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Category: Visual Effects

Headline News Robert Rodriguez to Helm Sin City Feature

Robert Rodriguez (SPY KIDS franchise, ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO) has signed on to direct the screen adaptation of Frank Miller's classic crime saga, SIN CITY. The feature will be based on the three graphic novels SIN CITY, THAT YELLOW BASTARD and THE BIG FAT KILL. Rodriguez and Elizabeth Avellan will produce the project through their Troublemaker Studios. Andrew Rona and Brad Weston, co-presidents of Dimension, will oversee the project for the studio.

Headline News Digital Pioneer Cohen Joins Ascent

Steven B. Cohen, a pioneer in digital technologies used to edit and screen feature films, has joined Ascent Media Creative Services in the newly created post of vp of feature film services. In his new role, Cohen will develop leading edge digital services for use in film production; including digital dailies, location and studio screening rooms, digital cinema previews and the digital intermediate process.

Headline News The Passion Nails Opening Day Record

Mel Gibson's THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST exceeded all projections, grabbing a whopping $26,556,573 on Wednesday, nailing the biggest opening day gross for a movie released outside of summer and holiday seasons, even subtracting the $3M from private church group screenings on Monday and Tuesday that were lumped in by indie distributor Newmarket.

Headline News Die Hard & Spy Hunter Producers Obtain Sword of Dracula Comic

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 25, 2004 at 12:00am

Daybreak Prods' Chuck Gordon and Prime Universe Prods' Adrian Askarieh have gained the feature rights to Jason Henderson comicbook series SWORD OF DRACULA from Image Comics, reported Icv2.com. Gordon's credits include the DIE HARD movies and Askarieh is producing of the forthcoming SPY HUNTER, based on the classic computer game. No director, writer or cast has been announced for the project yet.

Headline News New Line Acquires Inkheart Children's Book

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 25, 2004 at 12:00am

Every studio is looking for its own HARRY POTTER series and New Line is putting its hopes in German children's fantasy tale, INKHEART. VARIETY reported that after a lengthy negotiation process, New Line has obtained the rights to develop author Cornelia Funke's book into a feature franchise. This deal will extend to any future books in what is planned to be a trilogy.

Headline News Underworld 2 To Start Lensing This Fall

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 25, 2004 at 12:00am

Screen Gems and Lakeshore Ent. have announced they will start production on UNDERWORLD 2 in fall 2004, reported VARIETY. Stars Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman are expected to return as the vampire and werewolf in love. Director Len Wiseman will return with original scriptwriter Danny McBride, scheduled to turn in a screenplay by April. Wiseman and McBride sold the original spec script to Screen Gems, which was given a budget of $24 million and went on to gross $51 million in the U.S.

Headline News Digital Musings From the Editor:

As February comes to a close, so does the awards season, with the Academy Awards taking place on Sunday, the 29th, thanks to leap year. Will it be the momentous coronation of RETURN OF THE KING, the final breathtaking installment of Peter Jackson's ambitious LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy? That's the prognosis.

Headline News RTzen Readies RT/shader Release

RTzen announced the arrival of RT/shader, a visual shader, editing tool for production artists, technical artists and programmers. RTZen believes it represents the next milestone in realtime hardware shader development, since artists return to the role of primary author of shaders for realtime applications. RT/shader, which will officially launch at GDC for $1,995, uses a patent-pending technology to automatically create high-level shader language code while the user assembles the shader from standard visual components such as texture, reflection and brightness.

Headline News Project Dogwaffle Offers Free 2.0b Patch

Project Dogwaffle, the award-winning paint software program, which recently launched v.2, has now announced a 2.0b patch with more speed, mouse caching, new plug-ins and bug fixes. The patch requires Dogwaffle 2.0 already installed on your PC and checks for its validity.

It is a free patch. The size is about 1.25 MB.

Go to www.thebest3d.com/dogwaffle/freebies/2dot0b.html for downloading instructions.

Headline News Boll A Far Cry From Another Game Film

German firm Boll KG, lead by producer/director Uwe Boll, has picked up the rights to bring another game, FAR CRY, to the big screen, reported HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The company adapted HOUSE OF THE DEAD in 2003 and is in post-production on ALONE IN THE DARK with BLOODRAYNE and HUNTER: THE RECKONING in development for 2005. FAR CRY is a first person shooter game from Germany's Crytek. The picture is budgeted at $25 million and should start filming next year in a tropical setting. Michael Roesch and Peter Scheerer, who adapted ALONE, will write the script.

Headline News Satellite Service to Link Company 3, R!OT Santa Monica & Encore

Ascent Media is launching a new set of services that allow advertising agencies to work with the world's best post-production talent-without leaving their hometown. UP Sessions enables Ascent Media clients to participate in telecine sessions, and other picture critical finishing work, from remote sites in realtime while interacting with the artists performing the work. UP Sessions encompasses three different products that facilitate virtual collaboration: UP Satellite, UP Fiber and UP Web.

Headline News Spy Kids 3-D is Definitely Not Game Over on DVD

Not content with his theatrical 3D experiment, Robert Rodriguez has fine-tuned SPY KIDS 3-D - GAME OVER for DVD (Walt Disney Home Video, $29.99), which streets on Feb. 24, 2004, making it even more dynamic in the home theater. Thanks to James Cameron's revolutionary 3D camera that he developed for GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS and his upcoming feature, Rodriguez was able to utilize more 3D effects than he originally intended.

Headline News Cat in the Hat Comes Back on DVD

Universal will be releasing DR. SEUSS' THE CAT IN THE HAT, based on the classic children's book, on DVD and VHS March 16, 2004. The pricing for the release is $26.98 SRP/$19.95 MAP for DVD and $24.98 SRP/$15.95 MAP for VHS. The film was directed by MEN IN BLACK production designer Bo Welch and produced by THE GRINCH producer Brian Grazer.

Interactive DVD exclusives include:

Headline News Ex'pression Students Create VES Awards Short Honoring George Lucas

Ex'pression College for Digital Arts' students from its 3D animation and visual effects program created a film short to be honoring George Lucas for his Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's Visual Effects Society (VES) Awards on February 18, 2004 in Hollywood.

Headline News Elektra Gets Life with X-Files Director

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, February 19, 2004 at 12:00am

With the future of the DAREDEVIL franchise in the dark, Fox and Regency Enterprises are moving ahead with the production of ELEKTRA with negotiations beginning with director Rob Bowman, reported VARIETY. Jennifer Garner has already signed on to reprise her role as the Greek assassin. DAREDEVIL helmer Mark Steven Johnson along with his Horseshoe Bay partner Gary Foster will be producing the film. Marvel's patron saint of production Avi Arad will also be producing. Bowman previously directed the feature X-FILES film and REIGN OF FIRE.

Headline News Lord of the Rings King of 2004 VES Awards

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING took home four honors, including Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Motion Picture, at the second annual VES Awards held last night at a black-tie gala at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award to filmmaker George Lucas by Academy Award-winning director James Cameron. SMALLVILLE had two big wins as did PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL and THE MATRIX RELOADED.

Headline News Miramax Taps Kevin Smith for Green Hornet

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 18, 2004 at 12:00am

Miramax has signed indie king Kevin Smith (CLERKS) to write and direct a feature film version of THE GREEN HORNET, reported VARIETY. The script should be finished by late summer and the studio hopes to have the film ready as a summer tentpole in 2005. Universal had long been developing the film until it sold the rights to Miramax in 2002 for $3 million.

Headline News Digital Musings From The Editor:

Welcome to the launch of The VFXNewswire, the weekly newsletter devoted to all things creatively and technically 3D. Like AWN's sister newsletters, Animation FLASH and AWN SPOTLIGHT, VFXNewswire is designed to keep you up to date on the latest news, articles, events, jobs, announcements and resources from the 3D world of visual effects and computer animation contained within the comprehensive VFXWorld site. VFXNewsire is also our first HTML-based newsletter.

Headline News Techies Put On The Ritz At Oscar Ceremony

Technical wizards receiving honors in the first bout of Oscar awards were displaced from their usually PRETTY WOMAN hotel, the Beverly Wilshire, and had to spend their Valentines Day on Feb. 14, 2004, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Pasadena to receive their awards.

Headline News KromA Turns Britney Spears Toxic

For Britney Spears new music video TOXIC, KromA was assigned the duty of creating a computer-animated stunt double of singer as part of a huge package of animation and effects. In a tight schedule of less than three weeks, the studio created a virtual Paris and London street scenes and a 3D security tunnel environment where Spears performs back-flips to dodge laser beams.

Headline News FrameForge 3D Studio Previs Available for Mac OS

San Diego, California-based Innoventive Software LLC announced immediate availability of their dual-OS CD Windows/Macintosh version of FrameForge 3D Studio, the first 3D previsualization storyboard software with real-world multi-camera control. This cutting edge software provides a new way for directors, filmmakers and other creatives to explore, plan and display visual design ideas for presentation or shooting live on set.

Headline News Perception Creates 'Countdown Campaign' for Sopranos' Fifth Season

To promote the fifth season of THE SOPRANOS, due to begin in March, HBO built on its ongoing relationship with New York's design/post boutique Perception to create a "countdown campaign." The promo campaign, which is part of the HBO's first quarter subscription drive, will air on most television networks beginning in February.

"In addition to promoting THE SOPRANOSwe've been doing their quarterly campaigns for the last year-and-a-half or so," says Brendan Werner, editorial director at Perception.

Headline News WB Stakes Angel

The WB announced it has cancelled the BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER spin-off ANGEL after five seasons on the air. With nine episodes left in the season, the announcement was released early to allow "the show's creators time to wrap up the season appropriately." The cancellation doesn't spell the complete end of the character, which the network might give special movie events to next year.

Headline News Cinesite (Europe) Ltd Hitches Ride on 'Guide to The Galaxy'

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, February 12, 2004 at 12:00am

Cinesite (Europe) Ltd. has been awarded the digital effects contract for THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY (Hammer and Tongs, Walt Disney), which begins shooting at Elstree Studios in April 2004. The f/x house plans to start work on the 300-plus effects shots by the end of summer 2004. Cinesite's Sue Rowe will be providing on-set visual effects supervision for the production.

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