With the original STAR WARS trilogy making its monumental DVD bow on Sept. 21 in a four-disc set, Fox Home Ent. and Lucasfilm held a little sneak peek this morning at the Silent Movie Theater in Hollywood (of all places). Thanks to the fastidious work of Lowry Digital Images, who also cleaned up the INDIANA JONES trilogy and THX 1138 for DVD, the STAR WARS classics have never looked sharper and crisper, after some 10 million pieces of dirt were removed from the first film alone. Plus theyve been remixed for the first time in Dolby Digital 5.1.
Category: Visual Effects
Imagineer Systems announced that London-based film post-production company Cineimage has purchased one of the first monet systems - the product was launched in the U.K. in August. In addition to the monet start-to-finish solution for replacing elements in film and video, Cineimage has also purchased a mokey licence to complete its digital compositing workflow.
Sci Fi Channel has partnered with Ridley Scott (GLADIATOR) and Tony Scott (MAN ON FIRE) to revisit the Michael Crichton bestseller, THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN, while Frank Darabont (THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION) joins Sci Fi for a re-invention of the sci-fi thriller, THE THING.
NewTek Inc. has reached an agreement with the software team of H2MW to collaborate in the management, further development and support of LScript, LightWave 3D's scripting language. LScript provides the ability for users to easily create scripts that automate all functionality of LightWave, ranging from simple and repetitive tasks to highly specific and complex applications.
Now in its third year, the Visual Effects Societys (VES) awards season opened for submissions on Sept. 1. This years awards slate features new categories, an optional day of live in-person presentations and an online view and vote system.
Devils Due comics AFTERMATH line has been licensed for film, TV and videogames to producers Adrian Askarieh (SPY-HUNTER) and Daniel Alter, reports VARIETY. The comic titles include BLADE OF KUMORI, a modern female samurai; DEFEX, college students who alter their DNA; BREAKDOWN, the private life of the world's first superhero; and INFANTRY, the survivor of a military experiment.
Principal photography is set to begin in September on Peter Jacksons KING KONG. Jackson will shoot the epic action flick on location in his native New Zealand. Set to star in the Universal Pictures release is Academy Award nominee Naomi Watts (21 GRAMS), Golden Globe nominee Jack Black (SCHOOL OF ROCK) and Academy Award winner Adrien Brody (THE PIANIST).
e-on software, a leader in nature simulation software, will start shipping Vue 5 Esprit, the latest version of its award-winning scenery rendering and animation software, in late September 2004. Meanwhile, you can view a "Coming Soon" video, entirely rendered with Vue 5 Esprit, at www.e-onsoftware.com/Press/PR.php?date=August%2030,%202004.
Vue 5 Esprit combines ease-of-use and creativity with the latest advances in rendering technology. With a dedicated toolkit for the creation and rendering of realistic scenery, Vue 5 Esprit brings Natural 3D to everyone's hand.
Oscar winning star of the upcoming live-action AEON FLUX feature, Charlize Theron, was injured on the set of the Paramount production, which has put the film in limbo, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The production shut down could last up to six weeks.
The ASSOCIATED PRESS reports that she was injured during a wire-fu stunt. Unit publicist Jeanmarie Carrasco said, "She sustained an injury, and we are closing down for a few weeks so that she can be 100% when she returns. She wasn't hospitalized, but I can't comment on anything specific about her injuries."
Released to retail stores on August 31, 2004, Mel Gibsons controversial film THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST has sold 2.5 million DVD and VHS units within its first 12 hours of release. 20th Century Fox Home Ent. exec said that surprisingly customers were buying more than one copy, averaging 1.8 per person. On its current pace, the film is set to rank up with home entertainment powerhouses SHREK and FINDING NEMO, which sold 6 million units within the first three days of release.
Sporting a custom plastic shell and condensed to eight discs with bonus features, STAR TREK THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (1966), comes repackaged to DVD on Aug. 31, 2004 (Paramount Home Ent. $129.99). All 29 episodes following the adventures of Kirk, Spock and the rest of the Enterprise crew contain remastered picture and sound (Dolby Digital 5.1) and are presented in original broadcast order rather than the production order of the previous DVDs.
On Aug. 29, 2004, MTV handed out its annual Video Music Awards, giving Filmtecknarna and Moneyshots big wins for visual effects. Moneyshots took home the top visual effects prize for its work on OutKasts HEY YA vid. Filmtecknarna celebrates for its work highlighted in the Breakthrough Video winner, Franz Ferdinands TAKE ME OUT.
Quentin Tarantino has said that he plans to bring a combined version of his KILL BILL films to theaters, reports USA TODAY. Spurred by strong DVD sales, Tarantino, who owns the copyright to the full-length version of the film, hopes to have the film in theaters early next year.
"It's not just like slapping the two together," he says. "There are slight changes, and it has an intermission, like a '60s movie."
National Geographic Channel employs some of the best CGI techniques to help explain to viewers how but not always why an unimaginable disaster can happen, from the crash of the Concorde to the Oklahoma City bombing and more in a new series, SECONDS FROM DISASTER, that premieres at 8:00 pm on Aug. 31, 2004 on NGC.
Paramount Pictures is acquiring the worldwide film rights to Midway Games' AREA 51, an action-packed thriller videogame scheduled for release in March 2005 for PlayStation2 and Xbox.
"AREA 51 brings some of the most cutting-edge technology to the gaming world," said Christine Peters (HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS) who will be collaborating with the game developer to produce the film. "Bringing the game's riveting and suspenseful concepts to the big screen will be an exciting motion picture breakthrough."
Eovia Corp. introduced Carrara 4, the powerful, approachable, complete 3D solution, replacing Carrara Studio 3, now available in Pro and Standard versions. Carrara 4 Pro delivers an enhanced breadth of capabilities and power for professionals while Carrara 4 Standard provides the same approachable interface at an even more affordable price for non-experts.
THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST comes to DVD on Aug. 31, 2004 (Fox Home Ent., $29.98) with no bonus features but mastered at the maximum bit rate for optimal picture and audio quality. It is anticipated that a special edition will be release next spring (Easter?) containing a slew of bonus features, including the stellar vfx work done by Keith Vanderlaans Captive Audience Prods. under the supervision of Ted Rae (who also served as 2nd unit director).
MONSOON WEDDING and VANITY FAIR director Mira Nair has offered the chance to direct, HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, reports THE TIMES OF INDIA.
"I'm getting offers to direct HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX. I read it over the weekend. I'm still deciding," she said. "I'm not letting all this go to my head. I'm grounded. I practice detachment, it helps me keep my balance. I'm a Dilliwalli, only an asana gets me on my head! My son Zoharan's excited. I've seen all the HARRY POTTER movies with him."
IMAX is seeing increased success with its digitally remastering technology IMAX DMR on the release of SPIDER-MAN 2: THE IMAX EXPERIENCE as well as a growing presence in China.
Famed director Terry Gilliam seems to not be able to get a flick in theaters these days. With his production of DON QUIXOTE being shut down midway, the BRAZIL helmer moved onto film THE BROTHERS GRIMM, which was originally set to reach theaters fall 2004 then it was moved to February 2005 and now Dimension Films has bumped the fantastic account of the fairy tale writers, The Brothers Grimm, to Nov. 23, 2005.
Ten-year-old acting phenom Dakota Fanning is in negotiations with DreamWorks to headline a series of films based on Lewis Carroll's ALICE IN WONDERLAND and THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The screenplays have been adapted by Les Bohem, who created the Sci Fi Channels epic mini-series TAKEN, which starred Fanning. The effects heavy films will stick very close to the source material. Industry Ent. will produce the film with Mark Sourian and Keith Addis sheparding the project for DreamWorks.
NVIDIA Corp. and the USC School of Cinema-Television have formed a partnership that will provide students training on cutting-edge 3D graphics technology and the ability to graduate with the necessary skills to compete for highly sought-after positions in filmmaking, vfx and animation production, realtime content creation and other interactive industries.