September 11, 2009 |
First rule of movie marketing: With a hard sell, sell the faithful first. So it was with Walt Disney Co., which on Thursday used a gathering of thousands of loyal Disney fans to unveil "The Princess and the Frog," perhaps the studio's riskiest movie in years. Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger used the assembly of devoted followers at the Anaheim Convention Center, many of them sporting Mickey T-shirts, to screen a major portion of the film that marks the studio's return to hand-drawn animation.
November 7, 2007 |
JOHN LASSETER is in a classic no-win position. The chief creative officer at both Pixar and the Disney animation group is one of the most influential filmmakers of our era, both as a director (most recently of "Cars") and as the guiding force behind Pixar's unprecedented string of creative and commercial triumphs. (Pixar's latest success, "Ratatouille," made its DVD debut this week).
February 18, 2007 |
Special effects To create a tentacle-faced Davy Jones and other cutting-edge computer-generated special effects in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," John Knoll and other members of Industrial Light & Magic first had to create Imocap, a new motion-capture system. Until Imocap, it took 16 cameras, specific lighting cues, a sound stage and a blue screen to digitally record movement in a motion-capture system. The setup was the opposite of portable.
February 6, 2007 |
JOHN LASSETER and Randy Newman both grew up in Southern California, but they couldn't possibly come from more different worlds. Lasseter is from Whittier, son of the parts manager at a Chevy dealership. Newman grew up on the Westside of Los Angeles, where he spent much of his boyhood on Hollywood sound stages, watching his uncles Alfred, Lionel and Emil Newman conduct studio orchestras.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 12, 2006 |
Perhaps the only people who brag more about their illustrious alumni than Ivy Leaguers are the deans of film schools. At USC, the names dropped are Robert Zemeckis, Jay Roach, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. UCLA proudly lists Francis Ford Coppola, Gore Verbinski and Alexander Payne. California Institute of the Arts boasts a who's who of animation, including Tim Burton, Pixar guru John Lasseter and "SpongeBob SquarePants" creator Steven Hillenburg. Southern California is the film capital of the world and the film school capital of the world, boasting a dozen or so programs to hone the skills of potential filmmakers, usually to the tune of $10,000 to $34,000 a year.
June 9, 2006 |
GIVEN that Americans love automobiles and animated films, it's no shock that a feature-length cartoon called "Cars" turned out so well. The source of this supremely engaging film's curb appeal, however, is a most pleasant surprise. For in the years since Pixar guru John Lasseter last directed a film ("Toy Story 2" in 1999), the trend in the field has been to go the wiseguy route.
May 7, 2006 |
JOHN LASSETER holds the keys to the kingdom. He really does. As part of the Disney-Pixar deal, the "Cars" director and Pixar executive vice president now has creative control not only over Disney's feature animation division but also its theme parks. Having worked on Disneyland's Jungle Cruise ride as a young man, the Magic Kingdom is familiar territory to Lasseter. Still, changes at the theme parks may take months to spot.
May 7, 2006 |
IF Mattel thought that its "Cars" Hot Wheels line was good enough, John Lasseter, the animated film's director, had a different message for the toy line's designers: At Pixar Animation Studios, good enough doesn't quite cut it.