Trailering New In Time

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Movies, Trailers, VFX | Leave a comment

Fox has released a new In Time trailer (Oct. 28) from Andrew Niccol, which contains more of the framing of Justin Timberlake’s character for murder along with the class divisions and sexual overtones. In a futuristic sci-fi twist on Hitchcock’s pursued pursuer, time is currency and the wealthy live forever while the poor struggle for every minute of their 25-year limit. Timberlake has more time than allowed and takes Amanda Seyfried hostage to crack open the corrupt society that has …

Weta to Show Off R&D at SIGGRAPH 2011

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Education, Events, Tech, VFX | Leave a comment

For the first time, SIGGRAPH is expanding beyond the U.S. and will be in Vancouver next week. And when I was recently in Wellington, I asked Weta’s senior visual effects supervisor, Joe Letteri (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Adventures of Tintin), about their presentations at SIGGRAPH. Weta will present two new R&D advancements at SIGGRAPH: an art directable water simulation and a new subsurface lighting technique (both demonstrated in Tintin). “They need to be where you want …

New Monkey Business

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Movies, performance capture, Tech, Trailers, VFX | Leave a comment

“It’s a question of simian survival.” It’s as true in Rise of the Planet of the Apes as it was in the 1968 original Planet of the Apes. Only now we have a new origin story for the 21st century propelled by genetic engineering and CG DNA for the apes, courtesy of Weta Digital. Yes, Andy Serkis’ remarkably nuanced portrayal of Caesar finally puts to rest any notion that performance capture can’t evoke pathos and is unworthy of recognition. His …

Giving Rise to Apes at IndieWIRE

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Movies, performance capture, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Everyone seems to be going Ape today, so I take the opportunity at IndieWIRE to dig into Weta’s great performance capture advancements on Rise of the Planet of the Apes and how Andy Serkis is the beneficiary with his remarkable performance as Caesar. It looks like Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and The Tree of Life have some Oscar VFX competition as we head into the second-half of the year. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YyMqmDeoxI

First Looks at Superman and Catwoman

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Movies, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

So what are we to make of our first glimpses of Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel and Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman? Cavill, who was deemed too young for Bond, strikes a familiar if grittier pose in keeping with the presumably more grounded reboot being directed by Zack Snyder and shepherded by Chris Nolan. “I’ve never gone after an actual character in making movies from graphic novels or comic books,” Snyder told me a while back. “I’ve gone after literary or thematic …

Trailering Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Books, James Bond, Movies, Tech, Trailers, VFX | Leave a comment

While awaiting the steely Bond 23 (Nov. 9, 2012), John le Carré’s masterful Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy gets a big-screen remake, and it looks like it delivers all the delicious espionage goods. Gary Oldman reprises the role of George Smiley made famous by Alec Guinness in the ’79 mini-series, the anti-Bond called out of forced retirement to weed out a Soviet mole, possessing the same “quiet intensity and intelligence” to pull off the end of Cold War cat-and-mouse. Colin Firth, …

Cowboys & Aliens VFX on IndieWIRE

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, James Bond, Movies, Tech, Trailers, VFX | Leave a comment

I’ve got an article about ILM’s space invaders from Cowboys & Aliens under my new Immersed in Movies moniker at IndieWIRE’s TOH.

Will Zemeckis’ Yellow Submarine Resurface?

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Movies, performance capture, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

With yesterday’s Hollywood Reporter announcement of Robert Zemeckis’ ImageMovers resurfacing at Universal with a two-year, first look deal, does this mean that his performance capture-animated Yellow Submarine is back on track? We’ll know soon enough. However, when reporting on Mars Needs Moms in March, the last movie made for Disney at  ImageMovers Digital in Marin County, production designer Doug Chiang told me that Zemeckis was still very enthusiastic about re-imagining the 1968 Beatles classic and proud of the test, and …

Rainmaker to Animate Escape From Planet Earth

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Movies | Leave a comment

Coinciding with SIGGRAPH’s first venture outside the U.S. into Vancouver next week, Rainmaker Ent. and The Weinstein Co. announced production of the CG-animated/3-D Escape From Planet Earth for a 2012 release. Cal Brunker (story artist on Despicable Me, 9, and Horton Hears a Who!) directs this wacky comedy that’s a mash-up of Hoodwinked! and Avatar (yes, more blue aliens). Donna Gigliotti, TWC’s president of production, and Catherine Winder, Vancouver-based Rainmaker’s president and exec producer, will serve as producers.  Escape was …

Blu Goes Blu for Rio

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Home Entertainment, Movies, Tech, Trailers, Videogames | Leave a comment

There’s a lot of blue this week with The Smurfs hitting theaters for Sony and Rio coming out on Blu-ray today for Fox (with a lead macaw named Blu and Blue Sky doing the animation, no less). Happily, HD intensifies the craft and experience because Rio is really the star of Carlos Saldanha’s very personal tribute to his native country, despite the charming love birds (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway) and madcap adventure. And as much fun as …