With SPIDER-MAN 2 breaking box office records and upping the visual effects stakes, Ellen Wolff chats with supervisor John Dykstra about the superhero's vertiginous flights of fancy and the challenges of integrating Doc Ock's digital and mechanical tentacles.
Category: Visual Effects
Philip Anschutz's Walden Media has left Disney for Fox, reports VARIETY. The AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS producer will team with Fox on five features, including Kate DiCamillo's BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE (due for release January 2005); Katherine Paterson's BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA; Lois Lowry's THE GIVER; Wendy Orr's NIM'S ISLAND; and Adam Mortimer's as-yet-unpublished comicbook proposal BIBLIONAUTS. Unlike the past Disney deal, the Fox agreement is neither exclusive nor constrained by time limits.
Svengali Visual Effects has contributed visual effects to GARDEN STATE, Zach Braffs (NBCs SCRUBS) directorial debut that premiered to critical acclaim at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. Scheduled for release on July 30, 2004 by Fox Searchlight, GARDEN STATE is a dark, romantic comedy set in New Jersey.
Framestore CFC recently completed digital effects work on a new three-spot campaign for BT, highlighting the company's Customer Care program. St. Luke's was the agency on SNOW, FOOTBALL and SOUNDS with Outsider films as the production company. SNOW and FOOTBALL were directed by Dom and Nic with Nick Gordon helming SOUNDS.
MillTv recently completed the effects work on the BBC drama-documentary, THE FIRST OLYMPIANS, which looks at the equipment of early athletes and looks at the recently found remains of an early Olympic participant. MillTv was brought on board to digitally re-build the ancient site of Olympia, complete with games and crowds.
Fox has signed three of four members of the superhero team that will headline the studio's FANTASTIC FOUR feature, reports VARIETY. Taking the lead of Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic will be Iaon Gruffudd, who played Lancelot in KING ARTHUR. THE SHIELD star Michael Chiklis will play Ben Grimm/the Thing and Chris Evans (NOT ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE) is set to play Johnny Storm/the Human Torch.
Producer Tony Adams and Marvel Comics are negotiating a deal to bring Spider-Man to the stage as a musical, reports VARIETY. Reportedly Neil Jordan of CRYING GAME fame would pen the script with music by U2's Bono and The Edge. LION KING stage director and FRIDA film helmer Julie Taymor would take the director's seat on the project.
The Hollywood Post Alliance is presenting the 2004 Summer School Program, a tutorial on post-production. The program will run from July 23 - 24, 2004. The workshop will kick off on July 23 with drinks and hors doeuvres at 6:00 pm followed by as case study on SPIDER-MAN 2 at 7:00 pm.
Oregon3D Inc., The Academy for Digital Arts & Sciences, will be holding a two-day open house scheduled for July 20 and 21, 2004. Technology presentations will focus on game development and design/visualization applications.
Oregon3D's Game Development Day: July 20, 3:00 to 7:00 pmPresenters from Turbo Squid, RTzen, Right Hemisphere and other guest speakers will explore the tools and techniques used to create today's top-selling videogames.
A while back, Bruce Shutan profiled Atomic Visual Effects of South Africa for VFXWORLD. Spurred by a letter to delve further into South Africa's thriving 3D community, Shutan recently interviewed several other vfx and animation studios and various artists to discover why Cape Town is on the verge of becoming the next Sydney, Australia.
Samsung has unveiled a uniquely designed 3D Game Phone that uses the company's established clamshell design that includes a joystick. The game phone (SCH-V450), which comes installed with three games, such as ZIOGOLF (golf game) and METALION (shooting game), allows users to get a full 3D mobile gaming experience heard through dual speakers.
Activision's North American Publishing unit has shipped more than two million units of its SPIDER-MAN 2 videogame timed to the theatrical release of the feature film. The game lets players experience what it's like to be Spider-Man as they web sling from buildings, dive from rooftops to the streets and scale the heights of Manhattan. Players will be able to engage in various missions inspired by the action of the film. The game is available for PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance and PC.
Edmonton's Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital's Syncrude Centre for Motion and Balance has used motion-capture software to help a six-year-old boy walk, reports THE GLOBE AND MAIL. Using the same technology that was used to create Gollum from THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, the hospital's "gait lab" helped doctors determine a surgical strategy to help Quinn Kozlowski, who suffers from cerebral palsy, walk.
Alias announced its full lineup of new Maya Learning Tools to accompany Maya 6, the latest version of its 3D animation and special effects software. Maya Learning Tools are books and DVDs that offer self-paced learning for 3D professionals, students and enthusiasts. Alias will release dozens of DVDs and books in the coming months for a variety of learning levels, many in time for SIGGRAPH (Aug.
Rushes has recently completed the opening title sequence for Touchstone Pictures' KING ARTHUR (opening July 7). Loosely based on the true story that inspired the legend of King Arthur, the film focuses on the history, politics and warfare at the time of the Roman Empire's collapse in 476 AD. The title sequence sets the background from where the films narrative begins. Rushes composited sequences reflecting the passage of the Roman conquest from Samaria in Palestine, throughout Europe and reaching Britannia.
Originally planned to kick off the summer 2005 season, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 3 will now open in theaters on June 29, 2005. Paramount Pictures' move is likely in response to SPIDER-MAN 2's huge box office receipts leading up to the Independence Day holiday in the States. The Tom Cruise starrer will now go head to head with 20th Century Fox's THE FANTASTIC FOUR, which is set to open July 1. Whether Fox will move F4 is yet to be seen, however Fox will be happy that it will now have May 6 all for itself for its Ridley Scott-directed Crusades epic, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
Impact Pictures has announced that its next videogame-turned-feature will be DRIVER, based on Atari's top franchise, reports VARIETY. Impact co-founders Jeremy Bolt and Paul Anderson will produce the film along with Constantin Film's Bernd Eichinger. The script was written by James DeMonaco, Todd Harthan and James Roday. Constantin's L.A. head of production Robert Kulzer will exec produce.
Impact previously translated the RESIDENT EVIL videogame franchise into a film in 2002 and will be following up with the sequel RESIDENT EVIL APOCALYPSE this September.
Imax Corp. is in discussions with Sony Pictures to remaster SPIDER-MAN 2 for release in its large-format theaters, reports VARIETY. Imax is anxious to fill the empty spot in their lineup now that Warner Bros.' has pulled CATWOMAN from Imax because the visual effects won't be done in time to remaster the film for a day-and-date release July 23, 2004.
Twentieth Century Fox and Adobe Systems have teamed to create an interactive, 3D experience for Fox's I, ROBOT Website (www.irobotmovie.com) -- the first motion picture Website to utilize Adobe's Atmosphere technology. The site allows visitors to create and build their own robot, selecting its body parts, color, texture and gender. Visitors can also issue commands that demonstrate the robots mobility and agility. In addition, the site allows visitors to interact with the robots inside the world of I, ROBOT.
Sony's SPIDER-MAN 2 shattered the opening day record yesterday by snaring a stunning $40,442,604M in its web. That's better than SPIDER-MAN's $39.4M debut two years ago, which went on to earn $403.7M as the fifth highest grossing movie of all time. SPIDER-MAN 2 also tagged the best Wednesday opening ever, besting THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING's $34.5M.
Burger King Corp. announced the availability of eight kids meal toys based on Sony Pictures' SPIDER-MAN 2. These Spider-Active toys are Burger King's first premiums with sun-reveal technology that enables a secret Spidey symbol to appear when the toys are in sunlight. The premiums are available at participating Burger King restaurants nationwide with the purchase of a kids meal from June 28, 2004, to Aug. 8, 2004, while supplies last.
VFXWorld ends the month and our focus on education and jobs with an informative school survey that covers everything from core philosophies to evolving tools and curricula to meet the digital demands our ever changing 3D industries. Technology vs. technique. It's always a tough balancing act. Plus Steven Mirkin gets a few helpful hints from vfx houses about what they're looking for in new hires.
Director Tim Burton is busy indeed. Simultaneous to production commencing in London on the stop-motion CORPSE BRIDE, he has also started production in the same city on CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. Based on the classic Roald Dahl novel and filmed once before in 1971 as WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, CHARLIE is a Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures production.