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.

Halon Provides Previs for The Force Awakens

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

Halon, the sole previs/postvis provider for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, kept the production on schedule. Read more

Evaluating the VFX Oscar Nominees

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

Here are the contenders: the return to a galaxy far, far away and the original post-apocalyptic world, an incredible bear, a bronze Mars, and a seductive female android. Read more

Getting Practical with Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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

In keeping with J.J. Abrams’ mandate for getting practical with Oscar-nominated The Force Awakens effects, Neal Scanlan (Oscar winner for Babe) helped bring to life the adorable BB-8 droid and the semi-mechanical Luggabeast, while special effects coordinator extraordinaire Chris Corbould (Oscar winner for Inception)brought his usual sense of style to the explosive action. Read more

How They Found The Big Short Rhythm

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

Oscar nominee Hank Corwin had two great editorial challenges with Adam McKay’s dense black comedy, The Big Short: how to make sense of the complicated economics surrounding the 2008 housing collapse, and how to humanize the competing groups of brokers that profited from it. (Watch the making of featurette below.) Read more

Why Animation Needs Anomalisa

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

Although Anomalisa got nominated for best animated feature, the acclaimed Charlie Kaufman/Duke Johnson stop-motion drama faced resistance from the animation community.  Read more

The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road Dominate Oscar Noms

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Cinematography, Costume, Crafts, documentary, Editing, Events, Makeup/Hair, Movies, Music, Oscar, performance capture, previs, Production Design, Screenwriting, Shorts, Sound, stop-motion, Tech, TV, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

The Oscar race is on with The Revenant grabbing 12 noms, Mad Max: Fury Road snagging 10 and Star Wars: The Force Awakens taking five. Pixar front-runner Inside Out led an animation field (while also earning an original script nod for Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley) that now embraces more indies. Read more

The Force Awakens, Peanuts Dominate VES Noms

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

The race is on for the 14th VES Awards, Star Wars: The Force Awakens grabbed seven noms while The Peanuts Movie led animation contenders with five. Read more

6 Best Sound Oscar Contenders

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

These sound editing/mixing Oscar contenders get real, surreal, and fantastical, bringing us closer to the storytelling. Read more

How ILM Created The Revenant Bear VFX

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

While Star Wars: The Force Awakens enters the Academy’s VFX bake-off on Saturday as the obvious frontrunner, everyone wants to know how ILM did the harrowing bear attack in The Revenant. Here’s a behind the scenes glimpse from VFX production supervisor Richard McBride. Read more

How They Created The Hateful Eight Western Vibe

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Cinematography, Clips, Costume, Crafts, How They Did It, Movies, Oscar, Production Design, Sound, Tech, Trailers | Leave a comment

Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight is a Western version of And Then There Were None with period detail that pops, thanks to the large-format, widescreen splendor of Ultra Panavision 70. As a result, it should garner several craft Oscar nominations next week. Read more