How They Did It: Meet Sentient Ava from Ex Machina


Artificial intelligence has certainly become a hot genre, as dystopia was, yet Alex Garland (Sunshine, 28 Days Later) has no idea why besides our own paranoia with privacy. However, he's made one of the smartest and most compelling sci-fi movies in years with his

Going Inside Out with Pete Docter


Pixar is back at the top of its game with Inside Out, taking us inside the mind of 11-year-old Riley (Kaitlin Dias), where we explore her five very animated emotions: Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), and Fear

Clipping More Tomorrowland from Brad Bird


In the latest Tomorrowland featurette, George Clooney tells us it's a place for dreamers and Britt Robertson discusses the strange pin phenomenon. As we get closer to the May 22nd release, Tomorrowland comes into clearer focus:  it's an anti-dystopian fantasy where

How They Did It: Meet Sentient Ava from Ex Machina

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

Artificial intelligence has certainly become a hot genre, as dystopia was, yet Alex Garland (Sunshine28 Days Later) has no idea why besides our own paranoia with privacy. However, he’s made one of the smartest and most compelling sci-fi movies in years with his debut Ex Machina, a cleverly Pinteresque power-play between Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson with the beguiling Alicia Vikander as the sentient object of their desire, Ava. Read more

Going Inside Out with Pete Docter

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

Pixar is back at the top of its game with Inside Out, taking us inside the mind of 11-year-old Riley (Kaitlin Dias), where we explore her five very animated emotions: Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), and Fear (Bill Hader).  I saw the first two-thirds at Pixar early this month, and got the chance to interview Pete Docter and several key collaborators, who I will cover separately in the lead up to the June 19th release. Read more

Clipping More Tomorrowland from Brad Bird

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

In the latest Tomorrowland featurette, George Clooney tells us it’s a place for dreamers and Britt Robertson discusses the strange pin phenomenon. Read more

Tim Reckart on The Lamb for Sony

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

Oscar-nommed Tim Reckart (Head Over Heels) will make his feature directorial debut with The Lamb for Sony Pictures Animation. Read more

Final Trailering of Age of Ultron

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

The final trailer for The Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1st) has arrived and it features Black Widow. Read more

How They Did It: The Bolero Scene in Cheatin’

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Clips, Crafts, How They Did It, Movies, Tech | Leave a comment

Bill Plympton’s Cheatin’ opened theatrically Friday in NYC and I thought it would be fun to explore one of my favorite scenes: the hit man getting ready to the beat of BoleroCheatin’ represents a sizable investment of around $400,000 and yet Plympton still required $100,000 from a successful Kickstarter campaign to finish the digital watercolor work that was essential to the aesthetic. But this colorful and hyper-real depiction of hardboiled lust and violence represents Plympton’s masterpiece. Recalling James M. Cain with plenty of shadows and sleaze, it’s also very operatic and even balletic. Plympton admits that it took him to a whole new artistic place and it shows. Like Idiots and Angels, there’s no dialogue, but this is a much more ambitious panto with flashbacks and fantasies that seamlessly meld together like a surreal dream. Read more

The Return of All Hail King Julien on Netflix

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Clips, Tech, TV, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Netflix offered five new episodes of All Hail King Julien from DreamWorks Animation this week, coinciding with five Daytime Emmy Award nominations this week: Outstanding Children’s Animated Program, Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program (Danny Jacobs), Outstanding Casting for an Animated Series or Special (Ania O’Hare), Outstanding Directing in an Animated Program (Christo Stromboliev), and Outstanding Original Song/Main Title & Promo (“Who’s Da King”). I spoke with exec producer Mitch Watson about the challenges of putting the spotlight on the wild and crazy lemur (Danny Jacobs). Read more

Harvey Beaks: A Punk Version of Pooh

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

C.H. Greenblatt is back with a new Nickelodeon series that’s a far cry from Chowder: Harvey Beaks is about mild-mannered young bird (Max Charles) who lives in a magical forest with a pair of rambunctious imp siblings named Fee (Angelina Wahler) and Foo (Jackson Brundage and Tom Robinson). Whereas Chowder was like a psychedelic trip, Harvey Beaks is more sedate but no less personal. The first two episodes premiered last weekend and the series airs Sundays at 7:00 pm. Read more

Trailering Mad Max: Fury Road

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

Watch the full trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road (May 15), which definitely looks like one of the summer highlights. Read more

Trailering Japanese Version of Tomorrowland

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

There’s more footage and plot revealed in this Japanese trailer for Tomorrowland, so watch only if you want to know more. Read more

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