’s extraordinary “continuous take” in Alejandro Iñárritu’s  Birdman. Will the experimental cinematographer snag his second Academy Award in a row after Gravity? Or will 11-time Oscar nominee Roger Deakins (just as digitally cutting edge) finally win his elusive prize for Unbroken, the epic biopic directed by Angelina Jolie about the late Olympian war hero Louis Zamperini (Jack O’Connell)? That’s probably the biggest mini-drama that will play out in this year’s below-the-line awards competition. Read more

Trailering Fourth and Final Boxtrolls

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Books, Cinematography, Costume, Editing, Movies, previs, Production Design, Sound, stop-motion, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Watch the final trailer for Laika’s The Boxtrolls (Focus Features, Sept. 26), which tells us more about the world and plot involving this unusual family. Read more

Star Wars: Episode VII Cast Announced

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

J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII has a cast: John Boyega (Attack the Block), Daisy Ridley (Mr. Selfridge), Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis (providing his performance capture skills, no doubt), Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow will join Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker. Read more

Avid Unveils Artist Suite Updates

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Editing, Movies, Sound, Tech | Leave a comment

In conjunction with NAB, Avid announced new updates for the Avid Artist Suite video creative solutions, focused on helping media organizations and creative professionals acquire, use, and deploy Media Composer video editing software “in more powerful, efficient, and profitable ways.” Read more

Trailering Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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

Watch the teaser for the Michael Bay-produced reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Aug.8). Read more

Backstage at the 86th Academy Awards

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Cinematography, Clips, Costume, Editing, Movies, Oscar, previs, Production Design, Shorts, Sound, Tech, Uncategorized, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

As expected, 12 Years a Slave earned best picture Sunday night at the 86th Academy Awards, while Gravity dominated the crafts, winning seven, as well as best director for Alfonso Cuaron. The reverse-engineered blockbuster took home awards for cinematography, VFX, editing, sound editing, sound mixing, and original score. Read more