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Showing posts from June, 2009

Official Star Wars accessories heading to Nintendo Wii

Real Jedis only buy licensed goodsOh hey, LucasArts is releasing another Star Wars; we’re probably into triple figures by now! So why should you give a toss about Star Wars – The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes, in particular? Because it’s got the first ever Official Wii Star Wars accessories, that’s why.Bensussen Deutsch & Associates has announced that it has won the official LucasArts seal of approval for its new lightsaber and blaster Wii remote mods. Admittedly all that means is that unlike the umpteen billions of previous lightsaber Wii remote mods, this one has been taken before the mighty George and his sacred endorsement did shine upon it.The lightsaber holds the Wii remote and lights up, much as you’d expect. The blaster holds both Wii remote and nunchuck and comes with stickers. Neither of them are compatible with Wii Motion Plus, because Star Wars – The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes isn‘t compatible with Wii MotionPlus. Seems a bit short-sighted there, but nevermind – there’l…

LaBeouf: Spielberg has cracked 'Indy 5'

Shia LaBeouf has revealed that Steven Spielberg has "cracked the story" for Indiana Jones 5.LaBeouf, who played the son of Harrison Ford's whip-wielding adventurer in last summer's Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, told the BBC that he expects a fifth franchise instalment to move forward soon."Steven just said that he cracked the story on it and I think they're gearing that up," he said, while promoting the release of Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen in the UK.The actor also spoke about the differences between working with Money Never Sleeps helmer Oliver Stone and his previous directors Spielberg and Michael Bay."Oliver Stone is a different filmmaker than I've experienced," he said. "He's a bit more rebellious than Steven, has a different edge than Mike. It's fun to get to work with your superheroes, these guys are Batman and Robin to me."Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull made over $780 million at the wor…

Old School Interview/Video George Lucas: Maker of Films (1971)

This is a recently unearthed video from 1971 of George Lucas that has been making the rounds recently. The video interview is almost an hour long and most of it is a terrific look at a pre-American Graffiti and Star Wars Lucas really putting out his opinion on studio intervention. You almost want to say that Lucas would go on to lock up the entire game, so he’d never have to do anything anyone else’s way. In an odd way he has become as indie a creator could be by being the exact opposite of what most view as indie. The guy can do whatever he want and is in control of so much of the production (ILM etc), he in some manner has true autonomy. What he does with it is something else altogether, but I’ve always been fascinated with a creator that I’ve always as having a very unique stratagem in maintaining personal vision: he didn’t just scoff at the game in obscure freedom.Tags: ,

Darth Vader star on cancer

By Helen Briggs
Health reporter, BBC News
"Men must not be embarrassed about going to the doctor" As the costumed superhero known as the Green Cross Man, he told the children of the 70s to Stop, Look and Listen.Now, the British actor best known as Darth Vader in the original Star Wars films has become the unlikely hero of a very different campaign. Diagnosed with prostate cancer at the start of the year, Dave Prowse MBE has found himself raising awareness of men's health. "There's this terrible embarrassment," says the former bodybuilder and weightlifter. Darth Vader's been very very good to me
"You've got to get over to men that there is no embarrassment in going to the doctor and letting the doctor probe around and having a look to see how you are. "It doesn't worry me in the slightest and it shouldn't worry any man." The 72-year-old, who…

Lucasfilm, GenArts Team Up to Bring Hollywood-Style VFX to Games

SAN FRANCISCO — A partnership between Lucasfilm and software company GenArts could make digital effects more consistent and less expensive in movies and videogames.Under the agreement, announced Monday, GenArts’ visual-effects plug-ins will become an official part of Lucasfilm’s post-production pipeline at companies including Industrial Light & Magic, Lucasfilm Animation and Lucasfilm Animation Singapore. The move will standardize the use of GenArts plug-ins in the studio’s movies, games and animation, making it easier for digital artists to share visual elements across different types of media, according to executives from both companies.“GenArts software delivers incredible consistency for the artists’ experience across a wide range of compositing systems,” said Richard Kerris, CTO of Lucasfilm in a press release. “This makes it the ideal choice to help Lucasfilm achieve our goal to deliver visual continuity across feature films, television, games and future entertainment medium…

Spielberg ‘Very Close’ to Agreement on Film Funding

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

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

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

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

At the time of the split, Dre…

Ron Gilbert (Monkey Island) and his blog

Stuff and Things and Monkey IslandJun 1, 2009 half past nine am I'm pretty good at keeping secrets. I'm so good at it people actually send me death threats. If you have a secret, you can tell me. I won't tell anyone. Go ahead. I'm listening. Over the past few months, I've been the vessel for a couple of very exciting secrets and it's been really hard to not give someone the nudge-nudge-wink-wink-don't-tell-anyone, but I couldn't. Not these. The first is the re-release of The Secret of Monkey Island. Several months ago I was invited to LucasArts to get a sneak preview. Very cool. Hopefully this will open up the pure pleasure that is Monkey Island to a whole new generation of gamer that knows only how to use a console controller. The second secret is that TellTale is doing an episodic version of Monkey Island. I had the great pleasure of spending a few days with Dave Grossman, Mike Stemmle and the rest of the TellTale crew getting my head into…

Queen Elizabeth Decrees It’s Now ‘Sir Christopher Lee’

George Lucas wonders if he'll ever be a real knight as he stares up at Sir Christopher Lee. The iconic actor known eternally as a vampire and a fallen Jedi Knight is now a real life knight of sorts, as Queen Elizabeth II granted Christopher Lee the title of Sir.Lee received his new title along with golfer Nick Faldo, X-men 2’s Alan Cumming, celebrity hairdresser Vidal Sassoon and celebrity chef Delia Smith — among others.Lee can lay claim to the unofficial additional title of King of All Nerd Franchises. In addition to his several battles with Peter Cushing in Hammer Films’ Dracula movies, he was a Bond Villain (The Man with the Golden Gun), Fu Manchu in a bunch of movies, a Lord of the Rings baddie (Saruman), the eerie villain in The Wicker Man (the original) and Count Dooku in the Star Wars series. Along the way, he appeared on The Avengers, Space: 1999, multiple Tim Burton movies and more video games than you’ve had hot dinners.In the end, he’s the epitome of a working British a…

Francis Ford Coppola: George Lucas Has ‘The Most Potential To Shock’

In two weeks, filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola’s “Tetro” hits theaters. The “Godfather” director stopped by MTV’s offices to chat with Josh Horowitz in advance of the release, and he had some enlightening opinions to share on his contemporaries, and his old pal George Lucas in particular. “I knew him as an experimental filmmaker,” Coppola told MTV. He first came to know Lucas in the early 1970s when he hired the then-young man as his assistant. When Lucas released his formative effort “American Graffiti” in 1973, it was Coppola who produced it.Speaking in the here and now, Coppola still has faith in the architect of the “Star Wars” franchise. “The one that probably has the most potential to shock is George Lucas.” Coppola believes strongly that one of his so-called contemporaries will “make a film that changes the rules.” He doesn’t have a problem with the modern-day blockbuster, but he also hasn’t observed much of a change. For Coppola, he sees people today “going to the movies on Frid…

John Williams takes colorful detour

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



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

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

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

John Williams concert at the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro

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

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

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

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

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

Part of it, though, is sheer luck.

Williams, a five-time Oscar winner, couldn't have known, w…

LucasArts announces LEGO Indiana Jones 2 By Infernal Monkey

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

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

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

Ubisoft working on Spielberg Tin Tin movie adaptation

French publisher Ubisoft is working on a game based on Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson's forthcoming movie The Adventures of Tin Tin: Secret of the Unicorn. The company revealed the project at its E3 press conference, before rolling out another director – James Cameron – to discuss Avatar, the 3D game and movie collaboration due for release on December 18. While Cameron enthused over the project, no actual footage of either film or game was on show, with the publisher instead offering the audience a glimpse of other titles in the portfolio including Splinter Cell: Conviction, Rabbids Go Home and Red Steel 2. The company also announced a new fitness product for the Wii – Your Shape – which will take advantage of a new camera bundled with the title and due for release before the end of the year. Other announcements from Ubisoft included a November release date for Assassin's Creed 2, the publishing rights to No More Heroes 2 in the US and new project in development from Q En…

Spielberg’s Tintin to unspool in late 2011

Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn will arrive in U.S. theaters just before Christmas of 2011.
Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures have scheduled the family feature for a December 23, 2011, domestic release through Paramount.
An international rollout will begin weeks earlier, in late October, with Sony Pictures Releasing International handling continental Europe, Latin America and India, and Paramount distributing the film in Asia, Australia, the United Kingdom and all other English-speaking territories. The holiday movie is a 3-D motion-capture feature inspired by the renowned character created by Herge – the pen name of Belgian writer and artist Georges Prosper Remi – in two dozen stories first published 80 years ago.
Jamie Bell stars as the globetrotting young reporter Tintin, who faces off against the nefarious Red Rackham, played by Daniel Craig. Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Gad Elmaleh, Toby Jones and Mackenzie Crook co-star.
Steven Moffa…

Spielberg unveils motion control for Xbox 360

Steven Spielberg was on hand to introduce a prototype camera Monday that can be used as a controller for the Xbox 360. Codenamed "Project Natal," the camera can track a player's full body movement while responding to commands, directions and a shift of emotion in voice without the need for a controller.The announcement was made at Microsoft's flashy Electronic Entertainment Expo press conference at University of Southern California's Galen Center.Microsoft also debuted 10 exclusive new games and the ability to access social networking sites Facebook and Twitter as well as streaming music service Last.fm on the Xbox Live service. The popular social networking sites Facebook and Twitter will be fully integrated into Xbox Live beginning this fall.There were several announcements about the Xbox 360's video capabilities including increased functionality with the online Netflix service, 1080p high-definition video downloads, live TV in the United Kingdom and the ab…

Spielberg to chronicle Martin Luther King's life

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

Getty

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

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

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

Star Wars The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes Comes to the Rescue This September

Jedi and Clone Trooper Action Along With All-New Gameplay Bring the Adventure of the Hit TV Series HomeSAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — May 11, 2009 — Fans of the popular Star Wars: The Clone Wars™ TV series can continue the battle for galactic peace this September in an all-new videogame from LucasArts and Krome Studios. Based on the Cartoon Network series and utilizing materials straight from Lucasfilm Animation, Star Wars® The Clone Wars™: Republic Heroes™ allows players to take up arms on behalf of the noble Galactic Republic, while pursuing the mysterious bounty hunter Cad Bane and combating the all-new Skakoan super villain Kul Teska.Star Wars The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes allows players to fight as both Jedi Knights and clone troopers through over 30 unique missions, all created from shared visual assets from the TV series. Featuring a brand-new storyline, players will get the chance to take part in the key events that lead directly into the highly anticipated second season of Star W…

Inside ILM, Lucasfilm BBC reports

TALES OF MONKEY ISLAND - Threepwood is back!

'Monkey Island' headed for Xbox Live?

The first Monkey Island game has been rated for Xbox Live Arcade.The Secret Of Monkey Island - Special Edition has been rated on the German USK rating board for Xbox 360, with speculation that it will be coming to Live Arcade, according to Gamerbytes.No details are known about the Special Edition version, but it will be published by Activision, the publishing arm of Lucasarts in Europe.The Secret Of Monkey Island was a graphic adventure game released in 1990, using Lucasart's SCUMM engine. It made a name for the studio with its clever puzzles and trademark humour.Tags: ,

Rainmaker hires new prez from Lucasfilm

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

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

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

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

Jennifer Twiner McCarron will continue at Rainmaker as vp of production, overseeing day-to-day productio…

Aliens invade TNT, by way of Spielberg

Looks like alien invasion is going to be the big thing on TV next season. ABC has already ordered up a new version of the 1980s series V, and now TNT has commissioned an alien invasion pilot from Steven Spielberg. The Hollywood Reporter says the as-yet-untitled tale will take place six months after the Earth has been invaded, with its script penned by Saving Private Ryan scribe Robert Rodat. Tags: