November 6, 2011 |
Wade Robson has directed music videos for the likes of 'N Sync and Britney Spears, hosted the 2003 MTV series "The Wade Robson Project" and has been a judge and choreographer on Fox's competition series "So You Think You Can Dance" since 2007. And now his choreography is for the birds — specifically adorable singing and dancing animated penguins. He's choreographed the opening number of "Happy Feet Two," the 3-D sequel to the 2006 Oscar-winning animated comedy, which opens Nov. 18. Robson used 15 dancers to perform the opening dance number that was shot by motion capture in Sydney, Australia, last year.
March 10, 2011 |
"Mars Needs Moms!" is a short children's book filled with outsized illustrations and an even greater moral: Don't undervalue your mother. The challenge for the makers of the pricey 3-D Disney film based on Berkeley Breathed's story is to make sure ticket buyers don't undervalue the movie, too ? or worse, ignore it outright. "Will it go out and touch people? I really, really hope so," says Simon Wells, who directed "Mars Needs Moms" (the movie lost the book's exclamation point) and co-wrote the film with his wife, Wendy.
March 13, 2010 |
In a cost-saving move, Walt Disney Studios is shutting down Robert Zemeckis' ImageMovers Digital studio in Marin County, which employs 450 people. Those employees will be phased out over the course of the year until the facility closes by January. The director and producer's San Rafael-based studio, which Disney has been bankrolling, produces motion-capture animation technology that was used in Zemeckis' 2009 big-budget holiday movie "A Christmas Carol."
February 28, 2010 |
For decades, it was easy to tell the two media apart: There were real people in live-action movies; animated films had drawn characters or stop-motion figures. But as filmmaking technology has grown more complex, it's not clear if a single term can encompass movies as different as the five Oscar nominees for best animated feature, the additional 15 films that qualified for the category and the visual effects in movies such as "Avatar." An often heated debate over what is -- and isn't -- animation rages among animators, filmmakers, critics and fans.
December 9, 2009
Although making a film version of Charles Dickens' 19th century classic tale of a miserly man is nothing new, using motion-capture technology to animate "A Christmas Carol" is a first. Director Robert Zemeckis has been honing "mo-cap" since 2004's coolly received "Polar Express," with an eye toward imbuing the characters with a somewhat intangible but relatable quality. "What we focused on was getting greater nuance and fidelity in the performance of the actors," says producer Steve Starkey, who worked with Zemeckis on "Polar Express" and "Beowulf."
November 18, 2009 |
When "A Christmas Carol" opened well below expectations this month, Walt Disney Studios' president of domestic distribution, Chuck Viane, counseled patience. "Christmas-themed movies opening in early November tend to have a much greater multiple than others, and we know [director] Bob Zemeckis always tends to over-deliver on his multiple," Viane said, pointing to Zemeckis' last 3-D, motion-capture animated Christmas movie, "The Polar Express," which ultimately collected more than seven times its opening-weekend take.