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

Robert Stromberg Talks Maleficent

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Clips, Movies, performance capture, previs, Production Design, stop-motion, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | 1 Comment

The path to directing from VFX and production design has certainly been a natural one for two-time Oscar winner Robert Stromberg (Avatar, Alice in Wonderland). And after re-imagining Disney’s iconic Sleeping Beauty with Maleficent, he not only wants to continue directing but also explore new tech frontiers. In fact, Stromberg has formed his own virtual company, Hydra (in partnership with The Third Floor and Maleficent production designer Dylan Cole) so he can be on the cutting edge of total cinematic immersion. Read more

Trailering Mad God: Part 2 from Tippett

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

Phil Tippett has reached back to stop-motion for his pet project, Mad God, hand-made apocalyptic sci-fi about mad scientists, monsters, and war pigs, now on Kickstarter. Read more

Frozen Coming to FMX 2014

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Education, Events, Movies, Oscar, performance capture, previs, Production Design, Shorts, stop-motion, Tech, Uncategorized, VFX, Videogames, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Disney’s Oscar-winning juggernaut, Frozen, will be spotlighted at FMX 2014 (April 22-25 in Stuttgart, Germany). Read more

Trailering More Boxtrolls

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

For the third Boxtrolls trailer, we get some old-fashioned rock’n'roll to go with the fast and furious stop-motion antics: R&B star Cee Lo Green singing ”(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care,” which Elvis sang in ’57 in Jailhouse Rock and Buddy Holly covered a year later.

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Autodesk Celebrates Oscar Nominees

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Clips, Events, Movies, Oscar, previs, Shorts, Sound, stop-motion, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | 1 Comment

Autodesk once again played a key role in the Oscar-contending movies and was honored by the Academy for Mudbox and FiLMBOX (the foundation of MotionBuilder) with a certificate and a Plaque. Read more

Talking The LEGO Movie with Chris McKay

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

Now that The LEGO Movie is already a hit going into its second weekend and “Everything Is Awesome” (with a likely sequel in the works), let’s chat with Chris McKay, the animation supervisor. He worked with Animal Logic on a particularly fitting stop-motion vibe in CG (what they called seven points of articulation). Read more

Laughing it Up at The LEGO Movie Press Conference

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

Maybe it was the wacky LEGOLAND backdrop (with the marvelous miniature set behind them), or the funny nature of the movie itself, or the fact that Morgan Freeman was such a hoot, but the LEGO Movie press conference was even more fun than expected. Among the participants were directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller; voice talent Chris Pratt, Freeman, Will Arnett, and Elizabeth Banks; producer Dan Lin; and animation supervisor Chris McKay. Here are a few of the highlights: Read more

Master Building the LEGO Movie with Lord and Miller

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

There’s more than meets the eye in The LEGO Movie. It’s not only smart and witty but it also explores the essence of LEGO and Master Building and, finally, storytelling in a Pirandello-like way. I spoke with directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (at LEGOLAND, of course) about making a subversive movie at Warner Bros. that pokes fun of studios, franchises, and safe storytelling. Read more

Clipping Behind The Bricks for The LEGO Movie

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

Watch this wild and whimsical mock-making-of featurette for The LEGO Movie (Feb. 7). Read more

2014 Animation Sneak Peek

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

For those already wondering about next season’s Oscar race, there are no releases from Pixar, Illumination, or Sony. However, Disney’s got its first Marvel superhero movie, Big Hero 6, DreamWorks has three movies, including likely frontrunner How to Train Your Dragon 2, and Laika’s back with the stop-motion Boxtrolls. Here are some of the highlights: Read more