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

Why The Force Awakens Should Win the VFX Oscar

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

Who ever thought you’d have to make the case for Star Wars winning the VFX Oscar? But with all the buzz surrounding Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant bear, which earned three additional VES awards for ILM, there are no guarantees. And that’s the point: ILM has done such outstanding photo-real work on the J.J. Abrams’ record-breaking Star Wars reboot — zeroing in on $2 billion worldwide at the box office — that there might be a tendency to take the work for granted. Read more

Burr Steers Talks Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

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

Although Burr Steers dislikes the word “kitsch” for its cheap connotation, he had a hard time denying that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies isn’t kitschy, especially after admitting that the biggest influence was Tony Richardson’s The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968), which is great kitsch. Read more

Getting Animated with the Feature Oscar Nominees

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

Here are the highlights of my interviews with the Oscar-nominated animated feature directors: Pete Docter (Pixar’s Inside Out), Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson (Starburns Industries’ Anomalisa), Mark Burton & Richard Starzak (Aardman’s Shaun the Sheep Movie), Alê Abreu (Boy and the World from Gkids) and Hiromasa Yonebayashi (Studio Ghibli’s When Marnie Was There, also from Gkids). What you come away with is a group of contenders grappling with family, identity and greater self-awareness. Read more

Clipping Anomalisa Landing for the Oscar Contender

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

This “Anomalisa Landing” clip demonstrates the sophisticated storytelling and aesthetics behind the stop-motion Oscar contender from Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson. Read more

How DreamWorks Made Kung Fu Panda 3

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

Kung Fu Panda 3 marks a new phase for DreamWorks Animation: the start of a $330 million joint venture in Shanghai with China Media Capital and Shanghai Media Group to expand its global reach in the world’s dominant market. This includes an east/west artistic collaboration through the new Oriental DreamWork studio, which will make movies for both China and a worldwide audience. As a result, KFP3 contains two animated versions and separate casts for American and Chinese consumption. Read more

Trailering The Secret Life of Pets from Illumination

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

Here’s the second trailer for The Secret Life of Pets from Illumination (July 7) about what our pets do when we’re not around. Read more

Trailering Trolls from DreamWorks

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

Watch the first trailer for DreamWorks’ Trolls (Nov. 4) , a musical comedy based on the popular dolls from the ’90s, showing off their colorful hair. Read more

Trailering More Kubo and the Two Strings

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

Watch the first full trailer for Kubo and the Two Strings (Aug. 19 from Focus Features) and witness a glimpse of greater stop-motion supremacy by Laika, embracing samurai and mythic Japan in ornate fashion. Read more

Clipping The Martian VFX Breakdown

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

Watch this VFX breakdown of the Oscar-nominated The Martian by MPC, which includes all the scenes on Mars. Read more

The Big Short Grabs Top PGA Prize

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

The Big Short got a big lift Saturday night from the PGA in the three-way race for the Best Picture Oscar with The Revenant and Spotlight. In fact, when producers Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner accepted the coveted Darryl F. Zanuck Award, Kleiner was so flabbergasted that he said he thought they were just being named as one of the nominees. Read more