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.

VES

VES Offers State of Industry Whitepaper

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

The Visual Effects Society (VES) released The State of the Global VFX Industry 2013, a strategic whitepaper as a blueprint for action, analyzing such issues as the California perspective, growing competition, pricing models, tax incentives, and unionization. Read more

Real-Time Star Wars Demo Blows Away FMX

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

Kim Libreri, Lucasfilm’s chief strategic officer, played a reel showing mocap and real-time rendering of C-3P0, R2-D2, and stormtroopers in a desert setting that dazzled the FMX 2013 crowd two weeks ago in Stuttgart, reports fxguide. The way virtual production is evolving with VFX coming in earlier and previs becoming more integral, the new slogan is : “Fix it in pre.” Read more

Pi Day VFX Town Hall Takeaways

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

Not surprisingly, talk of unionization and a trade association dominated the international Pi Day VFX town hall meetings on Thursday in LA, the San Francisco Bay Area, Austin, Vancouver, and Wellington. Read more

VES Issues Two Calls to Action

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Oscar, Tech, VES, VFX | Leave a comment

Eric Roth, executive director of the Visual Effects Society, issued two calls to action in an open letter: to expand the tax incentive program for entertainment with a particular focus on VFX, and the organization of a VFX Congress as a forum for frustrated and angry artists to reach consensus.  Obviously we’ve reached the tipping point. The big question now is: What can be done to change the business model for studio and VFX company alike in mutual best interest? Read more

Rhythm & Hues Files for Bankruptcy

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

The situation is getting worse at Rhythm & Hues. Deadline reports that after winning the BAFTA for Life of Pi’s VFX Sunday night, the financially strapped LA studio alerted employees and clients that it was filing for  Chapter ll bankruptcy on Monday and that some jobs have been terminated. According to Variety, this was because the Prime Focus purchase had fallen through. Read more

Life of Pi, Brave Big VES Winners

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

Life of Pi clawed its way closer to VFX Oscar gold Tuesday night, powered by Rhythm & Hues and MPC, grabbing four prizes at the 11th annual VES Awards at the Beverly Hilton, including Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature; Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture (R&H’s CG Bengal tiger, Richard Parker); Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture (MPC’s Storm of God); and Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture (Storm of God). Read more

Image Engine Creates Stealth VFX for ZDT

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Oscar, previs, Tech, Trailers, VES, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Image Engine provided more than 300 shots for the Oscar-contending  Zero Dark Thirty, which has been nominated for a 2013 Visual Effects Society Award for Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture. This included creating the CG Stealth Hawk helicopters), as well as augmenting the bustling military encampments with computer-generated environments, digital soldiers, vehicles and FX. Read more

The Hobbit Grabs 7 VES Nominations

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

The Visual Effects Society announced the nominees for the 11th annual VES Awards, with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey leading the way with seven, followed closely by The Avengers and Life of Pi with six. Meanwhile, ParaNorman grabbed five nominations in the animation category. The biggest surprise was that the under-performing Battleship was a nominee for ILM in the Outstanding Visual Effects-Driven category for movies. Read more

Ang Lee to Get VES Visionary Award

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

The Visual Effects Society will honor Life of Pi’s Ang Lee with the VES Visionary Award at the 11th Annual VES Awards on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Read more

Digital Domain Dominates VES Summit

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

Digital Domain dominated the discussions at yesterday’s VES Summit 2012  at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Marina del Rey. Co-founder and former CEO Scott Ross implored the industry to get behind a trade association and stand up to the studios, while new CEO Ed Ulbrich discussed the reboot of DD 3.0, which he said was more like 1.0 so far.

Read more