Saturday, 31 October 2009

Universal Orlando has renegotiated a contract with director Steven Spielberg that could've crippled the company.

The director has received a percentage of the resort company's gross revenue since 1987 for films that inspired several park rides, consulting and allowing his name in promotional materials.

The payments have averaged about $20 million a year, but Spielberg had an option to take the rest in a one-time payment in 2010. Analysts estimated it would cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

The company, owned by a unit of General Electric Co. and private-equity firm The Blackstone Group, couldn't afford the buyout. Universal is already trying to restructure nearly $1 billion in debt due in April.

The new Spielberg contract now pushes the director's call option to 2017.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Kiwi movie mogul Peter Jackson has co-directed the latest Tintin movie via the internet from his Wellington base.

Actor Nick Frost, who plays one of the bumbling Thompson twin detectives, said Jackson gave his cast instructions via the world wide web which were then played on a PA system.

Co-director Steven Spielberg was on set in California to coordinate the filming.

"Steve would come on and give a note and then through the PA system you would hear Peter say, 'Hi guys, could you try this', and then they would turn the camera around so that we could see him. It was strange," Frost said.

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn stars James Bond actor Daniel Craig as Red Rackham, a pirate who attacks the ship Unicorn, and Billy Elliot star Jamie Bell as Tintin. Captain Haddock will be played by Andy Serkis, who was Gollum in Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy.

"Steven was on the set and Peter was in Wellington and he had lots of live links via iChat," Frost explained.

"I've never been directed before via iChat, which was an odd and not totally unpleasant way of doing business, just a bit strange."

Jackson was too tied up with other projects in New Zealand to be on the Hollywood set full-time. But Frost said Jackson had put in a tremendous number of hours in a bid to ensure the big-budget movie, currently in post-production and due for release in 2011, is a box-office hit.

"Because of the time difference Peter would stay up all night and tinker and get in the sort of position that he was ready to shoot," Frost said.

"Peter kind of re-wrote the scripts most evenings because he was in New Zealand, and so you would go in, in the morning with three or four pages of new dialogue and they were like, 'Shooting this in 30 minutes, so get ready'."

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is the first of three planned movie adaptations of the famous Belgium comic book. A second Tintin movie will be solely directed by Jackson and he will team up with Spielberg for a third movie.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Monday, 26 October 2009

Footage from the star wars celebration europe event at the excel centre in londons docklands 13th 15th June 2007
footage shot and editied by johnnie oddball

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Initial design of interactive sounds and lights for LFL's touring x-wing fighter.

All electronics were designed and maintained by Includes moving R2 dome, R2 lights, engine light effects, motion activated xwing and R2 sounds, lighted cockpit.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

E.T. was yesterday voted the best alien movie of all time.

The 1982 classic, starring a young Drew Barrymore, told the story of a friendly extra terrestrial stranded three million miles from his home planet.

The Steven Spielberg movie was a huge worldwide hit and spawned the immortal catchphrase: "E. T. phone home." It beat Will Smith's Men In Black to the title in a poll of 7675 film fans. Another film starring Smith, Independence Day, took third place.

The 1979 blockbuster Alien, starring Sigourney Weaver, was fourth, and Transformers, released in 2007, was fifth.

Predator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, was sixth. Star Trek was seventh, War Of The Worlds was eighth, Fifth Element was ninth and Aliens was 10th.

A spokesman for phone recycling website, who carried out the study, said: "E.T. is funny and engaging and will never be equalled in terms of originality and global appeal."

Friday, 23 October 2009

Hook - You Are the Pan

Thursday, 22 October 2009

From Mermaids to Lost Boys

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Hook - Presenting the Hook

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

TMZ grab the two out dining.

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- George Lucas didn't get to be a billionaire by delegating.

George Lucas says he was "completely surprised" by "Star Wars in Concert."

George Lucas says he was "completely surprised" by "Star Wars in Concert."

Holding fast to his vision -- and his marketing rights -- for the "Star Wars" empire has made it the biggest franchise in history, and made Lucas one of the most powerful people in entertainment.

But while he's enthusiastic about the new touring show "Star Wars In Concert," it wasn't his idea, and when I talked with him before the first Los Angeles performance this week, he kept giving the credit to others.

"Star Wars In Concert" is built around John Williams' well-known scores from the films, performed by a symphony orchestra and choir, and accompanied by specially edited clips from all six movies, displayed on a mammoth LED screen. Video Watch Lucas rave about the show »

Anthony Daniels, who has played and voiced the golden protocol droid "C3PO" in every film and most of the spinoffs, provides live narration -- and another reason for the "Star Wars" fans in the audience, especially those waving lightsabers and dressed as everything from sand people to Imperial stormtroopers, to cheer mightily, as they did the night I interviewed Lucas. iReporter praises the 'Force' of the show

George Lucas: I've seen some presentations of, you know, live orchestras with "Star Wars" clips, and that sort of thing. But this is so much more than that -- it's so much more emotional, because what they've done is taken the emotional content of the score ... one is obviously the Imperial March, one is obviously romantic ... and then they've cut all the pictures around that from all the movies, so that you get this really wide range of visuals going with the music, and it really is quite powerful when you see the depictions of all of the various Imperial shenanigans that were going on over the Imperial March.

CNN: Obviously, when John Williams did the music for the original film, neither of you could have guessed your association would last so long, or that you'd be so identified with each other. How did he get involved originally?

Lucas: What I did was, I was doing this space opera, and I was talking to Steve Spielberg and I said, "Look, I've got to get somebody who really knows the old-fashioned music score, I really am doing some giant romantic action adventure, you know, throwback to the '30s, and who do you know that can do that?" And he said, "Oh, there's only one person who can do that and that's John Williams -- he did 'Jaws' and he's perfect."

And I said OK, and I met him, and we hit it off, you know, perfectly, and doing the first film was such a great experience -- he's so wonderful to work with -- that, you know, I'll never let him go. And Steve won't let him go either!

CNN: How did this show come together?

Lucas: Howard! [Lucas calls over Howard Roffman, the president of Lucas Licensing.] You're the man who did the whole thing -- I've got nothing to do with it. ... We would kid him about how his concert was going and he had to get Johnny [Williams] to buy in and me to buy in.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Steven Speilberg discusses the relation between Indiana Jones's and serial movies like Spy Smasher

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Friday, 16 October 2009

Gameplay from the upcoming LucasArts game Lucidity

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

John Williams' score for the original 1977 Star Wars movie beat off other contenders for the title such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

The poll was conducted by science fiction website Totalscifionline.

The score to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, composed by James Horner, came in second place, while Vangelis' haunting electro soundtrack for Blade Runner - recently voted the best sci-fi movie of all time - completed the top three.

Composer John Williams won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA Award and a Grammy Award for his work on all six Star Wars movies between 1977 and 2005.

His score for Close Encounters of the Third Kind also made the top 10, coming in at number eight.

Matt McAllister, editor of Totalscifionline, said: "With his score for Star Wars, John Williams created one of the most iconic and unforgettable soundtracks of all time.

"Most people could identify the movie from just a few bars of the main title music and Williams' work across all of the Star Wars movies really does create a palpable sense of intergalactic space battles and galaxy-spanning adventures.

"For many moviegoers, this is now the definitive sound of science fiction."

Top ten sci-fi movie soundtracks/composers:

1 Star Wars (John Williams)

2 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (James Horner)

3 Blade Runner (Vangelis)

4 Star Trek the Motion Picture (Jerry Goldsmith)

5 Flash Gordon (Queen)

6 2001: A Space Odyssey (Richard and Johann Strauss, Gy├Ârgy Ligeti)

7 The Day the Earth Stood Still (Bernard Herrmann)

8 Close Encounters of the Third Kind (John Williams)

9 Aliens (James Horner)

10 Transformers the Movie (Vince DiCola/Stan Bush)

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

A visit to ILM in San Francisco, CA to play in their motion capture studio. Becoming Ironman for a day!

Tags: ,

Monday, 12 October 2009

Oct. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Looking back on sharks and ahead to Tintin’s dog, Oscar-winning composer John Williams described his new ode to a few favorite trees.

This is the harp concerto that the Boston Symphony plays tonight as Carnegie Hall opens for the season without the orchestra’s maestro -- James Levine needs back surgery and Daniele Gatti will take his place.

The busy 77-year-old composer (“Star Wars,” “Jaws,” “ET,” “Schindler’s List’’) spoke by phone from his studio in Los Angeles.

Read the interview here

Sunday, 11 October 2009

If you’re one of those folks suspicious that maybe, just maybe, President Barack Obama is a Jedi knight, the photos from the White House lawn Wednesday must have been eye-opener.

OBAMA/OLYMPICSThere he stood, white shirt and tie, brandishing a blue light saber like a true Jedi master.

Speculation has been rife in certain circles. After all, with former Vice President Dick Cheney dubbed “Darth Vader,” people were bound to look for other politicians able to tap the power of the Force.

Source -

“Star Wars” creator George Lucas poured fuel on the fire more than a year ago, telling The Washington Examiner it was “reasonably obvious” Obama would be a Jedi.

Since then there have been Photoshopped images of Obama with a light saber, animated cartoons of him performing feats of Jedi mind control and more.

The photos Wednesday — at an event promoting the Olympic Games — led to a whole new burst of Internet creativity.

One picture was edited to portray Obama dueling Republican Representative Joe Wilson, who famously shouted “You lie!” during the president’s healthcare address to a joint session of Congress.

Another showed him between Kanye West and Taylor Swift, apparently wielding the saber to prevent any microphone grabbing incidents like the one at the MTV Music Video Awards last weekend.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

A scale model of the STAR WARS X-Wing Fighter being launched out of the southern California desert 10/06/07. Plaster Blaster 2007

Friday, 9 October 2009

A fan made video celebrating the great work ILM did in the Star Wars movies. Great music accompanies the video. Very well done.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Great Great Article at the Los Angeles Times

Whatever they paid John Williams for the music he created for "Star Wars," it wasn't enough. The sound of the great space opera is as singular and powerful as its alien visions, maybe even more so in some instances. John Horn is back writing for the Hero Complex, he sent over this look at the new traveling "Star Wars: In Concert" production. -- Geoff Boucher

With the pop culture landscape cluttered with things like "Star Wars" Lego pajamas, a Princess Leia slave costume (just in time for Halloween) and the long-ago-banished Star Wars Holiday Special,” is it any surprise that composer John Williams was a little nervous about a laser-filled "Star Wars" concert?

Williams has won five Oscars, a boatload of Grammys and, at 77, still stands atop Hollywood's movie score food chain -- he shares a screen credit on the new "Harry Potter" blockbuster. So when the producers of Star Wars: In Concert approached Williams several years ago with their plans for a live show that would wed Williams' symphonic compositions with "Star Wars" footage and rock 'n' roll arena staging, he hardly leaped at the chance.

"John was very reluctant in the beginning. He was very skeptical; he didn't want to do it," says Steve Cohen, the director of "Star Wars: In Concert." "His biggest concern was the quality of the performance."

It wasn't just that Williams wanted accomplished musicians playing his often-complex orchestrations. Lucasfilm, the company controlled by "Star Wars" creator George Lucas, also needed to be assured there wouldn't be dancing stormtroopers.

"We took a no-compromises position," says Howard Roffman, the president of Lucas Licensing. "John Williams and George Lucas shared exactly the same concern -- that the music had to be presented in the right way, with a great orchestra, and with great acoustics."

Four years later, it looks as if the conditions have been met.

Read the rest here -

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Star Wars: The Pink Five Trilogy

Pink Five is a Star Wars fan film that made its debut on the Internet in 2002. It was written and directed by Trey Stokes and stars Amy Earhart as Stacey (aka Pink Five), a fast-talking Valley Girl-type dropped into an X-Wing cockpit during the Battle of Yavin, and presents familiar events and story points from Episode IV from a very different point-of-view.

The film has proven popular with Star Wars fans, winning rave reviews and the George Lucas Selects Award in the AtomFilms- and Lucasfilm-sponsored 2003 Official Star Wars Fan Film Awards, and even played at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.

Two sequels have been made: Pink Five Strikes Back (2004) and Return of Pink Five (2006).

Monday, 5 October 2009

Source -

The Oct. 18 concert will feature live music and live narration from Anthony Daniels, the actor who played the golden robot C-3P0. We talked to Daniels on 9NEWS 6 a.m.

Daniels will be backed up by a full symphony orchestra and choir. Clips from some of the movies' most famous scenes will play on huge overhead screens. For complete details please visit

Transcript of Q&A with Anthony Daniels

Question: You'll be going on the road for all of these dates?

Answer: Oh yeah, I think we have 46 cities just at the moment and I'm a little nervous about it 'cause you know, I'm not getting any younger! This is a high energy tour for me and the conductor and the orchestra and the guys who actually move this massive set, literally across (the) country.

Q: You know doing the movies was probably a case of 'hurry up and wait,' not in this case?

A: No this is 'hurry up and hurry up,' because sometimes ya know, I've actually giving up trying to understand the schedule because uh, I don't know for instance when I arrive in Denver but I've been to Denver lots of times, I'm pretty much at home there and I know I have some old friends who are coming to visit and see me in Star Wars In Concert. So I'm hoping actually to get around the city a bit.

Q. Our altitude always throws people for a loop; it sounds like you've gotten use to it?

A: Um, it takes a moment to suddenly go [gasp] and you think you're not having a heart attack, you've just come up a mile high, so that's fine.

But I know there's a huge love of Star Wars within the Denver area cause ya know many years ago we had a big conference, convention there and a huge outpouring of love and I want people to come and re-live their childhood memories and you know even 4 year olds I would say are perfectly capable of coming and just having a wonderful evening.

Q: One of the reasons Star Wars worked is because of the music. This arena tour is such a natural outgrowth of that.

A: I think so and I love that fact that John Williams music is actually really being honored. This is the basis for it. But then Lucas Film decided to actually enhance it, not just show you the films again, which we already know and love, but to make special montages, where John Williams music is themed around a subject so you will get elements from each of the six movies, behind the scenes stuff and again woven in with live coverage of the orchestra actually creating that sound especially for you.

Q: So will you actually be reading excerpts through dialog, or are you just a narrator?

A: I'm not sure about the word just there, OK? [Laughs] I'm the narrator and I have learned this stuff. Oh, yes I'll tell you the opening line. Maybe you can guess. 'A long time ago.'

You see even you know that one! I tell very simply the story very directly to the audience right around the arena. I have, you know, I'll look as big as this action figure on stage [holds up C-3P0 doll] about that big. But my face for the most part will be about 80 feet across. So be prepared because it is this face right here, rather than the gold one.

Q. So the wizard comes out from behind the curtain.

A: That is a very good way of putting it. It is if you like my moment to shine, C-3P0 is shown throughout. Given that I didn't even want to be in the original one and also given the fact that in Star Wars Episode 4 'New Hope' C-3P0 says 'I'm not very good at telling stories, but not at making them interesting anyways,' but here I am!

In episode 6 of course he tells the story to the Ewoks. Here I am in Denver telling you, very deliberately telling you, the clear story line and letting those memories flood back. And even for people who've never seen Star Wars, this is your chance to sneak in. Don't tell anybody you've never seen Star Wars, cause they'll look at you weird!

But you'll come out knowing the story, do you know I have to tell you at two o'clock this morning I was humming, [Star Wars theme] , 'Dum Dah Dum, bump bump bah...' I don't want it in my head at two o'clock in the morning! You will be humming the tune tunes too. Trust me.

Q. You resisted the C-3P0 role in the beginning, why was that?

A: I was a serious young actor, too serious.

Q: Shakespeare and all that?

A: Yes, all that stuff yes, all the famous dead people. And I thought that's what acting was basically about. And back then there had never really been a robot that really had a personality, as George tended to have in his writing.

I would spend three years at drama school learning to promote with my face, hands and gestures as a gesture and so on. But I had learned quite a bit about mimes. So I know how to work my body as it were. And my agent made me go and see him [Lucas].

And then of course I fell in love, absolutely in love with an image that Rock McCurry painted. Fans will know this story but ya know if you're just coming as someone who loves orchestra music, wondering who the guy is on the side of the stage. It is me. From that moment you know who has spent on and off over 33 years, now the only person to be in all 6 Star War movies cause he went back in time just to meet older characters, other characters were digitized through George's love in a digital medium.

[There were] times, I will tell you, times of thinking, 'Oh the Star Wars, I wish people knew me for something else.'

I've gone through kind of an epiphany where I'm just so thrilled people know me for this and thrilled actually now to be able to come to Denver, stand on stage and say, 'Yeah, this is the man behind the mask if you'd like, uh and here is the story which I love and you love and let's all love it together in slightly different way then before.'

Q: Other actors from the films never came to the epiphany you did.

A: The sad thing for me is that Sir Alec Guinness entdied before he reached this point and it did concern me that he [never] realized what you just said. Ya know this is actually very nice good thing and I'm very lucky to be a part of it and I'm huge lucky to have stayed with it over the years.

Q. What other Star Wars activities are you involved in?

A: You know, currently I'm doing the Clone Wars which is a hugely popular cartoon series. I don't have to dress up, I just do the voice. And because of my staying with it I've gotten over that little bump and I'm just thrilled to be the narrator of the show and can you imagine the power I feel. I am there on this massive stage, 86-piece orchestra this choir behind them, the conductor, we have a laser show so elegant and moving.

It gets an 'ahhh' from the audience--and me--in this vast set, the feeling of power is immense you see because my narration always gives the key word to set the whole thing in motion each time so I feel very important, of course I'm not, they tell me.

Q: I'm starting to see the Dark Side starting to creep in!

A: You know, I've suppressed it all these years [laughs]. You know C-3PO's very nice, a bit touchy from time to time, but hey you know George stuck him in difficult situations so the reason I've been able to stick with C-3PO and the Star War series is I'm actually very fond of him as a character, he's looked out for me, I try and look out for him.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Steven Spielberg plans to make a television series about bringing a musical to the stage
Steven Spielberg plans to make a television series about bringing a musical to the stage Photo: PA

The director, 62, is said to be in talks with Showtime, an American cable television company, and DreamWorks TV about the series, which has yet to be given a title.

Spielberg also intends to take the production itself on to the stage.

Variety claimed that Spielberg had been developing the concept for the show "for years", and was hoping to recruit producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who were behind taking Chicago and Hairspray from the stage to the big screen.

He is also said to be interested in getting on board Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who co-wrote the score for Hairspray and the musical adaptation of Spielberg's 2002 film Catch Me If You Can, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio.

The series will look at all aspects of creating a musical and taking it to the stage, from writing the songs to convincing investors, as well as the delving into the personal lives of the main players like the actors and producers.

It is understood Spielberg wants to create a scripted series, as opposed to a reality television programme or documentary, although the fact that it will be made in tandem with the musical could create problems.

If successful, it could be rolled out to last more than one series, looking at new productions in future years.

Spokesmen for Showtime and DreamWorks TV declined to comment.

Source -

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Film directors Steven Spielberg and George Lucas are bringing together their private collections of art by Norman Rockwell for a US exhibition.

More than 50 works by the illustrator will be shown at the Smithsonian American Art Museum from next July.

Videoed interviews with the film-makers about their collections will form part of the show.

Museum curator Valerie Mecklenburg said the artworks "each mean something" to the movie directors and collectors.

Boyhood memories

"Both of them say Rockwell was a master of storytelling, and a master of telling the story in one figure, and that is just like one frame for a movie," she added.

US postage stamp illustrated by Norman Rockwell
Norman Rockwell illustrated stamps, advertisements and magazine covers

The exhibition, which will run into early 2011, will examine the links between cinema and Rockwell's illustrations.

"Rockwell once said if he hadn't been an illustrator, he would have loved to be a movie director," said Ms Mecklenburg.

The artist, who died in 1978, was a well-known name in the US. He illustrated postage stamps, magazine covers and public information posters.

For 40 years, he created covers for the Saturday Post Magazine, which both Spielberg and Lucas are said to remember from their childhood.

Star Wars director Lucas has contributed the oldest artwork to the exhibition, a Life magazine cover from 1917.

The film-maker's collections will only be shown at the Smithsonian, according to the gallery.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—George Lucas and Steven Spielberg have collaborated before, as with their Indiana Jones movies, but now they’ve decided to pool their collections of Norman Rockwell art for an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution.

"Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell From the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg" will present 50 drawings and paintings from the filmmakers’ private holdings. One of the exhibition's themes will be the links between Rockwell's art and the movies, which is what prompted both men to start their extensive collections, a Smithsonian curator says. The exhibit, which can be seen only at the Smithsonian, runs from July 2, 2010, through Jan. 2, 2011.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Robert Downey Jr. has been sober for years, but he may soon start talking to an invisible rabbit.

It's rumored he'll star in Steven Spielberg's adaptation of "Harvey," the Pulitzer prize winning play that was made into a 1950 movie starring Jimmy Stewart, the LA Times reports.

Read more:

Thursday, 1 October 2009

This year at the Penny Arcade Expo, attendees were treated to a special sneak-peek of the Republic capital world of Coruscant! For anyone who was unable to attend, or anyone who would like to relive the video in higher quality, we invite you to check it out!

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