Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ratatouille Picture

Animated-News has a post about the


latest Disney Investor Relations slideshow, where new images for WALL•E and Enchanted await. Furthermore, the presentation unveils the official logo for Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3.


You can see the pdf @ jvpixarnews.com

A Ratatouille picture is also included, which I haven't seen before:


Cute Ratatouille Images

















































more @ Stef's Sketches via Upcoming Pixar

Tune-In Bed

Smart Technology™ Two 4” built-in stereo speakers and a control panel with a volume knob and audio input connections let you plug in your iPod® or MP3 player, kick back and enjoy a surround-sound experience. The headboard is slightly curved and upholstered in soft 100% cotton twill with white contrast stitching. The wood bed frame is available in White or Sun Valley Honey. Twin: 51”w x 85.5”l x 52.5”h, Full: 65.5”w x 85.5”l x 52.5”h, Queen: 74”w x 90.5”l x 52.5”h.




















more @ pbteen via Gizmodo

That's pretty cool, even though the design is a bit meh.

Pixar On-line library













This is really sweet for nerds and techie heads. I love that stuff, even though I have no idea what's going on.

graphics.pixar.com has Siggraph papers and technical demos of various topics like:

- Interactive Depth of Field
- Interactive Spacetime Constraints: Wiggly Splines
- Stochastic Pruning
- Lpics: a Hybrid Hardware-Accelerated Relighting Engine for Computer Cinematography

etc.

I really like the interactive depth of field and lighting. I'm all for having your shots looking like the final result as soon as possible. Especially lighting is sweet, because sometimes you animate for days and then you see the render and a huge shadow is covering half of your creature. Ok, maybe not that bad, but you know what I mean.

There is also a really cool paper about the "Dinosaur Input Device", which let's stop-motion animator do their magic using a physical skeleton, which is connected to a computer. So you animate a real armature, but the results are seen on the computer.
















The first publication is dated January 1982 with "A Reflectance Model for Computer Graphics" and the current one is from September 2006 "Ray Tracing for the Movie "Cars"".

I whish that these type of things would end up on collector editions of Pixar DVDs. Monster's Inc. and the Toy Story Box Set had lots of behind-the-scenes material on it, but I feel like the newer the DVDs, the fewer the extras. On my flight from Switerland to the States last year the in-flight channels featured a making-of of The Incredibles, which was sadly not on the DVD. I know that the general public couldn't care less (even DVD enthusiasts rarely listen to commentaries), but isn't that why there is the Joe Schmoe version and the collector's edition?

The S.E.s of James Cameron or Ridley Scott movies are really cool, lots of material on it. I hope that the HD DVDs will have more of that stuff on it since there is more space on the discs. But first I'm waiting until either Bluray or HD-DVD dies.

Reebok GLOW

TRON shoes, oh yeah!





































more @ highsnobiety.com

Die Hard 4.0

Nice design























That looks so sweet, and since I'm in my "red" phase right now, I just fell in love with that design. Look at that. Find out more here and here.
Gizmodo writes:

Peter Hall, on Pop Science's website, writes about this seat's ability to overcome the human tendency towards laziness. See, In theory, the Aeron could be equally ergonomic - if only people adjusted the chair's settings every time they shifted. This chair, which I believe to be a concept, has panels that auto adjust to your every shift like a scale sinking to your weight.

SuperFlex



















Flexible light that still works when completely crunched up? SWEET!

Check out more pictures @ gizmag.com, found @ Gizmodo

Grand Theft Auto: Lego City

via haha.nu

Samsung Electronics' - PDP TV 'Cannes'

















Samsung Electronics presented its new PDP TV 'Cannes'. According to the company, the Cannes PDP TV is the results of the company's exclusive PDP image quality technologies such as 'Ultra DayLight', 'Natural True Color', and 'Real motion studio'.
Specifically, the Cannes offers a contrast ratio of 1000:1(bright room) and 15000:1(dark room) thanks to the Ultra DayLight technology while the Natural true color technology provides improved color reproduction with processing red, green, blue colors with 18bit respectively. The Real motion studio is claimed to give clearer image, getting rid of the effect of blurred outlines of faces and letters on the screen.


more @ aving.net

Neo-Mickey

crookiesblog has a cool post about a video game idea involving Mickey Mouse. Cute animation and cool design I have to say. Head over there for more pictures (original designs and concept).

found @ Cartoon Brew

Wall-E Pic





























found @ characterdesign.blogspot.com

DVD - Captain N

found @ Kotaku, available at Amazon:

Plot Synopsis: Kevin Keene, a teenager from Northridge, California, is brought to another universe known as Videoland, along with his dog, Duke, to defeat the evil villainess, Mother Brain. Mother Brain is trying to conquer Videoland. Kevin has been brought to defeat her, as foretold in an Ancient Prophecy. Kevin is given the title "Captain N: The Game Master". He and Duke join the N Team, which consists of Princess Lana (the Ruler of Videoland), Simon Belmont (the hero from Castlevania), Mega Man, Kid Icarus, and Gameboy (a giant supercomputer). The N Team goes up against the evil Mother Brain (the villain from Metroid) and her minions, King Hippo (Punch-Out), the Eggplant Wizard (Kid Icarus), and Dr. Wily (Mega Man). These forces of good and evil go up against each other and often find themselves in comical, hilarious situations.


Remote Wrangler

Wow.



















Remote Wrangler has anything to do with it. The Multimedia Remote Control Wrangler (aka Remote Wrangler) has taken a novel approach to remote control storage that will be sure to take the world by storm, head first. It will certainly win the hearts (and heads) of those frustrated consumers who have had enough and are ready to regain control over their lives and remote controls. No more digging under seat cushions through Cheetos and Fig Newton crumbs searching for the remote you had just 5 minutes ago. All your controls are now only a head scratch away.


more @ americaninventor via Engadget

The Porn Talk

Wii Have A Porn Problem

Alright parents now listen up. We wanted to let you know that Nintendo’s Wii Gaming Console can access pornography. This highly popular and very fun gaming console is one of the hottest items out there and is a blast to play. But because the device is a Wi-Fi (wireless internet) console able to access the internet, this means that you can surf the net pretty easily.

... etc. etc.

more @ "How to talk to your kids about porn."

Anybots walking robot

Jobs' Role In Backdating Now Issue For Pixar

Already under scrutiny for his role in misdated stock options at Apple Inc., Steve Jobs is facing growing questions about whether he was involved in similar problems at Emeryville-based Pixar Animation Studios Inc. The latest issue with the Walt Disney Co.-owned film studio involves a 10-year employment contract the company signed in 2001 with star director John Lasseter. As part of that agreement, the company awarded Lasseter 1 million stock options that carried a strike price equivalent to the lowest price of Pixar's stock the previous year, according to a report Friday in the Wall Street Journal.


more @ http://origin.insidebayarea.com/business/ci_5201117

Spider-Man 3 Sneak Peek on Heroes

Sony Pictures is revealing an exclusive new Spider-Man 3 clip during the March 5th episode of NBC's hit show "Heroes." After the clip airs, you can go to NBC.com for an extended clip in High Definition!

The third installment, directed by Sam Raimi, stars Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, Bryce Dallas Howard, James Cromwell and Rosemary Harris.

The movie kicks-off the summer season on May 4.


more @ comingsoon.net

Harry Potter Scenes Set To Be Shot In Ireland

Global film giant Warner Bros is hoping to shoot a
large number of scenes of the next Harry Potter movie in Ireland.

Global film giant Warner Bros is hoping to shoot a large number of
scenes of the next Harry Potter movie in Ireland.

The US company is scouting Ireland for possible locations to film
Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince, the sixth instalment of the
movie franchise.

Filming is due to begin early next year.

Warner Bros, the movie subsidiary of AOL Time Warner, shot the
previous five Harry Potter films in Britain, including Harry Potter
and the Order of the Phoenix, which is due to be released in the
coming months.

However, executives at the production company believe they have now
exhausted possible locations in Britain
. more @ sbpost.ie

Creature From The Deep Presidio

South Korean director Bong Joon-ho's The Host is just a movie, so the red, white, and blue can't really be blamed for unleashing a monster on his country's populace. But Bong's beast came to life in a part of San Francisco steeped in military history. Tucked away in the Presidio, amid old army barracks, tree-lined drives, and cutting-edge nonprofit facilities is the Orphanage, an upstart special effects company aiming to shape the future of film.


a lot more @ www.sfbg.com

Scanners Remake Gets Saw II Director

Dimension Films has closed a deal to remake David Cronenberg's 1981 SF horror movie Scanners, with Saw II director Darren Lynn Bousman at the helm, Variety reported. Blade and Batman Begins writer David Goyer will pen the script.

The story revolves around a scientist who infiltrates an underground movement of "scanners," whose telepathic abilities make them lethal weapons. The original was best remembered for an exploding-head scene.

Dimension co-chairman Bob Weinstein has earmarked an early 2008 production start; the aim is to release the film later that year, the trade paper reported.


more @ scifi.com

Celebrating 'Pirates' Oscar Win










"It's been a while since we've been able to bring one of these golden guys back to the studio," Hickel said. "I couldn't be more proud of the work our team put into this film. It's the perfect example of technology and creativity coming together to further the art of cinematic storytelling, and at the end of the day that's what we all strive to do."

Industrial Light and Magic, part of Lucasfilm Ltd., moved its headquarters to the San Francisco Presidio in 2005. This is the first Oscar the company has won since the move.

The company has been nominated for 23 Academy Awards and has won for such films as Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park.


ILM employees gathered around for a chance to hold the tiny but heavy statue, officially called the Academy Award of Merit. Weighing nearly nine pounds, the award is made of gold-plated britannium on a black metal base.

Photos: http://news.com.com/2300-1041_3-6162450-10.html?tag=ne.gall.pg

Cameron Takes Charge At Jackson's NZ Studio

"I don't care if I never work in Hollywood again," the veteran director said. Avatar, an original script conceived by Cameron and is set on a planet where humans can only survive by projecting their consciousness into genetically engineered bodies, called avatars.

"It's taken me 11 years to get the script right, and it took this long for the technology to catch up to my vision," said Cameron, who was special guest at Investment New Zealand's annual pre-Oscar bash in Beverly Hills last weekend.

Cameron said he has been keen to come back to New Zealand since he visited the country in 1994, and Peter Jackson's work on LOTR and King Kong convinced him to make Avatar there.

"Peter and I have become good friends over the past couple of years. He's a 3-D fanatic, like I am, and he loves the effects, and he loves fantasy film-making. I'm going to be relying on all the infrastructure he's built down there, from the live action soundstages to the Weta workshop, which will make the props and sets.

"It's going to be, 'Thanks for building all this, Peter. Now can you move out for a year and let me use it?' "

a lot more @ nzherald.co.nz

Catching Up With VFX Vet Dennis Muren

On February 11, the Visual Effects Society honored Dennis Muren, one of their own, with a Lifetime Achievement award. Muren began working at Industrial Light & Magic in 1976 on the first ‘Star Wars’ film, for which he won his first Oscar. He has gone on to receive 15 Oscar nominations and win nine Oscars, the most of any living person still making movies. In 1999, he became the first visual effects artist to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (at 6764 Hollywood Blvd). His most recent Oscar nomination was last year for the visual effects in ‘War of the Worlds’. We talked with him to find out what’s keeping him interested today.

Source: http://features.cgsociety.org/story_custom.php?story_id=3957


'Shrek' Writer Signs Up For $50 Million CGI Movie Planet One

And since people have realized that talking animals in CG movies are not hot anymore, everybody is doing sci-fi. I love sci-fi, so I can't really complain. But that herd movement thinking is getting so ooooold...

Handmade Films Intl. has teamed up with Madrid-based Ilion Animation Studios to finance and co-produce "Planet One," a $50 million CGI movie written by "Shrek" scribe Joe Stillman. The film will be directed by Jorge Blanco, the lead artist on the vidgame series "Commandos." Production is set to start in May, with the theatrical release targeted for Christmas 2008 or Easter 2009. Pic is described as an alien invasion story with a difference. The inhabitants of Planet One, who have two antennae and eight fingers, live in a world strangely akin to American suburbia of the 1950s, with drive-in movies, picket fences and a persistent fear of alien invasion — which is fulfilled when a human astronaut lands in their midst. Apart from contributing to the screenplays of all three "Shrek" movies, Stillman also worked closely with Mike Judge on his series "Beavis and Butthead" and "King of the Hill," for which he was Emmy-nominated.

more @ variety.com

Mummy 3 Heads For "Digital Desert" In Montreal

Although Universal's first "Mummy" re-make in 1999 filmed on location in Morrocco, Montreal recently recreated ancient 'Sparta' for the upcoming feature "300", using CGI and blue screens.

"The Mummy 3" will now take advantage of Montreal's world-class effects houses to recreate the Egyptian desert, with Canadian actor Brendan Fraser returning to the role of adventurer 'Rick O'Connell.
Great, so it's going to look super fake. You can't recreate the hot burning sun of a real desert in a studio.

more @ sneakpeektv.blogspot.com

Star Trek XI gets Christmas 2008 Release

Yes, more Star Trek XI news. Paramount sent out a press release that now OFFICIALLY officially announces the project. But there are a few meaty tidbits to be discovered. Let’s take a look.

JJ Abrams will be directing and co-producing with Lost Co-Creator Damon Lindelof. They will be using a script penned by Alex Kurtzman (M:I:III, The Island) and Roberto Orci (Transformers, M:I:III) which ‘embraces & respects Trek canon’ and is not the reported “complete reboot”. Shooting will begin in Fall 2007 Star Trek XI will be released on Christmas Day 2008.


more @ slashfilm.com

Today's Fitness Tip: Cereal Idea

Like most people, you probably know that eating a high fiber cereal is
good for health. However, if you aren’t quite ready to embrace the
taste of high fiber cereals, consider this compromise. Mix a high
fiber cereal with another healthy, but sweeter choice. Try using
one-fourth cup of the high fiber cereal and 3/4 cup of sweeter one.
You should get 6 - 8 grams of fiber and 120 - 140 calories from each
cup of the mixed cereals.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

How William Shatner Deals With Producers/Execs

Fantastic!!!

Found @ Cartoon Brew, listen to Shatner @ www.escapedgoat.com

Skinwalkers

Cool poster.































watch the trailer @ ifilm

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - TV Spot #1

Gough Talks Mummy 3

Oh no.... That kid was so annoying, but still not as annoying as the one from Zorro 2... Read on:

He also confirmed that Alex O'Connell, the smart-alecky son of protagonists Rick and Evy introduced in The Mummy Returns, will be in Mummy 3 as "a young adult."

Gough revealed that he and Millar turned the project down three times before agreeing to write it. "They had an idea for a third Mummy movie that we always wanted to do as a movie. We said, 'If we don't do it, they'll do it and it will be gone' and we came up with a good family story. With a sequel, it's always about, 'What is it's reason to be?' With this one, there is still a story to tell about the family, about Alex the son, Rachel and Brendan."


more @ IGN Movies

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

























pic @ IGN

soft-fabric electronic glove























The glove is produced from standard acrylic or stretch-nylon base yarn and it can be made on a conventional industrial knitting machine. The wearable device looks and feels like a normal glove, except it has conductive pathways knitted into the material. The fingers are tipped with contactors, so if a user puts his or her thumb together with any other finger, they will create an electric circuit. The glove is completely wireless and its power pack and Bluetooth device is mounted at the cuff.

Engineers at EFS tested the use of the glove with a virtual instrument computer game. The demonstrator fiddled his fingers to simulate the plucking of guitar strings on the PC screen.

However, Hunter said the applications for these gloves could go beyond the gaming world. He and the other developers have been talking to clinical partners in some of Manchester University's five teaching hospitals.


story and pic found @ e4engineering.com via Gizmodo

iPhone Screensaver

found @ Gizmodo

DVD - Children of Men

Also today, some announcement news: Universal has just revealed that Children of Men will street on DVD and HD-DVD/DVD Combo format on 3/27. The DVD will carry an SRP of $29.98 and will include anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, deleted scenes, the Possibility of Hope documentary and 4 featurettes (Theo and Julian, Futuristic Designs, Visual Effects: Creating the Baby and Men Under Attack: Children of Men). The HD-DVD version will add a U-Control option, picture-in-picture video and "Ads & Propaganda". This is a great, great film and we're certainly looking forward to it on disc.


from www.thedigitalbits.com

Director Torill Kove on The Danish Poet

animated-views.com has an interview with director Torill Kove on The Danish Poet.
















Animated Views: When did you first decide that you wanted a career in animation?

Torill Kove: I don’t really think that I had the wherewithal to decide that it was going to be a career. I think that I just kind of started learning how to do animation. It was in ’94 or ’93, maybe. Might have been in ’93. I was just drawn to it, because it’s a nice combination of storytelling and drawing that appealed to me.

AV: How did you become involved with the National Film Board of Canada?

TK: I was taking a course at the animation school at the Concordia University in Montréal. A lot of people who teach there often also make films for the Film Board. So I met a couple of directors, in the animation school. When I had finished my first year of animation, there was somebody at the Film Board who needed an assistant on his film. He needed a tracer, basically, for a 3-4 year contract at the Film Board. So I got that job. When I finished that one, there were other assistant jobs that came up. Then, I wrote a script, pitched it and got to make a couple of films.

AV: How long did it take to create The Danish Poet?

Matt Groening Interview

You'll probably find no greater Simpsons fan than me. I have stood by the show in the darkest years, when many fair-weather fans just complain about the end of the Golden Age. I maintain there have been at least two renaissances. Frankly, I will go through serious withdrawals when the show finally ends. I told creator Matt Groening that and I think he thought I was being sarcastic. But he let me interview him anyway. There are 18 years of show to cover, plus the upcoming movie and the return of Futurama.

Crave Online: I was forever disturbed by the episode where Lester and Eliza save the day instead of Bart and Lisa. I expected them to recur as rivals. Were they always intended as one joke?

Matt Groening: It was a one shot. They were partially based on the original drawings of Bart and Lisa and we've written them into the show, but have they come back? I don't even remember. I think we put them in The Simpsons movie. They were in one draft. I'm not sure if they survive.

Crave Online: Can you finally clear this up: That was Michael Jackson in the Lisa's birthday episode, right?

Matt Groening: Oh, I think that was a contractual thing but I didn't sign any contract. Yeah, that was Michael Jackson.

Crave Online: Are there any other Simpsons urban legends?

Matt Groening: Oh, there were two rumors. One was that Madonna was going to be on the show, and then that the movie was going to be about Bart losing his virginity. That was 10 years ago. Bart losing his virginity was based on somebody asked one of the writers what's the Simpsons movie about? He goes, "Bart losing his virginity." That was a joke and that's not what the movie's about.


more @ www.craveonline.com

New Force Unleashed picture

from gamefront.de/

"WALL E" skillfully blends sci-f & satire to tell a surprisingly sweet tale

By now, you've probably seen pictures of "WALL E" 's title character. Maybe you've even caught a glimpse of this film's unique-looking logo. But what do you actually know about Pixar's 2008 release? Very little, I'll bet. Which is standard operating procedure for this Emeryville-based animation studio. They like keeping the storylines for their upcoming animated features under lock & key for as long as possible. But "WALL E" went over the wall (so to speak) last week. You see, I had the chance to talk with someone associated with this new Andrew Stanton film who just couldn't contain themselves. They had to talk about "WALL E." Why For? Because this individual believes that Stanton's next movie is important. That it's going to be such a step up from the work that Andrew did on "Finding Nemo" that "WALL E" is going to shock people. Both for its choice of source material as well as its style of storytelling. And the story that this animation insider told me ... It's such a departure for Pixar, such a ballsy choice that one wonders how mainstream audiences are actually going to react to "WALL E." Will they be able to embrace a message movie that so liberally mixes science fiction & satire? Be warned, folks. If you don't want to know anything about the story of Pixar's Summer 2008 release, now would be a really good time to bail out of JHM. For I'm about to give you the skinny on "WALL E."

Still there?

Okay. Here goes ...


I hate spoilers, so if you want to know more, then head over to jimhillmedia.com without me.

Video: Partying with ILM Oscar winners

Industrial Light & Magic's Hal Hickel and John Knoll took home an Oscar for visual effects on Sunday night.

Their peers welcomed them back to San Francisco with a bash at the Letterman Digital Arts Center.

CNET.com's Veronica Belmont was on hand to check out the scene and talk with the winners.


Check it out here.

The Fallout From The Happy Feet Win

The win by Happy Feet will reinforce to the powers-that-be in Hollywood that motion capture is a vaild subsitute for authentic character animation. That live action writers, directors and actors can make a “cartoon” without the skills honed by decades of accomplishment created by Walt Disney and his successors.


more @ cartoonbrew.com

Virgin Comics Goes To The Movies

Sci Fi Channel has teamed with Richard Branson's Virgin Comics to create comic books that also will be developed into content for feature film, television, digital and gaming. Five new comic book titles will kick off the joint venture, dubbed Sci Fi/Virgin Comics. Details on those titles are forthcoming, but the idea is to create original properties that will be eyed across all media.


more @ reuters.com

VFX Oscar "Thank-You-Cam"

Who knows? If not for the new "Thank-You Cam," Sunday night's nearly four-hour Oscar telecast might have run six hours. The new backstage Internet alternative to the long-held practice of Oscar winners reading long and boring lists of people to thank, and then finding themselves out of time to say anything meaningful, proved a success in its first outing. Producer Laura Ziskin came up with the idea: Winners could blather on as long as they wanted, but not on-air. Instead, they could do so backstage in front of the Thank-You Cam, and their words would be relayed onto the Internet through the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Web site. The videos will remain posted until next year's Oscar show. Almost every winner took advantage of the offer.
ILM on the Thank-You Cam: http://oscar.com/video/index?channel=5173#

more @ abclocal.go.com

Lucasfilm Headquarters Hosts Coppola Screening

Francis Ford Coppola's "Youth Without Youth" was shown to invited guests at Lucasfilm's headquarters in the Presidio. The filmmaker's invitation stressed that the movie, Coppola's first in 10 years, is intended to be particularly personal, in keeping with "the great cinema of Europe and Japan that had first inspired me to become a filmmaker myself." In other words, this isn't a standard Hollywood film-by-committee.

...

I didn't see the movie, but all the talk at the party -- in awestruck tones indicating that Coppola's aim had been fulfilled -- was about imagination and metaphor and vision. The director himself sat deep inside his restaurant, surrounded by friends and greeting new arrivals with the words of a generous host in his own kitchen: "Do you want something to eat?'' When we left at 1 a.m., the party was still in full swing.


more @ sfgate.com

Face Robot Installed for Zemeckis Performance Course

The USC School of Cinematic Arts has installed SOFTIMAGE|FACE ROBOT, its facial animation software, for use in a new performance capture graduate course for 12 students, co-instructed by Robert Zemeckis (THE PLOAR EXPRESS, MONSTER HOUSE, BEOWULF).

Students in the Performance Capture class will write the material and direct actors in a short scene relying on motion and performance capture techniques. Using the Vicon MX motion capture system with 16 cameras, motion capture intermediate software and SOFTIMAGE|FACE ROBOT facial animation software, Zemeckis and USC co-instructor Eric Furie will guide students through the process of creating the two-minute sequence. Building on characters generated by Darwin Dimensions' Evolver program, students will cut and edit the rendered video on Avid Media Composer software.


more @ news.awn.com

The Incredible Hulk to Shoot in Toronto

The Associated Press reports that Marvel Studios has chosen Toronto as a principal photography location for The Incredible Hulk, to be directed by Louis Leterrier ("The Transporter" films, Unleashed).

The film's executive producer Jim Van Wyck (Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Armageddon), shot in the city two years ago on the action flick 16 Blocks and said he found the Toronto film community to be "exceptional," lauding the co-operation from the city and the province.

The Incredible Hulk is expected to begin shooting this summer for about four months. The cast has yet to be announced.

Universal Pictures will distribute the picture on June 13, 2008.


more @ comingsoon.net

Zombie "War" Enlists JMS & Pitt

J. Michael Straczynski, the man who created what remains one of TV most complex serial dramas "Babylon 5", is set to write the adaptation of "World War Z" by Max Brooks for Paramount Pictures reports IGN.

The novel, a clever collection of retrospective interview anecdotes, covers the accounts of nearly four dozen people from all walks of life who played different parts in a virus pandemic that turned most of the world's population into zombies and threatened to overwhelm the globe until we fought back.

Various chapters have some strong political bents - an ex-Apartheid official develops an inhumane but effective solution to the zombie plagues, Israel undergoes a controversial self-quarantine, North America becomes a wasteland whilst Cuba prospers, and China is essentially responsible for the outbreak thanks to the ecological disruption caused by the Three Gorges Dam.

"I'm adapting that for Paramount. For Brad Pitt potentially -- we'll see what happens. He might be the star in it. It's very political, very smart, very cagey" says Straczynski.

Sweeney Todd Starts Principal Photography

Principal photography has begun in London on Sweeny Todd, starring Johnny Depp in the Tim Burton directed screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's award-winning musical thriller.

"I've always wanted to do a musical and 'Sweeney Todd' is my favorite," said Tim Burton. "Stephen's blend of humor, horror and emotion is something that has always connected with me."

This will be the sixth collaboration between Depp and Burton who worked previously together on Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Ed Wood, Edward Scissorhands and Sleepy Hollow. Depp comes fresh from completing the third "Pirates of the Caribbean" film in the Academy Award nominated role of Captain Jack Sparrow.


a lot more @ comingsoon.net

VFX & Robert Downey, Jr. : Our Kind of Guy

Introducing the Oscar for Best Visual Effects with Naomi Watts, Robert Downey, Jr. won us over all over again.

"Visual effects: They enable us to see aliens, experience other universes, move in slow-motion, or watch spiders climbing high above the city landscape." (a beat) "For me, just a typical weeknight in the mid-Nineties."

more @ tmz.com


Indiana Jones 4 Starts Filming June 18

Fox411 talked to Steven Spielberg at the Oscars' Governors Ball who revealed that Indiana Jones 4 starts filming on June 18.

Paramount will release the anticipated film on May 22, 2008. Other than Harrison Ford, no cast members have been officially announced.


more @ comingsoon.net

Today's Fitness Tip: Burger Choices

Did you know that a veggie burger can have as much as 57% fewer
calories and 82% less fat than a hamburger made with extra lean ground
beef? In addition, veggie types often contain dietary fiber and
provide less saturated fat. Consider choosing a soy-based veggie
burger and add sliced onions, tomatoes, greens, and mustard!

Monday, February 26, 2007

iPod Cover Flow

Nice post @ Gizmodo!

Michael Myers - Halloween by Rob Zombie

























found @ cinematical

Virtual Console Monday

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Nintendo 64, 1 player, 1,000 Wii Points)

Bio-Hazard Battle (Sega Genesis, 1-2 players, 800 Wii Points)

Chew Man Fu (TurboGrafx16, 1-2 players, 600 Wii Points)

Pixar Is Inventing New Math

Tony DeRose, a resident computer nerd at Pixar, said today that much of their work while creating new films requires the creation of new math. The problem is that human skin, for example, goes through extreme deformations when it is being animated. Because of that the Pixar team needs to figure out new ways to represent complex geometry. Otherwise, a character's skin could fall apart, tear, or melt off their bodies when the images are rendered

Their goal for integrating these new methods, says DeRose (who has a degree in Physics and a PhD in Computer Science) is that, "the science should not replace art. We don't want fully automatic techniques [for image creation], we just want to enhance the art. [New software] should be intuitive to the artist, not just the scientist."

What they're finding is that the interplay between academics and industry has been hugely successful. According to DeRose they now have more courage to explore scientific musings that would normally only have been possible in a university environment.


more @ blog.wired.com

James Cameron Claims To Have Discovered The Tomb Of Jesus Christ

This Sunday, director James Cameron and archaeologist Simcha Jacobovici will premiere a new documentary on the Discovery Channel entitled "The Lost Tomb of Jesus," which lays out evidence that a well-known holy relic called The Talpiot Tomb is in fact the crypt that once held the bones of Jesus Christ. The press release states that "scientific evidence, including DNA analysis conducted at one of the world's foremost molecular genetics laboratories, as well as studies by leading scholars, suggests a 2,000-year-old Jerusalem tomb could have once held the remains of Jesus of Nazareth and his family. The findings also suggest that Jesus and Mary Magdalene might have produced a son named Judah." The press release also noted that this could be "the greatest archaeological find in history," since it could satisfy many that, you know, there's no God.

Cameron, Jacobovici and others will hold a news conference at 11:00 a.m today to prepare the world for the documentary. The relics in question are ten coffins, unearthed by a construction crew in the early 1980s in a suburb of Jerusalem. Each of the coffins were preserved in a hidden cave that archaeologists estimate to be 2,000 years old. For the last twenty years, careful analysis has been done to decode the names on the caskets, and here are the names they finally came up with: Jesua, Joseph, Mary, Mary, Matthew, Jofa and Judah. Sounds like the right family tree to me.

Mitochondrial DNA tests have been done on the coffins thought to be that of Jesus and Mary Magdalene at Lakehead University's Paleo-DNA laboratory -- the tests showed that the two individuals had no maternal DNA linkage. Rumor has it that Cameron may actually display the coffins during today's news conference. I'm not going to tell you where in New York Cameron will be speaking, because I don't want you to turn up and assassinate him or anything, but just to comfort the fanatics out there, Cameron hasn't announced any plans to scoop Jesus's DNA off the coffin and resurrect him (again) or anything. So everyone please take this news in stride.


more @ http://www.cinematical.com/

I Am Legend Action At the Brooklyn Bridge

Possibly to pre-empt freaked out phone calls to 911, the production folks from the Will Smith film I Am Legend have alerted not only residents and businesses downtown and near the Brooklyn Bridge, but the major papers to to tell everyone not to freak out if they see Black Hawk helicopters, tanks, military activity, hundreds if not thousands of people, and lots of lights near the Brooklyn Bridge. Because it's just filming, not an actual invasion of zombies looking for an Oscar. While it'll be a pain in the ass, we prefer this to the crappy fake NYC backlots in Hollywood. Then again, we pray there are no actual emergencies to tend to while filming is tying things up - like another mercaptan smell that needs to be investigated.


Pics: http://www.gothamist.com/archives/2007/01/23/get_ready_for_i.php

more @ gothamist.com

It's Official: J.J. Abrams Directs Star Trek

The 11th installment of the series will actually be a prequel to the original television series and the first movie, as it chronicles the first meeting of a young James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock at Starfleet Academy and their first space mission.

Although Abrams had been committed to produce the movie for a number of months, it was finally confirmed that he would also direct it. Look for more announcements in the next few months as he starts casting.


more @ The Hollywood Reporter

Happy Feet Delivers Animation Upset: Races Past Pixar's Cars

The win marks a notable return to Hollywood for Miller. The former practicing physician from Australia had been absent for more than a decade from the Oscar scene since his best-picture nomination for the CG-laden "Babe" in 1996, and a 1993 nomination for the "Lorenzo's Oil" screenplay.

For "Cars," despite its muscle cars and dazzling American vistas, it's been a bumpy road. It opened last summer to less-than-anticipated business for a Pixar film.

Miller's absence from the Oscar campaign trail because of an extended vacation in India ultimately did not handicap "Happy Feet."

"It's a leap of faith to make a film, and animated feature films take so long in production," he said. "It is a good feeling to be recognized for everyone's hard work it. But to be honest, the biggest relief was to know that the film got out there and that audiences went to see it."

"I asked my kids, 'What should I say?' " if his film should win, Miller said in his acceptance speech. "They said, 'Thank all the men for wearing penguin suits.' "


more @ theenvelope.latimes.com

Titanic Director Backs Jackson In Audit Spat

Titanic director James Cameron has weighed in on the side of Peter Jackson in his stoush with a Hollywood studio over profits from The Lord of the Rings.

Cameron said he understood the conflict. "I went through the same thing back in the early 90s. It's like these guys have had you under their thumb the whole time. You've proven yourself. And you feel like you just want to go out yourself and cut out the middleman who's always giving you stupid bonehead notes."

more @ stuff.co.nz

Making Money: Sharing VFX On The Web

shareCG beta, a new web community for Computer Graphics, Visual Effects, and 3D Animation/Art professionals and hobbyists, officially went online today. shareCG is the first CG dedicated website to share its revenue with site contributors. Everything on shareCG -- including videos, animation, art galleries, tutorials, 3D models, software, plug-ins, scripts, and CG news -- is free, as well as site membership and the opportunity to profit.


You can visit shareCG now at http://www.sharecg.com, and register for membership at http://www.sharecg.com/register.php.

Why Pixar Won't Soon Go Union

1) Abusive company management is an organizer's best friend.

2) A company won't get organized until company employees reach a "tipping point" and get fed up with the status quo.

3) Treating employees well enables a company to avoid unions.

A case in point is the Disney Company's non-union animation studio Pixar. The Emeryville facility has been around for a dozen years making animated features, and it's been "non-signator" from the first day of its existence to right this minute. One reason for this is, it's in the Bay area, where very little cgi work is unionized. Another reason is Pixar management's style and philosophy.
The question I most often got from Disney animation employees when Disney absorbed Pixar was: "Is Pixar going union?" At first I said, "I don't know." Then, as the merger dust settled and I got more information, I replied: "I don't think so. Not soon, anyway."


more @ animationguildblog.blogspot.com

'Ghost Rider' Is Still On Fire

The comic-book adaptation about the motorcycling superhero took the top spot at the box office for the second straight weekend, a rarity for a comic book hero other than Batman, Spider-Man or Superman. The Nicolas Cage adventure took in $19.7 million and held off a slew of newcomers, studio estimates from box office trackers Nielsen EDI show. The film has earned $78.7 million in 10 days, a sign it has moved beyond comic book fans and into the mainstream.

more @ usatoday.com

ILM: No Time To Rest

John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and Allen Hall, winners for their visual effects work on "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," might have become Oscar holders, but it looks like they'll have no time to enjoy that state. Some of the group already have a meeting with the film's director, Gore Verbinski, today as they tackle a huge battle scene for the next film of the franchise, "At World's End." The quartet disclosed that the new movie will be bigger than what has come before -- and different: "We're not doing more of the same," Gibson said. "We're going to be doing a lot of invention for this one. We're doing 2,000 shots, which was the amount of shots of ('Pirates') one and two combined."


more @ hollywoodreporter.com

Cameron's Avatar Gets 2D Release

According to Variety, the film, which is being shot entirely in 3-D, will be released both in 3-D and 2-D. Avatar is the first major pic Cameron has helmed since Titanic. It's based on a script he's been working on for more than a decade as he perfected the technology necessary to shoot the film.

The film stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana and Sigourney Weaver, and pits a band of humans in a battle against a distant indigenous population. The release date has been set for May 22, 2009.


more @ superheroflix.com

ILM Team Wins Oscar For Best Visual Effects

While the victory gave lead effects house Industrial Light + Magic its 13th Academy Award in the category, it also ended a 14-year dry spell for the company, which had not brought home an Oscar for VFX since 1994, when it earned a statuette for "Forrest Gump."

ILM visual effects supervisor John Knoll thanked producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski as he accepted the award, which he shared with Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and Allen Hall.

Before 1994, ILM dominated the category, with staffers earning Oscars in 1993 for "Jurassic Park," 1992 ("Death Becomes Her"), 1991 ("Terminator 2: Judgment Day"), 1989 ("The Abyss"), 1988 ("Who Framed Roger Rabbit"), 1987 ("Innerspace"), 1985 ("Cocoon") and 1984 ("Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom").

ILM also won visual effects Oscars for all three films in the first "Star Wars" trilogy as well for as the classics "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial."

In recent years, though, the category has become increasingly competitive with the emergence of such companies as Digital Domain, Sony Pictures Imageworks and Weta Digital.

But "Dead Man's Chest" wasn't only the biggest boxoffice hit of 2006, it also gave moviegoers a view of seafaring creatures unlike any they had ever seen.


more @ hollywoodreporter.com

Departed evening of bloated, boring Hollywood babble

by Tim Goodman, check it out: www.sfgate.com

His view of the Oscars, good ones:

-- Robert Downey Jr. Love that guy. More self-effacing drug jokes make even the driest of affairs seem more pleasant.

-- Let's get this thing worked out for when four people -- say, special-effects guys -- come onstage: History tells us, time and time again, that only two of you will be able to thank anyone; the other two will get cut off, rudely. And if the first guy stumbles over his words, the camera will cut away to Beyonci.

-- Michael Arndt's acceptance speech for "Little Miss Sunshine" was short, sweet and pleasantly devoid of faux pauses.

Today's Fitness Tip: Alzheimer's Disease

Do you know the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease? They include: MILD
SYMPTOMS - Confusion and memory loss; disorientation; getting lost in
familiar surroundings; problems with routine tasks; changes in
personality and judgment. MODERATE SYMPTOMS - Difficulty with
activities of daily living, such as eating and bathing; anxiety;
suspiciousness; agitation; sleep disturbances; wandering; pacing;
difficulty recognizing family and friends. SEVERE SYMPTOMS - Loss of
speech; loss of appetite; weight loss; loss of bladder and bowel
control; total dependence on the caregiver.

Today's Fitness Tip: Icing for injuries

Icing many types of injuries aids the healing process. But, using ice
improperly can actually do more harm than good. Use these precautions
when treating injuries: Do not leave the ice pack on an injury after
the skin becomes numb. Never fall asleep with ice on your skin. Don't
use ice on open blisters or wounds. If an injury does not respond to
self-treatment within 24-72 hours or is severe, see a doctor.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The 79th Annual Academy Awards - Oscars 2007


Well, hasn't started yet, but stay tuned!

- Kate Winslet, at 31, 5 Oscar Nominations so far? Damn, good for her!

- all those guys in front of the white background right now. Apple commercial? Funny though, Eddie Murphy's serious face cracked me up. Hal Hickel was in it!!

- was that Jack Nicholson without hair?

- it's always funny when they film some people laughing at a joke, but then they keep filming and you can see that they force themselves to keep laughing. Classic!

- "No one can fill a seat like an American!"

- "... we just don't have time for boring speeches." HAHAHA!

- "Al Gore is here, America DID vote for him... very complicated." (after the Idol joke)

- Art Direction Winner: Pan's Labyrinth!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nicole Kidman said: "And the Winner is..." I thought you have to say: "And the Oscar goes to..." because it's more politically correct, non?

- iPhone commercial, nice.

- Will Ferrel, what hair! Funny Song too!

- Make-up Winner: Pan's Labyrinth!!!!!!!! OH YEAH AGAIN!!!!!!!

- Speech is up, get off the stage. Annoying as always when they cut you off.

- Best Animated Short Winner: The Danish Poet!!! Well deserved!!

- Live Action Short Film: West Bank Story

- so Nicholson really did shave his head, interesting, what movie is that for?

- cool, I liked the sound effects thingie (Jaws, classic)

- Best Sound Editing: Letters from Iwo Jima

- Best Sound Mixing: Dreamgirls

- Best Supporting Role: Allen Arkin Really? I don't know...

- Aawww, talking to Mark Wahlberg right after he lost... not funny.

- Dance group... booooring, time for a break.

- those songs are not doing it for me.

- Oscar has gone green. And boring.

- I still can't stand Cameron Diaz. But the dress is nice.

- Best Animated Feature: Happy Feet. I knew it. It's about penguins, Cars was not succesful enough, Monster House even less. Lame. Monster House was my top pick. And yes, it's mocap, get over it.

- Montage about writers. I always like it when you can see similar moments/scenes from different movies.

- Best Adapted Screenplay: The Departed

- Best Costume Design: Marie Antoinette

- what was that before? 3 Suprises? Best feature, best animated short and another one. Those were not really surprises though (except the 3rd one, which I can't remember). It's really cool that the Danish Poet won, great short!

- I still like Tom Cruise, no matter what stupid gossip stuff is going on. He's an underrated actor.

- Cancer Research. Montage. Cruise hands out Oscar. I set the show on mute, so I don't know who it is.

- walk through of Ellen again. Not really funny, until myspace came up. Correcting Spielberg, awesome!

- Best Cinematography: Pan's Labyrinth

- good for Pan's Labyrinth, but Children of Men was equal, at least

- Cedit Card commercial: PayPass? Tap and go? No code, no signature? Any security???

- And here we go: Best Visual Effects: Pirates of the Carribean 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Let's cut people off, film Beyonce because it's boring VFX, classic!

- Best Foreign Language Film: The Lives of Others. WOW! NOT PAN'S LABYRINTH???

- Cool Snakes on a Plane Shadow thing!!!

- Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson. Good for her!! Take it Beyonce!

- Best Documentary Short Subject: The Blood of Yingzhou District

- Best Documentary Feature: An Inconvenient Truth

- Ennio Morricone Tribute and Oscar (The Untouchables, The Thing, oh yeah! And countless others of course, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, etc.)

- Nice acting by Celine Dion... Oh please.

- Ennio's speech. Beautiful language. Clint's translation was a bit casual, same goes for his delivery. Took away from the emotional impact.

- Best Original Score: Babel

- Babel's score, hold on. During the nomation montage, that guitar piece? That's from The Insider and the TV show Deadwood! Huh?

- Best Screenplay: Little Miss Sunshine

- Jennifer Hudson! Holy Moly! It's a miracle that her... assets... didn't fall out of her dress! But boy, what a voice!

- Best Original Song: An Inconvenient Truth

- Best Film Editing: The Departed

- Best Actress: Helen Mirren

- such weird skits...

- Best Actor: Forest Whitaker. Nice.

- Best Director: Martin Scorsese. FINALLY! Expected with these presenters :-)

- Funny George, classic!

- Best Movie: The Departed

- why is Scorsese not up there during the best movie oscar??


That's it folks! Long night as usual.

Tata.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Disney animation gets Pixar-ization

















Walking up the stairs of the Disney Animation Studios building, Ed Catmull talks about change."We took down as many walls as we could," he says, showing off a bright and open second floor -- a stark contrast to the narrow hallways and separate rooms on other floors.

That attitude is exactly why Bob Iger brought on Catmull, a computer science Ph.D. who started Pixar as a division of LucasFilm in 1979 and led the company from the time Steve Jobs bought it in 1986 until its acquisition a year ago, when he took his new job.

The problem these days isn't quantity, but quality. In the past six years, WDFA released seven toons, only two of which made more than $100 million domestically and only one of which, 2002's "Lilo and Stitch," was also positively received by most critics and the animation community.

[ So if a movie makes more than $100 miilion, then it's a quality piece? Uhm, Sharktale anyone? In stark contrast: Wallace and Gromit? I know that you need profit to keep a studio alive, I'm not an idiot, but that 3-day-week-end super blockbuster mentality has to go. ]

Disney artists felt that lack of success acutely, which is why morale was particularly low in 2005. But insiders say that feeling changed almost overnight when Catmull and Lasseter, two of the most respected figures in the industry, took over.Disney animators use words like "euphoria" to describe what they felt at the time.

Today, those feelings are more tempered, thanks to an unexpected round of cutbacks in December that saw Disney Animation lay off 160 employees, or about 20% of its staff."Everybody recognizes the fact that they're trying to change the culture down here for the better, but it's safe to say that the pixie dust that surrounded their arrival has pretty much disappeared," says one source close to Disney Animation.

Catmull says the layoffs weren't a result of corporate pressure, but his and Lasseter's decision to move Disney Animation from putting out one pic per year to one every 18 months."It took Pixar 10 years to get to one movie per year," Catmull notes. "We had to get things back in balance and then grow from there.

"Such sentiments, while reasonable, underline why many in the animation community say Mouse House artists are struggling with an inferiority complex: Pixar kept its leadership, didn't experience any layoffs, and is putting out one pic per year.In other words, the 72-year-old Disney Animation has to follow the example of its 20-year-old sibling.

...

Similarly, this summer's Pixar release "Ratatouille" is the first film from that studio to see a director ankle after years of development. Jan Pinkava, who was set to make his feature debut after winning an Oscar for Pixar short "Geri's Game," was replaced in 2005 by Bird.


Really? I thought there was another one, like Toy Story 2, no?



a lot more interesting stuff @ www.variety.com


"Little Fockers"

Universal Pictures has renewed its deal with Robert De Niro's Tribeca Prods. and will develop "Little Fockers," the third installment of the lucrative comedy franchise.

Director Jay Roach and the producers are presently planning the film's story with Larry Stuckey officially penning the script reports Variety.

The plan is for all the principals from the previous film to return - DeNiro, Blythe Danner, Ben Stiller, Teri Polo, Barbara Streisand and Dustin Hoffman.

Both "Meet the Parents" and "Meet the Fockers' have pulled in a total of $845 million in worldwide ticket sales.


more @ www.darkhorizons.com

Today's Fitness Tip: Niacin caution

Niacin lowers blood cholesterol levels, but it should never be
self-prescribed. Large doses of niacin can cause flushed skin, rashes,
and blurred vision. If your doctor has prescribed niacin, only take
the amount prescribed. Otherwise, rely on food sources of niacin such
as poultry, legumes, and fortified grains.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Top Ten Game Secrets

  • Mega Man - pause trick
  • Street Fighter II - mirror match
  • Legend of Zelda - second quest code
  • Mortal Kombat - blood enabled
  • Grand Theft Auto San Andreas - hot coffee mod
  • Altered Beast - cartridge swap
  • Sonic the Hedgehog - debug mode
  • Metroid - Justin Bailey cheat
  • Contra - Konami code
  • Super Mario Bros. - sewers warp pipes
See the video @ www.thelastboss.com

George Lucas to Join in Presentation of Best Director Oscar at Academy Awards

In addition to cheering on the phenomenal work of ILM and Skywalker Sound at this Sunday’s Academy Awards presentation, there’s another reason to tune in to the ceremonies: George Lucas will present the Best Director Oscar, appearing with Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola to make one of this year’s five nominees very happy. As a reminder, those nominees are Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel), Clint Eastwood (Letters from Iwo Jima), Stephen Frears (The Queen), Paul Greengrass (United 93) and Martin Scorcese (The Departed).Tune in to ABC at 6 p.m. Sunday to follow all of the Oscar action!

9-disc Ultimate Star Wars Saga box

Bad news from www.thedigitalbits.com (BEST DVD site btw.):

You know that mega-bombad 9-disc Ultimate Star Wars Saga box set that's been in the works for a few years now? The one that was expected to be released later this year to celebrate the 30th Anniversary? Yeah... maybe not so much anymore. We've been hearing from multiple sources now that the folks up at Lucasburg were surprised enough at the lackluster sales of last year's Star Wars Trilogy DVD re-run ("Now with Han shoots first!") that they're afraid they might have gone to the Sarlacc Pit one too many times, so to speak. There's talk apparently that the box set could get delayed a year or two to amp up demand for the films on disc again. Don't know how serious this all is, but that's the word that's blowing in the wind.

I just don't get Team Lucas anymore. They release the same DVDs we all already own last year and try to pull the "Hey, we're doing you all a favor by giving you the special non-anamorphic, zero-effort original versions as a bonus item!" and then they're actually flummoxed when they don't sell. What the REST of us know, is that they didn't sell because they were crap, and because everyone is waiting for the damn box set.

Nyko releasing Wii Accessories

Nyko is announcing that they will release two Wii controller solutions for those who like a good grip. The Classic Controller Grip adds PS2-esque grips to either side, as well as a dock for the Wii Remote and a cord management system. It should be available for $14.99 this April.

The Click Grip is a standard Wii Remote battery cover outfitted with a rubberized grip that's sure to prevent the accidental stabbings of friends and televisions alike. This launches in March at $5.99 for a package of two.





















































































more @ www.n-philes.com via Kotaku

CompUSA Closing 100 Stores Nationwide

You might "have it", but you certainly don't "get it". I feel bad for the employees that genuinely try to do their best job at CompUSA, but when it comes to in-store employees, boy are they retarded. Same goes for Best Buy and especially Circuit City.
A new Best Buy opened in San Francisco and so far the employees have not only been uninformed but also extremely rude and pissy, especially the "customer service" girls. One great exception, Benny. He really provided great service during my stay. Great guy, too bad he's surrounded by morons. "The Customer is King." Plain and simple. Leave your private problems and arguments between employees behind closed doors. I don't want to hear about it. If you have a bad day, stay home.

Guess what?

"Blogger Help" has responded to my mails after almost a month. Good times. So maybe I can finally publish this site on WWW.swench.com, we shall see...

Discovery Biosphere Terrarium




















  1. Realistic rock and landscape formations with a built-in lagoon
  2. Holds water, soil, rocks and plants
  3. A miniature, self-contained world
  4. Cozy nooks for creatures to hide in
  5. Encased in clear plastic for the best view
  6. Digital readout displays temperature and humidity inside the dome
  7. “Rainmaker” cools off critters with spray mist
  8. Includes bug cup & tweezers
  9. Magnifying window for a close-up look, even underwater
more @ pcnews via Gizmodo

Surf's Up - New Images












































































found @ latinoreview via animated-news.com

Watch the old Disney movies...

... and then think about this (from the Anibator blog of course):

... I'm sick of the voice casting in animation. Go back to the theatre like in the 50's..and get some rich voices that actually improve a movie...

And what I think is the most annoying byproduct of celebrity voice casting...making the character look like the actor. That has to stop. Are you listening SKG?

























I completely agree.

More Anibator stories















Ouch.

One of the biggest lies about disney feature animation that have been written about in the media is how the disney animators had been "retrained" for the new technology. It puts a great face on things and supports the notion that the computer is only a tool. The truth is that when i think of all the employees that I worked with when I was an artist there, I can only think of about 20 people I know that are still there. People were given a phony chance to retrain and prove themselves- if they did so, they were given the impression that they would simply be animators using another tool. The established cgi supervisors in place(most of who cam from extremely low-end animation backgrounds) were put in charge to train and review the traditonal artists who were successfully doing great cgi tests on their own time. This fox in the henhouse scenario played out just as you would imagine. countless artists who created iconic works loved the world over were falsely branded as "not being able to get the new technology by these cgi "sups" in charge and were tossed out on there ass- some after 25 years of service. This was underplayed and lied about in the media over and over. a small few tradional artists were allowed to stay and make the transition. a few had to be spared to make the numbers look better. Part of the reason the animation in chicken little and meet robinsons looks so terrible is because they are being animated by mediocre 2d artists who got into computers because they couldn't draw well,ex video game animators, and many others with even lesser background. all i am saying is that your rant about how dubious the backgounds are of development execs, the same thing has filtered down to the animators themselves- most notably at disney feature animation- the place where the besy animators in the world used to be. like i said, a few good artists kissed ass and kept their mouths shut about this to stay on board- but the number is very few in an organization that boasted the greatest artists in the world. Now they are filled with people who can use maya to a degree, but wouldn't have made it past portfolio review to be a trainee a few years ago.

Anibation Fantasy Comment

Still up and running, good times. This comment on ""ANIMATION WRITERS" - WHAT A BUNCH OF OXYMORONS" is pretty sad:

I was talking to a producer this week who said, "stories don't need to have themes. If the show's only about one single thing, it'll be boring." Later, I asked him what a particular character's motivation was, and he said, "it doesn't matter. Characters just have to do stuff, it doesn't matter why."

Star Wars Pin-Ups by Feng Zhu

Is that the ultimate combination of geek phantasy?

Designs by Feng Zhu found @ tepasmas.com























































































































































Weaver Says No More "Alien", "Ghostbusters"

Talking with Entertainment Weekly, actress Sigourney Weaver says that despite teaming up with James Cameron again for his "Avatar" project, don't expect anymore "Alien" films.

"I love the character, but I think the monster, once they did the other film (Alien vs. Predator), which I never saw, but that really maxes our monster out" says Weaver.

As for "Ghostbusters", and despite Dan Aykroyd's recently announced plans of a CG animated flick, Weaver says "I think all of us are busy doing so many things and it's wonderful all the films are so well loved and they certainly were fun to do. But I think if you do it right the first time, sometime it's better to move on to something else."


more @ www.ew.com

Clooney, Blanchett Go Stop Motion

George Clooney and Cate Blanchett are negotiating to lend their voices to the stop-motion feature The Fantastic Mr. Fox, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film, an adaptation of a Roald Dahl children's story, would cast Clooney in the title role and Blanchett would play his wife.

Wes Anderson is set to direct, and Twentieth Century Fox is expected to distribute the film.

more @ news.toonzone.net

Warners Announces "Justice League" Feature Film Project

Warner Bros. is planning to bring the Justice League of America to the big screen in a feature film adaptation of the long-running DC Comics franchise, Variety reports.

The studio has tapped Kieran and Michel Mulroney, who are best known for a rewrite of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, to pen a script.

The studio has made no decisions on which members of the League will show up in the new film.


more @ toonzone.net

James Cameron's Avatar Gets a Date

Avatar, James Cameron's long-awaited non-doc follow-up to his 1997 Oscar-winning blockbuster Titanic, has claimed its date of release, and it's going to be hitting theatres on Memorial Day weekend in 2009. That's in just 27 short months for those who want to start standing in line.

With a cast that includes Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana and Sigourney Weaver, Cameron's sci-fi epic is about a wounded ex-marine, thrust unwillingly into an effort to settle and exploit an exotic planet rich in bio-diversity, who eventually crosses over to lead the indigenous race in a battle for survival.

more @ comingsoon.net

Brad Bird Switching To Live Action

Brad Bird Switching To Live Action Genius, Oscar winning animation director Brad Bird, the mind behind such masterpieces as The Iron Giant and The Incredibles, is about make the jump from cartoons to live action movies. Slashfilm says he may make his live action directorial debut with something called 1906.

1906 is based on a same named book by James Dalessandro about the famous 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The book is supposed to be about more than just a natural disaster though. It's described as a tale of political intrigue, corruption, romance, rescue, revenge, and murder based on actual historical facts.


more @ cinemablend.com

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