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.

Virtual Production

Khan Academy Launches Pixar in a Box

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

Pixar in a Box, a free online resource that explores the academic concepts behind Pixar Animation Studios’ creative process, goes live on KhanAcademy.org. The first year will focus on math, to be followed by science, computer science, arts, and humanities. Read more

Academy Considering 20 Sci-Tech Achievements

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

Disney, DreamWorks Animation, Double Negative, the Foundry, ILM, Sony Pictures Imageworks, and Weta Digital  are involved with the 20 sci-tech achievements under consideration by the Academy’s Technical Awards committee (including 11 distinct investigations). Read more

Trailering More of The Martian from Ridley Scott

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

Watch a longer trailer for Ridley Scott’s The Martian (Oct. 2) and find out why it’s a must-see adventure. Read more

D23 and the Power of Legacy Building

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

There’s a reason why Disney has become the envy of the industry after buying Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm: chairman/CEO Robert Iger has figured out how to incorporate and expand all of the legacies within the Disney empire. Talk about a shared universe. Last weekend at the D23 Expo in Anaheim (which has truly become a mini Comic-Con), Disney forcefully demonstrated how all of this is falling into place. Read more

Disney, Pixar Through the Looking Glass of D23

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

The biggest animation takeaway from D23 is that it’s all about creative legacy building: honoring the past while staying relevant. Read more

VES Releases New VFX Demo Guidelines

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Movies, Tech, TV, Uncategorized, VES, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

The VES has released Demo Material Guidelines: a set of recommendations for work-for-hire materials presented as part of a demo reel portfolio by VFX facilities and practitioners. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Disney Shorts Collection

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Blu-ray, Clips, Crafts, Home Entertainment, Movies, Music, Oscar, previs, Production Design, Shorts, Sound, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

An all-new Walt Disney Animation Short Films Collection is available this week in a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD combo from Disney Home Ent., including Oscar winners Feast and Paperman. Read more

Production Designer Samuel Michlap Deconstructed

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

Animation layout artist-turned production designer Samuel Michlap has worked at Disney (The Lion King, Hunchback of Notre Dame) and DreamWorks (The Prince of Egypt, Shark Tale, Monsters vs. Aliens, Rise of the Guardians) and is currently working on his first live-action feature, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (May 5, 2017). His first local exhibition is on display at the Center Stage Gallery in Burbank through Sept. 13, where he will have a workshop on Aug. 29. A companion book, Cinematic Storytelling Deconstructed, will be available at CTN Expo Nov. 20-22.

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Animation Highlights from D23

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

Here’s a snapshot of the highlights and announcements from D23, which I explore in greater detail tomorrow. Read more

Rabins and Finkelman Cox Join Original Force

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

China’s Original Force has launched a feature division and hired Sandra Rabins and Penney Finkelman Cox (former heads of Sony Pictures Animation) to serve as co-presidents of a new LA office. They are in production and three animated features and the company plans to produce at least one major CG feature film every 18 months. Read more