March 29, 2013 |
The gig: Todd Tucker, 38, is co-founder and president of Illusion Industries Inc., a special effects makeup company in Los Angeles. He helped create the Brad Pitt baby in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and the pirates in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies. Upcoming films that feature Illusion Industries work include Paramount Pictures' "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" and Sony Pictures Animation's "The Smurfs 2. " First break: Steven Spielberg was a huge inspiration for Tucker, who grew up loving movies.
January 25, 2013 |
Glancing around his study on a recent afternoon, Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert's eyes came to rest on his collection of thousands of music CDs, acquired over many years at considerable expense. "I don't listen to a lot of them anymore," he said. "I was certain I'd listen to Miles Davis until the day I died. " According to his own research, Gilbert is hardly alone in having imagined that he'd always like the same music, or hobbies or friends. Writing this month in the journal Science, he reported that people at all stages of life tend to believe they won't change much in the future - even as they recognize great shifts in their personalities, values and tastes in the past.
January 12, 2013 |
The eyebrows are dyed. The well-coiffed wig is in place. Even the chest hair has been shaved. It's early March on the Warner Bros. lot, and Steve Carell is hard at work, channeling Burt Wonderstone, a famous Las Vegas magician whose livelihood is being threatened by the new, more outrageous illusionist played by Jim Carrey. The 49-day shoot is close to wrapping up, filming a small scene during the production's final days between a desperate Wonderstone and his reluctant assistant Jane, played by Olivia Wilde ("Cowboys and Aliens")
December 29, 2012 |
On a recent Sunday morning in Los Angeles, Adam Williams and his crew set up their blowers outside a house in Hancock Park and blanketed the yard in 20 tons of snow. Using 15-pound blocks of crushed ice, it took Williams and his crew about 2 1/2 hours to cover the front lawn and build half a dozen snowmen in a commercial for the cable channel FearNet. In the ad, a little girl cheerfully entombs someone who appears to be her father inside one of the snowmen. To create the effect, producers of the commercial turned to MagicSnow Systems, a 10-year-old Los Angeles company.
December 7, 2012 |
As an architectural model maker for Frank O. Gehry, Morgan MacLean learned how to turn a wad of paper into a replica of a building. Now, as a sculptor, he is tweaking that creative process. The artist, 34, lives and works in Highland Park, devoting months to chiseling, filing, sanding and waxing a single block of mahogany into an exact scale model of a crumpled paper bag. In his latest show, “Urban Remnants,” at Reform Gallery in Los Angeles, MacLean presents himself as an archaeological craftsman.
October 25, 2012 |
More infomercial than movie, "People V. the State of Illusion" calls itself a documentary but is really a 90-minute PowerPoint presentation by motivational speaker Austin Vickers. Narrating directly to the camera, Vickers - a mild-mannered-looking guy with the calm speaking style of an instructional video host - has the answer to the stress that's limiting your potential. Using a mushy mixture of scientific research about receptor walls and perception with therapy session jargon aimed at addressing self-created "prison walls," Vickers and credited director Scott Cervine - who mostly has to wrangle quick-change graphics, talking heads and a terribly acted dramatization about an inmate who turns his life around - keep up a steady empowerment spiel.