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.

performance capture

Will Digital Domain Survive?

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

Digital Domain Media filed for Chapter 11 in Florida and Canada, listing total debts of $214.9 million and total assets of $205.0 million. Meanwhile, Searchlight Capital Partners has purchased DD’s Oscar-winning VFX company for $15 million — temporarily saving jobs, salaries, and benefits in Venice, San Francisco, and Vancouver, reports  Daily Variety. Read more

The Future of Cinema at the Palo Alto Film Fest

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

I will be returning to the second annual Palo Alto International Film Festival (Sept. 27-30), moderating “The Future of Cinema: Extended and Experiential.” Joining me on Sept. 29 at 1:00 pm at Talenthouse will be filmmaker/technologists John Gaeta (creative director/founder, Float Hybrid), Kim Libreri (VFX supervisor at ILM), Rudy Poat (creative director, Microsoft Studios), and Habib Zargarpour (creative director, Microsoft Studios). Read more

Revisiting The Avengers VFX

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Blu-ray, Movies, Oscar, performance capture, previs, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Unlike the Oscar race for best animated feature, there’s already a clear front-runner for VFX: The Avengers, with its dazzling work from Industrial Light & Magic (especially the Hulk). I recently visited ILM, where I saw some impressive presentations and sat down with animation director Marc Chu, VFX supervisor Jeff White, and associate VFX supervisor Jason Smith. Read more

Financially Beleaguered Digital Domain Restructures

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Movies, performance capture, previs, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

After defaulting on a $35 million loan and to avoid bankruptcy, Digital Domain Media Group has initiated a strategic realignment to protect its core VFX and CG animation business. The beleaguered John Textor is out as CEO and chairman of DDMG; and long-time Digital Domain exec Ed Ulbrich has been promoted to CEO of Digital Domain Prods. Read more

Clipping Alternate Avengers Opening

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

A more somber, post-9/11 vibe underscores this alternate opening to The Avengers (available as “Maria Hill Investigation” on the Blu-ray/DVD combo Sept. 25 from Disney Home Ent.) Incidentally, blockbuster superhero movie returns to theaters Labor Day weekend for a one-week run. Read more

Weta, Lucas, PDI DreamWorks Shortlisted for Academy Sci-Tech

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weta Digital, Lucasfilm, and PDI DreamWorks are competing with Imagineer Systems, UC Santa Barbara, Anton/Bauer, and Matthews Studio Equipment for the Academy’s 2012 Sci-Tech Awards. Read more

Halon Partners with Minimo on New Previs Process

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

Previs boutique Halon Entertainment (The Hunger Games, Prometheus, Life of Pi) has formed a partnership with Minimo Vfx of Barcelona that will usher in a new “build it once” philosophy for CG creatures during pre-production. This will avoid the duplication of making them again later on during VFX. The two companies are currently working together on Dome, directed by VFXer Brandon Fayette. Read more

SIGGRAPH 2012: Talking Virtual Production, Higher Frame Rates

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Blu-ray, Education, Events, Movies, performance capture, previs, Production Design, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Virtual production and higher frame rates dominated the conversation at this week’s SIGGRAPH conference in LA, just as they did at FMX earlier in the year. Despite Warner Bros. scaling back on the number of screens that it will play The Hobbit  at 48 fps on Dec. 14, the two go hand in hand with 3-D in paving the way for a more immersive and lifelike theatrical movie going experience. I cover the highlights and speak with Weta Digital’s Joe Letteri and ILM’s Dennis Muren in my latest TOH/Indiewire column. Read more

NewTek Launches LightWave 3D Group

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

NewTek has formed a new LightWave 3D Group, powered by newly appointed president Rob Powers, former head of 3D development, with Dominick Spina jumping from NVIDIA to become VP of worldwide sales and marketing. Read more

The Hobbit Gets a Trilogy

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Books, Cinematography, Clips, Education, Events, Movies, Oscar, performance capture, previs, Production Design, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Peter Jackson believes there’s enough story to warrant a Hobbit trilogy and New Line, Warner Bros., and MGM couldn’t be happier.  Looks like Jackson’s Tintin will have to wait. Or can he still squeeze in the performance capture shoot? Read more