The Access Grid, new cutting edge technology for users and participants of collaborations, makes its debut at SIGGRAPH 2005, the 32nd International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, July 31-Aug. 4, 2005, in Los Angeles. At SIGGRAPH 2005, the Access Grid supports a global collaborative performance piece, international art panels and multi-site community interaction. This emerging, scalable teleconferencing technology enables interaction between individual desktops, 3,000-person theaters and everything in between.
Category: Visual Effects
Vizrt Ltd. has acquired Curious Software, effective June 1, 2005. In consideration for the purchase of the shares or assets, Vizrt will pay $5,000,000 in cash to the Curious shareholders. Up to an additional $4,000,000 is to be paid in Ordinary Shares of Vizrt as an earn-out in four quarterly installments upon reaching certain milestones.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences mailed entry forms on June 1, 2005 for the 2004 Scientific and Technical Awards to more than 850 companies and individuals, including past winners, within the sci-tech community both in the United States and abroad. All entry applications must be submitted to the Academy no later than Aug. 1, 2005.
In response to the changing commercial environment, Rhythm& Hues Studios is evolving its commercial group in the attempt of creating a new production model.
With the hiring of Paul Babb as its new live action exec producer, the studio has refocused its energies to create what it calls The Complete Digital Studio a full service shop for both advertising agencies and production companies.
The result: Rhythm & Hues Commercial Studios.
SCI FI Channel will start production on the six-hour miniseries THE TRIANGLE this week, in Cape Town, South Africa. Starring Eric Stoltz (PULP FICTION, MASK), Catherine Bell (JAG, BRUCE ALMIGHTY), Michael Rodgers (AUTO FOCUS), Bruce Davison (X-MEN) and Sam Neill (JURASSIC PARK), THE TRIANGLE is helmed by Craig Baxley (KINGDOM HOSPITAL). Hollywood's sci-fi standouts Dean Devlin (INDEPENDENCE DAY) and Bryan Singer (X-MEN) will exec produce with Devlin's Electric Ent. producing.
With principal photography set to begin Aug. 2, X-MEN 3 has now lost its director for the second time, reports the trades. Replacing Bryan Singer, director of the first two X-MEN films who left to helm SUPERMAN RETURNS, LAYER CAKE director Matthew Vaughn is now stepping down, citing personal reasons. The director had hoped to commute from his home in London to the shoot in Vancouver, but when that seemed impossible he decided that leaving the film was a better choice than uprooting his family.
Managing editor Rick DeMott reports back from E3 this week with a look at some of the hottest upcoming games, industry buzz (including how movie tie-ins are rapidly changing) and what we can expect from PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in the coming year.
Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the team that co-wrote THE ISLAND for Michael Bay, are tinkering on a script to put the Transformer toys on the big screen for what might be Bay's next project, according to SCI FI Wire.
"We're calling it CAMPBELL SOUP: THE MOVIE, because it's the ultimate product placement," Kurtzman told SCI FI Wire. "The big challenge is how do you do it without making it look like it's just about product placement."
The producing duo of Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald are developing a third, scaled-down RING movie, according to SCI FI Wire. The husband-and-wife producing team is planning a different approach and may not need the same mother and son cast of Naomi Watts and David Dorfman, who were in the first two horror movies.
Parkes added, "It's easy to scale down RING 3 as a small picture that's not incredibly expensive. By its very nature it can be a small movie and doesn't need the same cast."
George Lucas has given the greenlight to Jeff Nathanson's recent draft for INDIANA JONES 4, reports VARIETY. Director Steven Spielberg has also given the script a thumbs up and only star Harrison Ford needs to give approval for the film to move into pre-production.
SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION director Frank Darabont had previously written a draft of the script, which passed by Spielberg and Ford, but was rejected by Lucas. Spielberg then enlisted Nathanson to pen the screenplay after having worked with the scribe on CATCH ME IF YOU CAN and THE TERMINAL.
Perhaps the just released ER: THE VIDEO GAME (May 31, 2005) is the prescription for TV vieiwers of the medical drama going through summer re-run withdrawal.
The ER game for PC combines the best of the popular strategy/role-playing genre with the top-rated television franchise, ER. Players of the game will get to interact with their favorite stars in dramatic and engaging storylines reminiscent of the TV show. The ER videogame features voices and likenesses of trademark cast members, including Noah Wyle, Mekhi Phifer and Sherry Stringfield.
BOXX Technologies introduces the GoBOXX 2300 mobile workstation, which offers creative pros a new 17 WUXGA widescreen panel at 1920x1200 resolutions. Supporting true HD resolution and driven by industry-leading NVIDIA the Quadro FX Go 1400 PCI-Express Open GL graphics or NVIDIA GeForce Go 6800 Ultra graphics, the new 17 1920x1200 WUXGA GlassView Active Matrix display takes creative applications to new levels of visual quality and performance.
Alias will host the second annual Maya API Developers Conference in Santa Barbara, California, on June 6 8, 2005. Sponsored by HP, the three days of in-depth seminars and hands-on classes provide a rare chance to hear from Alias software developers and customers working in film and games industries, to network with industry peers and gain insight into the Maya API (Application Programming Interface).
STAR WARS: EPISODE III REVENGE OF THE SITH has tied SPIDER-MAN 2 for the fastest feature to reach $200M in only eight days. The final STAR WARS saga has tallied $200.4M domestically and $356.9M overseas for Fox, according to boxofficemojo.com.
The Force is definitely with George Lucas: On the heels of the record breaking box office results from the first week of his last STAR WARS saga, EPISODE III REVENGE OF THE SITH, Lucas will receive the American Film Institute's (AFI) 33rd Life Achievement Award on June 9, at a gala event. Filmmaker, friend and past recipient Steven Spielberg will present Lucas with the award at the tribute, which will be held at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. THE 33rd AFI LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: A TRIBUTE TO GEORGE LUCAS will air on USA Network on June 20, at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT).
The Discovery Channel will broadcast one of the major battles of the 20th Century, THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE, as a one-hour cable show on May 29, 2005, at 8:00 pm with a rebroadcast at 10:00 pm. This is one of a series of historical shows produced by Morning Star Ent., with 3D-animated effects by Double Edge Digital, the Glendale, California studio that did the vfx on the first show of the series, ALEXANDER THE GREAT AND THE BATTLE OF GAUGAMELA.
Disney has hired 102 DALMATIANS helmer Kevin Lima to direct the live-action and CG-animated feature, ENCHANTED, according to the trades. Lima also directed the animated feature TARZAN. Barry Josephson and his Sonnenfeld Josephson production house obtained the rights to the film in 1997 and will serves as a producer. Chris Chase and Sunil Perkash are exec producers. Disney execs Doug Short and Jill Morris are shepherding with Jason Reed and Nina Jacobson.
Oscar-nominated visual effects supervisor Mike Fink (CONSTANTINE, the X-MEN movies) will lead a panel on the history of vfx as part of the 2005 VES-VFX Festival of Visual Effects, June 25 at 9:00 am. Fink, who is also a VES chair, is calling his panel: Visual Effects Paradiso 700 Years of Visual Effects. The annual festival by the Visual Effects Society will take place June 24-26 at the recently renovated Aero Theater in Santa Monica.
Film and game industry experts from Digital Domain, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Turner Studios and Weta Digital are scheduled to present Alias MasterClasses at SIGGRAPH, Aug. 1-5 in Los Angeles. May 31 is the early bird deadline to receive 20% off the cost of classes. Getting in early guarantees the opportunity to learn techniques that push the boundaries of creativity and improve production workflows.
I, ROBOT and THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW (Fox Home Ent., $26.98) finally get two-disc collectors edition DVDs released on May 24, 2005, showing off their celebrated vfx (Digital Domain worked on both and Hydraulx, ILM, The Orphanage Custom Film Effects, Tweak Films and yU+Co contributed to TOMORROW). The Oscar-nominated I, ROBOT (titled ALL-ACCESS) benefits the most since its previous release was very bare bones. DAY AFTER TOMORROW now contains more docs and featurettes.
New I, ROBOT bonus features include:
London-based Framestore CFC created both the digital visual effects and the DI for THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN'S APOCALYPSE, the cult favorite comedy series that makes its way to the big screen June 3 in the U.K. Written by Jeremy Dyson, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, and starring Gatiss, Pemberton and Shearsmith, THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN'S APOCALYPSE was produced by Greg Brenman and Ed Guiney, and directed by Steve Bendelack.
Avi Lerner's Millennium Films, Taurus Ent. and Emmett/Furla Films have announced they will remake of George A. Romero's DAY OF THE DEAD, reports VARIETY. Millennium will finance and distribute the film. Taurus Ent. held the rights to the original and Paul Mason and Jordan Rush brought the project to Emmett/Furla.
The 1985 third sequel in Romero's zombie series followed a group of scientists and military personnel holed up in an underground bunker.
Last weeks E3 conference here in L.A. not only provided a plethora of exciting games on display, but also a chance to speak with industry insiders about the challenges ahead related to the next-generation consoles: Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Nintendo Revolution. With PS3 and Xbox 360 in HD, you can be sure that the next versions of 3ds Max, Maya and MotionBuilder will play to their strengths with improved character animation, lighting, hair and cloth.
THE AVIATOR, Martin Scorseses celebrated Howard Hughes biopic, lands on DVD in an impressive two-disc set on May 24, 2005 (Warner Home Video, $29.95).
SON OF THE MASK got its DVD release May 17, 2005 along with a remastered version of the manic Jim Carrey original from 1994 (New Line Home Ent., $27.95 and $19.97) with new bonus features. Jamie Kennedy stars in the sequel about an aspiring animator who dons the ancient mask and becomes an animated Tex Avery/Chuck Jones-inspired creation, along with his dog and infant son when they get a hold of the mask. Directed by Lawrence Guterman (CATS & DOGS), SON contains loads of CGI and assorted vfx by ILM, Digital Dimension, Tippett Studio and Keith Vanderlaans Captive Audience Prods.