February 25, 2013 |
Workers in California's beleaguered visual effects industry were left fuming Monday after a speech by Oscar-winning supervisor Bill Westenhofer was cut short -- by the ominous music of "Jaws. " Westenhofer, who led the team at Rhythm & Hues that won a visual effects award for their work on Ang Lee's "Life of Pi," had intended to talk about the plight of his industry, which has hit close to home. The El Segundo visual effects company recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors and laid off about 250 workers from its Los Angeles operation amid mounting losses.
February 13, 2014 |
Alfonso Cuaron's stranded-in-space thriller "Gravity" was the big winner Wednesday evening at the 12th Visual Effects Society Awards in Beverly Hills. "Gravity," which stars Sandra Bullock and is nominated for 10 Academy Awards including the picture, director and actress prizes, won six VES Awards. Among the categories it led were visual effects in a visual effects-driven feature motion picture, virtual cinematography in a live action feature motion picture and models in a feature motion picture.
January 7, 2013 |
The Visual Effects Society announced Monday morning its nominees for the 11th annual VES Awards, which honors visual effects artistry in 24 categories of film, animation, television, commercials and video games. Nominees for outstanding visual effects in a visual effects-driven feature motion picture are "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," "Prometheus," "Life of Pi," "The Avengers" and "Battleship. " Vying for outstanding supporting visual effects in a feature motion picture are "Rust and Bone," "The Impossible," "Argo," "Flight" and "Zero Dark Thirty" Outstanding animation in an animated feature motion picture are "Brave," "ParaNorman," "Rise of the Guardians," "Wreck-It Ralph" and "Hotel Transylvania.
November 21, 2013 |
It took 13 visual-effects companies to keep pace with the outsized imagination of Walter Mitty, the hero of the film based on the 1939 short story by James Thurber. Starring and directed by Ben Stiller, the latest silver-screen adaptation, scheduled for a Dec. 25 release, imagines Mitty as a Life magazine photo editor who trades in daydreams (involving superhero-style fights and a clever Benjamin Button aging scene) for real-life adventures amid stunning vistas in Iceland, Afghanistan and the Himalayas when the cover photo negative for the magazine's final issue goes missing.
October 31, 2012 |
Walt Disney Co.'s $4.05-billion acquisition of Lucasfilm was driven by the desire to tap into the "Star Wars" juggernaut. But the surprise deal will also give Disney other noteworthy assets, including the pioneering visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound. ILM is considered one of the preeminent visual effects firms in the industry, known for its high-level work on the "Stars Wars," "Indiana Jones" and "Jurassic Park" movies, the "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Iron Man" films and an upcoming "Star Trek" film from J.J. Abrams.
March 24, 2013 |
This should be a golden age for visual effects in movies. Thanks to the box office success of movies such as "The Avengers" and "Life of Pi," demand for visual effects has never been greater. Studios are spending $100 million or more to put ever more stunning digital images on the big screen. But the companies that create the computer-generated imagery for those blockbusters are struggling as a rising tide of globalization and runaway production takes a toll on an industry that California pioneered.