Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM) and The Jim Henson Co. have signed a two-year first-look deal to produce live-action feature films. The Henson-MGM deal came together after a successful relationship working together on the hit family comedy GOOD BOY!, a live-action film produced by Jim Henson Pictures, which one of the most profitable releases for MGM in 2003.
Category: Visual Effects
MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD arrives from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment on April 20, 2004 in its DVD and rental VHS debut. Garnering 10 Academy Award nominations, and taking home the Oscar for both Best Achievement in Cinematography and Best Achievement in Sound Editing, the $90 million box office hit journeys to DVD in a beautifully packaged double-disc Collectors Giftpack.
Softimage Co., a subsidiary of Avid Technology, Inc., has released SOFTIMAGE|XSI4.0 - the latest version of the industry's leading nonlinear 3D production environment and has made it available in three distinct configurations at breakthrough prices: XSI Advanced, XSI Essentials, and the new entry-level XSI Foundation. Version 4.0 delivers advanced toolsets, dramatic performance enhancements, and advancements to the core architecture of the software, including new customization, project management and workgroup capabilities.
In conjunction with NAB, NVIDIA has announced the release of Gelato, the first 3D final-film renderer accelerated by industry-standard graphics hardware; the Quadro FX 4000, a professional graphics solution; and Quadro FX 4000 SDI, a workstation-based graphics solution enabling weather, news, sports and virtual-set broadcast as well as video and film post-production.
Alias, a Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) company, has brought out the next version of its award-winning 3D animation and special effects software Maya 6, featuring hundreds of new features and enhancements requested by Maya users from both large and small organizations working in film, broadcast, game development, digital publishing and visualization markets. These developments can be seen at NAB in Alias suite #S111 at the Las Vegas Convention Center where Maya artists will conduct demos hourly.
Apples new Shake 3.5, features new shape-based morphing and warping tools for advanced compositing and new shape shifting special effects, fine-tuned to take advantage of the performance and architecture of the Power Mac G5 and Mac OS X version 10.3 Panther.
John Malkovich has been added to the cast of THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, Disney's adaptation of the Douglas Adams novel, reported THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Malkovich is set to play religious cult leader Humma Kavula, a character created by Adams exclusively for the long-in-the-making film production. The film is set to start shooting this month in London, with former commercials director Garth Jennings helming.
Discreet has announced accelerating momentum amongst broadcasters and post-production facilities around the world purchasing Discreet systems to deliver on their standard-definition (SD) and high-definition (HD) requirements. From Madrid to Mumbai, and New York to Los Angeles, broadcasters are relying on Discreet's systems to create sophisticated programming, including graphics, promos, commercials and episodics.
Artbeats, an industry leader in royalty-free stock footage for film, video and multimedia professionals, today announced it would release its new Ultra collections at the 2004 National Assn. of Broadcasters Convention (NAB). Featuring captivating slow motion imagery, Artbeats' Ultra collections offer an entirely new perspective to fire, water and motion, and provide some of the most unique royalty-free footage available at this year's NAB.
Visual Circuits will unveil the first multi-channel, high definition video player, Mantis MC, at NAB 2004 in the Focus Enhancements booth, SL3501. Designed around Visual Circuits' Gemini 2 Universal Media Card, Mantis MC integrates 32-bit accelerated graphics with high definition (HD) video, and scrolling text; supporting Multi-Zone playback and offering extreme flexibility in digital media file integration on one or two display channels.
NAB 2004 has joined forces with the Entertainment Technology Center at USC to present a next generation Digital Cinema Summit on April 18 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, highlighted by a case study of the digital tools used on the upcoming VAN HELSING.
The schedule is as follows:
WHAT DO CINEMATOGRAPHERS NEED? (9:30 am - 10:00 am)
The Visual Effects Society (VES) will present VES 2004, its sixth annual Festival of Visual Effects, June 18-20 in San Rafael, California. The three-day event at The Rafael Film Center features presentations and panels headed by visual effects supervisors and their teams, which focus on vfx and how they enhance the storytelling process.
In a story that will never die, Morgan Creek has announced that it will release both the Paul Schrader and Renny Harlin versions of its EXORCIST prequel on DVD, reported VARIETY. Schrader was the original director on the project, but his version was not the fright fest Morgan Creek was looking for. The production house then hired Renny Harlin to punch up the film, which led to an almost entire re-shoot of the film with a revamped screenplay.
The Orphanage has been tapped to finish more than 45 vfx shot on Fox's THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW before it hits theaters May 28, 2004. Orphanage visual effects supervisor Remo Balcells and visual effects producer Jody Echegaray will oversee a team of 60 effects wizards, creating digital environments, character animation and particle simulations. Marc Sadeghi will serve as exec producer for Orphanage. Digital Domain and ILM are the chief fx shops on the film.
KILL BILL VOL. 1 slew the competition on April 13, 2004 by selling 2 million combined units on DVD and video in North America.
Rick Sands, Miramax coo, said, "We are thrilled by the response from consumers to KILL BILL VOL. 1. It is an extraordinary achievement and reaffirms that Quentin's films are true movie events. The strong sales confirm that the DVD is sought after not only by Quentin's loyal following, but also by a wide range of movie fans across the country."
Warner Bros. has announced that HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE will be released in theaters Nov. 18, 2005, reported Zap2It.com. However, VFXWorld has learn from WB that the production team was not set a firm date for the film's release. Directed by Mike Newell (FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL), the fourth film in the popular series will go into production later this year. Unlike the other POTTER films that begin with Harry at his aunt and uncle Dursley's house, this film will kick off with Harry and friends attending the International Quidditch Cup.
Los Angeles ACM SIGGRAPH Presents: The Visual Effects of 'The Last Samurai'Los Angeles, California, USAApril 14, 2004
The recently released PANIC ROOM three-disc special edition (Columbia TriStar Home Ent. $39.95) sets a whole new standard in virtual film school education on DVD. Director David Fincher reveals his obsession with details, which is a prevalent theme throughout the individual commentary tracks that accompany the slick-looking thriller on disc one. The second disc focuses on pre-production, particularly the groundbreaking previs animated storyboards utilized by previs supervisor Ron Frankel.
Buy KILL BILL, VOL. 1 on DVD April 13 (Miramax Home Ent., $29.99) and watch it again or for the first time before checking out VOL 2 in theaters this weekend. That was always the shrewd marketing plan and, if Quentin Tarantino has his way there will be an anime prequel in the future. For now, enjoy the orgasmic blood and gore of this Hong Kong samurai/spaghetti western homage with left for dead assassin Uma Thurman getting her revenge. Splashy color, anime (from Production I.G.) a climactic swordfight in black and white (to appease the MPAA), flashbacks, flashforwards - it's a '70s dream.
New Wave Ent., one of Hollywood's largest entertainment marketing companies, has purchased and installed 30 Avid Media Composer Adrenaline systems running on HP xw8000 workstations, replacing its entire suite of competitive editing solutions.
New York University is hosting the first Camp/Game: Intensive Video Game Creation this summer, from July 6 to August 6, 2004. The summer camp is geared toward high school seniors and undergraduate students (17-25) interested in learning the finer points of the videogame industry. Camp/Game is created and run by the Division of Entertainment, Technology, Digital Arts and Design (ETDAD), part of NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS).
In its seventh week in release, Mel Gibson's THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST jumped back to number one with $15.2M, thanks to the Easter holiday weekend ended April 11, 2004. So far, the biblical epic (with vfx by Keith Vanderlaan's Captive Audience) has racked up a phenomenal $353M to place eighth on the all-time list.
Imagineer Systems will be debuting monet, its new product for broadcast, film and video post-production, for the first time at NAB in Las Vegas April 19-22. monet is a start-to-finish solution for inserting images (moving and still) into moving footage, with a combination of tools that allow artists to handle everything for complex logo replacements, product packaging alterations and product placement into moving footage, whether it be DV, SD, HD or film.