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Motion Picture Academy shines a spotlight on 'VFX Game-Changers'

March 27, 2013|By Susan King
  • The new 3-D version of "Jurassic Park" screens Tuesday at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
The new 3-D version of "Jurassic Park" screens Tuesday at the… (handout )

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will celebrate breakthroughs in visual effects with a slate of programs in April, beginning Tuesday with an advance screening of "Jurassic Park 3D" at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

Steven Spielberg's 1993 dinosaur blockbuster based on Michael Crichton's bestseller is the latest vintage film to get a makeover in 3-D. The new version opens April 5 in theaters and IMAX.

Following the screening will be a discussion with several members of the crew, including Rick Carter (art direction); Dennis Muren (visual effects); Phil Tippett (visual effects) and Stereo D president William Sherak. Advance tickets are sold out, but there will be a limited number available at the door Tuesday night on a first-come, first-served basis.

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The academy's exploration of visual effects comes at a time when local visual effects houses are struggling financially; Rhythm & Hues recently filed for bankruptcy. One of the reasons for the financial woes is that foreign houses are undercutting them.

A three-week series examining the evolving art of visual effects kicks off April 15 at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood with "Pre-and Post-Visualization." "Blending Makeup with Digital Arts in Films" follows April 22.  The series ends on April 29 with "From Matte Paintings to Full Environments and Set Extensions."

Then on May 6 at the Goldwyn, academy governor Bill Kroyer will host  "Deconstructing 'Pi,' " a panel discussion on  "Life of Pi," which won one of its four 2013 Academy Awards for its cutting edge visual effects. Two-time Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Bill Westenhofer and members of the creative team will participate.

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