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Category: Visual Effects

Headline News A Second Chance for Big Fish on DVD

Tim Burton's underrated BIG FISH, the imaginative and heartfelt father-son drama starring Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney, is sure to find renewed life on DVD (Columbia TriStar Home Ent., $28.95) when it's released on April 27, 2004. The Alabama-based yarn about reality and fantasy and the nature of storytelling features some slight yet effective vfx from Sony Imageworks, and represents the director's first foray into the world of Digital Intermediate, which is used marvelously during the fantasy sequences.

Headline News Sci Fi To Air Van Helsing Special

On May 2, 2004 at 10:00 pm, Sci Fi Channel delves deep into the legend of vampire hunter Van Helsing in the one-hour original special VAN HELSING: THE MAN AND THE MONSTERS. In addition to a behind-the-scenes look at Universal's upcoming feature VAN HELSING, the special will also explore the myths that surround vampires, werewolves, Frankenstein that inspired the story. VAN HELSING: THE MAN AND THE MONSTERS also features an exclusive interview with the film's star Hugh Jackman and a first look at one of the movie's scenes.

Headline News VES Appoints Roth As New Director

The Visual Effects Society (VES) has appointed Eric Roth as the organization's new exec director to replace founding exec director Tom Atkin. Roth brings more than 15 years of strategic management, communications and public affairs experience to his new position. Through his work as the former executive director of L.A. Works, Los Angeles' premier volunteer action center, Roth also gained critical working knowledge of the non-profit sector.

Headline News Saturn V and Apollo 15 DVDs Soar into Space

Two new Spacecraft Film treasures, THE MIGHTY SATURNS: SATURN V (EXTENDED COLLECTOR'S EDITION) and APOLLO 15: MAN MUST EXPLORE (EXTENDED COLLECTOR'S EDITION), are now available in separate three-disc and six-disc sets (Fox Home Ent., $49.98 and $89.98). They are the latest in the most comprehensive collection every assembled to chronicle NASA's early space missions. Developed and produced by film historian Mark Gray, they contain full-length TV transmissions and complete inventories of onboard film.

Headline News da Vinci's Inaugural Master Colorist Awards Announced

da Vinci Systems named the winners of the inaugural Master Colorist Awards competition, comprised of four categories, including TV and long form, theatrical release, commercial and music video reels. The awards recognize colorists' innovative and skillful use of da Vinci's film enhancement and restoration tools.

Headline News ILM Selects Angstrom Microsystems for Next Generation Render Farm

Angstrom Microsystems will be deploying Titan64 SuperBlade rendering servers at Industrial Light & Magic. These blade servers are powered by AMD Opteron processors to provide maximum performance and scalability of the rendering server farm. ILM is using the Titan64 SuperBlade servers to enable a significantly more complex and faster generation of movie vfx.

Headline News MASTERSFX Promotes Rebert to FX Producer

MASTERSFX has promoted Dan Rebert to the new position of FX producer. The company is involved in the production of special effects for KINGDOM HOSPITAL, SIX FEET UNDER, STARGATE SG-1 and STARGATE ATLANTIS, among several others.

Rebert originally joined MASTERSFX in 2000 as art director and shop supervisor. Since joining MASTERSFX, he has worked on numerous projects and continues to explore and develop new effects technology.

Headline News Shuffle Names Bando Exec Producer

Shuffle Inc., an international television commercial production company with offices in Venice, California, and Tokyo, Japan, has named David Bando as its new exec producer.

In his new position, Bando will work with advertising agencies and Shuffle directors on the production of TV commercials worldwide. He will oversee all aspects of television show and TV commercial production, as well as post-production, and will also be responsible for the companys expansion and development of its TV commercial division and overall growth.

Headline News Hartwick Tapped to Head New Fox VFX Department

Joe Hartwick, Twentieth Century Fox's president of physical production, has been upped to oversee a new vfx department at the studio, given the high volume of effects-laden event films and the need to shift priorities and streamline costs. Hartwick will not only coordinate the visual effects needs of all Fox films, but also serve as liaison for the effects houses collaborating with them.

Headline News Peter Jackson Attached to Lovely Bones

After KING KONG, Peter Jackson and partners Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens are eyeing Alice Sebold's bestselling novel, THE LOVELY BONES, reports VARIETY. Closer in tone to Jackson's HEAVENLY CREATURES than LORD OF THE RINGS, BONES tells the story of a deceased 14-year-old girl who looks down from heaven to watch her grieving family and find the person who raped and murdered her.

Headline News Darren Aronfosky To Direct Watchmen

Darren Aronfosky is being named as the director of WATCHMEN, reports AIN'T IT COOL NEWS. The site says that Aronfosky will tackle the classic graphic novel after he finishes THE FOUNTAIN. David Hayter (X-MEN, X2: X-MEN UNITED) has written the screenplay for the film.

Headline News Iron Man Gets X-Men Screenwriter

David Hayter (X-MEN, X2: X-MEN UNITED) has been hired to rewrite IRON MAN for New Line Cinema, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (TV's SMALLVILLE) wrote the previous draft. The Marvel comic told the story of billionaire industrialist Tony Stark, who creates an armored suit allowing him to fly and shoot repulsor rays. The comic began in the 1960s and brought Iron Man up against the Viet Cong, however the film will take place in a modern setting.

Headline News Sky Captain Now Bound for Sept. 17

Caught in the tight web of SPIDER-MAN 2, which has been pushed up to June 30, 2004, Paramount Pictures has decided to postpone the release of SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW from June 25 to Sept. 17, which gives the experimental CG adventure more time to find its audience, according to the studio.

Headline News Orphanage Announces Free Plug-Ins for Adobe After Effects

The Orphanage, whose recent vfx efforts include HELLBOY and the upcoming THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, will release a key piece of its visual effects technology to the public. Called eLin, the software consists of a suite of plug-ins and scripts for Adobe After Effects 6.5 that allow compositors to work in the expanded photographic color space of film. eLin will be free of charge for non-commercial use.

Headline News Donnie Darko Returns to Theaters with New F/X

Newmarket Films has announced that it will be releasing in theaters a new director's cut of sci-fi cult favorite DONNIE DARKO, reports VARIETY. The new version will include 21 minutes of footage not in the original release and beefed up visual effects. The new cut will debut May 29 at the Seattle Film Festival then roll out in theaters slowly starting in July. The original theatrical release in 2001 only grossed $517,375, but the film has found a cult following on DVD, grossing $10 million.

Headline News MGM & Jim Henson Co. Sign Two-Year Pact

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.

Headline News Master And Commander Sails Onto DVD & U.S. Armed Forces Broadcast

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.

Headline News Adobe Announces New Versions of Audition & Premiere Pro

Adobe Systems Inc. has announced new versions of its audio editing, mixing, and mastering software Audition and its video editing software Premiere Pro. Audition and Premiere Pro are core components of the Adobe Video Collection 2.5, which also includes After Effects 6.5 and Adobe Encore DVD 1.5.

Headline News Alias Brings Out Maya 6 at NAB

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.

Headline News Apple Shakes Out 3.5 Tools

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.

Headline News Softimage Releases XSI V. 4.0

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.

Headline News NVIDIA Makes Three Big Product Announcements At NAB

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.

Headline News Malkovich Hitches Ride on 'Guide to the Galaxy'

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.

Headline News Global Demand Grows for Discreet Systems

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.

Headline News Artbeats Releases New Ultra Collections at NAB 2004

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.

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