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.
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.
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.
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.
SIGGRAPH is the worlds leading conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques. Each year they welcome thousands of artists, research scientists, gaming experts and developers, filmmakers, students and academics to Vancouver from 74 countries around the world.
It seems there is an abundance of technology conferences to choose from this year. For fellow technology enthusiasts out there, this is an exciting time, as we are treated to an ocean of updates, new releases and ground breaking developments. One conference we give a particular seal of approval to is the much anticipated CVMP (Conference for Visual Media Production), now in its 8th year running. This is a conference dedicated to the geeks of the visual media production industries, whether that is in film, broadcast or games.
Following a commission from STA Travel Australia, director Rick Mereki, DOP Tim White and actor Andrew Lees, set off on an epic journey to shoot three short films. Themed around the basic elements of travel: moving, eating and learning, they somehow cleverly capture the enormity of their subjects, all within one minute of footage per film, quite some feat by anyone's standards.
It’s always good when people respond to the blogs we write. The one I wrote last week about the MTV advert animation got a great response when we tweeted the link, with @anthonygelatka pointing me in the direction of another great piece of animation.
No doubt you’ve heard about Rockstar’s latest release LA Noire - apparently a completely new type of video game. Up until recently, most games have been all about hand eye co-ordination but in LA Noire, which is set in the late 40s, the main skill is about being able to judge body language and characters’ faces to figure out if they’re lying or not - or ‘emotional perception’ as some are calling it.
The chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you’ve got more than a passing interest in the film industry. Alright, specifically the VFX part, but still, you’re keen to know as much as you can about the industry, and possibly how you can break into it (hopefully with our help…).