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Showing posts from May, 2011

THX talks 3D, Cameron & Star Wars

24 May 2011 13:24 GMT / By Libby Plummer

Imagine you're a passionate film technician who's spent hours laboriously ensuring that the look and sound of your latest feature film is up to date. It launches at the cinema and it looks fantastic - just as the director intended. But what happens when it reaches the home? People watching your movie on DVD, Blu-ray or on TV might not even be able to see the picture tweaks that you've spent hours of your life perfecting. THX is set to put that right, by bringing cinema-quality audio and visuals to your home TV.

In the heart of London's Marble Arch, Pocket-lint settled down with THX senior vice president and chairman of the 3D@Home Consortium, Rick Dean, over a cool glass of water to tell us a little more about it.

"THX first came into being when George Lucas wanted to enhance the entertainment experience. He was frustrated as he was focusing on making great movies but disappointed when he went t…


European fund may bid for Pinewood studio

A European investment fund has emerged as a potential rival bidder for Pinewood Shepperton PLC (PWS.LN) following last month's recommended offer from Peel Holdings, the film studio's largest shareholder, valuing the business at GBP96.1 million, the Financial Times in London reported Saturday, without citing sources.
The mystery fund, which has not yet approached the board of Pinewood, is understood to have hired Zurich-based investment advisers Clariden Leu, and its interest may not necessarily lead to an offer, the FT added. The board of Pinewood on Friday changed the structure of its recommended takeover from a scheme of arrangement, requiring approval from three-quarters of shareholders, to a straightforward takeover offer, which needs only 50.1% approval, the newspaper added. Pinewood has irrevocable commitments from its directors, Crystal Amber fund, its second-largest shareholder, and Peel Hold…

LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars - Stop Motion BTS Trailer

LucasArts released a small treat for fans as Youtube animator Jordan Johnson, aka FancyPants, has created a new trailer for the game using stop motion animation with the Lego-counterparts inspired by the series.

Microsoft to unveil Star Wars for Kinect at E3 2011

Geoff Keighley has officially confirmed that the new Star Wars game title for Kinect will be unveiled at E3 2011. The title would be present at Microsoft's conference.
Keighley confirmed the news of his Twitter account:
“Yes, Star Wars for Kinect will officially be unveiled live during the Xbox 360 E3 briefing on Spike. Tune in on June 6 for more.”
Star Wars for Kinect is expected to launch this holiday season. The game was first unveiled at E3 2010, a teaser trailer was also revealed at that time, you can have a look at it below:


Super 8 Special Preview - TV Spot #8 27/05/11

Interview with Bill George of ILM on I Am Number Four

A veteran of landmark effects films such as Blade Runner, an Oscar winner for Innerspace, and having worked on multiple Star Wars, Star Trek and Harry Potter projects (and yes, even The Twilight Saga), ILM Visual Effects Supervisor Bill George has earned his self-imposed title of "effects goon." With respected, in-demand skills that continue to evolve, Bill has moved from miniature construction to matte painting to art direction and beyond, and is now one of the most accomplished names in computer-generated effects, having earned coveted gigs such as digitally updating the title character for the 20th Anniversary Edition of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial.
Since joining George Lucas' best-of-the-best team at Industrial Light & Magic in 1981, Bill has worked as model shop supervisor, art director, commercial director, and now visual effects supervisor. For his most recent feature film, I Am Number Four, now on Blu-ray from Touchstone/Walt Disney, he was tasked …

Super 8 Gets A UK One-Sheet

The release date for the UK has been brought forward to August 5th from August 19th.

Respawn Hires Star Wars, Monkey Island Artist for Its New Game

We're pretty certain that the ex-Infinity Ward team isn't making a game staring a Jedi Knight Guybrush Threepwood, but we can't be sure.
Nobody knows what will come out of Respawn Entertainment, the new studio formed by ex-Infinity Ward employees after the little kerfuffle the developer had with Activision. We do know, however, who one of the primary concept artists is.
Said artist is Iain McCaig, a concept artist who has touched many a piece of geek culture before. McCaig helped define the looks of Darth Maul and Queen Amidala in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, he's designed characters for James Bond games, and he also worked on the classic Secret of Monkey Island.
Despite a storied resume that includes designing overwrought hairdos for Natalie Portman, McCaig told Develop that working with Respawn was one of his career highlights, calling it "the most exhilarating experience I've ever had in my career." High praise indeed.
He also said that he…

The Life and Times of a Star Wars: The Old Republic Trooper

Long before the clones started fighting the robots, Republic Troopers roamed the galaxy, keeping the peace with the aid of the finest weapons and sexiest armor this side of a Bounty Hunter. Let's take a look at how Troopers progress in Star Wars: The Old Republic.

You don't start out with the good stuff. You have to build to that. Troopers don't come straight out of character creation looking like the second biggest bad-asses in The Old Republic. They start off looking like the world's most inept Stormtrooper cosplayer. It's only when the character branches off into either a Commando or a Vanguard that they take on the appearance of soldiers somewhat reminiscent of guys we've seen in Star Wars.

Isn't this a military organization? One would think there'd be a certain uniformity to the outfits. I guess the Republic just took a cue from Halo's UNSC and lets their people decorate their armor as they see fit. The enemy has a harder time returning fire when…

John Lasseter (Pixar) talks about his Hawaiian shirt collection

San Francisco Chronicle reporter Peter Hartlaub interviews Pixar's John Lasseter in his closet, where the Oscar-winning animator keeps 374 festive shirts separated by subject.

Directors James Cameron and Michael Bay: How to Build a Better Blockbuster

NEW YORK, May 27, 2011- James Cameron and Michael Bay speak exclusively with The Hollywood Reporter about the world of 3D blockbusters in the new issue hitting newsstands Friday, May 27th. It was only two years ago that the Transformers’ Michael Bay called 3D a "gimmick". Now, he's just finished his first 3D picture, Transformers: Dark of the Moon.  What caused the once hesitant director to branch out into the 3D genre? James Cameron. Bay recalls being on the fence about shooting the new Transformers in 3D when Cameron advised, "You gotta look at it as a toy.  It's another fine tool to help get emotion and character and create an experience."  
Bay found his first shoot, a scene on the moon, using Cameron's 3D technology incredible.  The start wasn't as auspicious as it seemed- the following morning Bay received a call from his producer saying that all the footage from the first day was lost.  Putting that behind him, Bay went on to use the 3D techno…

Robot Chicken Star Wars Episode 3 - Out on DVD July the 4th

The Sound Effects of The Old Republic Explained

BioWare has posted a substantial new essay to the official development blog of Star Wars: The Old Republic, in which audio designer Scott Morton goes over the creative process behind the upcoming MMOs rich batteries of sound effects.

Who farted? In addition to talking about how the games audio is designed to mesh with the established canonical sounds of the Star Wars universe (Lightsaber buzzing, etc), Morton also delves into how each class will have their own bespoke sound-banks designed to maximise aural penetration.
Designing sounds can end in some delightfully deceptive results when it comes to supporting a visual component of a particular ability in the Player’s mind. There are many cases where the source layers we put into a sound aren’t at all what the listener might expect. A great example of source layers is with the TIE Fighter from the first Star Wars trilogy. Believe it or not—the core sound Ben Burtt used for the screaming engine was actually an elephant call!




Film is Golden-Globe nominated composer's 52nd film score and stars Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard and more

Los Angeles, CA- World-renowned film composer and trumpet player Terence Blanchard is set to score the soundtrack for RED TAILS, the feature film directorial debut by Anthony Hemingway. Based on the true story of the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II, RED TAILS tells the tale of a group of African-American combat pilots at battle. This marks the first Lucasfilm production in 17 years that is independent of the Indiana Jones and Star Wars film franchises.

RED TAILS stars Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding, Jr., Academy Award nominee Terrence Howard and Emmy Award winner Bryan Lee Cranston. The film addresses racial prejudice, war and showcases the human spirit as it rises above all odds.

Produced by Lucasfilm, RED TAILS began development by George Lucas over 20 …

Disneyland's Star Tours Commercial and Still Image Released

Disneyland's relaunch of Star Tours is now just days away (the ride officially opens to the public next Friday, June 3), but George Lucas himself was at Disney World's Hollywood Studios last week for the ride's ribbon-cutting ceremony in Florida.

Will Lucas be around for the Disneyland relaunch next week? The official verdict is still out, but some sources speculate that it would only make sense to have George around for both openings.

Since its soft open a couple weeks ago (as well as the hard open in Florida last week), more details about the ride have begun to make their way around the Internet including an official Star Wars/Disneyland-approved image still, and a new 30-second spot.

Check out both after the jump.

The new film still shows what appears to be a pissed-off Darth Vader flanked by some just-as-angry Stormtroopers aiming their weapons.

I'm not sure what audio will go along with this particular scene, but a part of me really hopes it will go something l…

BioWare's Muzyka: Once You Play The Old Republic 'You Just Can't Go Back'

As part of an extensive Gamasutra feature interview with BioWare founders Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka, the pair discuss the inevitability of their MMO being compared to World of Warcraft and why it doesn't bother them.

When asked if he's bothered that Star Wars: The Old Republic is compared to WoW, Zeschuk tells Gamasutra, "No, I think it's inevitable. We're a pretty big developer that happens to be using the biggest license in the world."

World of Warcraft, he says, has "set consumer expectations" and "conventions of gameplay that have been experienced by millions."

"So, you know, you pay attention to those things, but while you're paying attention, you're doing your own thing," he tells Gamasutra. The Old Republic "is a very different experience."

He continues, "It's obviously a BioWare game... It's very, very compelling. I think it's different. I think WoW and all the other MMOs, they ha…

George Lucas Talks SW Live-Action Series

The Maker himself, George Lucas, appeared on G4's Attack of the Show on Monday and Tuesday nights to discuss three major contemporary Star Wars topics.

G4's Kevin Pereira interviewed Lucas and Disney Imagineer Tom Fitzgerald about Star Wars in 3D, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, and yes, briefly, the upcoming live-action series. Lucas and Fitzgerald described the unique nature of the new Disney ride and its evolution over the years. Lucas also discussed the challenges of converting the Star Warsfilm series to 3D and the fact that everyone involved is being very careful to do it right.

However, the hottest segment of the AOTS interview by far was the part where Lucas discussed the live-action TV show. Here are some of the things that he said about the eagerly-awaited series.

"We have 50 hours and we're just waiting to figure out a different way of making movies, a different technology we can use ... to make it feasible to shoot the show.""[W]hen we do fi…

'Caprica' Co-Creator To Helm 'Falling Skies' Season 2

TNT has no idea how fans will react to a Season 1 of "Falling Skies," but that's not stopping the cable channel from looking ahead to Season 2.
Remi Aubuchon -- whose pilot concept to Syfy was later turned into the short-lived "Battlestar Galactica" prequel "Caprica" -- will be the showrunner for "Falling Skies" if and when TNT decides to renew the show.
Aubuchon will take over a brand new writing room this summer if there is a second season, mostly because the time from production of the first season to air has made most of the original writers completely unavailable because of other projects, according to
"Falling Skies" is a Steven Spielberg production starring Noah Wyle and produced by Spielberg's DreamWorks TV. Aubuchon was apparently Spielberg's first choice to run "Falling Skies," according to reporter Nellie Andreeva. However, Aubuchon had already committed to the second season of…

‘Pirates of the Caribbean’: ILM delivers mermaids who are both beauty and beast

"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" (Disney) When Oscar-nominated director Rob Marshall came aboard as the new captain of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, he was immediately possessed by the siren call of one particular element in the script — beautiful mermaids.
No one needs to explain cinematic possibilities of dangerous lust and predatory women to the director of “Chicago” and “Memoirs of a Geisha,” and when he took over the Disney buccaneer franchise he zeroed in on the script’s presentation of the magical aquatic creatures as a place to make his mark. “They are beautiful, seductive women but they use that beauty to lure men to their deaths,” Marshall said with an approving grin. “They are women but they are also animal. These are creatures and carnivores and they want to feed.”
And when they feed, sailors in salt water are the main course. Marshall made the mermaids a paramount priority for Ben Snow of Industrial Light & Magic, the visual e…

Star Tours soft opening: Disney offers a view of Star Wars-themed attraction

Guests at Disney's Hollywood Studios on Saturday had an opportunity to ride the revamped Star Tours attraction before its official reopening. The unannounced preview, which began about 2 p.m., allowed Disney to test the ride before it reopens to the public May 20, the first day of Star Wars Weekends.

Star Tours has been closed since September while it was transformed into a 3D attraction.

During the "soft opening," cast members in Jedi costumes lined the queue to make sure guests did not photograph or videotape the ride. Imagineer Kathy Rogers and Hollywood Studios' Vice President Rilous Carter were on hand for the debut, Ricky Brigante of reported.

Disney fans trying to see as many of the 54 combinations of scenes as possible said on Twitter that they had the opportunity to ride multiple times. They reported wait times ranging from 10 to 45 minutes.

Transformers ILM Visual Effects Featurette

In anticipation of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, ILM has just released a new Transformers Visual Effects featurette, which chronicles how Industrial Light & Magic visual effects supervisor Scott Farrar conceived and shot a massive climactic scene for the first film that features Optimus Prime and Megatron fighting as they rip through a Los Angeles skyscraper. Check out all the dirty action in the clip below.

Sam Neill Says That Jurassic Park 4 Is Dead #jurassicpark

The actor who played Alan Grant in the first and third installments of the dinosaur series denies any plans for another go-around. More after the jump! In a brief interview while promoting his latest TV project, JJ Abrams' Alcatraz, Sam Neill - who portrayed Dr. Alan Grant in the first and third installments of the Jurassic Park franchise - has formally denied plans to go ahead with a fourth installment (Despite director JoeJohnston's repeated interest in making the film) due to effects designer Stan Winston, who did the effects for all the dinosaurs in the series, being dead. From MTV:

"I think we've told the story. I think it's done," he said. But there's a deeper reason for why Neill wouldn't want to go back into that world: "[Legendary effects expert] Stan Winston who made those beautiful dinosaurs died. So, no Stan, no 'JurassicPark' really … [and author Michael] Crichton died too."…

Skywalker Ranch's Empire Strikes Back Bike

They're calling this theEmpire Strikes Back bike, but at first glance it totally looks like the Pee-wee Herman bike from Pee-wee's Big Adventure, right? Nevertheless this is way cool -- it was created at Skywalker Ranch using one of the bikes they had lying around in honor of Bike to Work Day, which was apparently yesterday (did you know? did you bike?). It's a pretty badass super-cruiser that contains all sorts of geeky Star Wars nuggets. Here's a description from ... "Literally created in a residential garage, the frame, wheels, and crank were acquired directly from an official Skywalker Ranch staff bike. From there it was a matter of accessorizing the bare-bones frame and wheels with pieces found on eBay to give it an Empire spin: fenders, chain guard and skirt guards came from various 1940s cruisers, including a J.C. Higgins Colorflow and Monark cruiser; the springer forks were pulled from a 1960s Sears Spaceliner; the tank combined a …

George Lucas and Disney CEO Bob Iger celebrate Star Wars opening in Disney World

Hundreds of stormtroopers and other Star Wars characters, including Anthony Daniels, better known as C-3PO, joined George Lucas and Disney President and CEO Bob Iger with lightsabers in hand to celebrate the opening of “Star Tours- The Adventure Continues” at the Walt Disney World Resort.
The new 3-D attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios sends guests on a virtual journey through the world of Star Wars. With 50 possible adventures, guests never know if they will end up on the icy planet of Hosh, in the jungles of Kashyyyk or underwater on Naboo or who they will meet. This is one ride you can’t go on just once!
The opening of “Star Tours-The Adventure Continues” kicked off the Star Wars Weekends that take place every Friday-Sunday through June 12, 2011 and consists of special attractions dedicated to Star Wars.
Disneyland will open its version of “Star Tours-The Adventure Continues” on June 3, 2011.
"Star Tours immerses guests into the Star Wars universe like …

Filming of Terra Nova set to resume

Location filming in Queensland for Terra Nova will resume next week, marking a step forward for the Fox network as it attempts to draw the big-budget programme's faltering production process to a close.
Cast and crew on the costly science-fiction series - the brainchild of the film director Steven Spielberg - will recommence filming on 25 May. The thirteen-part series follows the adventures of a family travelling through time in an effort to save the human race.
Despite having strong financial and corporate backing, Terra Nova has experienced a number of delays. The series was initially meant to go to air as a mid-season replacement in 2010, but as the project fell behind schedule, the network was forced to revise its plans.
An initial stint of location shooting took place in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast in November last year, but filming was hampered by poor weather including flash floods. Some insiders claimed that when producers returned to the United States, it was …

PC Gamer: Star Wars: The Old Republic preview

I am a hero, sat in a room full of heroes. The Old Republic is a massively multiplayer game that starts by condensing down, aiming to deliver an experience comparable to a single-player RPG. Then, once the quests and dialogue and twists and moral choices are in place, its overlaid with the trappings of an MMO: the groups, the clans, and the promise of glorious, shiny loot.

During the first fourteen hours of the game, the former seems to win a powerful victory over the latter. Every single person has their own story, and it’s at this stage in the game that BioWare want you to buy into their quest.

To that aim, TOR is a success. An hour with my character (an Imperial Agent), and I had more of a sense of him as my character than I’ve ever had with an MMO. My Agent was closer to the RPG hero of BioWare and Bethesda games than MMO heroes: outside of RP servers, often little more than vessels for skills. My Agent was sympathetic to a Hutt’s right-hand man, cold to his money-gr…

Super 8 Clip Number Four #super8 #spielberg

Super 8 Japanese Poster

Click image for larger versio


Earlier today on its official TRANSFORMERS Facebook page, Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) announced the induction of film industry legends Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg—the director and executive producer of the blockbuster TRANSFORMERS film franchise—into its TRANSFORMERS Hall of Fame. The second annual TRANSFORMERS Hall of Fame ceremony, which celebrates more than 25 years of “MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE” action, will take place during the 2011 TRANSFORMERS “BOTCON” fan convention in Pasadena, California, and will feature TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON director Michael Bay in person to accept his honor and share some special surprises with the audience.

Founded in 2010 to honor those influential in creating and building the iconic TRANSFORMERS franchise, as well as actual “ROBOTS IN DISGUISE,” the 2011 TRANSFORMERS Hall of Fame will induct the two legendary filmmakers who were instrumental in launching the live-action film franchise that brought the TRANSFORMERS brand to mor…

Dr. Jones Meets Dr. Hiebert (Indiana Jones Exhibition)

“Archaeology is the search for fact, not truth. If it’s truth you’re looking for, Dr. Tyree’s philosophy class is right down the hall.” – Indiana Jones,  Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
The exhibition, Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology, now at the Montreal Science Centre, examines the facts and fiction behind the legendary Dr. Jones. Combining props, costumes, scene sketches, and clips from the Indiana Jones films with stories of real life archaeologists, the exhibition makes excavation exciting.
“Indiana Jones is a great set of films that was a huge inspiration when I started out in archaeology,” said Fred Hiebert, National Geographic Fellow, archaeologist and co-curator of this exhibition.  “Even though Indiana Jones is a fictional character created for the big screen, there’s a lot of reality reflected in his character.”
“When Indy drops into a tomb full of snakes, I think to myself, that’s normal—all most of my excavations are full of snakes.”  That’s …

Pirates are cheap on XBLA this week. Monkey Island Goodness Has Never Been So Cheap

The deal's only open to Xbox Live Gold members. Here's the full list:

Age of Booty - 200 MS Points
Deadliest Warrior - 400 MS Points
Deadliest Warrior Pirate Outfits - 160 MS Points
The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition - 400 MS Points
Monkey Island LeChuck Pirate Suit - 120 MS Points
Monkey Island Pirate Telescope - 80 MS Points

Nice load of Monkey Island goodness there at ridiculous prices.

Disney Was Top Licensor in 2010 With $28.6 Billion in Retail Sales

Time Warner's Warner Bros. Consumer Products came in fifth with $6 billion, followed by Marvel, which rose to the sixth spot with $5.6 billion. NEW YORK - The Walt Disney Co.'s Disney Consumer Products unit once again ranked as the top licensor in the world in 2010 with $28.6 billion in retail sales of licensed merchandise worldwide, according to an annual ranking by License! Global magazine.
That is up 5.1 percent from $27.2 billion.
The Toy Story franchise, driven by the box office success and merchandise demand for Toy Story 3, was the company's "most dominant property of the year" at retail, generating $2.4 billion in sales, the trade publication said. Disney also believes that Cars 2 could have a similar impact  this year, it said.
Disney's figures do not include Marvel Entertainment, which the company now owns, but which were reported separately. Marvel's retail sales of licensed merchandise for 2010 amounted to $5.6 billion, up fr…

FOX’s Terra Nova Gambles on Catapulting Network Numbers

If you watched the new TV spot for FOX’s forthcoming series Terra Nova about a week ago (check it out using the player at the bottom of this page), you were probably struck by one overriding element: “Man this show looks elaborate!” The dystopian future meets Jurassic past storyline blends many motifs we’ve seen before: Irwin Allen’s classic skiens The Time Tunnel and Lost in Space; Swiss Family Robinson; Jurassic Park; Avatar…[insert reference here]. To employ these antecedents is to say it looks BIG. Big not just for television, but cinematically big.
Terra Nova was reportedly spawned by a June 2009 lunch in which FOX execs told Steven Spielberg’s top TV lieutenants that the network was in the market for a family adventure story that evoked the feel of Spielberg’s classic films such as E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial and the aforementioned Jurassic Park.
Of course, these things don’t come cheap.
The series, about a family from the year 2149 who travel back 85 million years in a…