November 28, 2011 |
Director D.W. Griffith once said of French filmmaker Georges Méliès, "I owe him everything. " Charlie Chaplin described him as "the alchemist of light. " Méliès built the first movie studio in Europe and was the first filmmaker to use production sketches and storyboards. Film historians consider him the "father of special effects" — he created the first double exposure on screen, the split screen and the dissolve. Not to mention that he was one of the first filmmakers to have nudity in his films — he was French, after all. And thanks to Martin Scorsese's critically acclaimed 3-D family film, "Hugo," contemporary audiences are being lovingly introduced to the silent film pioneer.
September 11, 2011 |
Yes, it has dinosaurs. But at its core Fox's new sci-fi epic "Terra Nova" is an environmental fable. And a pretty darned expensive one at that. In fact, even though it has no big-name stars raking in giant paydays, "Terra Nova" is probably the costliest TV show ever, with a two-hour pilot that reportedly ran nearly $20 million. This in a world where an hour-long network drama typically shells out about one-tenth of that sum for each episode. Part of the dough went to the labor-intensive special effects needed to create those magical prehistoric beasties, who alternately menace and beguile a family (led by Irish American actor Jason O'Mara and British actress Shelley Conn)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 3, 2011
Pauline Betz Addie 1940s tennis champion in Hall of Fame Pauline Betz Addie, 91, a champion tennis player who won Wimbledon in 1946 without dropping a set during the entire tournament, died Tuesday at an assisted-living facility in Potomac, Md., the International Tennis Hall of Fame said. She had Parkinson's disease. She reached the finals of the U.S. National Championship (now the U.S. Open) every year from 1941 to 1946, winning the title four times (1942, '43, '44 and '46)
April 5, 2011 |
The movie "Soul Surfer," which opens Friday, tells the true story of Hawaiian teen surfing star Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack and overcame huge odds to get back on her surfboard and compete professionally. Hamilton's inspirational tale provided filmmakers a dramatic focal point for their $18-million movie, which was in large part made possible through the visual wizardry of a small Los Angeles effects company that has also managed to beat the odds amid a tough economy.
February 2, 2011 |
Reporting from Edmonton, Canada ? Pity the poor Edmonton Oilers. Not only is the once-proud franchise buried deep in the Western Conference cellar, but it's on pace for its worst full-season record. And as if that wasn't enough, Wednesday they lost a game when a former teammate, Ryan Smyth, was credited with goals on two plays in which he said he never touched the puck. The result was a 3-1 victory by the Kings that kept them in the thick of the conference playoff chase. Which is why no one in the Kings' dressing room seemed to care how the puck got into the net, as long it got there.
January 22, 2011
You can pump up your vacation photos with special effects using this smart-phone app. Name: 100 Cameras in 1 Available for: iPhone, iPod touch and iPad; Android is in the works. What it does: Turns an ordinary iPhone photo into a creative image worthy of framing. First, take a photo or use an existing one. Then choose from 10 mood types to alter the look of the photo. Next, pick another effect with a poetic title. Finally, keep adjusting your creation by using the slider to further enhance the effects.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 31, 2010
Grant McCune Effects artist shared Oscar for 'Star Wars' Grant McCune, 67, a member of the team that won the Academy Award for visual effects in 1978 for George Lucas' "Star Wars," died Monday at his home in Hidden Hills, said his wife, Kathy. He had pancreatic cancer. McCune was the chief model maker in the miniature and optical effects unit for the first film produced in Lucas' "Star Wars" series and shared the visual effects Oscar with John Stears, John Dykstra, Richard Edlund and Robert Blalack.
October 21, 2010 |
Special effects makeup artist and animatronics effects supervisor Shane Mahan has had monsters on the brain since he was a youngster growing up in Michigan. "My story is not dissimilar to most of my colleagues," says Mahan, who earned an Oscar nomination for "Iron Man. " "We grew up in the 1960s and early '70s where the only way you could see monster movies was to stay up late. Today kids can just Netflix the movies. There's no challenge of the quest anymore. It used to take real effort to stay up to 2 in the morning to watch 'Creature From the Black Lagoon.
July 14, 2010 |
My son and I attended a screening of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" at a schmantzy new multiplex, and heading out to the car afterward he observed that the only thing louder than the film was the supersonic hand dryer in the restroom. He enjoyed both for what I surmise was the same reason: blasting functionality. This latest Disney live-action feature, based a tiny little bit on the "Sorcerer's Apprentice" segment in "Fantasia" and on Goethe's poem before that, isn't bad as these things go. It's more diverting than the "National Treasure" movies, which, like this one, were produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, directed with aggressive impersonality by Jon Turteltaub and starred Nicolas Cage.