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

Finding the Line in The Peanuts Movie Design

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

As director Steve Martino emphasized in our first interview, Blue Sky had to raise its game to get pen line accurate in translating Charles Schulz’s’ iconic 2D aesthetic into the CG version of The Peanuts Movie. Funnily enough, the design team had no idea that it would turn out to be its most difficult challenge. Read more

Immersed in Blu-Ray: Tomorrowland

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

Brad Bird’s fascinating, if under performing, Tomorrowland arrives on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD combo pack from Disney. It’s worth taking a second look at anti-dystopian fantasy starring George Clooney. Read more

Final Trailering of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Cinematography, Costume, Crafts, Movies, Music, previs, Production Design, Sound, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Watch Rey (Daisy Ridley), a scavenger from the desert planet of Jakku, go up against Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), commander of the First Order, who wants to finish what Darth Vader started. It’s 30 years later but what’s old is new again. Read more

Houdini 15 Offers RenderMan Plug-In

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

Houdini 15 has been released with onion skinning, new shader building tools, crowd ragdolls, RenderMan 20 and RIS shading support and Houdini Engine 2.0. Read more

How They Shot Crimson Peak as Gothic Throwback

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

Guillermo del Toro has always been great at morphing genres into his own deliciously baroque stew, and, with Crimson Peak, he magnificently turns the Gothic romance and haunted ghost story on their heads in classical fashion. For Danish cinematographer Dan Laustsen, who last worked with del Toro on The Mimic, it was a refreshing return to a brightly-colored palette after a string of desaturated movies (including Brotherhood of the Wolf). Read more

Clipping Sanjay’s Super Team from Pixar

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

Watch the first clip from Pixar’s compelling short, Sanjay’s Super Team, opening in front of The Good Dinosaur (Nov. 25).

Read more

Clipping The Good Dinosaur: 20 Years of Friendship

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

Capitalizing on the 20th anniversary of Toy Story, Pixar highlights buddies from Woody & Buzz to Arlo & Spot from The Good Dinosaur (Nov. 25). Read more

MPC Fuels The Martian VFX with Bronze

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

Moving Picture Co. (MPC) handled 425 shots on Mars for The Martian as the lead VFX studio. Richard Stammers was the production VFX supervisor and the MPC team was led by VFX supervisors Anders Langlands and Tim Ledbury. Read more

Peter Sohn Talks The Good Dinosaur

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

I was up at Pixar last week for a sneak peek of The Good Dinosaur (Nov. 25). Although they screened only 30 minutes, you got a fuller awareness of the danger and intimacy for Arlo and Spot in this boy and his dog reversal adventure. The contrast between the cartoony-looking characters and the “painterly reality” of the Jackson Hole-inspired landscape is something totally new for Pixar.  I kick off my extensive coverage with director Peter Sohn (Partly Cloudy), who took over from Bob Peterson and stripped it down to its basic elements with a personal touch. Read more

Saschka Unseld Talks VR at Oculus Story Studio

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

Saschka Unseld (The Blue Umbrella)who left Pixar to become creative director of Passion Pictures and co-founder of Oculus Story Studio, appeared this week at  Future of Storytelling Summit. We discussed  re-imagining the theatrical experience with VR. Read more