Articles

  • Academy’s Focus On The “Digital Age”

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      In 2002, director Peter Jackson introduced the world to Gollum, a grotesque and tortured creature pivotal to the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.  He also gave the viewing audience their first major dose of performance capture: the technical art of capturing an actor’s movements and developing an animated character that perfectly duplicates them.  …

     

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  • Animation Authority To Be Honored at UCLA

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      Randy Cartwright has held a lot of titles.  Animator.  Digital Production System Developer.  Cinematographer.  Writer.  This man’s extensive career may never have happened if it hadn’t had been for a 6th grade math class. "A friend of mine had drawn a little flip book in the corner of his notebook," recalled Cartwright.  "I was…

     

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  • Nightmare-ish Makeup: Re-Imagining Freddy

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      Andy Clement has been following Freddy for years.   As a special effects makeup artist and the founder of Creative Character Engineering, he’s amassed an extensive reference library on character effects used over the years.  He has knowledge on everything from the types of foam and latex appliances used on the original Freddy to…

     

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  • The 24th Annual Genesis Awards

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      The Genesis Awards experienced their largest crowd and show of press since its conception 23 years ago.  The event, which recognizes the news and entertainment media for raising awareness of animal protection issues, is presented by the Human Society of the United States.  Some speculated that movies such the Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove” that…

     

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  • Hollywood Is Opened For Business

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      “Hollywood is alive and well and open for business!”   With those words, Bill Farrar, the freshly appointed chairperson of the board to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce kicked off the Hollywood Expo 2010.  Celebrating its 50th year, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce opened the once exclusive expo to members of the Los Angeles…

     

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  • Broadband Versus Broadcast: Who Should Win?

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      The FCC would like to change your medium of choice from broadcast to broadband.   During a recent CITI program presented at Columbia Business School, former FCC chairman Reed Hundt discussed the inspiration behind the National Broadband Act, a plan that will require broadcasting to release 120 MHz of spectrum to broadband over the…

     

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  • Visual Effects Mix Makes “Wonderland” Magical

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      Four-time Oscar recipient Ken Ralston knows a thing or two about special effects.  The Sony Imageworks senior visual effects supervisor was a founding member of Industrial Light & Magic.  Ralston’s been recognized for his groundbreaking VFX work on movies such as “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “Forrest Gump,” and “The Polar Express.”   Despite his expertise on groundbreaking VFX films, Ralston…

     

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  • Her Editing Secret: It’s All About The Characters

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      She used to work with gritty city cops, now she’s spending her time with lusty teenage vampires.   Lynne Willingham has been the editor for shows as diverse as “The X-Files” and “Without a Trace.”   411 Publishing recently caught up with Willingham to discuss her approach to editing and what it was like to…

     

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  • Working Hard For A “Bad” Look

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      A vision had been laid out: provide a character driven tale of an everyman who falls into hard times.  Employ the desert of New Mexico to elevate his feelings of desperation as he battles cancer and tries to provide for his family.  Vince Gilligan and his crew laid this foundation during the first season…

     

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  • DAM: The Digital Asset Management Conference

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      That DAM technology is going to save your production one day.    DAM, or Digital Asset Management, refers to computerized storage and cataloguing systems.  Creators of DAM technology are revolutionizing the way film production companies function and manage everything from marketing films to categorizing film libraries.    Kristin Petrovich-Kennedy, President of Createasphere, recognized the…

     

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  • Entertainment Technology’s “Avatar” Panel

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      What has a file size of one perabyte, took over 1,825 days to create, consists of 2/3rd computer generated footage, and contains over 2,400 visual effects shots?  James Cameron’s “Avatar.”  During the recent Entertainment Technology Expo, a team of specialists who worked on “Avatar” spoke about the equipment and experience of working on the…

     

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  • Oscars: A Big Night For Below The Line

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    In the days prior to Oscar Sunday, two camps had formed: "The Hurt Locker" and "Avatar."  Yet, many films in the Oscar race provided stiff competition in the below the line categories, whether it be the combined world of miniatures and CGI employed in the art direction of "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus," the documentary-style…

     

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  • “Avatar,” “Up” Big VFX Winners

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          It was a very blue year for visual effects.  Some would call it “Avatar” blue, others would say “Na’vi” blue, but either way, James Cameron and crew were the big winners at the 8th Annual Visual Effects Society Awards.   “Avatar” won six VES awards including the evening’s top prize, “Outstanding Visual Effects…

     

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  • Celebrated Cinematographers Featured At ASC Awards

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    The organizers of the 24th Annual American Society of Cinematographers Awards had an incredibly difficult time herding the attendees into the ballroom at the show’s commencement.  After a prolonged “lights-out” signal that the show must begin, the good-natured, celebratory chatter died down and people took their seats. The highlights during the evening’s presentations came with…

     

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  • Costume Designers Share Their Thoughts

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    The Costume Designers Guild welcomed credentialed press to congregate on the red carpet of their award show honoring film, television and commercial design. As photographers snapped picture after picture of the evening’s guests including Parker Posey, Emily Blunt, and Anna Kendrick, LA 411 had the chance to conduct video interviews with many of the evening’s…

     

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  • Cut The Fast Edits : Advice From The ACE Eddie Awards

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    The ACE Eddie Awards jumped right into their award ceremony presenting the Technical Excellence Award to Avid’s CEO Gary Greenfield for the advancements the Avid Media Composer software has made towards the craft of editing.  “Avid’s software addresses the needs of editors and promotes the art of cinematic storytelling,” said Randy Roberts, A.C.E. and President…

     

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  • A Night Of High Spirits For Art Directors

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    Enthusiasm was running high after entertainment luminaries including Warren Beatty, Richard Chamberlains, Gene Wilder and James Cameron walked the red carpet at the Art Directors Guild 14th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards.  After attendees were treated to an amusing short film by filmmaker Cindy Peters entitled “The Case of the Bad Production Designer,” Paula…

     

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  • Digital Vision: Changing On Set Color Workflow

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    Digital Vision would like to change the way you work.  With a twenty-two year history in the production industry, they are not the newest kid on the block. Companies ranging from Technicolor to CBS to the National Library of Congress have relied on their products to assist with their color correction needs.   Their reach continues…

     

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  • A Cinematographer Makes A “180 Degree” Turn

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    Surfing turbulent waves, climbing ice-slicked peaks, hiking through terrain untouched by man.  This was all in a day’s work for cinematographer Danny Moder when he accepted the job working on the documentary "180 Degrees South." "It’s one of those jobs for me where I prepared for this my whole life," said Moder.  "It had the…

     

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  • Alice Gets Some New Clothes

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      From a headless horseman to a mad hatter, from an angora-clad director to a uniformed ape, Colleen Atwood has sized them all up.  The Oscar-winning costume designer (“Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Chicago”) has been a frequent collaborator with director Tim Burton on movies ranging from period costumes (“Sleepy Hollow”) to science fiction (“Planet of…

     

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