National Geographic Channel employs some of the best CGI techniques to help explain to viewers how but not always why an unimaginable disaster can happen, from the crash of the Concorde to the Oklahoma City bombing and more in a new series, SECONDS FROM DISASTER, that premieres at 8:00 pm on Aug. 31, 2004 on NGC.
Category: Visual Effects
Paramount Pictures is acquiring the worldwide film rights to Midway Games' AREA 51, an action-packed thriller videogame scheduled for release in March 2005 for PlayStation2 and Xbox.
"AREA 51 brings some of the most cutting-edge technology to the gaming world," said Christine Peters (HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS) who will be collaborating with the game developer to produce the film. "Bringing the game's riveting and suspenseful concepts to the big screen will be an exciting motion picture breakthrough."
Eovia Corp. introduced Carrara 4, the powerful, approachable, complete 3D solution, replacing Carrara Studio 3, now available in Pro and Standard versions. Carrara 4 Pro delivers an enhanced breadth of capabilities and power for professionals while Carrara 4 Standard provides the same approachable interface at an even more affordable price for non-experts.
THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST comes to DVD on Aug. 31, 2004 (Fox Home Ent., $29.98) with no bonus features but mastered at the maximum bit rate for optimal picture and audio quality. It is anticipated that a special edition will be release next spring (Easter?) containing a slew of bonus features, including the stellar vfx work done by Keith Vanderlaans Captive Audience Prods. under the supervision of Ted Rae (who also served as 2nd unit director).
MONSOON WEDDING and VANITY FAIR director Mira Nair has offered the chance to direct, HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, reports THE TIMES OF INDIA.
"I'm getting offers to direct HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX. I read it over the weekend. I'm still deciding," she said. "I'm not letting all this go to my head. I'm grounded. I practice detachment, it helps me keep my balance. I'm a Dilliwalli, only an asana gets me on my head! My son Zoharan's excited. I've seen all the HARRY POTTER movies with him."
IMAX is seeing increased success with its digitally remastering technology IMAX DMR on the release of SPIDER-MAN 2: THE IMAX EXPERIENCE as well as a growing presence in China.
Famed director Terry Gilliam seems to not be able to get a flick in theaters these days. With his production of DON QUIXOTE being shut down midway, the BRAZIL helmer moved onto film THE BROTHERS GRIMM, which was originally set to reach theaters fall 2004 then it was moved to February 2005 and now Dimension Films has bumped the fantastic account of the fairy tale writers, The Brothers Grimm, to Nov. 23, 2005.
Ten-year-old acting phenom Dakota Fanning is in negotiations with DreamWorks to headline a series of films based on Lewis Carroll's ALICE IN WONDERLAND and THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The screenplays have been adapted by Les Bohem, who created the Sci Fi Channels epic mini-series TAKEN, which starred Fanning. The effects heavy films will stick very close to the source material. Industry Ent. will produce the film with Mark Sourian and Keith Addis sheparding the project for DreamWorks.
SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW director Kerry Conran confirmed to VFXWORLD yesterday that A PRINCESS OF MARS will be his second feature, which you can read all about in today's news. You'll be happy to know that next month VFXWORLD will publish an in-depth interview with Kerry to coincide with Paramount's Sept. 16 release of SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW.
NVIDIA Corp. and the USC School of Cinema-Television have formed a partnership that will provide students training on cutting-edge 3D graphics technology and the ability to graduate with the necessary skills to compete for highly sought-after positions in filmmaking, vfx and animation production, realtime content creation and other interactive industries.
The CGI Festival LeedsLeeds, U.K.November 9 10, 2004
The CGI Festival LondonLondon, U.K.December 7 - 8, 2004
The new CGI Festival will cover both the North and the South, taking place in London and Leeds. The London festival will be at the Business Design Centre from Dec. 7 - 8 and in Leeds at the Royal Armouries Museum from Nov. 9 -10, 2004. The events will feature a major conference and screenings of the best 3D content from around the world and will be developed in close co-operation with the 3D community.
Wellington-based Silverscreen Prods. and visual effects company Oktobor are forming a company with Taiwan-based Equinox Film to produce a $40 million epic fantasy based on a popular Asian legend, titled LADY WHITE SNAKE, reports THE DOMINION POST. The film will be in English and is set for release in 2008 before the Beijing Olympics.
Paramount and Marvel Studios have hired David Self (ROAD TO PERDITION) to rewrite the screen adaptation of Marvel Comics DEATHLOK, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Stu Zicherman and Raven Metzner (ELEKTRA) wrote the first draft. The story follows everyman who becomes a test subject for a technology research lab that transforms him into a living computer. Marvel Studios' Avi Arad and Crystal Sky Prods. Steven Paul are producing. No director has been seen. DIE ANOTHER DAY helmer Lee Tamahori had long been attached to direct, but has since stepped down.
Writer/director Kerry Conran (SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW, opening Sept. 17, 2004), confirmed with VFXWORLD that he has committed to directing Paramount's A PRINCESS OF MARS as his sophomore project. The sci-fi action epic, scheduled for release in 2006, is based on the first book in Edgar Rice Burroughs' 11-volume series, JOHN CARTER OF MARS, which concerns an American Civil War hero that finds himself transported to Mars.
As previously reported, Warner Home Video has announced that it will release a 10-disk MATRIX collection. The studio has now confirmed that the set will hit stores Dec. 7, 2004 and will be priced at $79.92. THE ULTIMATE MATRIX COLLECTION will include the trilogy, THE ANIMATRIX and 35 hours of bonus material as well as a Neo bust and 80-page book.
The disks include:
GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE director Sam Weisman has been tapped to direct WIDOW'S BROOM for Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The film is based on a book by JUMANJI and POLAR EXPRESS scribe Chris Van Allsburg, who will be adapting his book for the screen. Van Allsburg's production firm Golden Mean will produce the film along with Radar Pictures. Golden Mean partner Bill Teitler will serve as producer. Karen Rosenfelt and Julia Pistor will shepard the project for Paramount and Nickelodeon respectively. The film will go into production early 2005.
Eidos, one of the world's leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, has secured the distribution rights to LEGO Star Wars with Giant Interactive Entertainment Ltd. for all countries except Japan. The game will be released in April 2005 for the PlayStation2, Xbox, PC and Game Boy Advance. LEGO STAR WARS combines two childhood favorites, LEGO and STAR WARS, to create an innovative, action/adventure title designed for young gamers.
Nevercenter Ltd. Co. announced the immediate availability of its highly-acclaimed 3D modeling program, Silo for Mac OS X Panther (10.3). A single Silo license can be purchased online at www.nevercenter.com or through a reseller for $109, and allows an individual user to use Silo on up to three computers, in any combination of Macs and PCs.
Brickyard VFX has created a series of commercials for Volkswagen that are airing during the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. The spots, completed via agency client Arnold Worldwide, production company Anonymous Content and director Malcolm Venville, promote VW's Touareg and Phaeton automobiles, respectively, with ads titled PICTURE and WARP SPEED.
Paramount Pictures has announced details for the SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW Air Combat Challenge" tournament, a three-week contest that began on Aug. 23, 2004. Playing the free downloadable game FLYING LEGION AIR COMBAT CHALLENGE, contestants will vie against one another for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to the London premiere of SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW, opening in theaters nationwide Sept. 17, 2004.
Valhalla Motion Pictures and MTV Films have announced the supporting cast for their live-action adaptation of Peter Chungs animated cult TV series, AEON FLUX. Joining Oscar-winning actresses Charlize Theron (MONSTER) and Frances McDormand (FARGO) will be Marton Csokas (XXX), Jonny Lee Miller (HACKERS), Sophie Okonedo (DIRTY PRETTY THINGS), Amelia Warner (QUILLS) and Caroline Chikezie (U.K. TVs THE FOOTBALLERS WIVES. The flick is scheduled for theatrical release in 2005. Paramount Pictures and Lakeshore Ent. will distribute.
MGM Consumer Products and Interactive, has launch the STARGATE SG-1 "Get In The Game" sweepstakes. This contest offers STARGATE SG-1 fans the chance to have his or her likenesses scanned and used as one of the characters in the first STARGATE SG-1 videogame.
To participate in the sweepstakes, participants need to register at www.mgm.com/contest.do between Aug. 24 and Sept. 24, 2004, 12:00 am PDT. A random drawing will take place on Sept. 27, and the winner will be announced by e-mail.
Charlex, the New York-based 3D, animation and effects studio for film and television, has named Adam Isidore as vp/exec producer. He moves from BBDO New York where he held the same title. At BBDO, Isidore recently served as exec producer in charge of production for the Cingular Wireless account. In addition to producing several dozen Cingular spots, he also wrote a spot for the New York launch called SUBWAY, which won an Addy Award.
Curious Labs announced an end of August release for Shade 7. This is an all-in-one 3D graphic suite for designers, illustrators and architects, offering a rich tool set at an affordable price. The intuitive Bezier modeling tool features quick results in visual design. Global illumination rendering that includes Radiosity with physics, accomplishes beautifully radiant imagery. And, the deep tool set is integrated to cover details and complete any project