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)
July 13, 2011 |
Hollywood is becoming even more reliant on one of India's biggest media companies. Reliance MediaWorks, a division of Indian conglomerate Reliance ADA Group, said late Monday that it has partnered with the Venice visual effects house Digital Domain Productions Inc. to open studios in London and Mumbai, underscoring the increasingly global nature of California's visual effects industry. The new studios will provide a variety of postproduction services for movies, TV shows and commercials.
June 1, 2011 |
Jeffrey Katzenberg was visiting USC recently when a faculty member stopped to chat with him. As the two parted ways, the DreamWorks Animation chief urged him: "Just keep sending me magicians. " The magicians Katzenberg seeks are animators, in high demand as the art form has exploded not only in movies and video games but also arenas like medical research and cellphone displays. Higher education is beginning to respond to the need: USC awarded 18 bachelor of arts in animation and digital arts diplomas in May, becoming the first major research university to offer the degree.
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 1, 2011 |
For 11 years, Nathan McGuinness ran a successful visual effects house in California. His Santa Monica company, Asylum Visual Effects, created the World War II submarine battle scene in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," the flying dragon straddled by Nicolas Cage in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and the bionic anatomy of Sam Worthington's character in "Terminator Salvation. " But the impressive credits, along with an Academy Award nomination, couldn't keep his business afloat.