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ENTERTAINMENT
June 28, 2012 | By Nicole Sperling
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has approved new rules for the 85th Academy Awards. The biggest change to the annual kudofest is that the makeup category will now be called "the makeup and hairstyling award," allowing those behind the best quaffs on the big screen to be given their time in the sun. (The branch is already called Makeup Artists & Hairstylists Branch.) Other rules affect the music, foreign-language film and visual effects categories. In the original song category, the music branch's executive committee may recommend a fourth songwriter for an individual song in extraordinary circumstances.
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ENTERTAINMENT
June 28, 2012 | By Nicole Sperling
To make "Ted," his R-rated film about a man-boy and his teddy bear that comes alive, Seth MacFarlane spent years working with his producers and visual effects supervisor Blair Clark to adapt the motion-capture technology that has been reserved for action-adventure and fantasy movies for a raunchy comedy. But MacFarlane didn't just hand things over to the special effects whiz kids. Not only did the Connecticut native lend his best Boston accent to the bear, he also wore the motion-capture suit off-camera, so he could animate the character and interact with his actors Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis throughout the production.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 7, 2012 | By Richard Verrier
Reality TV star and billionaire developer Donald Trump is looking to buttress his show business credentials by building a film and television studio in Florida. Trump wants to develop a giant production facility in south Miami- Dade County on 800 acres near the Homestead Air Reserve Base. Dubbed Trump Studio City, the complex would be twice as large as Universal Studios in Orlando and employ thousands, Michael Cohen, Trump's legal counsel, told county commissioners in a meeting Tuesday.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 6, 2012 | By Richard Verrier
Elvis is coming back from the dead, thanks to some digital wizardry. Digital Domain Media Group, the Academy Award-winning studio that created visual effects for the "Transformers" films and "Tron: Legacy," has signed an agreement with CORE Media Group to jointly develop and produce a series of "virtual" Elvis Presley likenesses for a range of entertainment projects, including appearances in shows and film and TV productions. Digital Domain, which has studios in Los Angeles, London, Vancouver, Canada, and other cities, created the computer-generated likeness of late rap artist Tupac Shakur for Dr. Dre's recent show at the Coachella Valley Music Festival.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 20, 2012 | By Richard Verrier
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.
BUSINESS
April 20, 2012 | By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times
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.
BUSINESS
April 3, 2012 | By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 2012 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
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.
NEWS
February 26, 2012 | By Susan King and Rene Lynch, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
"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)
ENTERTAINMENT
February 6, 2012 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
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.
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