(enstarz.com) In a most recent revelation about the filming of Jurassic World, it seems like director Colin Trevorrow will be abandoning CGI in favor of more practical FX for creating the dinosaurs on the fourth instalment of the iconic franchise.
A new report suggests that the movie might be going down the old school filmmaking route, which might give it a raw feel. So there won't be any motion capture or green screens to work with, and the actors will get a real feel of the threat.
On July 7, Screencrush reported an image that had surfaced via a fansite showing a close up of the raptors face. The publication also added that it was and unpixellated image.
The raptor with it's green reptilian skin and glassy yellow eyes looks quite terrifying. The creatures mouth is locked by a metal jaw in the image. It seems like the raptors won't be part of the real danger in this instalment of the dinosaur thriller. It has been revealed that the dinosaur villain this time around will be something of a mutant creation, created by fusing different breeds of dinosaurs, to create a new attraction for visitors to the park.
Jurassic World is being directed by Colin Trevorrow and will star Chris Pratt, Bryce-Dallas Howard, Jake Johnson, Omar Sy and Irrfan Khan.
The Jurassic Park films are based on Michael Crichton's series of novels about pre-historic beasts being revived by revolutionary gene technology. Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley are co-producing the film alongside Steven Spielberg, who directed the first two installments in the franchise.
The film will hit theaters on June 12, 2015.
Guardians of the Galaxy Tracking to Open at $60 Million
(ign.com) We're less than three weeks away from Marvel film's debut.
lMarvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is reportedly projected to bring in roughly $60 million over its opening weekend.
According to TheWrap, new pre-release data that surfaced late last week shows Guardians of the Galaxy scoring big at the box office when it debuts August 1 in North America. That would be a strong domestic opening for the Marvel and Disney release, which reportedly has a production budget of around $170 million.
Guardians of the Galaxy is also a lesser-known Marvel title than other properties — like Iron Man, Captain America, and Spider-Man — so success isn't guaranteed. James Gunn is helming the action movie, with Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper starring.
The success of Guardians of the Galaxy is also most likely important for Marvel and Disney since a sequel is purportedly part of the Phase 3 films. Guardians of the Galaxy is slated to open July 31 in the UK and August 1 in North America.
Ranking Every Transformer in 'Age of Extinction'
(zimbio.com) Like a 2-hour, 45-minute all-steel battle royale, Transformers: Age of Extinction explores any and all permutations of robot-on-robot combat. So much so that we couldn't help but speculate exactly where each Transformer fit into the pecking order of mechanized power. With that in mind, here are our official power rankings for the Transformers of Age of Extinction.
Rankings - Take a look: http://www.zimbio.com/Beyond+
Real-Time Coming To VFX: UK Govt Backs Geomerics to Revolutionize the Movie Industry
(sys-con.com) Geomerics, an ARM® company, has won backing from the UK’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to bring its real-time graphics rendering techniques from the gaming world to the big screen. The award, worth £1million, will enable Geomerics and its partners to take a revolutionary step for filmmakers, allowing instant rendering of complex animation sequences, saving cost and production time.
“Real-time computer graphics technology can now meet the quality demands of both film and television,” said Dr Chris Doran, director, Geomerics. “Providing our lighting technology to big screen filmmakers enables them to deliver movies with compelling visual experiences faster and for less money with the quality that moviegoers expect. This will be a dramatic shift in the industry’s production practices.”
The funding, made available by the U.K.’s Technology & Strategy Board (TSB), is part of the ‘Cross Platform Production in Digital Media’ competition announced last year. The TSB’s goal is to accelerate UK economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. The digital economy is a strategic focus, and it views the game and film industries as crucial players.
Geomerics’ competition entry created interest because of its potential to make the film, television and on-line video services industry more efficient. One of the most time-consuming parts of the editing process where computer-generated effects are used is in rendering, particularly lighting. At present filmmakers edit sequences offline and then render them to bring them up to full quality which can take 8-24 hours. By contrast, the gaming world has had to develop real-time rendering techniques so complex full-quality graphics sequences can be instantly produced on consoles and mobile phones.
Hobbit 3 VFX Battle Shots Not Up To Expectations
(au.ibtimes.com) "Hobbit" 3 will pose a difficult question before all the races in the fantasy world. Elves, Dwarves and Men will have to decide whether they will stand together against the forces of Sauron or die fighting between themselves. Readers who have followed the series will remember that Thorin has not sought good relations with the Elves.
Peter Jackson, the producer of "Hobbit" 3, confirmed that the teaser trailer of the movie was ready and should be available soon. He also said that the full trailer may be released by Oct 2014. The producer also pointed out that the battle scenes involved complex VFX shots and right now they were not up to his expectations.
Hobbit" 3 will be released on Dec 26, 2014 in Australia, Dec 11 in New Zealand, Dec 12 in the UK and Dec 17 in the U.S.
Dragon Nest 2 Movie Is Coming at the End of Next Year
(news.mmosite.com) Since the exposure of Dragon Nest movie Warrior’s Dawn, it has received closer public attention. And it would meet on July 31 with players. And in an interview with the developer Shanda Games, a senior leader revealed that Dragon Nest 2 Movie would make its debut at the end of next year, and two brand new mobile games would kick off beta in July to September.
The Foundry Sessions
(thefoundry.co.uk) Register now for the second Session - MODO in VFX - on Thursday 24th July!
Don’t miss the second in the series of The Foundry Sessions broadcasting LIVE from our London HQ on Thursday 24th July @ 7pm BST / 2pm EDT / 11am PDT.
This Session will focus on MODO in VFX with Robin Konieczny from the world famous VFX house Double Negative and Tommie Kidjemet from Niceberg Studios in Belgium. Read more below.
Interact via Twitter and Facebook using #TFsessions. Ask our guest speakers and specialists from The Foundry team any questions you may have, wherever you may be.
If you can't wait the event live, don't worry! We'll have a recording here soon after the event is broadcast.
Registration is easy. If you already have an account on The Foundry website simply follow this link, sign in as usual and select the broadcast you’d like to view. If you don’t currently have an account, just follow the steps to create one.
Register now: http://www.thefoundry.co.uk/
Reeves Follows "Apes 3" With "Invisible Woman"
(darkhorizons.com) "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" director Matt Reeves has revealed that he plans to tackle his dream project, an adaptation of the original science fiction story "The Invisible Woman," after the next 'Apes' film.
Reeves, who is attached to both direct and co-write the next 'Apes' movie due for release in the Summer of 2016, tells Coming Soon: "That [Invisible Woman] is still a movie I desperately want to make... If I don't make it right before this one, I'll make it right after the next ape film."
Reeves originally planned to shoot "The Invisible Woman" as his second film following "Cloverfield" and Naomi Watts was attached to headline it. Watts ultimately dropped out due to a scheduling conflict, and Reeves moved on to other films - namely "Let Me In".
Later in the interview, Reeves indicated that the movie would likely go after the third 'Apes' due to the shorter turnaround time of that film: "I doubt if I would make it right before [the next 'Apes'] because this one is going to be such an enormous undertaking to get going. I'm supposed to write it [the next 'Apes'] as well with Mark Bomback."
Reeves previously described "The Invisible Woman" as a Hitchcock-style intimate character story, one that explores one woman's desperation and extreme behavior. Ultimately you'll come to realise what she is doing is perfectly rational given the circumstances.
Ubisoft CEO Unsure Of Montreal Studio’s Future After Subsidy Cuts
(vfxsoldier.wordpress.com) A few weeks ago I pondered if cuts in Quebec subsidies would trigger a migration for games and VFX studios in Montreal. IGN reports that Ubisoft’s CEO is seriously analyzing the cuts and :
Quebec is cutting back on $500 million in subsidiary bonuses, La Press reported, which will cost Ubisoft Montreal and Ubisoft Quebec large quantities of government-funded production dollars. Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat told IGN, “I think we need to analyze with this means for us. Then once the analysis is done, we’ll be able to decide what the next stage is for us.”
I laughed out loud at the term “subsidiary bonuses”. Let’s be clear, these are government subsidies where the taxpayers are paying 37.5% to 60% of people’s salaries who work in the games and film industry. In the long run this is completely unsustainable and Mr. Mallat’s stunning admission is a great example of that:
“I think what Quebec has become over the years in terms of video game development, it’s not a hotbed,” Mallat said. “So obviously this tax program was here to help build that environment. So we see this program as an important reason for the growth of the sector in Quebec.”
Since 1997, Ubisoft was one of the first companies that benefited from massive taxpayer subsidies for the games industry and has gone on to make huge profits on immensely popular video games. The fact that a mere 20% reduction in these subsidies is enough to place doubt in the studios future shows that there probably never will be a sustainable games industry. Now combine that with VFX studios that make much smaller margins in a province that offers much larger subsidies to US studios and you can see why I’m very curious to know how places like Framestore, MPC, and Cinesite will react.
Of course as I’ve learned in the industry, any statement from a CEO has to be taken with a grain of salt. This is the same company that complained it would double the work to add more female characters to games. Ubisoft can still survive and make great profits in Quebec without taxpayer support but the hope by many is to intimidate the Quebec government into blinking and rolling back the subsidy cuts. The film and television industry along with the local unions are already beating that drum. Subsidies are a problem, not a solution.
Andy Serkis Confirms He's Not Playing Jar Jar in 'Star Wars'
(latino-review.com) Andy Serkis was speaking with The Daily Beast about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and was asked about his role The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Here's what Serkis had to say:
You’re listed as a performance capture consultant on Avengers: Age of Ultron, and have been helping Mark Ruffalo to capture the Hulk. What have you been teaching him?
The difference for Mark this time around is that the Imaginarium, which is our performance-capture studio in London that’s providing all the performance capture for theAvengers movie, is providing education. Previously, he would’ve walked onto a set and you’ve got Thor and all the other characters in their costumes looking magnificent, and then you’d have Mark in a grey motion-capture suit playing this enormous character, so it’s about giving the actor the right atmosphere and credibility for the performance, which we did in a number of ways. We had to educate the director that the actor owns the role, and what you get on the set is what you should be aiming to put into your cut as the final performance—with the rendering coming later on.
Also, we worked with Mark in really grounding him and playing with the digital avatar before going on set so he could see himself as the Hulk before going onscreen, and we put weights and inhibitors on him to give him the sense that his arms were these big, giant wrecking balls, and so that his biceps wouldn’t intersect with his body. We equipped him. We also gave him a sound system and pitch-modulated his voice so you could hear the enormous Hulk roar coming out of these speakers, so the crew would go, “Jesus! That’s Hulk on set!” It gives Mark the sense of feeling better, and if he feels better, then he’ll be more comfortable in the performance.
You’re also apparently playing a character inAvengers: Age of Ultron…is it Thanos?
Um…I’d have to deny that character at this point. But I am playing a character. I was really thrilled that Joss Whedon asked me to be involved. It’s fantastic. I’ve had a ball working with them, both as performance capture consultant through the Imaginarium, but also being asked to be in it. But I can’t say anything more!
And here Serkis talks about his role in Star Wars: Episode VII:
As far as Star Wars: Episode VII goes, I know you’re sworn to secrecy, but can you at least confirm that you’re NOT playing a Jar Jar Binks-like character? [Laughs]
[Laughs] I am definitely NOT playing anything like Jar Jar Binks! That I can confirm.
CGI ‘Movie Became a $100m Investor Nightmare ‘
NEW YORK, July 6, (RTRS): Recently the animated movie “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return” became one of the biggest computer graphic box office flops of all time, and was yanked from most theaters almost immediately.
Last weekend, it made just $36,408.
But according to an investigation by TheWrap, the movie’s producers and fundraisers fared far better than the film’s investors, who may have collectively lost up to $100 million, while the producers and fundraisers earned tens of millions of dollars, according to SEC filings.
Alpine Productions, which produced the film, told investors that the film could have massive returns, according to one of those investors, court documents and investment documents obtained by TheWrap. Instead, it grossed $8.8 million worldwide on what the producers told investors was a $70 million production budget.
“Legends of Oz” is based on a book by Roger S. Baum, a descendant of original “Wizard of Oz” author L. Frank Baum, and features a cast of voice actors led by A-list names like Lea Michele, Patrick Stewart, Kelsey Grammer and Hugh Dancy. Directed by animation veterans Dan St Pierre and Will Finn, and produced by DreamWorks Animation vet Bonne Radford, the movie seems like a conventional Hollywood effort.
Yet an investigation of how the movie was made reveals a far more compelling back story focused on two brothers who have often run into legal troubles. No fewer than six states issued “cease and desist” letters to companies connected to Ryan and Roland Carroll in an attempt to shut down its fundraising for the film in each state.
Full story: http://www.arabtimesonline.
15 Predictions For 2015′s Biggest Movies
(whatculture.com) 2014 has been a pretty swell year for blockbuster movies so far: The Lego Movie, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Edge of Tomorrow, Godzilla and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes all pretty much lived up to the hype, but as great as these movies are, the jam-packed 2015 blockbuster schedule has the potential to blow them totally out of the water.
With an absurdly high number of majorly-anticipated films due for release, 2015 appears to be the biggest year ever for tentpole blockbusters, with long-awaited sequels and reboots finally hitting our screens, along with plenty of enticing original projects.
Because looking into the crystal ball is always fun, we’re going to look ahead and throw out some predictions for some of next year’s biggest movies, primarily pertaining to box office and critical success, but we’ll also take a few guesses at some plot points as well.
Of course, this is all total guess-work based on what we’ve seen and heard through the grapevine so far, so feel free to look back at this article in 18 months and laugh at how wrong we were about Star Wars Episode VII’s commercial success…
-Jupiter Ascending Is A Massive Critical & Commercial Bomb
Jupiter Ascending is the latest effects-heavy sci-fi flick from the Wachowskis, revolving around Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), an unassuming young woman who gets caught up in an intergalactic political battle, while “genetically engineered interplanetary warrior” Caine Wise (Channing Tatum) attempts to protect her from those who wish to snuff her out. The footage released so far looks visually stunning for sure, though alarm bells are certainly ringing that Jupiter might be a lavish yet mostly nonsensical sci-fi dud.
One major point of contention is that a mere 6 weeks before its planned July 18 release date, the movie was delayed to next February, apparently in order to complete a high number of visual effects shots. Could it really be that the movie just tested poorly, and the Wachowskis have been sent back into the editing room?
Even if the movie does manage to succeed with critics, we can’t see it being a commercial success: even with Kunis and Tatum topping out the cast, it’s a $175 million movie with no basis in previous material, and more to the point, it looks really freaking weird. Is it likely audiences will connect with it? Not really.
-Avengers: Age Of Ultron Will Be Robert Downey Jr’s Last Iron Man Movie
Now, we all know that Robert Downey Jr. has been signed for The Avengers 3, though often studios will sign actors for more projects than they reasonably foresee for insurance purposes.
Much discussion has already been made about the role of Iron Man potentially being recast in the near-future, due to both Downey’s age (he will be 50 by the time Age of Ultron comes out), and the fact that he’s made it clear he doesn’t want to do the role forever.
Downey also finished filming his part in Age of Ultron several weeks ago (much earlier than most of the cast) and referred to himself as “unemployed”, which has caused some online to suspect that Tony Stark may even be killed off in the movie.
While we consider this unlikely when the character is so lucrative, yet with no Iron Man 4 in sight, it seems quite possible that Downey will throw in the towel with this movie, as by the time The Avengers 3 starts filming, he will likely be 52 or 53.
On this one, we sure hope we’re wrong, because for starters, he doesn’t look his age, but we’ll have to wait and see…
-Jurassic World Will Be The Best One Since The First
It’s been almost 15 years since the last Jurassic Park movie, and in honesty, the only particularly good movie of the three so far has been the classic original. That said, with the time taken to assemble the fourth movie, Jurassic World, and with so much talent attached, we’re optimistic that it will steamroll the previous two movies and, while unlikely to be as good as the first film, will at least be the best since the original.
While we can’t deny that Safety Not Guaranteed director Colin Trevorrow is a strange choice for helming the project, the increasing trend for studios to hire art-house and indie directors for big-budget blockbuster projects (for example, Captain America: The Winter Soldier) has worked out pretty well so far.
In addition to Chris Pratt taking the lead role, the cast is filled out with the talented likes of Bryce Dallas Howard, Jake Johnson, Ty Simpkins, BD Wong (reprising his small role from the original movie), Irrfan Khan, Omar Sy, Vincent D’Onofrio and Judy Greer. With so many talented actors working on the movie, and the use of practical animatronics in conjunction to CGI, this has all the ingredients of an extremely entertaining Jurassic Park movie.
Full article: http://whatculture.com/film/
New Pixar Attraction Could Net Disneyland €30 Million
(uk.movies.yahoo.com) A brand new Disney Pixar ride is set to become the newest and most popular attraction of 2014 at the Paris theme park, according to sources.
The Telegraph report that the latest addition, a cutting-edge ride based on the Oscar-winning animated movie 'Ratatouille', will see Disney make more than €30 million, which is around £25 million.
The ride itself is a trackless simulator in cars and is predicted to be a big hit with customers, not least fans of the film itself.
And it couldn't have arrived at a more needed time. While Disneyland is still hugely popular with tourists -- it's actually Europe's most visited attraction -- park attendances slipped last year by almost 7%, yet still had a whopping 14.9 million visitors walk through their gates.
"My global estimate is that they could have a rebound on the attendance in the second half of 2014 mainly due to 'Ratatouille'," an analyst said. "I am estimating an operating result in the black at €4.5m."
Only time will tell as to just how popular this new 'Ratatouille' ride will be, but with positive predictions and the fact that the attraction is new and exciting technology will surely attract people, and families, to check out the destination on the outskirts of Paris.
Mill Exec: If You Don’t Like Long Hours Then Get Out
(vfxsoldier.wordpress.com) UK VFX execs are on a roll this week:
Speaking during the Unreality Checked panel of the VFX Summit, The Mill chief creative officer Pat Joseph said that although the nature of the work – particularly commercials – called for long hours, “the pay is fairly good and the work is absolutely fantastic”.
Joseph said: “You will always have disgruntled people who feel they have to work long hours, but quite honestly, they should get out of it. We don’t make up the schedules and the budgets for the projects. We live within a commercial environment.”
Pretty irresponsible statement but not surprising information coming from that group. BECTU conducted a survey for VFX artists that should be concerning for employers:
77 per cent of people knew someone who had recently left the industry over workloads, overtime and poor working conditions;
81 per cent of people had felt pressured or bullied into working overtime for free on films;
83 per cent of people said it was difficult, or very difficult, to raise a family whilst working in VFX
Instead of actually acknowledging the problem exists, the UK Screen Association (the UK centric trade organization that represents UK VFX facilities) decided to question the survey itself. It’s pretty common knowledge that people in the UK VFX industry are very unhappy about the day rates and long hours.
In an interview I did with the BBC earlier this Monday I pointed out that VFX is being done in NZ, Canada, US, and Australia also and all of these locations have some form of overtime. The fact that VFX facilities in the UK can’t even respect the EU 48 hour work week limit by having artists opt out is a good example of how irresponsible many of them are. It’s also pretty sad that artists up in the ranks condone these conditions because they personally benefit.
It would be pretty interesting to see how quickly those execs would scream uncle if one day the professionals in the industry just decided to take Pat Joseph’s advice and leave all of them hanging on his next project.
FX Artists Are Starting To Get Pissed At Andy Serkis
(uproxx.com) Andy Serkis has been on a nationwide tour at least since the last ‘Planet of the Apes’ movies trying to win respect for actors who do motion-capture work. It makes sense from his perspective – he’s a great actor, and most of the high-profile work he gets offered happens to be playing animals or mythical creatures, and he works no less hard on those jobs than any other actor. In fact, did you know he had to learn how to “ride a horse like an ape” for this one? It’s true! What an amazing job.
The problem is, the more Andy Serkis tries to take ownership of his performances, the more he minimizes the work of the animators who actually do all the hard stuff. As an animator friend of mine said, “Without the VFX guys, he’s just a British guy in a leotard pretending to be a magical creature.”
From a CartoonBrew article titled “Andy Serkis Does Everything, Animators Do Nothing, Says Andy Serkis”:
In an interview that Serkis did recently, he made one of his most preposterous statements yet: that he ‘authors’ his performances entirely himself, without the creative input of any other artist. According to Serkis, the only thing that the digital artists at Weta do is paint ‘digital makeup’ over his immaculate acting.
The specific part that pissed them off, it seems, was:
“It’s a given that they absolutely copy [the performance] to the letter, to the point in effect what they are doing is painting digital makeup onto actors’ performances.”
Pretty easy to see why the animators are pissed, but at the same time, actors and directors probably aren’t going to be thanking the guy who programmed the sub-surface scattering shaders or whatever, because as much as they probably deserve it, not many people being interviewed about it even understand how it works (I had to copy that job from a quote myself).
As the angry VFX guys point out, Serkis’s quote reflects a desire, if not a reality, that animators be nothing more than digital make-up artists. Which is a problem with motion-capture as a whole. The publicity people will go on and on and on about how much “humanity” Andy Serkis or whoever brought to the performance, because the idea of a human injecting humanity is easy for anyone to understand. But honestly, when’s the last time anyone complained about the acting in a Pixar movie or a Bugs Bunny cartoon? Animators have been giving animated creatures recognizable emotions for 100 years now – that’s why it’s called “animation.” Also, I know Andy Serkis works hard and he’s a great actor, but pretending to be a chimp is not the biggest test of his talents, I promise. I will never not find it hilarious to see a guy thumping his chest and shrieking while everyone stands around talking about what a genius he is.
-H ‘Jurassic Park’ mastermind… and dinosaur killer? You judge: http://hollywoodlife.com/