Tuesday, 30 June 2009

(via Kotaku)

Real Jedis only buy licensed goods

Oh hey, LucasArts is releasing another Star Wars; we’re probably into triple figures by now! So why should you give a toss about Star Wars – The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes, in particular? Because it’s got the first ever Official Wii Star Wars accessories, that’s why.

Bensussen Deutsch & Associates has announced that it has won the official LucasArts seal of approval for its new lightsaber and blaster Wii remote mods. Admittedly all that means is that unlike the umpteen billions of previous lightsaber Wii remote mods, this one has been taken before the mighty George and his sacred endorsement did shine upon it.

The lightsaber holds the Wii remote and lights up, much as you’d expect. The blaster holds both Wii remote and nunchuck and comes with stickers. Neither of them are compatible with Wii Motion Plus, because Star Wars – The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes isn‘t compatible with Wii MotionPlus. Seems a bit short-sighted there, but nevermind – there’ll probably be more lightsaber accessories around just as soon as LucasArts makes a Wii MotionPlus Star Wars game. Which it will. Possibly several.

No release date of prices yet, but the game is due out in September.

Monday, 29 June 2009

LaBeouf: Spielberg has cracked 'Indy 5'

Shia LaBeouf has revealed that Steven Spielberg has "cracked the story" for Indiana Jones 5.

LaBeouf, who played the son of Harrison Ford's whip-wielding adventurer in last summer's Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, told the BBC that he expects a fifth franchise instalment to move forward soon.

"Steven just said that he cracked the story on it and I think they're gearing that up," he said, while promoting the release of Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen in the UK.

The actor also spoke about the differences between working with Money Never Sleeps helmer Oliver Stone and his previous directors Spielberg and Michael Bay.

"Oliver Stone is a different filmmaker than I've experienced," he said. "He's a bit more rebellious than Steven, has a different edge than Mike. It's fun to get to work with your superheroes, these guys are Batman and Robin to me."

Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull made over $780 million at the worldwide box office, helping Harrison Ford claim the title of Hollywood's highest paid actor last year.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Hook, not the best film but the soundtrack is amazing. One of William's best.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

This is a recently unearthed video from 1971 of George Lucas that has been making the rounds recently. The video interview is almost an hour long and most of it is a terrific look at a pre-American Graffiti and Star Wars Lucas really putting out his opinion on studio intervention.

You almost want to say that Lucas would go on to lock up the entire game, so he’d never have to do anything anyone else’s way. In an odd way he has become as indie a creator could be by being the exact opposite of what most view as indie. The guy can do whatever he want and is in control of so much of the production (ILM etc), he in some manner has true autonomy. What he does with it is something else altogether, but I’ve always been fascinated with a creator that I’ve always as having a very unique stratagem in maintaining personal vision: he didn’t just scoff at the game in obscure freedom.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

By Helen Briggs
Health reporter, BBC News

"Men must not be embarrassed about going to the doctor"

As the costumed superhero known as the Green Cross Man, he told the children of the 70s to Stop, Look and Listen.

Now, the British actor best known as Darth Vader in the original Star Wars films has become the unlikely hero of a very different campaign.

Diagnosed with prostate cancer at the start of the year, Dave Prowse MBE has found himself raising awareness of men's health.

"There's this terrible embarrassment," says the former bodybuilder and weightlifter.

Darth Vader's been very very good to me

"You've got to get over to men that there is no embarrassment in going to the doctor and letting the doctor probe around and having a look to see how you are.

"It doesn't worry me in the slightest and it shouldn't worry any man."

The 72-year-old, who is married with three children, only discovered he had prostate cancer through his charity work. At a golf tournament in aid of the Prostate Cancer Charity, he was asked to present the cheque to a representative.

She happened to ask if he had had a PSA test, which is recommended in all men over 50.

READ MORE about prostate cancer

"The lady said: 'Thank you very much, and by the way, have you ever been tested for prostate cancer yourself?'" he recalls.

"I said: 'No, I'm perfectly all right thank you very much, and I'm not having any problems on that side of things.'"

Green Cross Code Man (Image courtesy of Department for Transport)
As the Green Cross man in the 1970s

But the conversation lingered in his mind, and when he visited his GP a few months later for an unrelated matter, he asked for the blood test.

A biopsy revealed suspicious signs, and he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was treated with radiotherapy and medication, and says the only after-effect was an occasional "hot flush".

Because the disease was caught early, the future now looks good.

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer in the UK, accounting for almost a quarter of male cancers

Each year, nearly 35,000 men are diagnosed and more than 10,000 die from the disease

Most men with early prostate cancer are diagnosed because they have problems with bladder habits

"As far as I'm concerned, I've been given the all clear," he explains. "We had a letter from the surgeon saying as far as the future was concerned the prognosis was excellent. That basically is it."

He is now keen to carry on travelling the world to appear at Star Wars conventions.

"Darth Vader's obviously been very very good to me," he says. "I did the first three movies - Star Wars, Empire (Strikes Back) and (Return of the) Jedi, which took me from '76 to '82.

"But the interesting thing of course is that since Star Wars came out, a whole culture has expanded worldwide in what I call the fandom business.

"And wherever you go, people turn up literally in their thousands."

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


SAN FRANCISCO — A partnership between Lucasfilm and software company GenArts could make digital effects more consistent and less expensive in movies and videogames.

Under the agreement, announced Monday, GenArts’ visual-effects plug-ins will become an official part of Lucasfilm’s post-production pipeline at companies including Industrial Light & Magic, Lucasfilm Animation and Lucasfilm Animation Singapore. The move will standardize the use of GenArts plug-ins in the studio’s movies, games and animation, making it easier for digital artists to share visual elements across different types of media, according to executives from both companies.

GenArts software delivers incredible consistency for the artists’ experience across a wide range of compositing systems,” said Richard Kerris, CTO of Lucasfilm in a press release. “This makes it the ideal choice to help Lucasfilm achieve our goal to deliver visual continuity across feature films, television, games and future entertainment mediums.”

The standardization should ease such cross-platform projects, speed up post-production work and make it easier to outsource such essential visual tweaking if needed, according to GenArts’ executives.

Lucasfilm and GenArts have agreed to collaborate to advance the state of the art of VFX technology as we begin to solve ‘impossible’ problems both in film/video as well as through expanding to other entertainment media such as bringing pre-rendered, one-way film assets into an interactive, real-time gaming environment,” said Steve Bannerman, GenArts’ chief marketing officer.

For instance, the specific set of visual effects used to make Transformers‘ robots look a certain way in a movie could be easily shared with game developers to bring a Hollywood look to videogames based on the franchise.

Chad Taylor, a digital artist at Industrial Light & Magic who has worked on Star Trek and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, called GenArts’ software fast, easy to use and crucial to making computer-generated images look more “organic” and real.

During a demo for reporters at Lucasfilm, Taylor showed how GenArts software was used in key scenes from Iron Man and the latest Indiana Jones movie to make CGI imagery look more realistic. Some of the effects were incredibly subtle tweaks; others added fire and lightning to the scenes.

“Being able to use all the GenArts plug-ins to kind of help us achieve those effects is really key for us,” Taylor said. “They kind of create that illusion.”

Going forward, the two companies also will work together on research and development, exploring ways that GenArts software can be leveraged and further developed to meet Lucasfilm’s needs.

“While we don’t have specific products to discuss yet, this is not a ‘Barney’ agreement (you know … “I love you, you love me”),” wrote GenArts’ Bannerman in an e-mail to Wired.com. “Real work is already being done.”

Monday, 22 June 2009

June 11 (Bloomberg) -- Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks SKG is close to securing the $325 million in loans it is seeking to help finance movie production, a spokesman said.

“We’re very close to the finish line,” Chip Sullivan, a spokesman for DreamWorks, said today by telephone. “It certainly is our expectation that we will be fully committed and able to announce that soon.” He declined to discuss the timing of the loans or other details.

Contracts with banks, led by JPMorgan Chase & Co., may be signed by late June or early July, according to a person familiar with the discussions. The person requested anonymity because details of the funding have not been made public.

Closing the loans will trigger a matching equity investment from Mumbai-based Reliance Big Entertainment Ltd., enabling Spielberg, 62, to resume movie production. Los Angeles-based DreamWorks hasn’t had money for new films since it broke away from Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures in September.

At the time of the split, DreamWorks said it expected to have funding and begin production on new films in early 2009. Credit-market turmoil slowed the loan process, forcing Spielberg and Reliance, a part of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group Ltd., to pay startup costs themselves.

Walt Disney Co. said in February that it will loan DreamWorks as much as $200 million in separate financing as part of an agreement to distribute the studio’s movies, people familiar with the deal said at the time.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Stuff and Things and Monkey Island

Jun 1, 2009 half past nine am

I'm pretty good at keeping secrets. I'm so good at it people actually send me death threats. If you have a secret, you can tell me. I won't tell anyone. Go ahead. I'm listening.

Over the past few months, I've been the vessel for a couple of very exciting secrets and it's been really hard to not give someone the nudge-nudge-wink-wink-don't-tell-anyone, but I couldn't. Not these.

The first is the re-release of The Secret of Monkey Island. Several months ago I was invited to LucasArts to get a sneak preview. Very cool.

Hopefully this will open up the pure pleasure that is Monkey Island to a whole new generation of gamer that knows only how to use a console controller.

The second secret is that TellTale is doing an episodic version of Monkey Island. I had the great pleasure of spending a few days with Dave Grossman, Mike Stemmle and the rest of the TellTale crew getting my head into Guybrush Threepwood again.

Read the rest here - http://grumpygamer.com/8280380

Thursday, 18 June 2009

George Lucas wonders if he'll ever be a real knight as he stares up at Sir Christopher Lee.

George Lucas wonders if he'll ever be a real knight as he stares up at Sir Christopher Lee.

The iconic actor known eternally as a vampire and a fallen Jedi Knight is now a real life knight of sorts, as Queen Elizabeth II granted Christopher Lee the title of Sir.

Lee received his new title along with golfer Nick Faldo, X-men 2’s Alan Cumming, celebrity hairdresser Vidal Sassoon and celebrity chef Delia Smith — among others.

Lee can lay claim to the unofficial additional title of King of All Nerd Franchises. In addition to his several battles with Peter Cushing in Hammer Films’ Dracula movies, he was a Bond Villain (The Man with the Golden Gun), Fu Manchu in a bunch of movies, a Lord of the Rings baddie (Saruman), the eerie villain in The Wicker Man (the original) and Count Dooku in the Star Wars series. Along the way, he appeared on The Avengers, Space: 1999, multiple Tim Burton movies and more video games than you’ve had hot dinners.

In the end, he’s the epitome of a working British actor who’d take on anything.


Wednesday, 17 June 2009

In two weeks, filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola’s “Tetro” hits theaters. The “Godfather” director stopped by MTV’s offices to chat with Josh Horowitz in advance of the release, and he had some enlightening opinions to share on his contemporaries, and his old pal George Lucas in particular.

“I knew him as an experimental filmmaker,” Coppola told MTV. He first came to know Lucas in the early 1970s when he hired the then-young man as his assistant. When Lucas released his formative effort “American Graffiti” in 1973, it was Coppola who produced it.

Speaking in the here and now, Coppola still has faith in the architect of the “Star Wars” franchise. “The one that probably has the most potential to shock is George Lucas.” Coppola believes strongly that one of his so-called contemporaries will “make a film that changes the rules.” He doesn’t have a problem with the modern-day blockbuster, but he also hasn’t observed much of a change. For Coppola, he sees people today “going to the movies on Friday night… seeing over and over again ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Jaws.’”

Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws,” the film that many consider to be the prototypical blockbuster, continues to work as a formula even today. Ideas such as “spectacle” and “high concept” have endured because, like the blockbuster as a whole, they are simple ideas that scale well against epic backdrops.

A beautiful damsel-in-distress needs to be rescued? That’s “Star Wars,” that’s “Pirates of the Caribbean,” that’s “X-Men” and so on. Or maybe the world is falling apart because of some “act of God” level disaster. “Deep Impact,” “Armageddon,” “The Day After Tomorrow,” “I Am Legend”… shall I continue?

Coppola is definitely onto something when he says the rules will change, though I would argue that we’re already seeing such a change. The melodramatic idea of a “Hollywood ending” has given way in recent years to darker, more realistic conclusions. “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight” are particularly noteworthy, popular films that take a decidedly atypical route. They’re not alone either; “I Am Legend” was criticized heavily for its neat & tidy ending. The alternate ending-equipped DVD/Blu-ray fared far better, skewing far closer to Richard Matheson’s — the source novella’s author — own themes and ideas.


Tuesday, 16 June 2009

John Williams congratulates violist Cathy Basrak following her performance of the world premiere of Williams' Concerto for viola and orchestra with the Boston Pops. At the timpani, Basrak's husband Tim Genis applauds for his wife. John Williams congratulates violist Cathy Basrak following her performance of the world premiere of Williams' Concerto for viola and orchestra with the Boston Pops. At the timpani, Basrak's husband Tim Genis applauds for his wife. (Michael J. Lutch)

The music of composer John Williams resembles the filmography of Tom Hanks, full of drama and Oscar-ready uplift. They've both been around long enough, and done enough movies, that you pretty much know what you're going to get from them, whether it's an alien adventure or a World War II ordeal.

But Williams surprised with his world premiere Concerto for Viola and Orchestra last night. Not a soundtrack but a musical gift to Pops principal violist Cathy Basrak, it was a challenging piece quite unlike his familiar big-screen emotional narratives.

The first movement offered Basrak taxing, unaccompanied passages all over the strings, with little bursts that touched on dissonance and long, still notes that hung in the air. In short, a showpiece.

The second movement featured Basrak trading phrases in a duel with her husband, principal timpanist Timothy Genis, which led Williams to dub the movement the "Family Argument" and drew chuckles from the audience. The third movement brought in principal harpist Ann Hobson Pilot to pluck the strings behind Basrak in a dreamy sequence.

The rest of the night featured movie music, mostly by Williams, of varying interest. The opening "Hooray for Hollywood" got a smart reading by Williams and the orchestra that found touches of Copland-esque subtlety in that well-worn melody. And Williams's Suite from Jane Eyre gave the strings a chance to shine, especially in the second movement, when the conductor emeritus held up a finger to the violins to keep them sawing away while he leaned in the other direction to give close attention to the cellos. On the other hand, Korngold's March from The Adventures of Robin Hood felt like a trailer for emotions we'd be having later.

Deadline forced our exit before the final set, featuring music from "Superman," "Far and Away," and more. I can't say I looked forward to that as much as our press table neighbors David and Sylvain did. The movie-music aficionados came from France to attend two Film Night programs this week. Still, it was hard not to wish that Williams would write more works like the concerto.


Monday, 15 June 2009

You might get some argument if you called John Williams the greatest film composer of all time.

Miklos Rozsa's fans would object. Partisans of Bernard Herrmann would snub you. And don't forget Elmer Bernstein or you might get shot up, pardner.

Max Steiner, Ennio Morricone ... there is a long list that the American Film Institute passes off as definitive, and, while it is true that Williams gets first place (for the fourth "Star Wars" film, surprisingly) he does not dominate the top of the list.

But if you call him the most popular film composer of all time, you'd have a hard time finding anyone to take the other side in the argument.

Certainly much of that popularity comes from his artistry: an extraordinary facility for heroic, easily recognizable themes; brilliant flourishes of brass; passages of tenderness and of tension; and a wonderful ear for orchestral arrangements.

Part of it, though, is sheer luck.

Williams, a five-time Oscar winner, couldn't have known, when he composed the score for the first "Star Wars," that it would become the blockbuster of science-fiction blockbusters, a film followed by two sequels and three prequels. He couldn't have known, when he was writing the Indiana Jones march for "Raiders of the Lost Ark," that it would be heard in film after film. His artistry is beyond question; his arrival at the pinnacle of his profession just when the sequel craze began to dominate Hollywood made him
the biggest film composer ever.

Audiences love his music, and at 8p.m. Saturday, the Golden State Pops Orchestra and artistic director Steven Allen Fox close their 2008-2009 concert series with "An Evening of John Williams Music," featuring selections from more than a half-dozen of his film scores.

The concert, at the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro, will feature Williams' music for the "Star Wars" films and for the several incarnations that Indiana Jones has had over the years.

There will be music from the scores of the Harry Potter films, another series that has kept Williams' music before the public. And there will be selections from his work in individual films, such as Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List," the adaptation of Frank McCourt's "Angela's Ashes," and the films "Cowboys" and "Hook."

It was that last film's soaring score that inspired Fox to become a composer and conductor, and its inclusion in Saturday's concert is in its way a tribute to a youthful inspiration.

This concert marks the end of the GSPO's season at the Warner Grand. The orchestra next will perform, as usual, in its annual Fourth of July concert at San Pedro's Cabrillo Beach, where it will play Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture."

The orchestra will open its 2009-2010 season Oct. 25 at the Warner Grand.

source - http://www.presstelegram.com/lifestyle/ci_12571033

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Friday, 12 June 2009

Indy's returning to his blocky glory in LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues. The game will continue its tongue-in-cheek take on the series, with scenes from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull joining in on the fun this time around.

Two player co-op returns with the ability to drop in and out at any time. Players will also be able to build their own environments and levels to share with friends. Indy will have a range of new moves, and over 60 other playable characters are waiting to be unlocked by collecting artifacts.

LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues is due out later this year on Wii, DS, 360, PS3, PSP, PC

Thursday, 11 June 2009

French publisher Ubisoft is working on a game based on Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson's forthcoming movie The Adventures of Tin Tin: Secret of the Unicorn.

The company revealed the project at its E3 press conference, before rolling out another director – James Cameron – to discuss Avatar, the 3D game and movie collaboration due for release on December 18.

While Cameron enthused over the project, no actual footage of either film or game was on show, with the publisher instead offering the audience a glimpse of other titles in the portfolio including Splinter Cell: Conviction, Rabbids Go Home and Red Steel 2.

The company also announced a new fitness product for the Wii – Your Shape – which will take advantage of a new camera bundled with the title and due for release before the end of the year.

Other announcements from Ubisoft included a November release date for Assassin's Creed 2, the publishing rights to No More Heroes 2 in the US and new project in development from Q Entertainment.



Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn will arrive in U.S. theaters just before Christmas of 2011.
Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures have scheduled the family feature for a December 23, 2011, domestic release through Paramount.
An international rollout will begin weeks earlier, in late October, with Sony Pictures Releasing International handling continental Europe, Latin America and India, and Paramount distributing the film in Asia, Australia, the United Kingdom and all other English-speaking territories.

The holiday movie is a 3-D motion-capture feature inspired by the renowned character created by Herge – the pen name of Belgian writer and artist Georges Prosper Remi – in two dozen stories first published 80 years ago.
Jamie Bell stars as the globetrotting young reporter Tintin, who faces off against the nefarious Red Rackham, played by Daniel Craig. Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Gad Elmaleh, Toby Jones and Mackenzie Crook co-star.
Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish wrote the screenplay.

Unicorn is intended as the first in a series of films derived from the Herge books. Spielberg, Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson and Kathleen Kennedy are producing the film, and Jackson’s Weta Digital has developed the performance-capture technology that Jackson himself will use when he directs the second film in the franchise. Spielberg started testing footage for the project last year and began filming officially in January.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Steven Spielberg was on hand to introduce a prototype camera Monday that can be used as a controller for the Xbox 360. Codenamed "Project Natal," the camera can track a player's full body movement while responding to commands, directions and a shift of emotion in voice without the need for a controller.

The announcement was made at Microsoft's flashy Electronic Entertainment Expo press conference at University of Southern California's Galen Center.

Microsoft also debuted 10 exclusive new games and the ability to access social networking sites Facebook and Twitter as well as streaming music service Last.fm on the Xbox Live service. The popular social networking sites Facebook and Twitter will be fully integrated into Xbox Live beginning this fall.

There were several announcements about the Xbox 360's video capabilities including increased functionality with the online Netflix service, 1080p high-definition video downloads, live TV in the United Kingdom and the ability to watch movies online with friends.

Microsoft also debuted 10 exclusive new games. Among them: the open-world action sequel "Crackdown 2," New Orleans-set zombie-killer "Left 4 Dead 2," third-person shooter "Splinter Cell Conviction," sleek racer "Forza Motorsport 3" and the psychological thriller "Alan Wake."


Monday, 8 June 2009

The civil rights leader, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution to the struggle against racial segregation, will be the subject of what Spielberg has billed as the ?defining? biopic about his childhood, career, and untimely assassination.


The civil rights leader, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution to the struggle against racial segregation, will be the subject of what Spielberg has billed as the ?defining? biopic about his childhood, career, and untimely assassination.

Almost half a century after he climbed the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and told the world that he had a dream, Martin Luther King is to receive perhaps the ultimate recognition of his standing as a modern American icon: a Steven Spielberg film chronicling his life and times.

The civil rights leader, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution to the struggle against racial segregation, will be the subject of what Spielberg has billed as the “defining” biopic about his childhood, career, and untimely assassination.

In a deal announced late on Monday, the legendary movie mogul’s production company, Dreamworks, acquired exclusive rights to King’s speeches, books and other intellectual property, including the famous speech delivered during the 1963 “march on Washington.”

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Jedi and Clone Trooper Action Along With All-New Gameplay Bring the Adventure of the Hit TV Series Home

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — May 11, 2009 — Fans of the popular Star Wars: The Clone Wars™ TV series can continue the battle for galactic peace this September in an all-new videogame from LucasArts and Krome Studios. Based on the Cartoon Network series and utilizing materials straight from Lucasfilm Animation, Star Wars® The Clone Wars™: Republic Heroes™ allows players to take up arms on behalf of the noble Galactic Republic, while pursuing the mysterious bounty hunter Cad Bane and combating the all-new Skakoan super villain Kul Teska.

Star Wars The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes allows players to fight as both Jedi Knights and clone troopers through over 30 unique missions, all created from shared visual assets from the TV series. Featuring a brand-new storyline, players will get the chance to take part in the key events that lead directly into the highly anticipated second season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Jedi characters can slice and dice their way through countless enemies, commandeer droids and show off their combat prowess on foot and in a variety of vehicles. Clone troopers fire things up with a heavy weapons armament that includes rocket launchers, thermal detonators and even jet packs in levels built specifically to take run-and-gun gameplay to exciting levels.

In addition, the LucasArts Singapore team — in conjunction with The Clone Wars experts at Lucasfilm Animation — is developing an experience on Nintendo DS™ that takes full advantage of the platform’s touch-screen technology. That version will include an expanded storyline that offers players the chance to take part in key events and battles from season one while also featuring intuitive touch-screen controls for movement, attacks and puzzle solving.

“The Clone Wars franchise has struck a chord with viewers and gamers around the world with its action-packed storyline and memorable heroes,” said Darrell Rodriguez, president of LucasArts. “With its Jedi and clone trooper gameplay and all-new storyline, Star Wars The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes takes the franchise into a truly exciting and interactive direction.”

Star Wars The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes will release this September for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, Wii™, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system, Nintendo DS™ and PC.

More information about the game can be found at the official website, http://www.clonewarsgame.com.

About LucasArts
LucasArts, a Lucasfilm Ltd. company, is a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software worldwide for video game console systems, computers and the Internet. Based in San Francisco, Calif., as well as on the Internet at www.lucasarts.com, LucasArts was created in 1982 by George Lucas to provide an interactive element to his vision of a state-of-the-art, multifaceted entertainment company.

About Krome Studios
Krome Studios® is Australia’s largest video game developer and a leading independent development studio in the worldwide game development community. Krome’s vision is to cultivate technological and artistic achievement, creating proprietary technologies that facilitate superior game development for both original and licensed properties. The company has proven expertise in developing games for the current gen platforms and is already engaged in working on next gen as well as all handheld platforms.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Thanks to Lucasarts this summer The Secret Of Monkey Island is to return in HD and up to date graphics. Not to get confused with the new Monkey Island episodes from Telltale Games out on July 7th. Mentioned elsewhere on this blog!
This is amazing! Monkey Island is to return in Five episodes from Telltale Games. YAYYYY!!! Out on July the 7th from the same people who brought us the Sam and Max episodes. Not to get confused with the remake of the original Secret Of Monkey Island which Lucasarts will be releasing this summer with updated graphics. This something completely original with five new episodes but unlike Sam and Max's episodes this will have a running plot throughout. I personally cannot wait. Although Ron Gilbert is not involved he is pretty good friends with Telltale Games and even visited them and gave some input and was pleased with the project.

So don't forget JULY 7th - If you preorder you get exclusive content and also can choose a free game from their catalogue. Brilliant!
The whole lot is $34.95 from https://www.telltalegames.com/monkeyisland

'Monkey Island' headed for Xbox Live?

The first Monkey Island game has been rated for Xbox Live Arcade.

The Secret Of Monkey Island - Special Edition has been rated on the German USK rating board for Xbox 360, with speculation that it will be coming to Live Arcade, according to Gamerbytes.

No details are known about the Special Edition version, but it will be published by Activision, the publishing arm of Lucasarts in Europe.

The Secret Of Monkey Island was a graphic adventure game released in 1990, using Lucasart's SCUMM engine. It made a name for the studio with its clever puzzles and trademark humour.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Canadian digital studio hires Catherine Winder

TORONTO -- Canadian digital studio Rainmaker Entertainment on Tuesday said it has hired former Lucasfilm Animation executive producer Catherine Winder (" Star Wars: The Clone Wars") as president.

Winder, who most recently set up the Lucasfilm Animation studio and consulted for Rainmaker, arrives at the Vancouver-based animation studio along with Kim Dent Wilder as senior vp of production and operations, and Tara Kemes as manager of talent development.

Winder will be charged with developing original family content at Rainmaker, formerly Mainframe Entertainment, and expanding its fee-for-work business with U.S. producers.

First out of the pipeline from Winder is the original short feature cartoon "Luna," created by in-house producer Luke Carroll and directed by Jon Mead. The project is set for production this summer.

Jennifer Twiner McCarron will continue at Rainmaker as vp of production, overseeing day-to-day production of animated movies, DVDs, games and TV series.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Get down and Wookiee at Disney's Star Wars Weekends


Star Wars Weekends at Disney Hollywood Studios

What: Star Wars Weekends

Where: Disney's Hollywood Studios, off Interstate 4, southwest of Orlando.

When: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through June 14.

Cost: One-day, one-park admission is $75 general, $63 ages 3-9.

Call: 407-824-4321.

Online: disneyworld.com/starwars (WALT DISNEY CO.)

What happens when two entertainment and merchandising giants collide?

With Disney and Lucasfilm, the result is Star Wars Weekends, a happy mingling of iconic characters that begins its 10th edition today. The event, which includes interviews, autograph sessions, behind-the-scenes info, motorcades and souvenirs galore, runs Fridays through Sundays through June 14 at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

At first, it may be disconcerting to see Mickey Mouse as Luke Skywalker. They're from different galaxies, right?

"What we want to do is give our consumers fresh and new experiences," says Paul Southern, Lucas Licensing director of domestic licensing.

"It's something that's really very specific to these events. Outside of these events and outside of our Disney relationship, Disney-Star Wars co-branding doesn't make as much sense," Souther says. "But in the context of the park, where you've clearly got fans of Walt Disney, it absolutely makes sense to have fun with their characters and our characters."

Fans have a range of ways to see the characters and actors from parades of Stormtroopers to one-on-one photo opportunities. The event features elements from the films and the animated TV series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

"This year, Clone Wars is the entertainment that is resonating with families and kids, so we tried to incorporate wherever we could Clone Wars elements into the program," Southern says.

The characters cut loose at the day's final event, the popular Hyperspace Hoopla. Things get a bit freaky.

"It's not the after party, but it's a chance for them to let their hair down," says Mark Renfrow, Star Wars Weekends entertainment director. If you're someone like Chewbacca, you really let it down."

This year's theme, Disney says, will be music of the 1990s.

"There's a lot of irreverence, there's a lot of fun. And it's allowing us to see the characters do things we've never seen them do before," Renfrow says.

"The thing about Hoopla, you don't have to know the lore. It's about comedy and fun," he says.

Park guests can buy merchandise that's debuting during Star Wars Weekends, including a limited-release, manga-style Star Wars T-shirt that was sold in Japan 10 years ago.

"This is the first time that they've been available in the States," says Erin Catalano of the Disney merchandising team. "That's a big deal to some of the collectors."

Hasbro has created a playset version of the park's Jedi Training Academy attraction with a Jedi master, three padawans and Darth Vader.

And it's synergy at its utmost with this product: Jedi Mickey's Lightsaber, which has a blue blade and the mouse-ears symbols incorporated.

"We've had a lot of guests asking for it," Catalano says.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Looks like alien invasion is going to be the big thing on TV next season.

ABC has already ordered up a new version of the 1980s series V, and now TNT has commissioned an alien invasion pilot from Steven Spielberg.

The Hollywood Reporter says the as-yet-untitled tale will take place six months after the Earth has been invaded, with its script penned by Saving Private Ryan scribe Robert Rodat.

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