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.

VFX

4 Directors Get Animated About The Prophet

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

The acclaimed Gkids release, Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, produced by Salma Hayek and overseen by Roger Allers, offers a who’s who of animation directors for what I call a philosophical Fantasia: Tomm Moore (Song of the Sea), Joan Gratz (Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase), Bill Plympton (Cheatin’), Nina Paley (Sita Sings the Blues), Joann Sfar (The Rabbi’s Cat), Paul and Gaetan Brizzi (“Firebird Suite” in Fantasia 2000), Michal Socha (Chick), and Mohammed Harib (Freej) Read more

Going Silent with Shaun the Sheep Movie

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

With Shaun the Sheep Movie, Aardman’s back doing what it does best with the purest form of stop-motion and British whimsy. Summer boredom turns into a wild adventure from the farm to the Big City, as Aardman takes the hit series to the big screen, helmed by Mark Burton (a scribe on the Oscar-winning Wallace and Gromit Curse of the Were-Rabbit) and Richard (Golly) Starzak (Creature Comforts series 2). And best of all: “It’s an adult film you can take your kids to.”  I spoke to Starzak, who worked on the series, about adapting Shaun into a feature. Read more

Pixar Licenses NVIDIA Tech

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

To accelerate production of its features and shorts, Pixar is licensing a suite of NVIDIA technologies related to image rendering. Read more

Dean Devlin to Keynote VES 2015 Summit

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

 

Filmmaker and Electric Ent. president Dean Devlin (Geostorm, Independence Day) will keynote the VES 7th annual Summit, “Visualization to Virtualization: Storytelling Expands,” on Oct. 17th at the W Hotel in Hollywood.

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The Disney Science Behind the Hyperion Renderer

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

The Walt Disney Animation Studios Technology team created this helpful, 1950s classroom-style tutorial on the new Hyperion renderer (which made the complexity possible for the Oscar-winning Big Hero 6). It’s now doing wonders with next year’s Zootopia, among others. Read more

Henry Offers Empathy-Generating VR

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

Oculus premiered its second Virtual Reality short on Tuesday about a huggable hedgehog, upping the emotional factor. Read more

Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation as Glam Noir

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Cinematography, How They Did It, Movies, previs, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Tom Cruise and writer/director Christopher McQuarrie not only up the M:I franchise with smarter espionage and more thrilling action, but also break down the entire spy game as a cat and mouse between two rogue warriors: Cruise’s Ethan Hunt and Sean Harris’ Solomon Lane. That’s what happens when you pair the daredevil superstar with the master of the doppelganger shell game, which made it a lot more creative for the indie-spirited cinematographer Robert Elswit, who last worked on Nightcrawler and Inherent Vice. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Home from DreamWorks

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Blu-ray, Clips, Crafts, Home Entertainment, Movies, Music, previs, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

DreamWorks is back doing cultural satire with Home (out in a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD combo from Fox Home Ent.). Jim Parsons and Rihanna team up as Oh and Tip in this alien invasion buddy comedy with Steve Martin and Jennifer Lopez co-starring. Read more

Syd Mead to Receive VES Visionary Award

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

Visual futurist and conceptual artist Syd Mead will be the next Visionary Award recipient, at the 14th Annual VES Awards on Feb. 2, 2016 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Read more

BBC Polls 100 Greatest American Movies

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

BBC Culture offers a provocative list of the top 100 American movies selected by 62 international critics, with five entries from Hitchcock, Kubrick, Spielberg, and Wilder. Lots of surprises and many omissions. Read more