Time Warner sister companies HBO and New Line Cinema have acquired independent distributor Newmarket Films and hired its chief, Bob Berney, to run a new venture, reports REUTERS. Newmarket is best know for taking the risk in releasing Mel Gibsons THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, which earned more than $350 million at domestic box offices via grass-roots marketing aimed at religious groups. Other big releases for Newmarket included WHALE RIDER and MONSTER.
Category: Visual Effects
Warner Bros. has agreed to produce M. Night Shyamalans next fantasy thriller LADY IN THE WATER, the trades report. THE VILLAGE filmmaker will write and direct as well as produce along with Blinding Edge Pictures Sam Mercer. All of the thrill masters pics since THE SIXTH SENSE have been made with Walt Disney, however both parties past on working on LADY together.
With VFXWORLD editor Bill Desowitz off in London visiting the CORPSE BRIDE set, Im taking over to give readers a look at whats new and coming on the site. We have coverage of the #1 film in the U.S. THE RING TWO as well as the Game Developers Conference. Additionally, Chris Panzner ponders the future of 3D will it move into holograms?
CG Academy has just released a second 3ds max training DVD in its MAXScript Fundamentals 2 series. Borislav Bobo Petrov continues his exploration of the wonderful world of MAXScript. In this DVD Petrov applies MAXScript to many real-world tasks where doing things by hand would be slow and laborious, bringing to bear the power of MAXScript on the masses of objects, lights and materials found in a typical 3dsmax scene.
Digital-Tutors has announced the much anticipated FUNDAMENTALS OF PHOTOSHOP: 3D TEXTURING training kit the latest release in a library of industry leading training resources for digital artists of all expertise levels. In more than three hours of training methods, users have the opportunity to bring their 3D models to life and add incredible realism.
!mpossible Pictures has promoted editor James Frazier to director of operations and welcomes a new addition, designer/editor Heather Arment, to the team.
James has been an integral part of the company and our clients have expressed enthusiasm seeing him move to the next level in handling day-to-day operations, said Steve Urbano, !mpossible Pictures vp/director. Heather makes a terrific addition to our team with her great energy and originality. Shes one-of-a-kind and brings unique experiences in design, filmmaking, and editing.
Principal photography is underway in Sydney, Australia on Warner Bros. Pictures highly anticipated SUPERMAN RETURNS. The film is scheduled to shoot in and around Sydney, Australia through mid-August 2005 and will be released by Warner Bros. Pictures on June 30, 2006.
Thomas Haden Church, who was most recently nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in SIDEWAYS, has been cast as Spider-Man's new adversary in SPIDER-MAN 3. The announcement was made by Sam Raimi and producers Laura Ziskin and Marvel Studios' Avi Arad, however the identity of the villain Church will play is being kept secret. Production is set to begin early next year with the film to be released on May 4, 2007.
Paramount has signed ALIEN VS. PREDATOR director Paul W.S. Anderson to write and helm a remake of Roger Cormans cult adventure, DEATHRACE 2000, reports VARIETY. In addition, Anderson will produce along with Corman, C/W partners Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner, and Impact Pictures partner Jeremy Bolt.
The original featured a race where drivers accumulated points for running over pedestrians. The new version will be "set in 2020, ours is an ultraviolent, no-holds-barred race with heavily armed Escalades, Ferraris and Aston Martins," Anderson said.
20th Century Fox has confirmed rumors that British helmer Matthew Vaughn has been hired to direct X-MEN 3, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Avi Arad, Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter will produce. Zak Penn and Simon Kinberg have written the script. Hugh Jackman has already signed on to reprise his role as Wolverine and the studio is in talks with Ian McKellen, Halle Berry and Patrick Stewart. The film is expected to start lensing in mid-July and will hit theaters May 26, 2006.
STAR WARS creator George Lucas was presented with the Galactic Achievement Award at the closing night ceremony of ShoWest 2005, March 17, 2005, in Las Vegas at the Paris Hotel. Lucas, whose sixth STAR WARS movie, STAR WARS: EPISODE III REVENGE OF THE SITH, opens May 19, acknowledged the one-time special honor while Animation Director of the Year honor was given this year to Brad Bird, director of THE INCREDIBLES.
Sony Pictures is in talks with Marvel Ent. to adapt Marvel's lesser-known comicbook KILLRAVEN into a sci-fi tentpole feature, reports VARIETY. Sony is already in talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan (THE KENTUCKY CYCLE) to adapt the 1970s series. If the film goes forward, Marvel's head Avi Arad would produce with Angryfilms' Don Murphy. Marvels Kevin Feige would exec produce.
FilmEngine has okayed a pitch for a sequel to THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT, reports VARIETY. Because the new film has an entire new cast of characters, original star, Ashton Kutcher, isn't expected to return. John Leonetti (MORTAL KOMBAT: ANNIHILATION) will direct and Michael Weiss will write the script.
Filmengine's A.J. Dix and Anthony Rhulen will produce along with Benderspink's Chris B Bender and J.C. Spink. William Shively is exec producing.
wondertouch announced the release of "wondertouch Particle Emitters for Motion," a particle emitter package designed for customers using Motion, the high-performance motion graphic design and production application from Apple. The emitter package features a selection of more than 300 preset particle effects, based on the company's award-winning, standalone particleIllusion software technology, that have been converted to operate in Motion.
George Lucas announced Thursday at ShoWest that he intends to repurpose all of the STAR WARS movies in 3D for digital cinema re-release, with the original movie, A NEW HOPE, to be readied in time for its 30th anniversary in 2007, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The plan is to then reissue one every year through 2012.
Desktop Images announced the availability of the Visual FX Series, 3D EFFECTS COMPOSTING and SET EXTENSIONS, a step-by-step instructional DVD set for mastering the essential skills of seamlessly integrating computer generated 3D elements with live-action footage.
Known for creating strong female characters for his hit TV series BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, Joss Whedon has been hired by Silver Pictures to write and direct the feature film adaptation of WONDER WOMAN. Joel Silver and Leonard Goldberg will produce the film, which Warner Bros. Pictures will release worldwide. William Moulton Marston created the original Wonder Woman character, which appeared in DC Comics.
Texas Instruments (TI) DLP Cinema technology, the digital cinema projection technology deployed in movie theatres worldwide, assisted the directors and visual effects team of Miramax's and Dimension Films' SIN CITY during post-production to achieve the desired comic-book feel of the movie. Directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller relied upon DLP Cinema projectors to ensure rich and consistent color in the movie.
Sony Computer Ent. of America Inc. (SCEA) has more than doubled its motion-capture output as a result of deploying the MX40 system from Vicon Motion Systems. SCEA Motion Capture operates as a service bureau available to all of Sonys first-party game titles that require motion capture. The outfit installed a 24-camera Vicon MX40 system in September of 2004, and in just six months has already exceeded the amount of motion capture produced in all of the previous year.
As with THE LORD OF THE RINGS, look for two TITANIC DVD sets when Paramount Home Ent. releases the all-time box office juggernaut in October: a four-disc COLLECTORS EDITION and a two-disc SPECIAL EDITION. No street date or SRP were announced at yesterdays Paramount/Fox joint press conference (the latter will handle international markets). The COLLECTORS EDITION will contain two bonus discs with including nearly an hours worth of deleted scenes that can be accessed through branching while watching the feature or viewed separately.
Iridas, a pioneer in uncompressed playback technologies, announced the release of FrameCycler Professional 3.5, the newest version of the leading resolution-independent review and analysis software. FrameCycler 3.5 is based on the MP (multi-platform) architecture that Iridas introduced last year.
Bauhaus Software Inc. announced the immediate availability of Mirage 1.5, a new version of its powerful 2D animation, paint and vfx system. A true paperless digital animation system, Mirage dramatically broadens the capabilities of traditional 2D animators, allowing users to create any classical or digital style 2D animation, from cel animation and anime, to rotoscoping, stop motion and more, in a fully-digital pipeline. Mirage is proven to drastically reduce costs and decrease animation production time by up to 50 percent when compared with traditional 2D pipelines.
VFXWORLD turns technical this week as Andy Stout talks to users of Iridas new SpeedGrade DI software, which offers a completely non-destructive way of working, saving all color, conform and compositing information as XML-based metadata alongside the unaltered source material. This means that users can save as many versions of each shot as they want at any stage in the production process without requiring any additional storage, before baking in the changes during one final session.
Paramount Pictures has hired THE RING TWO director Hideo Nakata to helm the American remake of Hong Kong horror film, THE EYE. C/W Prods. will produce. Vertigo's Roy Lee and Doug Davison will exec produce along with the original films producer Peter Chan. The story follow a young blind girl who after receiving a cornea transplant begins to see ghosts and premonitions.