March 2008 Archives
In a couple weeks there'll be an exciting presentation over at Gnomon cover Spiderwick! Here are the details:
The Spiderwick Chronicles : Shot Breakdown Series at Gnomon
Join the VES and Gnomon School of Visual Effects in welcoming two key players of the visual effects team from the recently released, The Spiderwick Chronicles.
Colin Epstein and Daniel Gregoire will take you through many of the compositing and previs hot-breakdowns from the fantasy adventure for the child in all of us. Colin and Daniel will help to uncover some of the visual effects magic of the Spiderwick estate and the creatures that inhabit it.
Thursday, April 10th, 2008
Meet & Greet: 6:00PM
Presentation: 7:00PM – 9:00PM
Place: Gnomon School of Visual Effects – Stage 15
1015 N. Cahuenga Blvd. Hollywood, CA 90038
At ShoWest there was a poster for The Mummy. It reminds me of the the old Mortal Kombat poster from years previous! Pretty nice, I think!
I'll be jumping back onto The Mummy at the conclusion of the Speed Racer work that I'm helping with. I really hoping that the trailer for the film will be out soon, so I can share it with you! Also keep up to date with Mummy news over at Rob's site. He'll probably have it up before I will.
Yesterday around 2pm the Wachowskis came into the studio to show us the ShoWest trailer for Speed Racer. For those of you that attended ShoWest during the week, you may have already seen it. The domestic US trailer has some of the clips that are show in the ShoWest one, but this was extended a couple extra minutes. There was a lot of very very sweet work that the facilities have done, and it does get your adrenaline pumping, with the music, the lights, the cars, the sound effects. We've only been working on our own little sequences, not really seeing how it ties in with the rest of the shots, or the movie itself.
I'm back at work this morning on a Sunday, helping out final some shots. Pretty much everyone is working seven days a week these days! I think there are about 50-60 compositors in house just on this show, but I haven't really counted. It's been pretty jampacked in here for the last several months!
This morning was an exciting meeting of the mentors and the mentees! I met my Gnomon student, Lauren, this morning as well, and we went over what we could expect for the next three months or so. We have about ten to twelve mentors this year, a little bit more than last year, and a smattering of students from OTIS, Gnomon, and several other colleges I didn't catch.
At the mentor introduction, where we talked about ourselves and our background, I realized that there were a number of amazingly talented craftsmen present! We had CG and VFX supervisors as well as a number of senior artists and technicians! From Activision to Infinity Ward, to Digital Domain and Dreamworks, there was over a centuries time worth of talent in that room. Several mentors had been in the field for over 30 years! I was overwhelmed really, and felt humbled by my measly ten.
Stay tuned for more VES Mentoring news!
Some news from Showest! Here's a little blurb from the Universal booth about The Mummy 3.
After reminding the audience how Universal's The Bourne Ultimatum was the only 3-quel last summer which exceeded the gross of the prior installment, Fogelson introduced the debut of the first trailer for The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor by mentioning that not all archeological digs take place in Egypt and not all mummies are wrapped in gauze.
The trailer opens with the Great Wall of China then shows explorers in a cavern with flashlights as they explore and come upon a room filled with the Terra Cotta Warriors of the Dragon Emperor, an emperor who was cursed and turned into a mummy of stone. According to one of the explorers, "no two faces are the same" but then there's some sort of earthquake where the cavern starts to cave in and they start coming to life including the emperor who is on a chariot that starts moving, and we see Brendan Fraser's Rick O'Connell trying to hijack a car to chase after the chariot. Frankly, there was so much stuff to see that it was impossible to keep up with it all, but there seems to be lots of martial arts, huge battle sequences like in the last movie, and lots of Chinese imagery and mythology. One cool scene has an airplane flying through the battlefield and cutting through the Terra Cotta Warriors which crumble as they're hit. There's also a three-headed fire-breathing dragon that looked a bit like Monster X, and there's a funny argument between Fraser and his son Alex, who is older than he was in the previous movie, this time played by Luke Ford, as they argue about how to deal with the situation. Rick tells his son that he's defeated two mummies, but Alex corrects him that he only fought and defeated one mummy, which Rick shouts back, "Twice!" I wish I could have caught more of the trailer as it went by to describe but it looks very cool, with a scope as big and epic as the last movie and hopefully a little more energized with Rob Cohen on board and with the location and mythologies to work from.
Read more over at ComingSoon!
A new Speed Racer trailer is out! This time for the US. Follow this Yahoo link to see the trailer in all it's HD glory.
Another movie, Horton Hears a Who, comes out tomorrow! Some good friends worked on it up at Blue Sky. Congratulations Dan, Ari, and John! I can't wait to see it either. Should be a fun film.
Here's a quick overview from The Hollywood Reporter.
This CG-animated adaptation of "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!" is a delight, brimming with colorful, elastic characters and bountiful wit. This family entertainment represents the first big film of the year with a potential for $100 million-plus in domestic markets. A long life on many video shelves is assured.
The new membership cycle is underway.
VES is now accepting applications for the Spring membership cycle. If you know a colleague with at least five years of experience in the visual effects industry who would make a great addition to the Society, ask them to visit the VES website to get all the information they need to fill out and submit an application. All applications need to be completed by April 1st 2008.
On the VES front, last year I was a mentor for a compositing student at OTIS. This year it starts again, and I will meet my new student at OTIS this Saturday! She's actually from Gnomon, but we'll be meeting at OTIS, with, I gather, a number of other mentors and mentees. My last student is now over at Rhythm & Hues, comping away.
Apparently there is a brand new Speed Racer trailer playing in front of 10,000 B.C., but unfortunately I haven't seen it yet because I'm in Austin, TX for SXSW. While that trailer is still awaiting its online debut, Warner Brothers has launched two new international trailers for the summer movie. You need to see these - I am excited as HELL for this. I know I may be alone and I know this may create controversy, but it's designed to look like a video game and I think it's going to kick some serious ass. The Wachowski's are back and they're going to blow your mind again with Speed Racer, I guarantee. I'd love to talk A LOT more about this, but I'll save my subjective statements until we have the official domestic trailer released. Stay tuned for more on that this week when that trailer hits.
Over the weekend I received the first batch of Emmy goodies! It was a small container of only about three DVDs, with select episodes from their line-up which included, Dexter, Weeds, The L Word, and The Tudors, to name a few. It wasn't as jam packed as it has been in the past, but it was a good little thing to receive. There has been a big change this year for Showtime. They are no longer sending out full seasons of their shows! Instead, to save on shipping and expenses, they've decided to put all the seasons' episodes online for every show so that we can watch them without DVDs! Tis a shame on one side, but great on another. I usually love to get the DVDs, so we can watch the episodes over and over again. However, it's much nicer to use the streaming videos of all the episodes. The quality is very good, and there's virtually no buffering, save for starting a clip or fastforwarding to a different part of a show. They're using Brightcove streaming. Not too bad. Luckily we have an HTPC hooked up to the TV, so we can watch them properly in the living room.
Let's see how the rest of the studios react to this, and whether they'll spend the money on shipping DVDs to every member or set up their own streaming video server.
Ah. It's been a little while since my last post, and for good reason. I've been pulled onto the Wachowskis latest film, Speed Racer. I'm only temporarily on the show, and will be jumping back onto the Mummy in April. I've no idea if I'll even get a credit on this show, as I'm starting it fairly late in the game, and there are a ton of other artists that have spent a lot more of their life on it. There are a fair amount of studios working on the film which include: Cafe FX, Digital Domain, Evil Eye, Gentle Giant, Halon Entertainment, ILM, Lola, Proof, Rising Sun, and Imageworks (all listed in IMDB).
The film comes out on May 9th in regular theatres and IMAX. No Imax 3D this time around, that would be insane given the current timeframe. So far it looks really interesting. There are some really iconic shots in the film that are very vibrant and beautiful. It's definitely a live-action anime! Whether that floats your boat or not, time will tell, in approximately two months. I've got a couple shots on my plate that are pretty wicked.
Not much else is going on.. Rob Cohen makes his weekly visit here for the Mummy, and we're just finishing up some trailer shots, so expect a trailer for the film some time soon. I've got four finals on that show so far, and it's going to be a busy one when I get back onto it!