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.

Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda Talk Minions

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

Minions turned out to be one of the biggest animated sensations of the year, grabbing $335 million domestically and $1.1 billion worldwide for Universal and Illumination Ent. It’s also an Oscar contender for its trippy, throwback ’60s satire and charming physical comedy. In honor of the Blu-ray/DVD combo release from Universal, I spoke to directors Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda. Read more

Voicing Arlo in The Good Dinosaur from Pixar

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

Raymond Ochoa, the 14-year-old San Diego native, discusses his breakout voice role as Arlo, the Apatosaurus protagonist from The Good Dinosaur. Ochoa’s done voice work in Mr. Peabody & ShermanMars Needs Moms,Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III and A Christmas Carol, and will appear in next year’s The Angry Birds Movie. Read more

Trailering Kubo and the Two Strings from Laika

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

Get a sneak peek of Laika’s next stop-motion adventure, Kubo and the Two Strings (Aug. 19, 2016), which embraces samurai and mythic Japan in ornate fashion. Read more

Trailering The BFG from Steven Spielberg

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Books, Cinematography, Costume, Crafts, Editing, Makeup/Hair, Movies, Music, Oscar, performance capture, previs, Production Design, Sound, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

We get our first peek of the eponymous giant (a performance-captured Mark Rylance by Weta Digital) from Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Roal Dahl’s The BFG (July 1, 2016), which also marks his first directorial effort at Disney. Read more

20 Advance in VFX Oscar Shortlist

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

 The Academy released the 20 VFX movies shortlisted for Oscar consideration, and thanks to a new rule expanding eligibility, you have the inclusion of the indie Ex Machina and the supporting Bridge of Spies.  Otherwise, the gang’s all here from Star Wars: The Force Awakens to Jurassic World to The Martian to Mad Max: Fury Road. The only noticeable omissions were Crimson Peak and the critically panned Pan.

Read more

Pixar Grabs 25 Annie Noms

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

With two features and a short, Pixar led the Annie nominations with 25. Minions picked up 7, Peanuts 5 Home and Hotel Transylvania 2 got three each. Read more

Clipping the Making of Anomalisa

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

Find out how stop-motion blurs the line between animation and live-action in the Oscar contending Anomalisa from Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson. Read more

Evaluating the Top Cinematography Contenders

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

Vengeance, hate, survival, redemption and forbidden love are explored in this year’s top six Best Cinematography contenders, in which nature very much determines character. Read more

How NYFCC Winner Lachman Shot Carol

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

Carol is definitely a far cry from Todd Haynes’ Douglas Sirk-inspired Far From Heaven. It’s a completely different aesthetic, of course: the difference between expressionism and naturalism, the difference between Hollywood artifice and more delicate photography. Which is why Haynes’ long-time DP Ed Lachman, who last week won Best Cinematography from the New York Film Critics Circle, chose to shoot the gorgeous Patricia Highsmith-adapted love story starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara on Super 16 film. Read more

How Shore Composed Spotlight for Chamber Orchestra

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Clips, Crafts, Movies, Music, Oscar | Leave a comment

Howard Shore’s score for Spotlight might be the highlight of his distinguished career, which has already earned him two Oscars for his epic Lord of the Rings work. The key inspiration after reading the script was conceiving it as a chamber piece for 10-piece orchestra, evoking the tragedy and triumph of Tom McCarthy’s fact-based journo procedural. Read more