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.

stop-motion

Ranking the 5 Oscar-Nommed Animated Shorts

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

It’s a great field for animated shorts featuring a winsome canine, a heroic pig, a vinyl record that spins like a time machine, and two lovely tributes to growing up and adulthood. Read more

Art of Laika Auction Generates More Than $1 Million

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Events, stop-motion, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Laika should raise its brand recognition as a result of its breakout auction this week of masterfully engineered puppets, props, and other artwork with Heritage Auctions. Read more

Daisy Jacobs Talks The Bigger Picture Short

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Clips, Movies, stop-motion, Tech | Leave a comment

Daisy Jacobs, 26, learned how to paint watching her late grandmother, Eileen, and her Oscar-nominated short, The Bigger Picture, is a funny and poignant tribute to her gran. Estranged brothers have a hard time coping with their aging mom in this hand-drawn/stop-motion hybrid, in which objects transform into dark emotions: tea becomes anger and keeps on pouring and fills the room; a Hoover sucks up everything in the room. Jacobs made the short as her final MA project while attending the National Film and Television School in London and is working on her first professional short, raising money and doing prep. Read more

Tibbitt Talks Sponge Out of Water

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

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 11 years since the first SpongeBob Movie, but it’s been worth the wait as creator Stephen Hillenburg and show writer/exec producer Paul Tibbitt have come up with a fresh and funny mixed-media extravaganza as well as a timely superhero parody. Tibbitt, who directs the sequel, tells us about his experiences, including transforming the beloved 2D characters into CG. Read more

Ranking the Animated Oscar Nominees

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

After The Lego Movie got the Oscar snub, How to Train Your Dragon 2 has now seized the momentum with its Golden Globe victory. Interestingly, all five nominees are coming of age stories. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: The Boxtrolls

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Annies, Below the Line, Blu-ray, Cinematography, Clips, Costume, Events, Home Entertainment, Movies, Music, Oscar, previs, Production Design, Sound, stop-motion, Tech, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

The Boxtrolls, the stop-motion Oscar contender from Laika, is out on Blu-ray/DVD (Universal). It’s reference quality image and sound, representing the naturalistic, tactile quality of this steampunk marvel. Read more

10 Oscar Takeaways from Animation and Crafts Noms

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Cinematography, Costume, Editing, Events, Makeup/Hair, Movies, Music, Oscar, performance capture, previs, Production Design, Sound, stop-motion, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

A Lego Movie snubbing and Grand Budapest Hotel grabbing six craft noms highlight my Oscar analysis. Read more

Clipping Creating the Bricks from The Lego Movie

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Clips, Movies, Oscar, previs, stop-motion, Tech, VFX, Videogames | Leave a comment

There’s a new must-see featurette, “Creating the Bricks,” which explains the animation behind The Lego Movie (the fourth highest grosser of 2014 with $257.7 million and the Oscar fronrunner for best animated feature).  Read more

Signe Baumane Talks Rocks in My Pockets

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Movies, stop-motion, Tech, Trailers | Leave a comment

Getting animated about depression is the subject of Signe Baumane’s acclaimed indie, Rocks in My Pockets, which has qualified for Oscar consideration and will screen at the Palm Springs International Film Festival (currently running through the 12th). Read more

Knight to Direct Samurai Kubo for Laika

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Annies, Below the Line, Blu-ray, Events, Home Entertainment, Movies, previs, stop-motion, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Laika goes samurai for its fourth stop-motion feature with Focus Features, Kubo and the Two Strings, marking the directorial debut of studio head Travis Knight (Aug. 19, 2016).

Read more