Universal and NBC have struck a deal to create a dramatic TV pilot based on the 2004 summer thriller VAN HELSING. Entitled TRANSYLVANIA, the show will not be a spinoff or sequel, but will take place in the same universe as the feature. This deal is the first between NBC and Universal since negotiations by GE to purchase Universal from Vivendi began. The films director Stephen Sommers (THE MUMMY) first came up with the idea for the TV series over a year ago when he was hired to direct the feature.
Category: Visual Effects
Los Angeles-based KromA (www.kroma.biz) created 100 dancing clones of Ricky Martin in providing computer animation and vfx services for JERAMENTO, the pop superstar's new music video. Directed by Joseph Kahn, the video is the latest from Martin's new album ALMAS DEL SILENCIO.
Pinnacle Systems Inc. announced a new product aimed to help consumers enjoy their PC-based music, photos and video on the television in their living room. Pinnacle ShowCenter is a set-top device that connects to wireless and wired home local area networks (LAN) and enables streaming of multimedia files from any PC on the network to any television or home entertainment system in the house.
Visual effects shop Eden FX continues its role as the primary provider of CG work for the syndicated Paramount Television series ENTERPRISE, which launched its third season Sept. 10 at 8:00 pm on UPN. Eden FX will be providing more of its Emmy-Award winning vfx, including two new, entirely computer-generated creatures.
Spiral Graphics announced the release of its anticipated Genetica seamless texture maker. Genetica, the industry's first node-based texture maker to specialize in the generation of seamless textures, intends to dramatically improve the productivity of game designers, 3D artists and others.
The 41st Shark Awards at Kinsale took place on September 13, 2003. Framestore CFC landed both the Best Animation award for Audis DRINK LIKE A FISH and the Best Production/Special Effects award for Johnnie Walkers FISH. This follows up Framestores win last year for Best Post-Production on Levi's ODYSSEY spot.
Hasbro Inc. has hired Hollywood heavyweight Lorenzo di Bonaventura to shop its classic G.I. JOE franchise around to studios as a live-action feature film, reported DAILY VARIETY. Di Bonaventura track record as an exec at Warner Bros. includes such franchises as THE MATRIX, HARRY POTTER, SCOOBY-DOO and BATMAN. Screenwriter Michael Gordon (LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN OBRIEN) has already been attached to pen a script.
Mark Miller has been promoted from exec in charge of production to vp/sr exec in charge of production at Industrial Light & Magic. The 19-year ILM vet will be responsible for overseeing and managing the production department and its staff, as well as take a leading role in ILMs strategic marketing and bidding efforts.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Scientific and Technical Awards Committee will review 14 scientific and technical achievements for 76th Academy Awards consideration, according to committee chair Richard Edlund, but its not too late to submit entries.
Warner Bros. has announced that Christian Bale (EQUILIBRIUM, AMERICAN PSYCHO) has been cast as Bruce Wayne in Warner Bros. upcoming BATMAN movie. MEMENTO director Christopher Nolan will direct the next installment in the popular franchise, which will be produced by Emma Thomas. The movie is written by David Goyer, along with Nolan, and will follow the early career of the Caped Crusader.
Nolan said, What I see in Christian is the ultimate embodiment of Bruce Wayne. He has exactly the balance of darkness and light that we were looking for.
Universal Home Video has announced that the October 28, 2003 DVD release of THE HULK will feature the Xbox demo version of THE HULK game. The DVD will contain one playable level.
The film follows the origin of The Hulk when gammarays transform scientist Bruce Banner into the raging green beast. With visual effects by Industrial Light & Magic and directed by Ang Lee (CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON), the film stars Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, Sam Elliott, Josh Lucas and Nick Nolte.
Twothousandstrong, led by creative director Craig Tozzi, has recently wrapped two corporate shots for Electronic Arts. The promos, created for popular game maker Electronic Arts, in conjunction with Arnson Communications, were specifically designed to promote EA's new games at the annual E3 (Electronics Entertainment Expo) conference in Los Angeles.
THE CORE, the high-tech sci-fi thriller starring Aaron Eckhart and Hilary Swank about a team of geophysicists that travel to the earth's core to save the planet, bores its way to DVD on Sept. 9, 2003 (Paramount Home Entertainment, $29.99). There are plenty of digital vfx disasters to dazzle the eye, courtesy of Frantic Films, CREO, Fantasy II Film Effects and Rising Sun Pictures, and the work was recently highlighted at VES 2003: A Festival of Visual Effects.
Following the indispensable first DVD set of THE OUTER LIMITS, arguably the best sci-fi anthology series in TV history, MGM Home Entertainment recently released SEASON 2. Cut short because of plummeting ratings in the '64-'65 season opposite THE JACKIE GLEASON SHOW on Saturday nights, the 17 episodes on the three-disc set (a bit steep at $69.96) nonetheless offer some series highlights despite creative compromises as a result of network interference on the part of ABC.
In the annals of did we need a second version, why are we getting a third, Fox Searchlight has announced that they will be remaking the 1958s classic horror flick THE FLY, reported DAILY VARIETY. Commercials, shorts and music video director Todd Lincoln will make his feature debut on the picture, taking on both directing and writing duties. His agency CAA set up the deal. Lincoln says his remake will be based more on the 1958 version rather than the David Cronenberg 1986 remake. He even hints at his version featuring a fly that, well, flies.
KromA used its vfx wizardry to help create a wicked, live-action cartoon in LIGHT YOUR ASS ON FIRE, the latest video from Busta Rhymes. The track comes from THE NEPTUNES PRESENT CLONES, a new album from rap producers Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo that has Rhymes cackling his way through a delirious rap atop a percussive beat.
Disney's PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL, which emerged as the live-action surprise of the summer, and has amassed more than $280M to date, arrives on DVD on Dec. 2, 2003 from Walt Disney Home Entertainment. The two-disc set (priced at $29.99) will include a bounty of supplemental riches, including audio commentaries by director Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp, deleted scenes, a "making-of" featurette, "Moonlight" scene progression, blooper reel and an interactive history of pirates.
Greenworks Xfrog organic modeling system has been rewritten from scratch for the release of Xfrog 4. With the new version, all parameters in Xfrog 4 can be animated and combined with the objects in MAXON's CINEMA 4D, allowing artists to create trees or other plants, which grow and follow the sun as well as leaves and branches, which move in the wind. Additionally CINEMA 4D XPresso diagrams can be combined with Xfrog to create photoreal parameter-driven organic effects.
HP has announced the HP Workstation zx2000 now includes the new low-voltage Intel Itanium 2 1.0-gigahertz processor with 1.5 megabyte L3 memory cache. The enhanced workstation provides up to a 10% increase in application performance. In addition, HP plans to introduce entry-level servers with the new low-voltage Intel Itanium processor in early 2004.
The partners behind the summers surprise hit 28 DAYS LATER, Fox Searchlight Pictures and DNA Films have announced a five-year, $50 million joint production and distribution deal, reported the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. DNA Films operates on unused U.K. lottery funds and first needed approval by the U.K. Film Council before the agreement could be signed. The new joint venture will remain with the name DNA Films and producer/exec Andrew Macdonald has been hired to head up the company.
Method recently collaborated with Fredrik Bond/MJZ, renowned character designer company Stan Winston Prods. and Goodby Silverstein San Francisco to create the visual effects in a new spot for HP and the United States Postal Service, IL POSTINO.
David Miercort joins Miramax Films in Los Angeles as svp of acquisitions and business affairs. Reporting to both Agnes Mentre, head of Miramaxs acquisition group, and co-president of production, Bob Osher, Miercort will be involved in motion picture acquisitions activities from a business affairs/legal perspective and help facilitate agreements for promotions initiatives.
IOMEDIA Inc. teamed with MTV On-Air Promotions to create the motion graphics for a 15-second promotional spot for the mtv.com online game, FANTASY MUSIC TYCOON. Airing on MTV2, the spot was customized to fit MTV's needs within a three-day timeframe. Followed by a montage of video footage and images, a graphics sequence features $100 bills raining down until one bill sweeps past the camera, wiping into the final shot of the FANTASY MUSIC TYCOON logo.
Soho-based Clear has won the Best Special Effects Award at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards for their work on the Queens of the Stone Ages GO WITH THE FLOW. Directed by Shynola through the Director's Bureau LA, video is set in a desert with trucks playing chicken while a party of sex, drugs and rock n roll rages. This is the second time in three years that Clear has won this award, previously winning for Robbie William's ROCK DJ. The awards ceremony took place in New York City on August 25, 2003.