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

10 Things You Might Not Know About Inside Out

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

After 20 years, Pixar is still one of the industry’s biggest success stories, and Inside Out, the biggest original box office opener in history, certainly belongs in the top-tier of the studio’s animated features. Pete Docter explores childhood and emotions and memories and growing up, but from an adult perspective. He even proclaims that it’s not only okay to be sad, but that it’s essential to our maturity and emotional well-being. Read more

Exploring Dragons: Race to Edge on Netflix

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

While awaiting How to Train Your Dragon 3 in 2018, there’s a whole new world to explore in DreamWorks Animation’s new Netflix series, Dragons: Race to the Edge (with all 13 episodes premiering Friday and a total of 52 in the works). Jay Baruchel and America Ferrera return to provide the voices of Hiccup and Astrid, along with Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Fishlegs, and T.J. Miller as Tuffnut. Read more

Summer Previs Powered by The Third Floor

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

The LA and London-based boutique worked on Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mad Max: Fury Road, San Andreas, and Poltergeist, with Ant-Man and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation on deck. (Ultron image copyright Marvel 2015, Fury Road, San Andreas images copyright Warner Bros., Poltergeist image copyright Twentieth Century Fox; all images courtesy of The Third Floor Inc.) Read more

Pixar, DreamWorks Announce OpenSubdiv 3.0

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Movies, Shorts, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | 1 Comment

OpenSubdiv 3.0, the popular subdivision surface library, takes a bold step forward with a near complete rewrite of the library, greatly improving performance and simplifying the API. This joint effort by the Pixar and DreamWorks Animation graphics R&D teams brings improved performance and reduced memory consumption, while continuing to leverage the massive parallelism available on modern GPU and CPU architectures. Read more

Trailering Kung Fu Panda 3 from DreamWorks

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

Get the first glimpse of Kung Fu Panda 3 (Jan. 29, 2016), DreamWorks Animation’s first co-production in China (where a third of the work is animated). Read more

Trailering Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Crafts, previs, Tech, Trailers, Videogames, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Get a first look at one of the stars of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Evie Frye, and the variety of deadly weapons she employs in her fight alongside Jacob and the rest of The Rooks to control London’s criminal underground. From her unique version of the signature Assassin’s hidden blade to her elegant cane sword and deadly throwing knives, Evie is a force to be reckoned with.
Read more

Phyllis Smith Goes Inside Out with Sadness

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

Animation is smartly turning to TV stars and character actors for voice work, and Pete Docters’ instincts were spot-on in casting the dead-pan Phyllis Smith (The Office, Bad Teacher) for Inside Out. She plays Sadness, who turns out to be crucial and steals the movie from Amy Poehler’s protagonist, Joy. Not bad for Smith’s first foray in animation. Let’s hope it leads to more voice work. Read more

Pete Docter Talks Inside Out Dinner Scene

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

There’s nothing that epitomizes the greatness of Inside Out more than the dinner scene. It introduces Riley’s unhappiness moving to San Francisco and provides a glimpse not only inside her mind but also inside her parents’. It’s a brilliant study in conflict and contrast: the difference between our outer and inner worlds (read more about the production designcamera/layout, and lighting). Pay close attention, and you’ll notice that Sadness helms her mom’s headquarters and Anger rules her dad’s. It’s all about growing up, which Pete Docter delves into in our latest conversation. Read more

Trailering The Peanuts Movie from Blue Sky

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Movies, previs, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | 1 Comment

Watch the first full-trailer for The Peanuts Movie (Nov. 6) and find out how Charlie Brown tries to reinvent himself to attract the Little Red-Haired Girl. Read more

Humanizing Jurassic World with Indominus Rex

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

For Colin Trevorrow, the transition from Safety Not Guaranteed to Jurassic World meant finding a deeply personal theme that he could relate to: reconnecting with our humanity in the face of greed, which, of course, took him back to the Amblin movies he grew up with in Vermont.  And the creation of the hybrid Indominus Rex enabled him to contrast the old with the new. Read more