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.
Category: Visual Effects
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.
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.
The STAR WARS trilogy is finally debuting on DVD in a four-disc set on Sept. 21, 2004 from Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Ent. (for an estimated retail price of $50). All three movies, STAR WARS, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and RETURN OF THE JEDI - a.k.a. EPISODES IV, V AND VI - are the special editions that have been digitally restored and remastered. Per George Lucas' request, the original theatrical versions will not be included, to the dismay of many fans.
Upon the success of the networks mini-series, SCI FI Channel has given the go ahead for the production of a new BATTLESTAR GALATICA TV series. Based on the top-rated December miniseries, which was based on the 1970s TV series, the one-hour drama is scheduled to begin production on 13 episodes in Vancouver next month.
Howard Anderson Jr., ASC received the American Society of Cinematographer's Presidents Award at the 18th annual Awards dinner, Feb. 8, 2004, at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles. This tribute is presented annually to an individual who has made unique contributions to the art form. Anderson is a visual effects pioneer who has earned several Oscar nominations, but is best known for his work on the classic television series I LOVE LUCY and STAR TREK. Anderson is a second-generation filmmaker. His father, Howard Anderson, began his career in Hollywood in 1919.
Side Effects Software, developer of the award-winning Houdini family of 3D software, and Syflex LLC, a leader in cloth simulation, announced a Houdini-compatible version of the popular Syflex cloth simulator. Available now as a plug-in for Houdini users on Linux and Windows, the fast and versatile software enhances the Houdini toolset for applications that require highly realistic cloth animations.
3D Awards entries for the 2nd Annual International 3D Awards will close on midnight, Feb. 29, 2004. Instructions and guidelines for submitting to the 3D Awards can be found at www.3dawards.org.
Online image uploads for the following categories 3D Art (still), Architectural Visualization (still) and Design Visualization/Industrial Design are also available at the 3D Awards Website.
Digital Hero trophies will be awarded in the following categories:* Feature Film Visual Effects* Animated Feature Film* Television Visual Effects
Reports state the long-in-the-works fourth installment in the INDIANA JONES series is again on hold. VARIETY reports that creator George Lucas was unhappy with SHAWKSHANK REDEMPTION director Frank Darabont's script. The film was scheduled to hit theaters in the summer of 2005, but 2006 looks like the soonest it could arrive on the big screen. Lucas, director Steven Spielberg and star Harrison Ford have wanted to do another film in the series chronicling an aging adventurer, however, the trio has said they wouldn't do it if they all were not thrilled with the same script.
IMAX Corp. has signed an agreement with Daytona USA, the official attraction of NASCAR, to open a new IMAX 3D theatre alongside the Daytona International Speedway. Scheduled to open in April 2004, the theater will premiere the Warner Bros. Pictures first IMAX 3D film, NASCAR 3D: THE IMAX EXPERIENCE.
Cinematographer Andrew Lesnie (THE RETURN OF THE KING), who was in Los Angeles over the weekend competing at the 18th annual ASC Awards (John Schwartzman won for SEABISCUIT), told VFXWORLD that he will be reuniting with director Peter Jackson to lense the upcoming KING KONG remake -- and that he's very open to shooting in black and white.
Universal Pictures is in final negotiations with AMERICAN SPLENDOR creative duo Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini to write and direct a re-envisioning of the horror classic, BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN. Set to produce the project are Imagine Entertainment's Brian Grazer and Alphaville's Sean Daniel and James Jacks with Universal's Ally Brecker-Shearmur and Imagine's David Bernardi serving as exec producers. The story would be set in modern New York and center around a college student who over time begins to suspect that she died and was resurrected.
An episode of the fantasy series DINOTOPIA has won a Bronze World Medal in the 'Action/Adventure' category at the International Film & Video Awards, part of the New York festivals. The awards were presented on January 30, 2004 along with the Television Programming and Promotions Awards. Framestore CFC created the digital VFX for the episode.
A list of winners in every category can be found at: http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/main.taf?p=3,1
Producing the Future: A Producers Perspective on "Whats Coming Next in Visual Effects?"Los Angeles, California, USAFebruary 11, 2004
New Line Cinema have tapped writers Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow (CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN) to pen the screen adaptation of DC Comics' SHAZAM!. William Goldman (PRINCESS BRIDE) had been working on the script previously. The film would chronicle the easygoing Billy Batson and his superhero alter ego Captain Marvel. Batson changed by saying the word "shazam," giving the attributes to six Greek gods. The character appeared in DC Comics in the 1970s and originally appeared in the 1940s as a Fawcett Comics title.
Radium recently welcomed five new members to its team: head of production Dennis Hoffman, CG supervisor Kirk Cadrette, Inferno artist Jon Wank, digital effects artist Chris Biggs and CG artist/matte painter Darin Hilton.
Stargate Digital, which recently opened a new facility in London, is currently revamping of all the visual effects for Highlander 2, to be released on DVD this spring through Artisan Home Ent.
Creative collective Psyop recently completed LOTTOLAND, a :30 CG animated spot for the Colorado State Lottery via Karsh & Hagen, Denver. The spot began airing late January 2004.
Psyop collaborated with designer Justin Fines to anthropomorphize lotto balls and give them their own parallel world -- a unique ball town. They experimented with different looks and shadings to create a unique dimensional feel and in the end came up with a fresh style of 3D animation and rendering.
Discreet has begun shipping worldwide its non-linear editing and finishing systems, fire 6 and smoke 6. Discreet's editing systems are shaping a new generation of powerful data-centric workflows for digital film, high definition television (HDTV) and standard definition television projects.
First Alias furthered its continuing strategic partnership with Weta Digital, now the 3D graphics technology powerhouse has formed a stronger alliance with Los Angeles-based motion capture production company House of Moves. Alias will develop and integrate House of Moves' Diva software into future versions of Maya.
eyeon Software Inc. announced the availability of its latest courseware series, Edition 2, an integrated system-based learning experience, exploring the tools within Digital Fusion/DFX+ while outlining features, benefits and varying degrees of application. Edition 2 is a valuable resource for anyone looking to broaden their compositing foundation.
Extending its capabilities in feature film post-production, Santa Monica-based Company 3 has hired visual effects editor and artist Rob Doolittle. Doolittle, who previously collaborated with Company 3 on BAD BOYS II, has broad experience in designing and executing VFX for features. Formerly an applications specialist with visual effects hardware manufacturer Quantel, Doolittle also is a leading expert in that company's Generation Q projects used in on-lining for film and high resolution video projects.
Viewers around the world watching the animated simulations of the Mars rovers mission are watching the work of a young, lone animator, using LightWave, to make the mission come to life when communications and cameras arent cooperating. He is Dan Maas, operating out of his own studio, Mass Digital in Ithaca, New York, far from NASA in Texas, JPL in Pasadena and Mars, where the two rover explorers are now carrying out their missions.