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.
Category: Visual Effects
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.
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.
NVIDIA Corp. has announced that Discreets new smoke 6 standard definition online editing and finishing system will be available exclusively with NVIDIA Quadro FX 3000G professional graphics solutions. Discreets solution incorporates the NVIDIA Quadro FX 3000G in IBM Z Pro 6221 Linux workstations.
In an anticipated move, John Calley has left his position as chairman/ceo of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) to concentrate on producing films, and has entered into a first-look production deal based at the Sony Pictures lot. Calley will remain on SPE's operating committee as well as SPE's board of directors.
Broadway Video DesignLab has hired Lisanne McDonald, an exec producer with broad experience spanning vfx, design and live action for film and television. She reports directly to managing director Karen Stewart.
Prior to her permanent position with DesignLab, McDonald was a freelance producer with the company.
McDonald has produced broadcast design and network branding and re-branding packaging projects, in addition to episodics, talk shows, commercials, documentaries and new media applications.
R!OT Manhattan has promoted Tom McCullough to visual effects supervisor. In his new role, McCullough will design, budget and oversee visual effects work for commercials, episodic television and broadcast graphics. He will also provide on-set visual effects supervision. McCullough will retain his post as senior inferno artist and will remain involved in hands-on visual effects production. A multi-talented artist, McCullough is also skilled in 3D animation.
With captivating, contemporary imagery, eye-popping colors and an irresistible dance mix, Coca Cola's SPRITE REMIX high-definition spot recently spashed onto movie screens nationwide. Finished in 1080/24p by PostWorks New York, SPRITE REMIX is the creative vision of Ogilvy Mindshare, New York, to promote the new Sprite Remix tropical fruit flavored soft drink.
Instant Effects announced the company's first product, OfficeFX, which will become available later this month from www.instanteffects.com for $149.95. A seamless addition to the popular presentation software package, Microsoft PowerPoint, OfficeFX allows users to deliver effective presentations with the tool they already know. Instant Effects is also proud to announce that a trial version of OfficeFX will ship with all desktop products from ATI Technologies Inc., a world leader in the design and manufacture of innovative visual processor solutions.
Don Levy has been promoted to svp of marketing and communications, Sony Pictures Digital (SPD). In his new position, Levy will continue to direct the corporate communications, marketing and public relations for SPD's operating units, including Sony Pictures Imageworks, Sony Pictures Digital Networks, Sony Pictures Animation and Sony Online Entertainment. In addition, Levy will continue to be responsible for the coordination of marketing and brand strategy between Sony Pictures Digital and Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Electronics and others.
In recognition of his enormous impact on the vfx industry, George Lucas will receive the first lifetime achievement award from the Visual Effects Society at the Second Annual VES Awards ceremony on Feb. 18, 2004, at the Hollywood Palladium in Hollywood.
3D Festival 2004, Europe's largest convention and exhibition for the creative 3D industry, will happen May 3-6, 2004 at Bella Center in Copenhagen, Denmark. The festival encompasses animation, post-production, digital visual effects, games, architectural visualization and design. Leonard Teo, md, Ballistic Media Pty Ltd., will chair the conferences, with organizer Jimmy Hassel taking an advisory role.
Modern VideoFilm used da Vinci's 2K Plus color enhancement systems as a part of its digital intermediate (DI) workflow to remaster and restore Ridley Scotts new directors cut of ALIEN. The 2K Plus interfaces directly with the Quantel iQ servers in Modern VideoFilm's Glendale digital intermediate facility, enabling the staff to maintain a cohesive DI workflow that allows them to perform color correction, restoration and other post-production tasks through a single user interface.
Turbo-charged with GenArts' Sapphire Plug-ins, Brickyard has been able to flaunt its effects and compositing systems on a number of new commercial projects, including "Pods Unite" (a shared marketing effort between VW and Apple) and the monster.com "Driver" Super Bowl spot. The work ranges from blowing up trucks into gas stations, to the slightly less glamorous removal of unwanted rigs.