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

Getting to Know Dinotrux from DreamWorks/Netflix

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

Dinotrux, the new original series from DreamWorks Animation Television and Neflix, launched on Friday. The series is based on Chris Gall’s illustrated children’s book series, which features a fictional prehistoric world inhabited by hybrid characters that are part dinosaur and part mechanical construction vehicle. It centers around Ty Rux, a massive Tyrannosaurus Trux, and his best friend Revvit, a razor-sharp Reptool. The Dinotrux and Reptools join forces for the first time ever to build a better world and battle the D-Structs, an evil Tyrannosaurus Trux who threatens to wreck everything they’ve built. Ron Burch & David Kidd are the exec producers and Randy Dormans the supervising producer. I recently spoke with Dormans. Read more

Retrofitting Pan for the Harry Potter Generation

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

Director Joe Wright appeared with Pan newcomer Levi Miller last week at LA’s London Hotel and showed clips and explained how he’s reworked the J.M. Barrie classic. Read more

Autodesk Revs Up Workflows at SIGGRAPH 2015

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

Autodesk has new extension releases for Maya 2016 and 3ds Max 2016, a new set of features for Shotgun 6.3, and unveiled a new 3D marketplace on Creative Market, – its online platform for purchasing and selling custom content developed by artists.  Read more

Pixar to Open-Source Universal Scene Description

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

Pixar will release its Universal Scene Description software (USD) as an open-source project by summer 2016. USD addresses the ever-growing need in the CG film and game industries for an effective way to describe, assemble, interchange, and modify high-complexity virtual scenes between digital content creation tools employed by studios. Read more

Happy Birthday, Snoopy!

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

Join the global celebration by wishing Charles Schulz’s beloved beagle Happy B-Day (#HappyBirthdaySnoopy). 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.

Read more

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