Despite its lack of awards recognition from the vfx community, SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW was definitely last years boldest CG experiment. Shot entirely against bluescreen, Kerry Conrans homage to comicbook and film lore has arrived on DVD (Paramount Home Ent., $29.99).
Category: Visual Effects
Avid Technology Inc. announced the worldwide availability of Avid Alienbrain Studio 7.1 asset management software, offering increased support for creative teams developing complex CG games, 3D simulation programs and animated film projects.
Paramount Pictures and Nick Movies have hired Robin Williams to star in a screen adaptation of the preschool book THE KRAZEES, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Sam Swope wrote and Eric Brace illustrated the book, which follows a young girl who encounters on polka-dotted krazees that emerge on gloomy days. Derek Guiley and David Schneiderman (CHASING LIBERTY) have the task of adapting the screenplay, which will include a new character for Williams to play.
Marvels MAN-THING feature will skip theaters and debut on Sci Fi Channel in April, reports FANGORIA. The Lions Gate Films and Marvel Studios flick was schedule to hit the big screen in August. Lions Gate will then release the film on DVD June 14, 2005. The horror story chronicles a man who is transformed into a swamp creature and wrecks havoc on humans. Brett Leonard directed the film.
Pipelinefx, a leading provider of enterprise renderfarm management software for 3D animation and interactive entertainment, has closed its Series A investment round led by Hawaii venture capital firm PacifiCap Group Llc. Several members of the UH Angel investment network also participated in the transaction.
BOXX Technologies announced that its HD [pro] RT workstations, coupled with Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects and CineForms Prospect HD running on Microsoft Windows XP, fueled the post-production pipeline and DI workflow for the upcoming DUST TO GLORY documentary about the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 race.
Following the successful introduction of its line of PCI-Express products in the consumer desktop PC market, NVIDIA Corp. has launched NVIDIA nForce Professional media and communications processors (MCPs), the industry's only PCI-Express core-logic solutions for AMD Opteron processor-based server and workstation platforms.
Columbia Pictures has announced that Wes Bentley (AMERICAN BEAUTY) has been cast as Blackheart in the upcoming GHOST RIDER feature, reports VARIETY. DAREDEVIL helmer Mark Steven Johnson will direct the film based on the Marvel comic, which chronicles the adventures of stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) who pacts with Mephistopheles to save his true loveís life. Blackheart is Mephistopheles's son as well as chief nemesis. Michael De Luca, Avi Arad, Gary Foster and Ari Arad are producing. Shane Salerno wrote the script with rewrites by Johnson and David S. Goyer.
New Line Cinema has secured the directing serves of James Wong for FINAL DESTINATION 3, reports PRODUCTION WEEKLY. Wong helmed the original film, which he co-wrote with Glen Morgan and Jeffrey Reddick. Based on a script by Wong and Morgan, the third installment follows high school students Wendy Christensen and Kevin Fischer as they try and stop Death from killing off the survivors of a roller coaster accident. FINAL DESTINATION 2 was directed by David R. Ellis and written by J. Mackye Gruber and Eric Bress.
Fox 2000 has bought the film rights to U.K. author Michelle Paver's six-part children's fantasy book series CHRONICLES OF DARKNESS for Fox-based Scott Free Prods., reports VARIETY. Ridley Scott and Erin Upson are set to produce. Paver reportedly received $250,000 against $1 million for the first book, WOLF BROTHER, and is negotiating option fees for the five additional books. U.S. book rights holder HarperCollins Children's Books will release the first book in the States Feb. 15, 2005. The first book was a best seller for publishing house Orion in the U.K.
BOXX Technologies is now offering the BOXX 3200 workstation based on the AMD Athlon 64 and AMD Athlon 64 FX-55 processors, the NVIDIA nForce 4 chipset, dual PCIe x16 SLI capable slots, 3Gb/s SATA and expandable internal storage to 4TB. The BOXX 3200 workstation is the first in a series of high-performance workstations.
Visual effects supervisor, inferno artist and designer Aron Baxter has left his post with Nice Shoes to join sister facility Guava. The move is the first step in a new expansion effort at Guava. The studio expects to make significant additions to its creative staff and technical resources early in 2005. With Baxter moving to Guava, Nice Shoes has promoted inferno artist John Shea from a nighttime position to days.
Director Robert Zemeckis will team up with PULP FICTION producer Roger Avary and comic legend Neil Gaiman to bring the old English poem, BEOWULF to the big screen. The film will utilize performance capture technology like Zemeckis used on POLAR EXPRESS. Zemeckis will direct the film from a script by Avary and Gaiman with Steve Bingís Shangri-La Ent. producing. Shangri-La is in negotiations with Sony Pictures Ent. to distribute all its films. Producers will include Zemeckis, Steve Starkey and Jack Rapke.
An updated integration plug-in for 3ds max 7 is now available for Alienbrain Studio 7. It puts the key functionality of Alienbrain, Avids award-winning digital asset management software for entertainment and computer graphics professionals, at the fingertips of 3D content creators using 3ds max and Alienbrain Studio.
Touchstone Pictures announced that Stephen Fry (TVs JEEVES AND WOOSTER) has been selected to lend his voice to the Guide for THE HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, reports BBC News. In the film directed by Garth Jennings, The Guide is the indispensable, electronic handbook that every galactic traveler needs. The film is based on Douglas Adams famed satirical sci-fi book.
SyncCast has been selected by the Visual Effects Society (VES) to host and stream the nominated content for voting by its members of the material from many of the box office hits of 2004.
For the first time in the VES Awards' history, final viewing and voting will take place online via the VES Website from Jan. 31 to Feb. 12. This groundbreaking method will allow VES members worldwide to view encrypted clips of the nominees' work and vote in a safe and secure online environment. Only VES members may vote and a special password is required to view and vote online.
Kerner Ent. has announced that Academy Award-winner Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey, John Cleese, Steve Buscemi, Cedric The Entertainer, Reba McEntire, Kathy Bates, Thomas Haden Church and Andre Benjamin (Andre 3000) have joined the voice cast of the upcoming live-action/photo real CG animated feature adaptation of E.B. White's CHARLOTTE'S WEB. Jordan Kerner is producing with Gary Winick directing. The film is co-production with Paramount Pictures, Walden Media and Nickelodeon Movies. The feature is scheduled to begin production on Jan. 31, 2005 in Melbourne, Australia.
Curious Pictures has tapped DreamWorks/PDI alum Lewis Kofsky to head its newly expanded visual effects department in New York. Kofsky recently completed the visual effects for SHREK 2 and the soon-to-be released MADAGASCAR.
NaturalMotion Ltd. announced the worldwide release of endorphin 1.6, its award-winning 3D animation software. Customers such as The Mill, Sony Computer Ent., Namco and Konami as well as leading animation schools are already reaping the benefits of endorphins new approach to 3D character animation.
USL-WOA, the post-production and visual effects division of UTV in Mumbai, India, has added fire and smoke editing/finishing systems to its existing Discreet-based workflow. The company anticipates a workload of 200 commercials and up to 30 film projects in 2005.
Warner Bros. Pictures has officially announced that British television helmer David Yates (STATE OF PLAY, THE WAY WE LIVE NOW) has been signed to direct HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX. The film will be produced by David Heyman from a screenplay by Michael Goldenberg (WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, PETER PAN). Production on the film is expected to begin in England in January 2006.
Peter Jackson and partner Fran Walsh have purchased the film rights to the Alice Sebold novel, THE LOVELY BONES, reports VARIETY. FilmFour sold the rights to Jackson and Walsh and will remain a developing partner. Jackson, Walsh and Philippa Boyens plan to begin writing the screenplay next January. Distribution and financing will not be obtained until the script is finished. The move is to ensure that Jackson and Walsh do not have to work under a studio deadline. The film will be produced by Jackson along with Jan Blenkin, Caro Cunningham and Aimee Peyronnet.