I am destined to never grow up and quite frankly I refuse to see why I can’t stay immature for my entire life. I loved every single aspect of my childhood but the most memorable things for me were TV shows. Saturday mornings you would find me virtually attached to the TV for cartoon after cartoon. And another thing you should know is that I have a penchant for all things a little kitsch and retro. So if you combine these two elements you will understand why it is not possible for me to contain my excitement, especially after hearing this news.
Special effects with computer graphics are all the rage recently. There are very few films produced these days without jaw dropping stunts courtesy of the digital department. But a lot of directors still prefer to shoot the real thing if they can as it nearly always looks better than the CG equivalent.
I have found that there are many advantages to studying at Escape Studios. Aside from the obvious vast amount of knowledge that you acquire, you also get to visit and meet some very cool places and people. Last Friday we had the pleasure of visiting Framestore for a presentation with Ben Frost and Chas Jarrett to hear about their experiences working on the second Sherlock Holmes movie - A Game of Shadows. In particular, they discussed with us the typical hurdles and constraints they came across and what we as VFX artists may expect to experience working in the VFX industry.
Yesterday Maurice Sendak, author and illustrator of the children’s classic book Where The Wild Things Are, died. Famous through his writing and illustrating, Sendak published a number of children’s books, wrote and designed three animated stories and his final book “Bumble Ardy” was an adaption of a collaboration between Sendak and Jim Henson from kid’s TV favourite Sesame Street.
Film fanatics and CG lovers alike have been waiting for Ridley Scott’s latest movie Prometheus and it is the film that we have spent all year waiting for. Prometheus is due for UK release on June 1st this year and our friends MPC have been working hard on the post-production visual effects. And although we have to wait just a little longer judging from the trailer it will be well worth the wait.
Originally written to be the prequel to the infamous Alien franchise, Prometheus follows the crew of a spaceship as it attempts to find the origins of humanity through exploring an advanced alien civilization and from here chaos ensues.
Finally we can take a glimpse at the new Pixar feature animation, Brave. We’ve heard great things about the film, and so we’re all completely psyched about its upcoming release later this summer. This is Pixar’s first time to tackle a fairy tale, and it’s set to be much darker in tone to their previous Pixar releases, as it takes inspiration from the masters of whimsical storytelling, Hans Christian Anderson and Brothers Grimm.
Pixomondo has expanded their impressive global network of VFX studios yet again. Recently they established their twelfth facility at the Celtic Media Centre in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to service local film and commercial productions as well as provide support to the other international studios. With over 150,000 square feet of design-built stage spaces, the Celtic Media Centre is perfect for meeting the demands of any production. This is the largest studio facility in Louisiana state, and with the generous tax incentives currently in place in that region, this looks to be a great move for the Oscar winning VFX company.
Have you ever wondered what would’ve happened if the script for Jaws was developed by Disney execs rather than Universal Pictures? Well, wonder no longer. For your entertainment on this rather gloomy Monday afternoon, I wanted to share this hilarious concept with you all. Found on YouTube earlier, take a look at a Disney’fied trailer of the 1975 classic. Spielberg possibly missed out on a golden opportunity here for a PG remake.
Today, 16th April, we would like to take a moment to remember Charlie Chaplin, the hugely creative and influential personality of the silent-film era. It is his 123rd birthday and still to this day he is celebrated the world over for his contribution to film during a career that spanned over 75 years. Best known as a comic-actor, Chaplin also wrote, directed, produced and scoured over 80 films. He also served as an on-set hairdresser from time to time.
Every year Sci-Fi London runs a competition inviting Sci-Fi fans and filmmakers to take part in a 48hrs film challenge. Armed with a title, a line of dialogue, a scientific theme and a specified prop, competing teams have two days to develop and make a 5 minute short film. The winning film is premiered during the London Sci-Fi Film Festival, and also benefits from a promotional platform through The Guardian newspaper website, as well as a development deal with independent UK production company, Vertigo Films.
Last night, Thursday 29th March, was the Art of 3D Visualisation event at the Barbican Centre, and we’re delighted to report it was a great success. To start with, the setting was spectacular. The Barbican is an inspiring setting for architectural design. The event kicked off in the conservatory terrace, a hidden treasure in the heart of the Barbican and a lavish space with a back drop of decorative tropical plants. This time was spent wisely, arming ourselves with a cold drink the proceedings moved to Cinema 3 where we and our guests were treated to four presentations from five fantastic speakers.
Moving on from the presentation by Kevin Jenkins we turned our attention to Ben Morris who gave us the low-down on his role as a VFX Supervisor. As we watched the end sequence of War Horse, which is the part where we discover the fate of our hero’s horse, we all became a little misty eyed, but were quickly reassured by Ben that no horses were harmed during the making of this film. Needless to say, we were all very impressed with the great VFX work done by the guys at Framestore and how realistic the horse looked. Surely Mr Spielberg wouldn't have it any other way.
Here is my usual jumble of news to start off this week. There are tutorials, news of various software releases, a cool "Making of Rango", and really sweet advert for Twinnings tea, and lots more. Feel free to add anything I may have forgotten.
It's the time of the week when I share with you the news that picked my interest over the last seven days. This time, there are the following goodies on offer: a cool making of from Framestore, some great new tutorials, a trailer of Pixar's "Brave", a new trailer for Spiderman and lots of education news related to Michael's latest announcements regarding education reforms.
With festival season starting to gradually rear her smiley face, a number of video teasers have been released online. This stunning movie, filmed by my former company The OMC, a freelance collective of creative media professionals based in Hackney Wick London, succinctly captures the essence of a good festival, and was shot at Outlook - Europe's largest Bass music festival.
After an absence of a week, I am back again with my usual digest of news. This week, we have some great showreels from the likes of Pixomondo, a great trailer from Spiderman and even some tutorials.
Last weekend I stumbled across an album cover with the VES (Visual Effects Society) logo on it. For those of you who don’t know, the current logo for the VES is the iconic image of the moon from the film Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon), a 16 minute black and white silent film from 1902. It was a revolutionary film for its time, being not only the first sci-fi but also using special effects that were very high tech at the turn of the century. Though the film was distributed predominately in black and white there was also a hand-coloured version that was thought to be lost for quite some time until the only surviving print was found in Spain in 1993.