Welcome to the launch of The VFXNewswire, the weekly newsletter devoted to all things creatively and technically 3D. Like AWN's sister newsletters, Animation FLASH and AWN SPOTLIGHT, VFXNewswire is designed to keep you up to date on the latest news, articles, events, jobs, announcements and resources from the 3D world of visual effects and computer animation contained within the comprehensive VFXWorld site. VFXNewsire is also our first HTML-based newsletter.
Category: Visual Effects
San Diego, California-based Innoventive Software LLC announced immediate availability of their dual-OS CD Windows/Macintosh version of FrameForge 3D Studio, the first 3D previsualization storyboard software with real-world multi-camera control. This cutting edge software provides a new way for directors, filmmakers and other creatives to explore, plan and display visual design ideas for presentation or shooting live on set.
Technical wizards receiving honors in the first bout of Oscar awards were displaced from their usually PRETTY WOMAN hotel, the Beverly Wilshire, and had to spend their Valentines Day on Feb. 14, 2004, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Pasadena to receive their awards.
For Britney Spears new music video TOXIC, KromA was assigned the duty of creating a computer-animated stunt double of singer as part of a huge package of animation and effects. In a tight schedule of less than three weeks, the studio created a virtual Paris and London street scenes and a 3D security tunnel environment where Spears performs back-flips to dodge laser beams.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Producing the Future: A Producers Perspective on "Whats Coming Next in Visual Effects?"Los Angeles, California, USAFebruary 11, 2004
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
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.
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.
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.
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.