Tom Atkin told VFXWorld that he will be stepping down as founding exec director of the Visual Effects Society (VES) because he's come to the realization that "the goal is accomplished and there is nothing more that I can do at this level. Now that I've built this organization, it's time to turn it over to the membership to dictate future policies, goals and business plans."
Category: Visual Effects
Artisan Entertainment has announced that upcoming release on August 27, 2004 of the feature film rendition of Marvel Comics MAN-THING. Produced by Marvel Studios and Fierce Entertainment in association with German equity fund Screenland Movieworld, the film just wrapped production after an eight-week shoot in Sydney, Australia. Effects pioneer Brett Leonard (THE LAWNMOWER MAN, T-REX BACK TO THE CRETACEOUS) directed the film. Hans Rodionoff (THE HOLLOW) adapted the comic for the screen.
Tom Atkin has decided to step aside as founding exec director of the Visual Effects Society (VES) at the end of his current contract on July 31, 2004. Atkin said he is returning to his entrepreneurial roots. He founded VES in 1993 and helped guide its growth to its current 900 global members, nine festivals worldwide and an annual awards show. The VES will begin the search for a successor. "I have been so honored to be a part of the Visual Effects Society for the past 10 years," Atkin said. "My passion for this organization is equivalent to the child I never had.
RAI Trade held a special launch reception for its new edutainment series, AMAZING HISTORY, at its stand during MIPCOM. The series strives to explain, in an entertaining manner for kids and adults, great historical events via live-action and lots of computer graphics, narrated by 3D animated hosts Mr. Chan, an alien from Mars, and Betty the sheep. They are tutored by the impeccable Prof.
Bauhaus Software Inc. has announced it has begun shipping Mirage 1.0, a unified environment for creating animated graphics and special effects. The Mirage environment provides a diverse toolset and a centralized workflow for animated graphics, 2D animation and special effects creation. It was designed for projects of any resolution, ranging from HDTV and film to Web video.
Adobe Systems Inc. has announced the release of the new, full version of Adobe Atmosphere, a powerful professional authoring tool for creating multimedia rich, interactive 3D environments for the Web and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files. With the easy-to-use creation and productivity features in Atmosphere, Web designers and digital document creators - in the arts, e-commerce, entertainment and education - can quickly deliver realistic, high-impact, interactive environments.
The highly anticipated DVD release of CHARLIE'S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE streets Oct. 21, 2003 in both theatrical and un-rated versions (Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, $27.94). Directed once again by McG and starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu, the sequel capitalizes on more creative stunts, sexy costumes and a pulsating soundtrack.
Responding to the rapid growth in its visual effects and high definition divisions, R!OT Manhattan has boosted its staff through several key personnel moves. Luis Ribeiro has been promoted to the newly created post of exec producer, and Susan Giattino to business manager. Ribeiro previously held the title of sr producer; Giattino was production manager. Additionally, the company has hired Angela Botta as sales representative and Colleen Garvey as producer.
nPower Software has released version 2.5 of Power Booleans for 3ds max / viz, including 6.0 of 3ds max. Power Booleans 2.5 also introduces new functionality, and provides bug fixes for reported problems. The popular Power Booleans plug-in extends 3ds max with powerful, accurate and fun polygonal Boolean operations. Power Booleans is powered by POPLib, a powerful polygonal modeling kernel from IntegrityWare.
mental images has just completed a $6 million investment round led by ViewPoint Ventures and another large international private equity investor to expand its product offerings to include the 3D collaboration platform, RealityServer. The transaction was managed by ViewPoint Capital Partners. The company will also expand its U.S. operation in San Francisco.
Multi-Emmy Award winner Chris Zapara (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER) has been named a supervising visual effects artist at Eden FX, having recently worked as a 3D supervisor at Zoic Studios. He produced models, animation and vfx for the finale of the hit show. Before that he was a 3D supervisor with Area 51 (2000-2003), where he produced animation and vfx for DUNE and CHILDREN OF DUNE, for which he received Emmys.
With great fanfare, the INDIANA JONES trilogy comes to DVD Oct. 21, 2003 (Paramount Home Entertainment, $49.95) in a handsome four-disc set. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (now bearing the INDIANA JONES AND THEmoniker), INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM and INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE have never looked or sounded better at home. They've been digitally cleaned up by Lowry Digital Images and remastered by THX. And the extras on disc 4 are like archaeological treasures.
Universal Pictures has promoted John Swallow to evp of production technology. He will continue to report to presidents of production Mary Parent and Scott Stuber. Swallow was named svp of production technology for Universal in January 1998, having first joined the studio in Nov. 1996 as vp of production technology. Over the years, he has been responsible for supervising the production technology for such films as THE GRINCH, THE MUMMY, THE MUMMY RETURNS, THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK, THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS and OCTOBER SKY.
The Emmy Award-winning TAKEN, produced by DreamWorks Television and exec produced by Steven Spielberg, was Sci Fi Channel's highest rated program ever. The 10-part miniseries comes to DVD Oct. 21, 2003 in a lavish five-disc set (DreamWorks Home Entertainment, $89.95). Spanning 50 years of habitual alien abductions among three American families, TAKEN expands on many of the themes Spielberg first introduced in CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, obviously with a stronger emphasis on family.
Artbeats has announced the expansion of its royalty-free stock footage library. The new collections include high-quality images that include: Chicago Aerials, Mountain Peaks, Middle East, Rural Lifestyles, Sharks, Winter Lifestyles and Winter Scenes.
With declining profits this year in entertainment and electronics, Sony Corp. has ordered Sony Pictures Entertainment to layoff as many as 300 employees throughout its key business groups at the Culver City, California-based studio, including Sony Pictures, both domestic and international TV units and Sony Pictures Digital, the LOS ANGELES TIMES reported. The layoffs, which have already begun, could save as much as $75 million a year. Last week, Sony Pictures 73-year-old chairman John Calley announced his retirement.
In two noteworthy spots by ad agency Colby & Partners, the artists at Ring of Fire completed graphics, CGI and design work for two new Suzuki spots titled, BIG ON STYLE and FAMILY ADVENTURE. Featuring the new Verona mid-size sedan and the XL-7 SUV, Colby & Partners called on the expertise of Coppos director Jeffrey Karoff and Ring of Fire artists to execute the spots, which contain billboards and signs that highlight the features and attributes of these new vehicles.
Whether you were mesmerized or mystified by THE MATRIX RELOADED, you get another chance to experience the Wachowski brothers second installment on this sharp and lavish DVD, available Oct. 14, 2004 (Warner Home Video, $29.95). As far as value-added features, the 30-minute doc on the impressive 12-minute freeway chase (courtesy of ESC Entertainment and Animal Logic Films) is all we get in terms of any vfx depth.
San Francisco-based RE:Vision Effects has issued a major upgrade for Twixtor Pro, their acclaimed retiming solution, for Discreet's combustion 3, as well as RE:Flex, a warping and morphing solution.
Adobe Systems Inc., a leader in network publishing, announced Adobe Atmosphere Player for Adobe Reader, a free download for viewing and interacting with Atmosphere environments embedded in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) documents. The Player allows users to navigate and interact with objects in realtime, within a 3D space, replicating the sensation of being in a specific environment, such as an art gallery, a concert venue or a storybook world.
On Wednesday, October 8, 2003, NBC and Vivendi Universal made official the merger of their entertainment businesses. Newly named NBC Universal joins the ranks of Time Warner, Disney and Viacom. The new mega-conglom will control a broadcast network (NBC), various cable entities (USA, CNBC, Bravo, MSNBC, Telemundo, SCI-FI and Trio), a film and television studio (Universal Pictures and Television) and theme parks (Universal Studios Hollywood and Orlando).
Vfx artist Alex Brodie of Company 3 Santa Monica applied his subtle touch to BABY BOY, the new video from Beyoncé, helping to create a seductive setting for the sultry singer's duet with reggae rapper Sean Paul. Brodie enhanced virtually every scene in the video, affecting lighting and making numerous image manipulations, including adding to the "harem" that surrounds Paul in one of the video's most memorable scenes. BABY BOY, currently topping MTV's TRL Top10, is from Beyoncé's new album Dangerously In Love on Columbia.
Visual effects studio Moneyshots (www.moneyshotspost.com) of Santa Monica, California recently completed design and compositing work on WASTING MY TIME, a music video from London artists Kosheen, the second release off their Kokopelli album on the Moksha/BMG label.
Rhythm & Hues, the famed 15-year-old vfx house, will take part in The Australian Effects and Animation Festival (AEAF), scheduled for Dec. 7-10, 2003 at the Sydney Convention Center, Darling Harbor.
Some of the forthcoming titles Rhythm & Hues is contributing vfx include AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS and THE CAT IN THE HAT, for which it will produce 270 shots of CG animation and vfx.