Tuesday, 31 January 2012

What is the best Steven Spielberg movie of all time?  I decided to compile the following list to answer the question.  So here's how it works.  I have visited several sites and taken their top rated Spielberg movies and given points for the top six.
1st - 10 points
2nd - 6 points
3rd - 4 points
4th - 3 points
5th - 2 points
6th - 1 point

Also included is box office takings which has been adjusted for inflation and overall nominations and awards given.

Top six by metascore Score Points

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial 10 pts
94 metascore

Schindler's List 6 pts
93 metascore

Raiders of the Lost Ark 4 pts
90 metascore

Saving Private Ryan 3 pts
90 metascore

Minority Report  2pts
80 metascore

Jaws 1pt
79 metascore

Metacritic by user score

Empire of the Sun 10 pts
9.0 user score

Raiders of the Lost Ark 6 pts
8.9 user score

Schindler's List 4pts
8.8 user score

Saving Private Ryan 3 pts
user score 8.7

Jaws 2 pts
user score 8.7

Jurassic Park 1 pt
user score 8.6

IMDB by Rating

Schindler's List 10 pts
Rating 8.9

Raiders Of The Lost Ark  6 pts
Rating 8.7

Saving Private Ryan 4 pts
Rating 8.5

Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade 3 pts
Rating 8.3

Jaws 2 pts
Rating 8.2

Jurassic Park 1pt
Rating 7.9

Rotten Tomatoes by Rating

Jaws 10 pts
Rating 100%

E.T The Extra Terrestrial 6 pts
Rating 98%

Schindlers List 4 pts
Rating 97%

Catch Me If You Can 3 pts
Rating 96%

Close Encounters 2 pts
Rating 95%

Raiders Of The Lost Ark 1 pt
Rating 94%

Love Film Sorted By User Rating

Schindler's List 10 pts
4 stars from 80k+

Saving Private Ryan 6 pts
4 stars from 65k+

Raiders Of The Lost Ark 4 pts
4 stars from 43k+

Last Crusade 3 pts
4 stars from 32k+

Jaws 2 pts
3.5 stars from 44k+

Jurassic Park 1pt
3.5 stars 42k+

Digital Spy Favourite Spielberg Movie Jan 2012 by Readers

Jurassic Park 10 pts
18.4% of vote

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial 6 pts
17.5% of vote

Raiders Of The Lost Ark 4 pts
11.5 of vote

Jaws 3 pts
10.6% of vote

Schindlers List 2 pts
8.9% of vote

Saving Private Ryan 1pt
6.6% off vote

Overall Worldwide box office takings adjusted for inflation (the movie-times.com data)

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial 10 pts
$1070 Million

Jaws 6 pts
$973 Million

Raiders Of The Lost Ark 4 pts
$646 Million

Jurassic Park 3 pts
$639 Million

Close Encounters 2 pts
$578 Million

Temple Of Doom 1 pt
$396 Million

Top movies rated by nominations for awards for Academy Award, BAFTA, Cannes Film Festival, Critics Choice Awards, Directors Guild Of America and Golden Globes. (If the total is a draw then the position is based on most wins over nominations)

Saving Private Ryan 10 pts
7 nominations/wins

Schindler's List 6 pts
6 nominations/wins

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial 4 pts
6 nominations/wins

Close Encounters3 pts
6 nominations/wins

Munich 2 pts
4 nominations/wins

The Color Purple 1 pt
3 nominations/wins


1 - Schindler's List 42
2 - E.T The Extra Terrestrial 36
3 - Raiders Of The Lost Ark 29
4 - Saving Private Ryan 27
5 - Jaws 26
6 - Jurassic Park 16
7 - Empire Of The Sun 10
8 - Close Encounters 7
9 - Last Crusade 6
10 - Catch Me If You Can 3
11 - Minority Report 2
12 - Munich 2
13 - The Color Purple 1

So the best Steven Spielberg movie according to the web, takings and awards is Schindler's List.  Do you agree with the list?  What is your top Spielberg movies?  Let me know.  For the record my top Spielberg movies are Jaws, Close Encounters and Raiders (Jurassic Park a close 4th.)

The Bearded Trio

Benedict Cumberbatch wants to set the record straight - he did actually ride the horse in War Horse.
The Sherlock star admitted that viewers have mistaken his riding as fake in Steven Spielberg's First World War epic, in which he stars alongside Tom Hiddleston and Jeremy Irvine.
"I wasn't a rider, I hadn't done any since I was about 12," he said.
"Jeremy is the best rider out of us - he does it effortlessly. Whereas, people think we had our faces super-imposed onto our body doubles, which is rather irritating."
Despite doing some riding as a child, Benedict, who plays Major Stewart, had to take lessons with co-stars Jeremy and Tom, where they learnt how to ride single-handedly, while holding weapons.
"I was just very bad at horse riding. It wasn't something that really took to me," he admitted.
"I got to the stage where I thought the horse probably wanted to do something else, and I couldn't get past my awkwardness about that. I thought, 'What are these things doing, being attached on the horse? It feels wrong'."
But the 35-year-old has now gained a newfound respect for the equine friends: "A new form of relationship comes with the respect gained by getting over that. You have to be respectful of the personality of the beasts."

Which bounty hunters will be the last ones standing? It's a tournament of champions, Star Wars-style, in the next all-new episode of The Clone Wars. Obi-Wan Kenobi is still deep undercover as the criminal marksman Rako Hardeen, and he's done such an impressive job that he's qualified for Count Dooku's ultimate test: surviving the Box.

The Box is a technological marvel, a reconfiguring obstacle course where sloppy players are eliminated, because Dooku needs the best if he's going to carry out his wicked plot to kidnap the Chancellor. A dozen of the galaxy's most skilled and notorious bounty hunters are selected to compete for the mission -- including the unforgettable Embo, who makes a return appearance. Cad Bane also enters the fray, and he's been keeping a close eye on "Rako." Can Obi-Wan prove his skills to survive to the finish, without revealing he's a Jedi Knight?

Check out the non-stop action and danger found in "The Box," the next chapter of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, airing at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT Friday, February 3rd on Cartoon Network.
Ian Abercrombie, whose TV roles included Elaine's boss Mr Pitt on Seinfeld and the voice of Chancellor Palpatine in the animated TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, has died at the age of 77.
A website statement from LucasArts said that the veteran British screen and stage stage star died on Friday.

A friend, Cathy Lind Hayes, told the Los Angeles Times that Abercrombie died at a Los Angeles hospital from complications of kidney failure and recently had been diagnosed with lymphoma.
"Though he played a villain on our show, you would be hard pressed to meet a kinder person," said Dave Filoni, a supervising director for Clone Wars.

''He loved to laugh and his sense of humour always lightened our record sessions. I will miss his stories, I will miss his performances, and I will miss his contribution to our show."

Abercrombie began his career as a dancer and made his American stage debut in a 1951 production of Stalag 17.

He appeared in the film Army of Darkness and on such TV shows as Wizards of Waverly Place and Birds of Prey, in which he played Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne's butler.

He also voiced the worldly owl Ambrose in the animated movie Rango starring Johnny Depp.
The guys overs at Pcgamer have posted about about a rumoured white crystal in The Old Republic.  They say:

The magenta crystal was one of the most coveted items in Star Wars: The Old Republic, until now. One top level player has been spotted running around the TOR’s planets with a “whitesaber,” sparking a galaxy wide hunt for the white crystal.

The saber’s owner, Catch, posted his discovery on The Old Republic forums with pictures and item stats, and then livestreamed himself running around with the crystal to prove that it exists. So far, he’s kept the methods he used to obtain the crystal a closely guarded secret. The community has been poring over the few clues he’s given and, in some cases, been following him around to see if he’ll let slip any new info. There are several theories, some madder than others.

The white crystals were available in beta as rare drops from one of Aladeraan’s world bosses. Players started by killing him repeatedly to discover if that was still the case, but with no luck. It appears that, unlike the Magenta crystal, the white crystal isn’t available as a schematic. These would let Artificers craft them with the right materials. It looks like a world puzzle instead.

A thread on Reddit has collated other clues which indicated that dead Tauntauns on Hoth could be part of the process. Others think that it might have something to do with the Well Fed Womp Rat on Tattoine. Eye-witness reports claim to have seen Catch and his group killing the Womp Rat to draw out vendors, which they then killed to stack special buffs onto the rat.

You can read more at http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/01/30/star-wars-the-old-republic-players-hunt-for-rumoured-white-lightsaber-crystal/

Monday, 30 January 2012

Warwick Davis has admitted that he would love to appear in Doctor Who.

The Life's Too Short star told the Radio Times that a part in the BBC sci-fi drama is his "dream" role.

"Steven Moffat is somebody I want to talk to," he said. "I love Sherlock and I would love to be in Doctor Who - it's been a dream of mine for many years."

He quipped: "I don't want to play the Doctor, but a villain or something like that would be pretty good."

Davis - who first rose to fame as the Ewok Wicket in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi - has appeared in the Harry Potter films and an episode of BBC One's Merlin.

He is expected to return to Life's Too Short in the near future, with series co-creator Ricky Gervais having revealed that a second run is planned for spring 2013.

digital spy

Sunday, 29 January 2012

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full Throttle Lucasarts Bike High Resolution

Content already planned through to 2013.

BioWare's plans for its next major content patch in Star Wars: The Old Republic are much bigger than what we'll see from Game Update 1 which launches today.
In an interview with CVG, game director James Ohlen stated the studio has bigger plans scheduled for future patches, and has a larger team focusing on the next update.
"Game Update 2 is much bigger in scope [than Game Update 1]," he explained.
"It's further out from launch, so we can have much more of the team focussed on it. There's Part 2 of Rise of the Rakghouls, a brand new planet called Denova which has an 8-16 man Operation and a new Warzone. So that's three big pieces of content."
While BioWare is currently working on implementing the Legacy system for managing alt characters, as well as new PvP gameplay and features for guilds, Ohlen also brought up the topic of a new Space-based slant to the game.
"We might also be able to get some new space game missions into it. In addition to that we have single player content that you’ll be able to go through as well."
The team already has content planned through to next year, he goes on to say:
"We have people working on content that won't be showing up in the game until 2013. We have writers already finishing off content for that, so I can already play through stuff from 2013 content – just not with voiceovers. We're planning really far ahead, and we have to do that because our content is more complex than your typical MMO content. It requires voiceovers, cinematics and all that."
The first content update for Star Wars: The Old Republic releases today, and features higher level group content, balancing and bug features, a new Flashpoint and Operation, level 50 bracketing for PvP WarZones, anti-aliasing, and changes to Open World PvP on Ilum.
Also on the cards is a possible future on the Mac platform, according to a recent statement by BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk, however no official word has been made as to when this might happen.

 James Arnold Taylor's "Talking to Myself" is a 80 minute one-man stage show event. Combining state-of-the-art multimedia images and sound in a live theater setting. James re-creates scenes from some of Hollywood's biggest films with creative imagery and his voice. As one of Hollywood's most prolific voice-actors James is known world wide as the voice of many famous television and film characters. From Fred Flintstone and Johnny Test to Obi-Wan Kenobi on the hit show Star Wars: The Clone Wars. "Talking to Myself" includes over 150 voices all by one man, one throat. It is a family friendly show that inspires, educates and entertains! We hope you enjoy this trailer, spread the word and catch the show in your area soon!

Question is can he do a convincing Welsh accent?

Oprah Winfrey gets a chance to tour the famous Skywalker Ranch as she receives a rare interview with George Lucas on “Oprah’s Next Chapter” tonight on OWN at 9/8c. During the interview, Oprah will have an opportunity to talk with legendary filmmaker Lucas about the Red Tails movie which is his latest film released in theaters this weekend. Oprah will get to talk with two of the stars of the movie, Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding, Jr., as well as Lucas’ girlfriend, Mellody Hobson. One of the questions Oprah asks tonight is “When was the last time anyone ever said no to you?” Oprah will be discussing the house that Star Wars built in addition to Lucas’ relationship with Mellody. In the conversation with Gooding and Howard, the three talk about how wonderful it was to work with Lucas and what this film means to the black community. If you miss the show this evening, there will be a recap highlighting what happened on “Oprah’s Next Chapter.”

First Look: George Lucas on Oprah's Next Chapter
Tune in Sunday, January 22, at 9/8c to see Oprah's rare interview with legendary filmmaker George Lucas. Plus, Oprah takes a private tour inside George's Skywalker Ranch.


Saturday, 28 January 2012

Click on the image for a larger version. Right click to save. 1280x720 Industrial LightAnd Magic (ILM)Creating The Impossible Wallpaper.

Industrial LightAnd Magic (ILM) Creating The Impossible 1280x720

Watch the Encore one hour documentary Creating The Impossible here in HD here http://www.thebeardedtrio.com/2011/07/encores-ilm-creating-impossible-hd.html

The George Lucas universe returns to theaters on Feb. 10 when “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” opens in 3-D and it looks like he will be using every Jedi trick to get fans into seats on opening weekend. Some of the special offers and giveaways we’re hearing about so far:
* At all RealD theaters, the Darth Maul glasses you see above will be handed out (while supplies last) to fans who buy tickets on the movie’s opening day. And now, you don’t have to break them in half at the end of the movie.
* At all AMC Theaters, fans will get the all-new Hasbro “Star Wars” Fighter Pod with the purchase of each RealD 3-D ticket for “Episode I,” all weekend long, Feb. 10-12.  The limit is one per ticket and the offer is good only while supplies last.


Friday, 27 January 2012

Designed to build excitement for Star Wars Kinect, this official video from LucasArts re-images the famous scene in which Obi-Wan Kenobi is taken down by Darth Vader...the game is due this spring.
It is regarded as one of the greatest movies in Hollywood history.
But it looks like even Charlton Heston's The Ten Commandments is not beyond the current trend of Hollywood remakes, with Steven Spielberg close to agreeing with Warner Bros to direct.
According to Deadline.com however, the ET film-maker is hoping to give his version of the story of Jewish prophet Moses a far different spin to the 1956 version.
An insider told the website he is hoping to make his sword and sandals epic 'like a Braveheart-ish version of the Moses story.'
Interestingly, Moses will be portrayed as a tough warrior in the new film, whereas Heston played him as a humble man with great inner strength.
It currently has the working title Gods And Kings, and will follow the complete life of the prophet.
It will start from Moses' humble beginnings as an orphan found floating down the river in a basket, all the way through to him freeing the Jews and leading them to The Promised Land.
The insider added it will show him, 'being adopted, leaving his home, forming an army, and getting the Ten Commandments.'
One small comfort for cinephiles is that while the movie will undoubtedly feature the spectacular parting of the Red Sea, it is not being considered as a 3D feature.
While they will share the same source material, it is understood that rather than being a straight remake of Cecile B. DeMille's classic, Warner Bros want Spielberg to direct it in the gritty reality-based style of Saving Private Ryan.
Signing on the dotted line: But hopefully Steven's contract won't weight as much as the Ten Commandments stones

The source said: 'There have been glossy versions of the Moses story but this would be a real warrior story.'
The studio has been courting the Schindler's List director since last September, when he first read the script.
And while it first seemed unlikely he would agree to do it, it seems he became keen on the idea, and will set his deal in stone by the end of the month.
However it will still be a long time before the flick will hit the silver screen, as production only has a tentative start date of March or April of 2013.
Charlton athletic: Heston's energetic performance of Moses as a modest but strong man was widely praised

The film is being produced by Matti Lesham, who came to the studio with a treatment that was bought for development.
Interestingly his most notable work to date is 2008's Paula Abdul: Cardio Cheer, which may be why heavyweight Sherlock Holmes producer Dan Lin has also came on board.
The screenplay is being penned by Paradise Lost writer, who has teamed up with Michael Green who co-wrote last year's The Green Lantern.
You've Scot to be kidding: Using Braveheart as the inspiration for the new movie is an interesting idea

It means legendary director Spielberg is as busy as ever.
The Escape to Nowhere favourite has just finished directing historical epic Lincoln, and is currently working on Robopocalypse, in which robot-reliant society faces extinction after an artificial intelligence program is unleashed.
The original Ten Commandments is one of the most profitable films of all time, grossing $65 million in 1956, which is equivalent to close to $1 billion today.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

RC R2-D2 marks start of Bladez Star Wars Pump & Play rangeBladez Toyz, which is possibly best known for its massive selection of radio controlled helicopters, has signed a deal with Lucasfilm to bring the Star Wars franchise to its Pump & Play RC range.
The first officially licensed toy in the line-up will be the RC Jumbo Inflatable R2-D2, which Pocket-lint saw in the flesh (so to speak) during Toy Fair 2012 in London. It stands 26-inches (65cm) tall and is controlled in much the same way as a normal remote controlled car.
A foot pump comes in the box and we were assured that it doesn't take long to inflate. It was also demonstrated to us by... Princess Leia (a much taller one than we remember).
Coming out in Q3/Q4 this year (autumn/winter time), the RC Jumbo Inflatable R2-D2 is expected to retail for around £40, and Bladez promises that there will be additions to the Star Wars Pump & Play range to come.

Dylan Jones and Diablo

A horse trainer from Gwynedd has enjoyed seeing himself on screen in a wartime blockbuster that is delighting moviegoers around the world.
Dylan Jones, from Llanberis, was a stunt horse rider and team co-ordinator on Steven Spielberg's epic War Horse.
He spent seven weeks working on locations including the Duke of Wellington's estate near Basingstoke.
Mr Jones has also worked on the BBC TV drama series Merlin, and an earlier US TV mini-series of the same name.
Based on the Michael Morpurgo novel, War Horse is a tale of friendship between a young man and a horse which is sold to the British cavalry and dispatched to the front line at the outbreak of World War One.
The film has been nominated for six Oscars including Best Picture.
As well as appearing in the film, Mr Jones supplied 15 horses for the shoot through his company Dolbadarn Film Horses, which his father Aneuryn set up in the 1970s.
The horseman originally trained as an actor and spotted an opportunity when he was invited to ride a horse in a US TV mini-series about Merlin, starring Sam Neill and filmed on Anglesey.
"There was nobody professional training horses for the TV and film industry in Wales… so I saw a niche in the market and went on from there," said Mr Jones.
Since then, he has worked on several TV and movie projects, including the BBC Wales series Merlin, supplying horses for the characters of Merlin and King Arthur.
Steven Spielberg Mr Jones was invited to take part in War Horse, filmed over the summer of 2010, by the main horsemaster who he had worked with on director Ridley Scott's Robin Hood film.
"It was an eye opener for us because they were hard, long days, but it was well worth doing," he said.
"Steven Spielberg was on set all day every day - he was a lovely guy to work with, nice and quiet, he knew exactly what he needed."

Still from War Horse  
The movie tells the story of a friendship between a man and a horse which is sent to the front line
One of his favourite horses, Diablo, appeared with him in War Horse, but Mr Jones says only certain animals are suitable.
"Not every horse can be trained - they have to have a unique character," he says.
"There's no point even thinking about using a nervous horse - you need one that has a bit of fight in it."
Mr Jones was pleased with the results when he saw the film last week.
"I saw myself quite a few times - first I was a British cavalryman, then I saw myself as a German soldier," he said.
"It was a big production - I knew [the horse scenes] were going to be good because of the amount of hard work that we'd put into it."
"It was a great experience but since then we've been working on other productions… Wrath of the Titans, Snow White and the Huntsmen, and more of Merlin.
"You're only as good as the last job you did."


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The actor's Playtone has teamed with Reliance Entertainment to produce "Electric City," which will stream over the Internet before heading to more traditional outlets.

Tom Hanks has created an animated science-fiction show that initially will stream exclusively on Yahoo in what is the giant Internet portal’s first foray into narrative storytelling, the partners are set to announce Monday.
The show, called Electric City, is a production of Reliance Entertainment and Playtone, the latter being a TV and film company owned by Hanks and Gary Goetzman.
Hanks will voice the lead character in Electric City and Yahoo will roll out about 20 episodes, each one roughly four minutes long, beginning in the spring.

Yahoo already boasts a portfolio of several news-information shows that attract a combined 26 million viewers monthly, but Electric City is its first scripted narrative, and Ross Levinsohn, Yahoo’s executive vp Americas, says there’s more in development.
“Not just shows, but real experiences. We’re looking to build franchises,” he said.
Electric City, for example, could also be a game, and if the show proves popular it could work its way to home video, TV and even a 90-minute theatrical release.

Financial terms of the relationship weren’t disclosed.
“This is the most money we’ve ever spent on a scripted show. Of course, it’s also the first scripted show,” Levinsohn quipped.
Hanks and Levinsohn plan to show snippets of Electric City during a 45-minute, invitation-only presentation Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Levinsohn says the show is another example of Yahoo’s effort to strengthen its reputation as a legitimate entertainment company. Along those lines, it partnered last week with Will Ferrell’s and Judd Apatow’s Funny or Die on a 13-minute parody of a Republican presidential debate hosted by Larry King.
The company is also creating a Yahoo Comedy Channel that will kick off with a live stream Feb. 23 of CrazyStupidPolitics: Bill Maher Live from Silicon Valley.

The Nominations for the 84th Academy Awards® were announced this morning, Tuesday, January 24th. A wonderful surprise this year came in the nominations for Best Original Score, with legendary film composer, and winner of five previous Academy Awards®, John Williams, receiving two nomination nods this year for his two, motion picture collaborations with Director Steven Spielberg.

Williams received a nomination for his deeply emotional, eloquent, sublime score composed for Spielberg’s “War Horse”. Williams also is nominated for scoring Spielberg’s performance capture 3D animated film, “The Adventures Of Tin Tin”.

Songwriter Bret McKenzie received a very much and well deserved nomination for Best Original Song, for penning both the music and lyrics to the enchanting and very clever, “Man Or Muppet” for “The Muppets”. Here’s hoping “The Muppets’” very talented stars Jason Segel and his muppet brother Walter perform the song in formal attire, live on the Oscars Telecast, recreating their show stopping number from the movie!

It would indeed be a rare and sparkling treat also having John Williams conduct and perform with a full orchestra, both of his supreme nominated scores, in addition to having all of the nominated film composers perform their scores live.

The Nominees For Music Best Original Score In A Motion Picture are:

“The Adventures Of Tin Tin” John Williams
“The Artist” Ludovic Bource
“Hugo” Howard Shore
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Alberto Iglesias
“War Horse” John Williams

Hornby is at the London Toy Fair 2012 this week putting the Force into slot racing classic Scalextric with a series of Star Wars race kits.

Star Wars Scalextric
The Micro Scalectrix Star Wars Death Star Attack sees an Incom T-65 X-Wing race a Sienar Fleet Systems' Advanced TIE Fighter, as flown by Mr D Vader in the film.
Both tracks and vehicles glow in the dark for late night, past-lights-out racing. The set will hit shelves in the next couple of months for £70.
Star Wars Scalextric
A bigger kit is also on the way featuring speeder bikes with Luke Skywalker on one and, of course, an Imperial Scout on the other.
That's the Scalextric Start Star Wars Battle of Endor, which will retail for £99. ®
Star Wars Scalextric

Still waiting for the Pod Race Scalextric

A "directors cut" of a fan-made version of Star Wars has passed one million views on YouTube.
The film, uploaded on 18 January, is made up of hundreds of 15-second scenes created by internet users.
The Star Wars Uncut project is widely regarded as an example of the power of crowdsourcing.
Ramon Youseph, of the Crowdsourcing Gazette blog, told the BBC it showed "the power of the web to engage people in a global collaborative effort".
The website starwarsuncut.com began asking for fan-made scenes in 2009. It went on to win an interactive media Emmy in 2010.
Scenes submitted to Starwarsuncut.com were specially selected for this compilation.
Although the clips had been available online previously, this is the first time they have been put together into a full-length film.
Writing online, the project's creator Casey Pugh said: "Finally, the crowdsourced project has been stitched together and put online for your streaming pleasure.
"The director's cut is a feature-length film that contains hand-picked scenes from the entire starwarsuncut.com collection."
The new version of the film quickly became a YouTube hit. "1M views in 72hrs! Thanks everyone for all the wonderful feedback," tweeted the @starwarsuncut account.
The film is also available on Vimeo where it has been played nearly 300,000 times.
Copyright Jeff Howe, author of the book Crowdsourcing, said the project's success shows the public can have a role in movie-making: "The trick, of course, is not simply to stitch together disparate footage from many minds (and cameras), but to make it entertaining, compelling, etc."
He added that the project had "provided clear guidelines by cutting the original film into 15-second bits. What few people understand is that crowdsourcing is not some free-for-all.
"The rules are actually more important than they might be in a more traditional methodology."
The 400-plus scenes in the film, which were edited together by Aaron Valdez and Bryan Pugh, are an eclectic mix of live-action, animation and puppetry.
Actors of all ages, and in some cases species, appear in the scenes. Influences range from Yellow Submarine to Ingmar Bergman's Seventh Seal.
A bewildering variety of household goods are enlisted as substitutes for the original film's ground-breaking special effects and props. In one scene a fly-swat has an unexpected cameo as Luke's lightsaber.
Locations vary, with efforts to faithfully recreate the original sets sitting side-by-side with homes, suburban streets, bowling alleys and, in one case, a hot tub.
According to reports, Lucasfilm has been supportive of the project.
The release comes at a time of fierce debate about copyright law provoked by the US Stop Online Piracy Act, which some fear might stifle projects of this kind.
The @starwarsuncut Twitter feed said of the release: "We have to admit it was a little anti-SOPA inspired."
While Mr Youseph acknowledged the risk, he told the BBC that it was important for people embarking on these projects to "have the necessary permissions in place before undertaking a project".
But he added: "Surprisingly many organisations and individuals have granted rights for their material to be used in this manner.
"A good example is Joss Whedon and 20th Century Fox who allowed fans of the sci-fi show Firefly to crowdsource (and crowdfund) a fan film based on that show."

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Pity Leia didn't do the same earlier.  Could have saved an awkward moment.

In preparation for the re-release of George Lucas’ Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace in 3D, the AMC theater chain has announced a series of exclusive activities and planned giveaways that will take place during opening weekend, Feb. 10-12, at select AMC locations.

For starters, fans who purchase RealD 3D tickets will receive an all-new Hasbro Star Wars Fighter Pod, because toys are – and always have been – an integral part of Lucas’ Star Wars experience. As the release clarifies, Fighter Pods are limited to one per ticket, and are available all weekend long, while supplies last.

Ten AMC locations in major markets also plan on hosting exclusive event screenings on Saturday, Feb. 11, that will be bustling with fan-friendly activities and giveaways.

The 10 participating Star Wars: Episode I theaters are as follows:
Atlanta: AMC Southlake 24
Boston: AMC Loews Liberty Tree Mall 20
Chicago: AMC South Barrington 30
Denver: AMC Highlands Ranch 24
Los Angeles: AMC Tustin 14 at The District; AMC Ontario Mills 30
New York: AMC Empire 25; AMC Garden State 16
Phoenix: AMC Mesa Grand 24
San Francisco: AMC Emeryville Bay Street 16

Activities will begin at 11 a.m. local time, and will include:
· Exclusive Anakin Skywalker Podracer 3D glasses with ticket purchase
· A Hasbro Star Wars FIGHTER PODS collectible toy with RealD 3D ticket purchase
· A LEGO feature area
· Darth Maul face-painting
· Special character appearances for photo opportunities
· Demonstrations of the upcoming Xbox Kinect Star Wars

As we all know, Star Wars revolutionized merchandising for movies, creating a huge secondary income stream for films that no one could have predicted.

Merchandising had never been successful on that scale before, and now it's a given that whenever a big potential franchise comes together in Hollywood, well, you'd better have the movie finished on time before the toys are on the shelf.
George Lucas's toy story
As reported in Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, when George Lucas was making his Star Wars deal with Fox, he asked for the sequel, merchandising and soundtrack rights, which the studio gave up no problem.
Obviously they lost out on a big bonanza, but as former head of Fox Alan Ladd Jr. told me, "When you're making that much in film rentals, you're not unhappy about George filling his coffers with a little more with the merchandising.

"After American Graffiti came out and was such a big hit, George's agent came to me and said, 'Look, instead of additional money, I'd rather have a big slice of the merchandise,'" Ladd continues. 

"We said fine because merchandising had never been anything before. You may have sold a couple of small sharks or Jaws t-shirts, but merchandising was the farthest thing from anybody's mind in terms of moneymaking for anybody."

So how did Lucas know the merchandise would be big money when no one else did? Tom Pollock, who was Lucas's lawyer, says, "This is my take on it, and it's only my take... My take is that George's concern was not with owning all of these things at the time, it wasn't that he had a giant plan to set himself up as an industry and an empire unto himself, I don't think that was all planned out. 

"His concern was, he did plan to tell nine stories, and he did not want sequel rights ending up in studio development hell where he didn't have the ability to get the movie made. And that was really the concern. It wasn't, 'Oh my God, this gonna be so huge, I'm gonna own it and I can make all the money...' I don't think he thought that at all. I think it was more out of fear and distrust of the studios."

Pollock also adds, "When we made the deal for The Empire Strikes Back, the merchandising rights went to Lucasfilm as of the day of release of Empire, and with Fox getting a royalty for having done the first one.
"So all of the original merchandising deals on the movie were actually made by Fox. If you look on the merchandise of the late 70's, you'll see: Copyright and Trademark 20th Century Fox. If you look at the stuff in the 80's, 90's and today, you'll see: Copyright Lucasfilm."

The special effects wizards at Industrial Light and Magic sat down with The Daily to fill us in on how the realistic World War 2 dogfights in George Lucas' "Red Tails" were created.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Upcoming event Stars Of Time in Weston-super-mare Somerset.  The Bearded Trio will be there and honestly can't wait.  Confirmed guests so far

Frazer HinesJamie McCrimmon -
companion to the 2nd Doctor,
The Five Doctors, The Two
Doctors, Emmerdale

Caroline Munro
 (Enter our Prize Raffle on the day to
win a Helicopter Flight with Caroline)
The Spy Who Loved Me, The
Golden Voyage of Sinbad,
Dracula A.D., Starcrash,
Captain Kronos - Vampire
Hunter, At the Earth's Core

Shirley EatonGoldfinger (Jill Masterson),
Carry On Nurse, Carry On
Constable, The Blood of Fu
Manchu, The Saint

We'll keep you updated as more guests are confirmed but this is going to be huge.  Click here to go to the website http://www.starsoftime.co.uk

Stars Of Time 29th July 2012.

Every year there are two or three highly anticipated games released with massive hype and record-setting expectations. Most times these games fall completely flat when it comes to game accessibility, but this year one game set itself apart by including a fair amount of accessibility at launch while still meeting the public's expectations for an amazing game.
SWTOR splash
AbleGamers is proud to announce the 2011 Accessible Mainstream Game of the Year goes to Star Wars: The Old Republic. With over 1 million subscriptions sold before the paint even dried on the collector’s edition boxes, SWTOR quickly became one of the most popular MMO RPGs on the market today.
This game performed strongly against most of our accessibility tests while still maintaining a fun environment for those who enjoy solo or group play. Perhaps one of the most unintentionally accessibility features turned out to be the addition of companions. These NPC characters which accompany the player through most of the game provide support to those who need it without forcing them to request help from other players. Companions are an integral part of the crafting game as all crafting and some resource gathering is actually done by the companions themselves allowing those who wish to be more social and less lethal to still participate in this cutting into game.
swtor1SWTOR also features many accessibility options such as full subtitles, queue-able actions, multiple action bars, area looting, auto looting, and built-in mouse sensitivity. Other built-in features such as automatically turning to face the monster you are killing, mini map colors being colorblind friendly, full subtitles, and the ability to control the entire game from the keyboard or with the mouse, only increase the reasons to herald this game as a success for game accessibility.
The developers do have room for improvement by adding features such as click to move, close captioning, and the inclusion of mods to allow things like UI movement, text size changes, and small changes deemed necessary by the player base. However, with Star Wars enabling the ability to use on-screen keyboards, voice activation software, and mouse sensitivity settings, the game can be forgiven for a few shortcomings while hitting the major targets.
swtor2What makes this game so special is that the developers took the time to include so many accessibility options while up against tight deadlines in such a highly anticipated title. The AbleGamers Foundation is proud to present BioWare and LucasArts with the 2011 Accessible Mainstream Game of the Year Award. Congratulations to all the developers who helped shape the accessibility of this wonderful game.

read more at http://www.ablegamers.com/game-news/2011-ablegamers-mainstream-game-of-the-year.html
Screen Gems' Underworld: Awakening and George Lucas' Red Tails are fueling a strong weekend at the domestic box office, which could be up as much as 30 percent over last year despite bad weather in the Midwest and East.

Underworld Awakening, the fourth outing in the Kate Beckinsale vampire-werewolf franchise, grossed $9.4 million on Friday, benefiting from being released in 3D and IMAX runs. The horror action pic is course to gross $23 million to $24 million for the weekend -- better than two of the three previous titles.

PHOTOS: 'Underworld: Awakening' Premiere Red Carpet Arrivals

Threequel Underworld: Rise of the Lycons debuted to $20.7 million in January 2009, a franchise low. The original Underworld opened to $21.8 mllion, followed by $26.9 million for sequel Underworld: Evolution.

Awakening, co-produced by Screen Gems and Lakeshore Entertainment for $70 million, also opens in a number of overseas markets this weekend.

Fully financed and produced by George Lucas, Red Tails grossed a better than expected $6 million on Friday for a projected $16 million weekend. Fox is distributing the movie, which came in No. 2 behind Awakening.

Red Tails, about the Tuskegee Airman during World War II, received a glowing A CinemaScore. Awakening and Warner Bros.' Extremely Loud & Incrediby Close, which is expanding nationwide this weekend, both received an A- CinemaScore.

Lucas spent 20 years pursuing the project, and recently revealed he couldn't get any studio to finance the film ecause of an all-black cast. He finally decided to put up the money himself, and spent $58 million on the production budget and another $35 in distribution costs. Lucas produced with Rick McCallum.

The cast of Red Tails includes Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard. Recently, the producers and cast were recently at the White House for special screening of the film, along with director Anthony Hemingway.

The equine artistic adviser on Steven Spielberg's War Horse film talks about her work with the movie's four-legged stars.
No film set is complete without the diligent hair and make-up personnel who take pains to ensure the actors are ready for their close-ups.
On Steven Spielberg's War Horse, though, it was not just the human cast members who were groomed for the camera.
With no fewer than 14 different animals sharing the role of "hero" horse Joey, the team to which "equine artistic adviser" Ali Bannister belonged had their work cut out.
That number was further swelled by the hundreds of other beasts that were required to bring this epic adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's 1982 novel to the screen.
"Equine hair and make-up normally gets a laugh," says Bannister, a UK artist whose drawings of Joey are featured in the film. "It sounds such a comic title."
In her own words: "We are the people with the really big animals and the really tiny brushes."
It was Bannister's job to ensure the distinctive, cross-like white marking on Joey's forehead remained consistent, regardless of which horse was playing him.
"We also had to have artificial hair-pieces made up, to show all of Joey's different ages," she adds.
Tom Brook reports from the film's New York premiere
More often than not, though, her most familiar accessories while out on location in Dartmoor were pots of specially designed mud, used to make the film's elaborate World War I battle scenes look authentically filthy.
"Real mud tends to look grey on camera, so we would have to mix up large quantities of pigment, mud and a Vaseline-like product," she explains.
"Eventually, through testing, we narrowed it down to three different shades.
"We would start at 5am with mining lamps on our heads, distressing the horses with mud and ash," she continues.
"In some scenes we might have up to 80 horses, so it would be like a factory line."
So how did the animals cope with the constant attention?
"There were 14 horses playing Joey and they would all have their good days and bad days.
"Some of the horses were like teenagers - they'd be fine for a while but then would start to whinge.
"But others we thought would be less patient would just stand there like saints. One horse was so relaxed, he tried to go to sleep."
Chaos and carnage
Following the relationship of a Devon farm lad and his beloved steed as they are caught up in the Great War's chaos and carnage, War Horse finds Spielberg working on a large and spectacular canvas.
Bannister, though, admits her close relationship with the horses means she has yet to give in totally to the Oscar-nominated director's assured storytelling.
"I can't switch off while I'm watching the film," she laughs. "I'm like, 'JJ! Abraham! Roger! Finder!'
"They're all so different that you have to elbow me in the ribs to stop me shouting their names out."
Ali Bannister beneath her painting in Iddesleigh village hall Bannister has since painted a picture of 'Joey' that now hangs in a village hall in Devon
Yet Bannister has one more connection to the War Horse story that will have an ongoing relevance to fans of Morpurgo's novel.
The author asked her to produce a real version of the fictional horse painting referred to in the book's opening pages.
"I had never painted in oils before but I was too excited to tell him," reveals the artist, whose work now hangs proudly in the village hall of Iddesleigh in Devon.
"Ali Bannister did this wonderful picture of Joey and she was there to see it unveiled," says Morpurgo, whose novel inspired a hit stage show prior to its current incarnation.
"It is exactly how it is described in the book, so it is now a completely convincing lie."
War Horse is out in the UK on 13 January.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Finally, the crowd-sourced project has been stitched together and put online for your streaming pleasure. The "Director's Cut" is a feature-length film that contains hand-picked scenes from the entire StarWarsUncut.com collection.

Many thanks to Aaron Valdez (video editor - http://www.aaronvaldez.com) and Bryan Pugh (sound design/mixing - http://www.pughtube.com) for the countless hours they put into this masterpiece.

The Story:

In 2009, Casey Pugh asked thousands of Internet users to remake "Star Wars: A New Hope" into a fan film, 15 seconds at a time. Contributors were allowed to recreate scenes from Star Wars however they wanted. Within just a few months SWU grew into a wild success. The creativity that poured into the project was unimaginable.

SWU has been featured in documentaries, news features and conferences around the world for its unique appeal. In 2010 we won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media.

We can't thank everyone enough for making this such a special project.

New Vodafone UK TV ad featuring Jedi Master Yoda. The ad focuses on RED Box, a service that automatically transfers contacts and content from your old phone to your new one. Yoda tries to use his power to help a couple with the daunting task of transferring numbers to the husband's new smartphone, but, he soon realises that the Force is not needed, as Vodafone's new RED Box service has already solved the problem.

The TV spot has been produced by a team at Lucasfilm's renowned San Francisco-based visual effects facility ILM (Industrial Light & Magic), with Tom Kane voicing Yoda's CGI character.

Come along with EPIX as we get an exclusive tour of George Lucas' visual effects mecca, Industrial Light and Magic. Senior Animator, Shawn Kelly, shows us what life is like for those behind the creation of famous creatures and new worlds at ILM.  To be honest just seeing the reception would take me about two hours to tour before moving on to the other places.  Amazing place.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Universal CityWalk "rocks" in 2012 with one of the West Coast's largest New Year's Eve celebrations. Check out the day from beginning to end!  Look out for the Jurassic Parking...

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Users who have subscribed to and been billed at least once for Star Wars: The Old Republic during its first few months will receive a Founder title along with a Founder's Medal as a thank you for their early adoption of the MMO.
In order to receive the medal and title, players must first purchase Star Wars: The Old Republic and redeem their official Game Product Registration Code.
Then by March 18, 9:01PM PST they must either be billed at least once for an active subscription to the game or redeem a Star Wars: The Old Republic Game Time Code.
Eligible users will find their Founder's medal in an in-game email, at which point you will unlock the Founder title which will be permanently bound to your account and any character you make in the future.
BioWare warns it can take up to seven days for the title to apply.
This news comes just after the first major content patch for the game was released, following a slight delay due to further bug fixes.


Val Kilmer Sells Most of NM Ranch

A California family is moving into a Utah house modeled after the home featured in the animated movie "Up."

A moving company is helping self-described Disney and Pixar fanatics Clinton and Lynette Hamblin of Petaluma move into the $400,000 home in Herriman, Utah, on Saturday.

The Hamblins say they were searching for a home in California that was similar to the colorful cottage seen in the movie when they heard about the Disney-approved "Up" house in Utah.

Builder Adam Bangerter has said the blueprints for the house were drawn based entirely on details found in the popular movie. Much of the home had to be custom-designed.

The house has a stenciled front lawn mailbox, a vibrant exterior paints and colorful murals inside that make it immediately recognizable to "Up" fans.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

A group of former employees of ILM and Kerner Optical announced the launch of a new VFX/production company – 32TEN Studios, which will be based at the former site of ILM, at 3210 Kerner Boulevard in San Rafael, Calif.. The new venture will be employee owned, and will be headed by industry veterans Tim Partridge, who will serve as president, and Greg Maloney who will serve as COO.

The company will re-open the legendary soundstage built by ILM, making it available for rent to all Bay-area producers for film/TV/commercial and multi-media projects. The stage is approximately 6,000 square feet, and boasts a 20-foot high, two-wall covered green screen.
Many of the most famous motion pictures of all time were produced in part on this stage, beginning with The Empire Strikes Back, and continuing with The Return of the Jedi, the Back to the Future trilogy, the Pirates of the Caribbean films, War of the Worlds, Indiana Jones 4, Transformers and Terminator Salvation.
Adjacent to the soundstage is the 32TEN Theatre, a 138-seat, state-of-the-art screening room, which will also be available for clients along with wardrobe, makeup and production offices.
32TEN Studios will also offer fabrication services from full sets to models and miniatures, drawing on the talent of the many model makers and special effects technicians that live in the area who were formerly part of the ILM model shop.
A complete CG pipeline will additionally be available to complete the practical shots.
From left: Anthony Shafer, stereographer; Scott Smith, technology; Geoff Heron, practical FX supervisor; Nick d'Abo, model supervisor; Vince De Quattro, VFX; Greg Maloney, COO; Tim Partridge: president; Marty Rosenberg: DP; Marty Brenneis, technology; Sean House, props, and Greg Beaumonte, camera engineering.
“32TEN Studios is a collaborative venture – one that will hopefully attract other service providers and filmmakers in need of a vibrant location for their projects,” said Partridge. “We wanted to make this unique stage available to everyone and also provide a placed where the uniquely talented artists in the area can come together and create amazing work.”
“We want to build a creative community around this once legendary site, where many of us got our start in the industry,” said Maloney.
Before his role overseeing the practical effects and 3D Technology units at Kerner, Partridge served for over 20 years as a key executive at Dolby Laboratories where he was a key player in the introduction of Dolby Digital and led the development of Dolby 3D.
Prior to co-founding 32TEN Studios, Maloney was a stereographer and lead compositor with Robert ZemeckisImageMovers Digital company. During this time, he was involved with the feature films Disney‘s A Christmas Carol and Mars Needs Moms. From 1989-2007, Maloney worked in house with ILM as a compositing supervisor, and earlier as a CG supervisor and a compositor.

The 900-year-old Jedi Master will star in a number of TV ads to showcase Vodafone's innovative new services to ensure that customers get the smartphone that suits them, are able to use it right from the start and then have the confidence to experiment with all its new functions and apps. The first ad premieres on Channel 4 between 8pm and 9pm tomorrow night. The TV adis supported by a major outdoor and digital campaign that showcases services including RED Box, Data Test Drive, Tech Team and Buyback.
The 60-second launch TV advert focuses on RED Box, a service that automatically transfers contents from an old phone to a new handset. Yoda is seen enthusiastically attempting to use his power to help a couple with the daunting task of transferring numbers to the husband's new smartphone. However, he soon realises that the Force is not needed, as Vodafone's new RED Box service has already solved the problem.
Each TV spot has been produced by a team at Lucasfilm's renowned San Francisco-based visual effects facility ILM (Industrial Light & Magic), with Tom Kane voicing Yoda's CGI character.
Danielle Crook, Director of Brand Marketing, Vodafone UK, said: "These small things can mean the world to our customers - it's why we have developed a range of simple services to help them feel confidently connected on the go. The campaign with Yoda shows that you don't need to be a Jedi Master to unlock the power of mobile internet."
Award-winning developer BioWare, a label of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA), announced today that the demo for 2012's first blockbuster game, Mass Effect™ 3 will be available beginning February 14, 2012. The extensive demo will allow players to experience the all-out galactic war against an ancient alien race known as the Reapers from multiple fronts, including the mind-blowing opening attack on Earth that kicks off the single-player campaign. Players will go deeper into the campaign and also get a taste of the franchise's new co-operative multiplayer mode as they preview the epic story, adrenaline-pumping action and deep customization options that lie ahead when Mass Effect 3 launches on March 6, 2012. The Mass Effect 3 demo will be available for the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PC. Mass Effect 3 will also be one of the first pre-launch demos to support full voice recognition functionality on Kinect™ for Xbox 360.
"We are excited to be able to give gamers an expansive demo that will put them right on the front lines of this all-out galactic war," said Casey Hudson, Executive Producer of the Mass Effect series. "The entire scale of the game is bigger than anything we've ever done. With its intense action, deep customization and raw emotional power, Mass Effect 3 will deliver a spectacular action RPG experience to fans of the series and newcomers alike."
In Mass Effect 3, players will be thrust into an all-out galactic war to take Earth back and save the entire galaxy, assuming the role of Commander Shepard, a war-torn veteran who's willing to do whatever it takes to eliminate this nearly unstoppable foe. With a team of elite, battle-hardened soldiers at your side, each player decides how they will take Earth back, from the weapons and abilities they utilize to the relationships they forge or break. Mass Effect 3 also features a new co-operative gameplay mode that allows fans to experience the war from a different perspective. Players who want to try this new mode will be able to do so on February 17, or by qualifying for early access to the co-op portion of the demo which begins February 14. Gamers qualify for early access if they have activated their Battlefield 3™ online pass* or though other opportunities that will be announced in the near future www.masseffect.com.
Recently named by over 100 outlets around the world as one of the most anticipated games of 2012, including winning the fan-voted Most Anticipated Game of 2012 award at the Spike TV VGAs, Mass Effect 3 is available for pre-order now at participating retailers. Fans who pre-order** have the opportunity to arm themselves with cutting-edge in-game weapons and armor to prepare for the all-out galactic war. Mass Effect 3 arrives on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in North America on March 6, 2012 and in Europe on March 9, 2012. For more information on Mass Effect 3, please visit http://masseffect.com, follow the game on Twitter at http://twitter.com/masseffect or "like" the game on Facebook at http://facebook.com/masseffect.
During an interview with Collider where George Lucas hinted at retirement  he also weighed in on the criticisms he received from the fanboys over the "Star Wars" special editions and prequels. He said, "On the internet, all those same guys that are complaining I made a change are completely changing the movie. I'm saying, 'Fine. But my movie, with my name on it, that says I did it, needs to be the way I want it'." Asked if he might make more "Star Wars" film, he claimed, "Why would I make any more, when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?"
George Lucas announced that he is ready to retire from the blockbuster filmmaking. The helmer of the "Star Wars" film series revealed to New York Times that after finishing his 20-year passion project "Red Tails", which will be released on January 20, he plans to follow his friend Francis Ford Coppola's footsteps in the small movie filmmaking.

"I'm retiring," claimed the founder and chairman of LucasFilm. "I'm moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff." He explained that "Red Tails" will be his last big-budget movie, though he was careful to leave himself an out clause for "Indiana Jones V".

Lucas' long-time producing partner at Lucasfilm, Rick McCallum, chimed in, "Once this ['Red Tails'] is finished, he's done everything he's ever wanted to do. He will have completed his task as a man and a filmmaker."

In a recent interview with Collider, McCallum also said, " 'Red Tails' is the last of all the films that he ever said [he wanted to make]. He started 23 years ago on 'Red Tails' and now he has fulfilled everything he set out to do, which no...very few filmmakers ever get an opportunity to do."

"He's done everything that he actually wanted and planned to do, including more 'American Graffiti', including the revised version of ['THX 1138']," he continued. "He got to be able to do everything that he actually wanted to do."


Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Steven Spielberg's War Horse has galloped to the top of the UK and Ireland box office chart in its opening weekend.
The big-screen adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's book took £3.94m, more than double its closest rival, Margaret Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows fell one spot to three in its fifth week.
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol ended its three-week reign at the top, falling three places to four.
The Hollywood re-imagining of Stieg Larsson's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo completed a strong top 5, where all the films took more than £1 million each.
Sci-fi horror film The Darkest Hour was the highest new entry in the chart at six, while Golden Globe-winning The Artist rose one place to seven.
The silent film averaged £6,148 at the 112 cinemas it was shown at. Comparatively, The Iron Lady took an average £3,238 across 460 screens.
Animated films Alvin and Chipmunks: Chipwrecked and Puss In Boots slipped down the chart to eight and nine.
While sex-addiction film Shame, starring Michael Fassbender, entered the chart at 10 with £535,288 - averaging £4,696 across 114 screens.

Steven Spielberg has confirmed he will not be directing 'Jurassic Park 4'.
The 'War Horse' director - who helmed the first two stories in the dinosaur movie series - will be returning for the mooted fourth instalment, but only in the capacity of producer.
He said: 'I don't want to talk about 'Jurassic Park 4' yet - it's too early - but I can tell you that I'm not directing it. I'm producing it though.'
Steven also confirms his forthcoming adaptation of Daniel H. Wilson's 'Robopocalypse' will be a 'big popcorn movie', but does not want to confirm too many details about the project.
He added at a press conference in Paris: 'I'm making a science fiction movie probably in September called 'Robopocalypse' because on Daniel Wilson's book. It's a cautionary tale about war between human beings and robots. It's a big crowd pleaser, I think, a big action popcorn movie with a message.
'I have a couple of other plans which I don't want to go into because they're too far out of the horizon.'

Box office-wise, the surprise winner of the holiday season was “War Horse,” Steven Spielberg’s military epic. With an absence of recognizable stars -– save perhaps, for the horse -– the film’s appeal is in the very filmmaking: Mr. Spielberg’s own style, of course, and that of frequent collaborators like the Oscar-winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski and the sound designer Gary Rydstrom, who has won Oscars for “Saving Private Ryan,” “Titanic,” “Jurassic Park” and more.In his long career Mr. Rydstrom has worked on “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” “Terminator 2” and “Spaceballs.” But he had never done a World War I movie, and, sonically, the prospect excited him.
“World War I has a specific sound to it,” he said. “I thought the tanks and the guns should sound more primitive, unrefined. In World War II, the guns weren’t as clattery, the artillery didn’t make as much of a whistle when they came in, the tanks probably had more oil in them. The movie is about the historical clash when the old ways of war met the new ways -– cavalry vs. machine guns.”
Though crew members used water bottles and ice skates to recreate the sounds of battle in "War Horse," they actually plowed land (Skywalker Ranch, in this case) for the farming scenes.Skywalker SoundThe sound crew actually plowed land (Skywalker Ranch, in this case) for the farming scenes in “War Horse.”
He did research but, he said, “there aren’t too many people around who remember what World War I sounded like.” For Mr. Rydstrom this proved extra-delectable because he got to make it up. “You are always going to hear a lot more than you’re going to see if you’re in the middle of the battle, and when I talk to people who have been in the middle of battle, a lot of their memories were about the sounds of war,” he told the Bagger in a recent phone interview from his office at Skywalker Studios in California. “For this movie, I tried to imagine what the iconic sounds of war would be, from the horse’s point of view or soldier’s point of view.”
Among the instruments he used to recreate these sounds: swarms of bees, ice skates, copper bowls, gallon water bottles and a vacuum cleaner.

“What I usually do, out of laziness, is I do a lot of my recording around my house,” he said. “The golden rule of sound design is, it doesn’t matter what a sound really it is, it matters how it works in the movie, how it makes you feel. It doesn’t matter that it’s a vacuum cleaner.”
Of course, there are moments of realism. The sound for a pivotal early scene in the movie involved actually plowing Skywalker Ranch (it sits on 5,000 acres in Marin County), using a borrowed old-fashioned plow and two plowhorses. “The moment of success, the plow dipping on the dirt, there’s now this smooth yet heavy and extremely satisfying sound, that was a wonderful day that we spent recording plowing on every possibly angle,” Mr. Rydstrom said. But they also needed the sound of a plow stalling. So they pulled it themselves.
“I just want to point out how dedicated the sound crew was,” Mr. Rydstrom said.
Here, a glossary of other effects in the distinctive soundscape in “War Horse.”
Bullet whizzing by: The “bullet-by” is what sound guys call it, Mr. Rydstrom said, and for that effect he went Winter Olympics: “If you do quick turns in ice skating or skiing, you get that ripping sound,” he said. “We extract those and maybe do a little Doppler effect on them.”
Bullet-by of artillery missiles: “We used a string bow across a copper bowl to make these weird metallic sounds,” Mr. Rydstrom said. “I was in a weird artillery missile frame of mind. There is a classic artillery whistle that we did put in, but Spielberg is such a connoisseur of classic movie sound, there’s a classic artillery whistle that he remembered from ‘Paths of Glory’ that we had to emulate.”
Horse stampede in a cavalry scene: “There’s such a rumble on a mass of cavalry, it’s hard to record literally that. The first thing you do is record things like horses on racetracks. We’d put recorders on jockeys – there’s a local racetrack here in the East Bay that’s sort of horses with carts. You could go in the pace car or something, you could get a real straight-on recording of a group of horses galloping. We also recorded cattle being moved. For the really low end, we can use deep, almost rumbly explosive stuff – I’ve had a sound for years of glaciers breaking apart. It was useful as horses galloping and as a distant artillery sound.”
Incoming shell: “That’s one of the scariest sounds in war to me, knowing that a shell is coming in to explode near you. I recorded my vacuum cleaner. I was vacuuming my stairs and if you vacuum in the crack of the stairs in the carpet, it makes this crazy whoosh. This happens to sound people all time, you’re doing something mundane one day and you hear this great sound. My wife has long thought I’m crazy; she probably had to be quiet for a few hours while I recorded a vacuum cleaner. The cracks of my stairs are so clean now.”
The star horses, Joey and Topthorn: “Our first instinct as a sound man is, if I just take a walrus and an otter, and speed them up, it’ll make a great Joey vocal! Spielberg tried to warn against that. He wanted the horses to sound like horses. [So no otters or walruses were used.] We recorded many, many horses to find the voice for Joey. My favorite was miniature horses. They sound different, they have a different emotional range – they’re a little closer to dogs. We have to make a library of different horse vocals and start categorizing them into different emotions. We had to record horses in veterinary hospitals that were sick or coming out of anesthesia. My wife has a horse, her horse makes this weird teeth grind, we used it all through the movie. I use it as a tender friendly sound between Joey and Albert,” the boy played by Jeremy Irvine.
The sound editor Teresa Eckton specializes in creature vocals, Mr. Rydstrom continued. “She cut Chewbacca. She and I would look at a scene and we would talk about it as if working with an actor or working with an animator. So we would talk about what was going on in the horse’s mind. It’s like ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio’ – what is the horse’s goal? You need action verbs to describe what the horse is going through. It was good to decide separately Joey and Topthorn, where their minds were at. We started to build piece by piece, breath by breath, to make a horse vocal come alive. It was the most intricate and difficult thing to do, to make the horses believable and have character.”
Tanks: “I have the old-fashioned push mower with no engine. I’m mowing the lawn and I hear this clattery thing – you slow that down and record it really close, it’s perfect for a tank.”
Trenches: “Trenches for World War I are key. I tried to find the claustrophobic sound of being in a trench. If you take one of those big water bottles and you blow over the top of it, and you loop it and you slow it down, it makes this steady howl. So we used that. Again, the sounds of your household can be immensely satisfying.”
For those wondering how Mr. Rydstrom got his start, he said he went to film school: “The fundamental irony of my career is that I got interested in film because I loved silent film.”

from http://carpetbagger.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/03/war-horse-sound-tricks-otters-stand-in-for-horses-and-other-trade-secrets/

Monday, 16 January 2012

Dave Filoni, supervising director of the animated Star Wars spin-off The Clone Wars, has confirmed that a fifth season will be coming our way.

Through Facebook, Filoni was discussing the return of Death Watch, a rather nasty splinter group of Mandalorian warriors, to the award-winning show's most recent episode. The Mandalorians first appeared in The Clone Wars back in season two  (Boba Fett wore Mandalorian armour, in case you didn't know). He told fans:

"I hope you all enjoy the episode tonight. I think the Death Watch has gotten significantly cooler, and we are going to build on that next season."

In an audacious piece of casting, Battlestar Gallactica's Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck) voices the deadly Bo-Katan in the aforementioned episode, A Friend In Need, which aired in the US on Friday. Filoni also explained that her character will return in the next season adding that a preview of what's to come will be shown at Celebration VI (the official Star Wars convention) in August.

Steven Spielberg accepts the Golden Globe for The Adventures of Tintin after it wins best animated feature film. . Report by Katie Lamborn. Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/theshowbiz411 and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/theshowbiz411

It is the entertainment success story of recent years: the children's book that became a stage hit and now a film by Steven Spielberg. 


But as the Hollywod production of War Horse receives its royal premiere, few realise that the phenomenon owes its existence to Rosemary Morris, a retired doctor from Essex, and an episode of Desert Island Discs.
Author Michael Morpurgo was a castaway on the Radio 4 programme one Sunday in 2004. Dr Morris had never heard of him but was so enthralled by his life story that she went out to buy his books.
One was War Horse, a modest-selling children’s story that had been published 22 years previously and was fading into obscurity.
Dr Morris’s son, Tom, was then associate director of the National Theatre. And when he mentioned that he was looking for an animal story to turn into a stage production, Dr Morris knew just the thing.
Speaking for the first time about her role in the War Horse journey, the modest Dr Morris, 76, said: “So much of it is down to chance — if I hadn’t listened to Desert Island Discs, if Tom hadn’t been looking for something with animals, if Michael Morpurgo hadn’t written the book – that it’s really not something I can take any credit for.
“Tom was the one with the vision. But he does like to say it was found by me.”
Speaking from the family home near Manningtree, Essex, Dr Morris added: “I had never heard of Michael Morpurgo because I didn’t have grandchildren at the time and my children were grown up.
"But his life story was quite amazing. I thought, 'Golly, this is so interesting', and I thought I should get his books. So I went to my wonderful local bookshop, Red Lion Books in Colchester, and bought four or five.”
She went on: “Tom came down for the weekend and I knew he had been looking for something for the Handspring Puppet Company to do. I don’t remember actually saying, 'What about War Horse?’ although that’s what has gone down in history and Tom says I did.
"And that was the very beginning of a long process – workshops and rehearsals and a huge effort. I don’t think anybody knew until the first night how well it would do.”
The show opened at the National in 2007, with Handspring’s life-sized horse puppets, and was an instant hit.
Dr Morris also has a family link to Morpurgo’s story: her grandfather requisitioned horses for the First World War effort, the fate that befalls Joey in War Horse.
Reflecting on the success of the play, Dr Morris said: “The really important thing about it is that so many people have been to the theatre who would never have been otherwise. It showed you don’t have to have the perfect proscenium to make good theatre – you can just use your imagination.
"It also demonstrates the importance of subsidised theatre because they would never have been able to spend so much time developing it if it hadn't been subsidised."
Morpurgo, the former Children’s Laureate, said: “I can’t really claim any of the credit for the theatre adaptation of War Horse. It was Tom Morris’s mother who originally discovered my book.”
In his Desert Island Discs interview, Morpurgo recounted his unusual life story. He was a toddler when his father, the Canadian actor Tony van Bridge, left the family home. Morpurgo did not see him again until, aged 19, he saw Magwitch in a BBC serialisation of Great Expectations.
The author said: “Up from behind this gravestone reared this terrible figure and my mother grasped me by the arm and said, 'Oh my God, that’s your father'.
"The first time I saw my father was as a convict in Great Expectations. It was traumatic, really."



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