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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.
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 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
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 | Michael Phillips
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.
February 10, 2010 | By Glenn Whipp
Time may have ever so slightly mellowed James Cameron's combative, take-no-prisoners approach to life and filmmaking, but that doesn't mean he still doesn't get a kick out of rocking the boat on the way to the bank. So, as his sci-fi epic "Avatar" sails past $2 billion in worldwide box office, breaking the record set by "Titanic," his last movie, Cameron takes no small delight in the way conservative commentators have attacked the movie. "Let me put it this way," Cameron says during a recent dinner conversation at a Hollywood cafe.
January 5, 2010 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
The box-office phenomenon "Avatar" has become well known for its technological advancements and visual triumphs -- it creates a photo-realistic universe where the alien creatures seem to live and breathe, its immersive 3-D somehow making viewers forget that they're watching images on a screen. So, how exactly did director James Cameron perform this feat and create a watershed moment in cinematic evolution? It took more than 3,000 people and 10,000 computers roughly 4 1/2 years to create Pandora, the verdant planet that is the setting for the science fiction-adventure film, and its 10-foot-tall blue-skinned inhabitants known as the Na'vi.
November 25, 2009 | By BY GEOFF BOUCHER
Whether you are a Muggle or a Jedi, a Twi-hard or a Trekkie, Marvel-lover or a Bat-fan, this is a golden age to be a geek. The fanboy culture is in full blossom at the box office and beyond, and this holiday season there's a mountain of gifts and gadgets that speak to the Comic-Con constituency. Here are some of the best. 'Fringe: The Complete First Season' "Fringe" may be the best sci-fi show on television right now, which is saying a lot considering the crowd of competitors.
November 15, 2009 | Cristy Lytal
For "2012," concept artist Warren Flanagan created images of a tidal wave engulfing the Himalayas and a chasm in the Earth swallowing up Los Angeles. But early in his career, Flanagan exerted his destructive influence on a much smaller scale as a barman at Ireland's Ardmore Studios. "I was up there for the wrap parties for 'Braveheart' and 'Far and Away,' and Mel Gibson and Tom Cruise would be walking into the bar, so it was pretty cool," he said. The barman, who attended the Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design, soon landed a job in one of Ardmore's animation studios and moved on to several other Irish animation houses before relocating to Canada, where he worked as a storyboard artist on 2004's "I, Robot."
November 13, 2009 | KENNETH TURAN, FILM CRITIC
As far as the new disaster film "2012" is concerned, the world will end with both a bang and a whimper, the bang of undeniably impressive special effects and the whimper of inept writing and characterization. You pays your money, you takes your chances. In fact, it's hard to say what leaves the more lasting impression, how realistically director Roland Emmerich has destroyed Los Angeles (it's the third try, after "Independence Day" and "The Day After Tomorrow," practice apparently making perfect)
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