May 20, 2012 |
Digital Domain, the award-winning visual effects company behind the blockbuster “Transformers” films and “Tron: Legacy,” is expanding into the Middle East with plans to open a 150,000-square-foot production studio in Abu Dhabi in 2015. Parent company Digital Domain Media Group, of Port St. Lucie, Fla., said Sunday night that it was partnering with Abu Dhabi government-backed media and entertainment company twofour54 to build a studio that would create English- and Arabic-language animated movies targeted at Middle Eastern audiences, as well as produce visual and 3-D effects.
April 20, 2012 |
They called it the zombie walk. After midnight, when the coffee and Red Bull had worn off, Sari Gennis and her co-workers would take a brisk stroll to make it through their graveyard shift. For four months straight, often seven days a week, a team of visual effects artists worked 12-hour shifts to complete the 3-D conversion of movie blockbuster "Titanic. " Gennis said the long hours aggravated a severe arthritis condition. She'd already had both knees replaced, and needed a third surgery, but couldn't afford to take time off for the operation.
April 3, 2012 |
Digital Domain, the award-winning effects company behind such movies as "Tron: Legacy" and the "Transformers" films, recently touted its new animation and digital arts institute as a "pioneering public-private partnership" with Florida State University's College of Motion Picture Arts. The project has created an uproar among visual effects artists in Hollywood, who fear it will encourage students to work for free at Digital Domain's planned visual effects studio in West Palm Beach, Fla. The Digital Domain Institute, which offers a three-year diploma in digital arts along with a bachelor of fine arts from Florida State University, enables students to gain real world experience by working for college credit on some of Hollywood's top films.
February 27, 2012 |
For a moment, it looked as though "Hugo" could sweep this year's Academy Awards. Martin Scorsese's 3-D family film snapped up five trophies in technical categories, including surprise wins for cinematography and visual effects. But as the more prestigious prizes were handed out later in the night, momentum shifted to the expected favorite, "The Artist," which won for best picture, director and lead actor among its five awards. The only upset in the highest-profile categories came near the end of the show, when Meryl Streep won the lead actress statue for her portrayal of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady," beating out Viola Davis for "The Help.
February 26, 2012 |
"The Artist," the black-and-white silent film about Hollywood's rocky transition to the “talkies,” took the biggest honors at the 84th Academy Awards on Sunday night, including best picture, director and lead actor. It was a night filled with firsts - and an especially good night for the French. “The Artist” was the first silent film to nab best picture honors since the first Academy Awards were held in 1929, when “Wings” took the top prize. And for the first time in Academy Awards history, a French actor (Jean Dujardin)
February 6, 2012 |
Visual effects visionary, director and producer Douglas Trumbull has a "broad" philosophy of film. He believes that everything in a movie is, in essence, a special effect. "Movies are all about illusions, whether it is makeup or wardrobe or some location or being in a period of time or being on an alien planet," says Trumbull, 69. Trumbull has created some of the screen's greatest illusions in such seminal sci-fi films as Stanley Kubrick's 1968 masterwork "2001: A Space Odyssey," his own 1972 cult classic "Silent Running" and Steven Spielberg's 1977 "Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
January 23, 2012 |
Digital effects in the movies have become so pervasive and so sophisticated that audiences can easily accept an actor who ages decades before their eyes or even morphs into a different species. But digital effects also have made it tougher for Motion Picture Academy members to decide which movies get nominated for the Oscar for best makeup — meaning the old-fashioned kind applied with a brush or attached to a wig or false nose. "As computer images are getting better and better, it's very difficult for us to tell" what is makeup and what is a computer effect, says special makeup effects designer Matthew W. Mungle, who used makeup and prosthetics to help make Glenn Close look like a woman who could pass for a man in this year's "Albert Nobbs.
January 5, 2012
The New York Philharmonic has named a new executive director to tackle huge financial shortfalls at the nation's oldest orchestra. Orchestra officials announced Wednesday that Matthew VanBesien will succeed Zarin Mehta as the Philharmonic's top administrator. Mehta, brother of conductor Zubin Mehta, is retiring. VanBesien, a 42-year-old Missouri native, is currently the managing director of Australia's Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He started his music career as a French horn player for the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.
November 17, 2011 |
Four-time Oscar winner Joe Letteri is used to transporting viewers into strange new worlds in such films as "Avatar," "King Kong" and the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. The task was especially challenging in his latest film, "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," the reboot of the classic 1968 science-fiction film based on French author Pierre Boulle's 1963 novel. Letteri, senior visual effects supervisor at New Zealand-based Weta Digital, recently spoke to the Envelope about his work on the film during a break from working on Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit.
July 14, 2011
SERIES CNBC Titans: Herb Kelleher, founder and former chief executive of Southwest Airlines, is profiled (6, 7, 9 and 10 p.m. CNBC). Wipeout: Former contestants return on a new edition of the wet-and-wild reality competition (8 p.m. ABC). So You Think You Can Dance: Nicole Scherzinger performs on the results show (8 p.m. Fox). The First 48: Missing Persons: Detectives search for a man who disappeared while on a bike ride as the docu-series ends its season (10 p.m. A&E)