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.

Trailers

Framestore Crafts The Martian VFX

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

Framestore follows up its Oscar-winning Gravity with Ridley Scott’s The Martian, featuring 338 shots and significant input from NASA. Read more

Zemeckis Talks The Walk as Career-Defining

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

The Walk, which fittingly opened the New York Film Festival last week, couldn’t have happened without Bob Zemeckis’ pioneering (if controversial) performance capture work (The Polar Express) in IMAX 3D and his previous tech wizardry on Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Back to the Future and Forrest Gump. Read more

The Return of The Iron Giant

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

Brad Bird finally got his wish: The Iron Giant returned to the big screen this week and you can see it on Sunday in a remastered “Signature Edition” featuring more footage.  The result is that it looks better than ever and further proof that it’s the last great hand-drawn American feature.  Kudos to Warner Bros. for making this happen and to Duncan Studio for doing such outstanding work (maybe now Duncan can get a hand-drawn feature made, but that’s another hurdle). Visit Fathom Events for theater locations and ticket information. Read more

Going to Hell & Back with Adult Stop-Mo

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

After great success with Robot Chicken, ShadowMachine takes the feature plunge with Hell & Back, leveraging its outrageous adult humor in a more ambitious way. While it’s taken a few years to complete and release Hell & Back (through Freestyle), ShadowMachine has expanded its stop-mo TV slate with TripTank and Bojack Horseman, among others, strengthening its brand. From carnival doldrums to the lower depths of danger, Hell & Back offers a slew of misfit demons, an angel hottie, a slacker Orpheus and a horny Devil. Plus a voice cast headlined by Nick Swardson, Mila Kunis, Danny McBride, Bob Odenkirk, T.J. Miller, Rob Riggle and Susan Sarandon. Read more

Trailering Final SPECTRE: A Matter of Perspective

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Cinematography, James Bond, Movies, Music, Sound, Trailers, VFX | Leave a comment

The final glimpse of SPECTRE before opening in a month (Nov. 6 stateside)  includes plenty of action as well as a memorable confrontation between Daniel Craig’s James Bond and Christoph Waltz’s Franz Oberhauser. Read more

Trailering More of The Revenant

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

Watch more of Leonardo DiCaprio going after Tom Hardy in Best Picture contender The Revenant, Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning Birdman.

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The Terrors of Shooting Everest

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Cinematography, Clips, Crafts, Movies, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Cinematographer Salvatore Totino (Concussion, Inferno) now has a greater understanding of what the real-life climbers encountered when they were hit with one of the fiercest blizzards during their final ascent toward the summit of Mount Everest in 1996. He discussed the terrors of shooting Baltasar Kormákur’s Everest. Read more

Channeling Charles Schulz for The Peanuts Movie

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

Director Steve Martino (Horton Hears a Who!) discussed upholding the look, styling and spirit of “Sparky” Schulz’s beloved Peanuts gang (in the coming months, I will dig deeper into the making of this unique hybrid).

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Richard Williams Gets Deeper into Prologue

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

Richard Williams discusses his hand-drawn, six-minute short, Prologue, which just completed its  Oscar qualifying run. Its a brutal and balletic peek at the Spartan-Athenian wars through the eyes of a young girl.  It’s gory yet mesmerizing in its composition, movement, and cutting. And its a simple series of drawings. The 82-year-old Williams is now at work on an ambitious feature-length version. Read more

Howie Shia Talks TIFF-Bound BAM Short

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Crafts, Movies, Shorts, Tech, Trailers | Leave a comment

Toronto-based animator Howie Shia explores the nature of rage and violence in his latest NFB short, BAM, premiering at TIFF on Sept. 16th and 20th. Inspired in part by his grandfather, a high-ranking police official as well as a poet and calligrapher, the short riffs on Hercules: a young boxer struggles with his shy, bookish nature and a divinely violent temper.

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