(theonering.net) We have learned from two sources that Weta Digital delivered its final shot Thursday night, leaving the final touches on the final reel of the final film. Pure speculation here, but that must be an emotional process, knowing that the great big collection of talent is completing the task it set out to do years before. And for Jackson and those around him, it is definitely the end of an era.
A lot of tired workers at Weta Digital will be getting sleep soon but the filmmakers now begin the job of promoting the film around the world, starting with the world premiere in London.
There is of course the extended edition of the final film, but heading directly to the home video market is different from unfurling a film in a theater. But there you have it folks, this is the last work week for the full post-production team on The Hobbit. Fans will feel an era has ended as well.
So is the film finished or is just Weta Digital’s work finished? Or is only a division of Weta Digital’s team finished? Nobody who knows is saying for sure (although we have asked!) but it is very possible “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” has had its finishing digital touches added and is complete. All this inspired by the pen of J.R.R. Tolkien.
Typically the director or some combination of the director, producers and studio work on the film until they nail down its moments, beats and running time. Then the digital team finishes the film, working and polishing as much as time and money allow. With Jackson films, Weta Digital finishes parts way ahead and parts at the very last minute, working with the director closely. Concurrently, the score and sound effects are being mixed into the final finished product.
The film is shot in high frame rate, 3D and sound comes in a variety of format choices at the cinema including the most complicated and best sound: Dolby Atmos. All of these processes take time. In other words, there may still be a lot of details to get done before the film is done, but finished or not, the end is near and it is like twilight on the final day of Middle-earth movie making. Only clips for the inevitable extended edition remain and then, Jackson and company will soon say goodbye to Middle-earth forever.
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay' Blazes to $17M Thursday Night
(hollywoodreporter.com) That's behind the first two films, but is by far the best showing of 2014; overseas, the movie is pacing ahead of 'Catching Fire'
Starved fans propelled The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 to a stellar start Thursday night at the North American box office, where the movie scored $17 million, by far the best showing of the year.
The penultimate installment in Lionsgate's blockbuster YA film series hopes to become the first franchise Hollywood's history to have three installments open to $150 million or more in North America, not accounting for inflation.
Read more Inside the 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1' Premiere: District 13 Comes to L.A.
On the same weekend a year ago, Catching Fire opened to $25.3 million Thursday night on its way to a $158.1 million debut. However, Catching Fire had the advantage of playing in Imax Theaters, while Mockingjay doesn't (Imax is still carrying Interstellar).
And in general, Thursday night grosses have been less than in the past for tentpoles.
Two years ago, The Hunger Games grossed $19.7 million on its first Thursday night before topping out at $152.5 million for the weekend (that film didn't play in Imax).
One thing is assured: Mockingjay will score the top opening of the year so far in a much-needed boost for the domestic box office as the year-end holidays get underway, easily eclipsing the $100 million debut of Transformers: Age of Extinction this summer. Moreover, it will be the biggest three-day opening since Catching Fire.
Until now, this summer's Guardians of the Galaxy boasted the year's top Thursday night start ($11.2 million).
Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence reprises his duties for Mockingjay, which again stars Lawrence opposite Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Jena Malone and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, and introduces Julianne Moore and Natalie Dormer to the series based on Suzanne Collins' blockbuster YA book series.
Lionsgate decided to split Collins' final book into two films. Director Lawrence shot them back-to-back at a reported cost of $250 million. Mockingjay — Part 2 is set to open Nov. 20, 2015.
The franchise is also a huge performer overseas, and so far overall, Mockingjay is running 5 percent ahead of Catching Fire as it begins rolling out across the globe. It opened to more than $1 million in Australia midweek, the top opening of the year so far. And in South Korea, it is pacing 41 percent ahead of Catching Fire and in the U.K., 10 percent. Some Latin American markets are up as much as 55 percent.
Mockingjay — Part 1 opens in virtually every foreign markets this weekend, although it won't be released in China until next year.
Sci-fi Feature 'Alpha' Gets Brad Pitt to Produce
(latino-review.com) The Hollywood Reporter brings word that Brad Pitt will produce the sci-fi film Alpha for his Plan B production company.
The film will be written by Robopocalypse author Daniel H. Wilson. Not much is known about the plot other than its being described as a sci-fi survival tale in the vein of Jack London, who wrote the classic survival stories Call of the Wild and White Fang.
Canadian director Anthony Scott Burns has been chosen to helm Alpha. It will be his feature debut as a director.
Pixar Releases Next Generation RenderMan For Commercial Use
(vizworld.com) Pixar Animation Studios today announced the long-anticipated commercial release of RenderMan’s RIS rendering architecture, introducing advanced methods for physically-based photorealism. Representing a major leap forward in the development of feature film rendering, RenderMan’s new progressive renderer supports multiple types of light transport including a state of the art uni-directional path tracer supplied with source code and a new bi-directional path tracer (VCM). Along with enhancements to Pixar’s acclaimed REYES renderer, this powerful combination provides artists with multiple rendering solutions within one unified framework for the utmost in artistic flexibility and creativity. With a modern architecture built from the ground up to render global illumination with unsurpassed speed and productivity, RIS establishes a forward-looking foundation through which RenderMan is addressing the rapidly evolving demands of visual effects.
“The new RIS is very fast, very stable, and very simple to use. I got great results within my first 2 hours,” said Eugene Riecansky, Creative Director, Rockstar GFX. “This new version is going to be a game changer and I’m thrilled to be using it.“
“Pixar has really outdone itself with RIS for RenderMan 19,” said Brandon Fayette, Lead Artist at Bad Robot Productions. “The speed, quality, and ease of use that the new substrates bring are mind-boggling. You can setup a character in a shot fully knowing that the nature of the shaders won’t change with lighting. It speeds up the look development process significantly.”
Additionally, Free Non-Commercial RenderMan is to be released in early 2015 so that the development of additional supporting materials can be delivered to a diverse user base. Unrestrained by functional limitations, watermarking, or time restrictions, Free Non-Commercial RenderMan will be made available to academic institutions, students, trainers, researchers, developers, and for personal use. Those interested in exploring RenderMan’s latest capabilities are invited to register in advance for Free Non-Commercial RenderMan on the RenderMan website (http://renderman.pixar.com/).
Availability & Compatibility
RenderMan is compatible with the following 64-bit operating systems: Mac OS 10.9, 10.8 and 10.7, Windows 8 and 7, and Linux glibc 2.12 or higher and gcc 4.4.5 and higher. RenderMan is compatible with versions 2013.5, 2014, and 2015 of Autodesk’s Maya, and with versions 1.5, 1.6, and 2.0 of The Foundry’s KATANA. RenderMan is available commercially either as individual licenses with volume discounts or through custom site licensing packages tailored for each customer. In addition, Pixar’s annual maintenance program provides access to ongoing support and free upgrades. For more information please visit www.pixar.com or email@example.com.
This Altered 'Jurassic Park' Test Footage Will Make You Rethink CGI
How mind-blowing is it to think that "Jurassic Park" could have been made using stop-motion animation, the same technique used to bring Jack Skellington to life in "Nightmare Before Christmas"? Pretty darn mind-blowing. Now, thanks to crafty Redditer aDinoSupremacist, we can share with you some of that original T-Rex stop-motion test footage -- with a CGI twist!
VFX artist Peter A. Montgomery applied a motion blur to the stop-motion animated carnivorous dino, giving her (they're all hers, right?) an uncanny realism that almost trumps the CGI version that made it into the movie. Here's what went into it, according to Montgomery:
Full article and VIDEO - Take a look: http://news.moviefone.com/
VFX Oscar Race May Overlook Weighty "Insterstellar"
(ibtimes.com) The Oscars are still three months away, but movie awards season got off to it its unofficial start over the weekend with the 2014 Hollywood Film Awards. The prizes, which were televised for the first time in their 18-year history, gave fans their first chance to see who might take home the hardware when the Academy Awards air on Feb. 22, 2015.
The Hollywood Film Awards have historically been an accurate indicator of future Oscar success, as films, actors and filmmakers try to pick up momentum for their Oscar campaigns. In fact, of the four actors who won at the 2014 Oscar ceremony, three had picked up trophies at the Hollywood Film Awards first.
“Interstellar” -- The Hollywood Film Awards group does not announce nominations, so it is impossible to know how closely a non-winner was considered, but Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi epic was shut out of every award over the weekend. Not only did it fail to win for best film, acting or directing, but “Interstellar” also missed out on cinematography and visual effects, losing to “Birdman, and “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” respectively. The whiff by “Interstellar” boosts the argument that the weighty and complicated film might be underappreciated and misunderstood come Oscar time.
Engineering Danger: Sony Pictures Imageworks & Guardians of the Galaxy
(flickeringmyth.com) An opportunity to participate in the Marvel Universe beyond Spider-Man was presented to Sony Pictures Imageworks during the production of Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014). “They called us and said, ‘We need to have 100 shots in a couple of months. Can you help us out?’” recalls Sony Pictures Imageworks Visual Effects Supervisor Pete Travers. “It was right over Christmas break so timing wise it was a little problematic but we said, ‘Hey, this Marvel, whatever they want we’ll jump at it!’ It ended up going really well.” Marvel approached Sony Pictures Imageworks again for assisting in the launch of the new cinematic franchise Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). “Captain America was more of a live-action thriller where Guardians of the Galaxy is purely Sci-Fi. The Captain America work that we did was mostly compositing. We did a gunfight sequence and it all had to look photo-real and practical. But with Guardians the big thing we had to do was to build the engine room of the Dark Aster; that had a lot more design work certainly than Captain America and a lot more 3D.”
Full article with pics: http://www.flickeringmyth.com/
Andy Serkis Says Planet of the Apes Series Could be More Than Three Films
(comingsoon.net) Even before Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opened in theaters this summer, 20th Century Fox was already making plans for a third film in the rebooted franchise, but after “Dawn” outgrossed the preceding “Rise” by over $225 million and became the highest-grossing film in the series, the studio might have begun thinking even bigger.
Speaking with MTV, Caesar himself, Andy Serkis, was asked about the setting for the upcoming third film and revealed that the next one may not be the conclusion to the franchise.
“It’s very, very early in where we choose to drop anchor in the next film. It could be five years after the event, it could be the night after the events of where we left ‘Dawn,’ so it’s very difficult to know where the story is going right at this moment because it’s being written as we speak. I know that part of the desire for Matt [Reeves] to do this next movie is about continuing the enjoyment of seeing these apes evolve. So I don’t think we’re going to see a situation where we’re jumping….It might be three films, It could be four. It could be five. Who knows? But the journey will continue. It might not necessarily be summarized or completely fulfilled in this next one. The point being, eventually we know that we’re going to end up back at ‘The Planet of the Apes,’ but whether it’s this film or not, I don’t know.”
The Untitled Third Planet of the Apes film will be directed once again by Matt Reeves, who is co-writing the script with Mark Bomback. It’s set for release on July 29, 2016.
Makeup Effects Legend Rick Baker To Guest Judge Syfy's Hit Series 'Face Off'
(tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com) Premiere Features Makeup Legend and Academy Award-Winner Rick Baker (American Werewolf in London, Planet of the Apes, Men in Black) and the Return of Judge Ve Neill (The Hunger Games)
NEW YORK – November 20, 2014 – Syfy’s critically-acclaimed reality competition series Face Off – the network’s most watched unscripted series – will return on Tuesday, January 13 at 9PM for an action-packed eighth season themed “Return of the Champions.” In a twist on the show’s traditional format, three former champions, Rayce Bird (Season 2), Anthony Kosar (Season 4) and Laura Tyler (Season 5), will return in the premiere and select teams of five new artists who they will coach throughout the season.
Additionally, the Season 8 premiere will be super-sized over two episodes. At the end of premiere, host McKenzie Westmore delivers a challenge twist in lieu of an elimination, forcing the action of the premiere to carry over into the next week’s episode. Makeup super-legend and seven-time Academy Award-winner Rick Baker (makeup artist for American Werewolf in London, The Men in Black trilogy, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Planet of the Apes) will appear in both episodes, first mentoring the artists and then appearing as a guest judge.
In a first for the series, Season 8 will feature an instant “watch and win” sweepstakes. During each episode, fans will be prompted to discuss who their favorite contestant is by using Twitter - making them automatically eligible to win a weekly prize. At the end of each episode, one lucky fan will be announced in an on air spot, on Twitter and featured on the Face Off show site on Syfy.com.
Season 8 will also feature the full-time return of fan-favorite and Academy Award-winning judge, Ve Neill, who recently wrapped work on The Hunger Games franchise.
Face Off is a competition/elimination series exploring the world of special-effects make-up artists and the unlimited imagination that allows them to create amazing works of living art. As a member of the multi-generational family dynasty whose name is synonymous with the make-up effects field, actress McKenzie Westmore brings expertise to her role as host of the series. Some of SFX world’s most celebrated figures judge the competition – multiple Academy Award-winner Ve Neill (The Hunger Games, Pirates of the Caribbean), industry veteran Glenn Hetrick (CSI: New York, Heroes, Legion), and creature designer Neville Page (Avatar, Prometheus). World-renowned Hollywood makeup artist Michael Westmore (Star Trek) serves as the contestant mentor.
The Face Off contestants will be whittled down week by week, until only three remain for a finale showdown. The winning artist will receive $100,000, a 2015 Fiat and a VIP package courtesy of Kryolan Professional Make-Up to one of their 85 international locations. Kryolan Professional Make-Up continues as the official make-up sponsor of Face Off.
Stephen King’s The Stand Now Planned as Four Films
(comingsoon.net) Warner Bros. Pictures’ plans to adapt Stephen King’s massive 1978 novel The Stand into a single film are no more. Instead, attached writer/director Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) reveals to Kevin Smith’s Hollywood Babble-On Podcast (via /Film) that he’s now looking at adapting the book into four features.
“I really wanted to do an A-list actor, really grounded, credible version of the movie,” says Boone. “…I sold [Warner Bros.] on a single, three hour movie… So what happened is the script gets finished, I write it in like five months. Everybody loves it. [Stephen] King loves it. $87 million is what it was budgeted at. Really expensive for a horror drama that doesn’t have set pieces… They came back and said ‘Would you do it as multiple films?’ and I said ‘F–k yes!’…So I think we are going to do like four movies.”
Previously adapted as a television miniseries in 1994, The Stand tells the story of a full-scale apocalypse, driven by the accidental release of a biological weapon and the ensuing struggle of good versus evil carried out by the world’s final survivors.
“I loved my script,” Boone continues, “but I was willing to drop it in an instant because you’re able to do an even truer version this way… I can’t tell you anything about how we’re going to do them or what’s going to be in which movie. I’ll just say we are going to do four movies, and we’re going to do ‘The Stand’ at the highest level you can do it at with a cast that’s going to blow people’s minds. We’ve already been talking to lots of people, and have people on board in certain roles that people don’t know about. We’re looking to go into production next year, maybe in the spring.”
There's A Giant Problem That The Animation Industry Will Have To Deal With
(cinemablend.com) Next week, The Penguins Of Madagascar will be opening on a wide release platform, allowing audiences around the country to see the cute and cuddly adventures of Skipper and his brothers in arms. For the most part, those screens will be equipped with digital projectors that display the film at the highest image quality possible by theatrical standards. While this seems like the right move forward in terms of progress, it nor represents an as of yet unreported drawback, in particular for films of the animated variety. While 4K projection has upped the game for live action films, it's going to prove to be hell for CGI animated films.
The BBC reported today that the 4K revolution is proving to be a stumbling block for the animated market, as it not only puts a strain on the limitations of the machines that are currently used in the production, but they also could cause the production teams to run into delays with the time it takes to actually make the movie. To be more specific, animated films are currently running at 2k resolution and 24 frames per second, and the higher end that filmmakers like Peter Jackson are pushing for run at 4K resolution, and at least 48 frames per second.
According to Bruno Mahe, the technical head at one of Illumination Entertainment's studios, the resolution of current animation projects would have to be bumped up by at least 2.5 times. Increased resolution means increased memory needs, which means that the render farms of 20,000 computers that Illumination uses currently (amounting to a memory allocation of 680 terabytes on last year's Despicable Me 2) need to grow accordingly.
Judging by the 2.5 figure Mahe provided the BBC, as well as the current figures Illumination Entertainment has provided for their production purposes, a film like next year's Minions would require 50,000 computers in the render farm, with a memory allocation of 1.7 petabytes to be shown in 4K/48fps. If the budget increases at the same rate, $190 million would represent the new budgetary figure for a "state of the art" 4K animated film. Though if Minions performs as well as Despicable Me 2 did last summer, it would make those production costs back in no time, as a $190 million budget would only require a $285 million return to be considered 1.5 times profitable. (Despicable Me 2 made $970.8 million internationally.)
However, the economics "just do not support it," according to Bruno Mahe. While $190 million might not sound like that big of an investment, there's probably a lot more moving budgetary parts that need to be accounted for with such an expansion. Factors such as all of the software upgrades, and all of the additional animators that need to be added onto the payroll could account for those missing factors we don't have the cost data to crunch.
The future of cinematic experiences is already a fluctuating prospect, with the digital vs. film war pretty much a one sided fight at this point. Throwing animated films into the mix makes the marketplace even more unstable, especially considering how many 4K projectors are in operation at this current moment, with that number continuing to grow as time goes on. Here's hoping that the cost to upgrade animated films into a more high resolution friendly environment doesn't put companies like Dreamworks Animation into hotter water they they already are against studios like Walt Disney Animation Studios that'll be more than able to foot the cost of the future.
For now, you can enjoy The Penguins Of Madagascar in theaters (4K or not) next Friday.
Greengrass To Helm New Take On "1984"
(darkhorizons.com) George Orwell's dystopian classic novel "1984" is getting another big screen outing with "The Bourne Ultimatum" and "Captain Phillips" helmer Paul Greengrass attached to direct.
James Graham will pen the script for this new take on the material. No word on the nature of this adaptation - whether it will be period or a more contemporary version - but considering Greengrass' previous work you can expect a bunch of subtext about ubiquitous surveillance in modern society.
Scott Rudin and Gina Rosenblum are producing. The project is still in early development with Greengrass' re-teaming with Matt Damon on another Jason Bourne film which is expected to go first.
Digital Paint Supervisor: A Digital Dream Job Came From Thin Air
(stuff.co.nz) With any feature film, it's the work you can't see that adds to the bigger picture.
For Weta Digital's Quentin Hema, his job as digital paint supervisor is to remove items from footage in films such as The Hobbit.
"Most people really don't know what that means, " he said of his title.
"If a stunt actor is hooked up to a wire we take that out.
"Andy Serkis plays a lot of our [computer- generated] characters.
"It's our job to paint him out so the [computer- generated imagery] can be painted over it.
"If we've done our job properly you shouldn't be able to see it."
The Miramar resident has spent much of his career painting over Andy Serkis in films, but has no complaints.
"If Andy's in it, you know it's a good one."
There were different ways of painting over footage, he said.
Some took longer than others, depending on whether each frame needed hand painting digitally or if shots could be completed all at once.
Hema entered the film industry by chance.
"Like all things, it was a little bit of luck.
"There was no film or effects industry when I started and no visual effects schools in New Zealand.
"I didn't know it was what I would end up doing because it wasn't here at the time."
Hema began work on The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring as a paint artist, and learnt on the job.
"It's a job where you're constantly learning.
"The film industry evolves so much. Each film is a one-up [from the previous one]."
After finishing The Return of the King, Hema was promoted to supervisor and has enjoyed the management side of his role since.
"I wanted to know how everything else worked and what other departments were doing, " he said.
He is working on several films at the moment, including the final Hobbit film, The Battle of the Five Armies, due for release in December.
Hema leads a crew of 64, half of whom are Australasian and the rest from further afield.
"Everyone really wants to be here and is super dedicated and passionate about what they're doing.
"You get to meet so many good people and make good contacts as well."
Being able to work on amazing films was also a privilege, he said.
Hema has worked on 44 films since 2001, including X-Men, The Chronicles of Narnia, Iron Man and The Hunger Games series.
He was nominated for a Visual Affects Society award for his work on Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2011 and has worked on eight Peter Jackson films.
"Working on Peter's films is always great, because that's what we originally started doing and there's all the hype around it that makes it more exciting.
"Each film is different. I love starting projects and seeing them as they progress.
"I don't even know how they've done it because you focus on what you've got to do. When it comes together sometimes what you see is mind-blowing, even for us."
Virtual Reality Filmmakers Say Questions Outnumber Answers — And That’s Okay
(recode.net) On the eve of consumer virtual reality, with a slew of VR headsets based on common mobile phones going on sale this month and next, the buzz has turned away from gaming and toward movies and other media “experiences.” And there’s still a lot we don’t know about how those experiences should look.
People experimenting with VR movies, though, remain confident that they’re on the right track, and say the reason questions outnumber answers right now is because of how much is changing in VR.
For readers who haven’t tried on a virtual reality headset yet, it might help to understand what content creators are trying to do. While many game developers, the first people to support headsets like Facebook’s Oculus Rift, say they want players to make virtual worlds that are as believable as real ones, Jaunt CEO Jens Christensen said the aim of cinematic VR is slightly scaled back.
Jaunt CEO Jens Christensen with the company’s virtual reality camera
“Our goal is to achieve an emotional connection with a user, to forget about the technology completely,” Christensen said. “That’s the goal, to feel like you’re there and amazed by the beauty of the music or the nature that you happen to be in.”
In other words, they don’t need to fool you — just entertain you.
Still, Christensen’s goal is more or less in line with the VR content world’s favorite buzzword, “presence.” That’s shorthand for any sort of VR experience (game, film or otherwise) that convinces the user of something unreal. In Jaunt’s case, the challenge is to make the user feel the energy of a live Paul McCartney concert, even though they aren’t really onstage with Sir Paul.
A new short film called “Zero Point,” released by a different cinematic VR company called Condition One, briefly achieved presence for me in a seemingly pastoral scene of bison walking through a field. My head naturally followed the bison along their path, but I noticed they were turning to look back at the rest of their herd — so I turned, too, only to get a face full of curious beast.
“‘Oh! The bison is right there!’” Condition One CEO Danfung Dennis quoted another viewer as having said. “Everyone has that experience.”
In reality, of course, the animal was inspecting Dennis’s 3-D camera rig, which probably looked out of place in the middle of a field. But as a viewer, taking the place of that camera, I instinctively leaned away to try and get some distance from a thing that wasn’t there.
So, if it’s possible to get presence, what are the problems?
For starters, the resolution of the screens on mobile phones — the only devices supporting consumer VR at the moment — is lower than the film guys would like.
“The screen resolution is really perfect now if you hold it at arm’s length,” Christensen said of his Nexus 5, a premium Android phone. “When you bring it up to your eyes, with lenses, suddenly you need more.”
When phones are too close to your eyes, Dennis added, you get a “screen door effect” — meaning you may notice lines in the image that break the feeling of presence. Future devices need to have panels that are at least 1440p to fix the problem, he said.
"Zero Point" / Condition One
Another big aid to presence that you won’t find in the first round of cinematic VR content is positional tracking. What that means in layman’s terms: You can turn your head to see more of a scene happening all around you, but you can’t currently move your head or body to inspect different facets of a 3-D object. When the bison came up to inspect me in “Zero Point,” I leaned away out of instinct but my perceived distance from it stayed the same.
One source experimenting with video in virtual reality at a prominent company, who asked not to be named, said cinematic VR will never really click with audiences until positional tracking is possible. It only works now in computer-generated experiences such as Oculus’ Crescent Bay demo, which used an external camera to track users as they walked around in virtual rooms.
Christensen and Dennis said positional tracking in live-action video is possible, to an extent. Dennis speculated that the best way to achieve this is to use special depth-sensing cameras, similar to the Xbox’s Kinect, to collect data about how far away objects are from the various normal-camera lenses. This information could make the 3-D effect of a video more dynamic, changing as users move their heads around, though it still wouldn’t get a bison out of my face.
The last questions is a big one: Just what will filmmakers trained to shoot movies for 2-D screens be able to bring into VR?
Not a lot, as it turns out. In both Jaunt’s Paul McCartney demo and Condition One’s “Zero Point,” camera cuts are eschewed in favor of slow fading transitions. And for the most part, no matter where a camera is, it’s holding still.
“We’re so used to cuts now,” Christensen said of scene transitions. “When they first introduced it to cinema, cuts were a big deal. It took a while to figure out the whole language. Now people are comfortable with them, and that extends to VR, but not moving the camera when you’re not moving, yourself.”
That’s because the brain wants vision and motion to align; when there’s a mismatch, some people feel sick. Dennis said Condition One has learned a counterintuitive truth while shooting VR content, though: When the camera does need to move, slow movement may be the worst kind for motion sickness.
“In traditional filmmaking, you ramp the camera up to speed and ramp it slowly down to stop,” he said. “In VR, you want to go instantly from zero to 60. It minimizes the mismatch between your inner ear and what your mind is seeing.”
And some kinds of movement are just unworkable. Dennis said a scene in “Zero Point,” shot from the perspective of someone slowly riding down an escalator, had to be cut because the artificial altitude change made a lot of viewers sick.
“Moving down or rising at 45 degrees is very uncomfortable,” he said. “The tripod can be very limiting, but it’s the safest thing so far.”
Despite all this, content creators say the added immersion of virtual reality outweighs the current limitations of the technology. Jules Urbach, the CEO of Los Angeles-based rendering company OTOY, said VR is a “very easy sell” in Hollywood at the moment.
“VR is something that all six major studios and other content creators take very seriously,” Urbach said. “At this point, everyone kind of gets it. They remember Cinerama: Three screens were more immersive than one. Movie studios understand that greater immersion is a big deal.”
Ridley Scott Says ‘Prometheus 2′ Will Feature a New Form of Alien
(slashfilm.com) The word “alien” is a big deal when talking about Prometheus and its potential sequel. Ridley Scott‘s film was, after all, a return to the universe he helped create in his defining 1979 film Alien. The signature alien — the xenomorph — from that film even made an appearance in altered but recognizable form at the end of Prometheus. But for the sequel, which will follow the character played by Noomi Rapace on a new journey, Scott says there are entirely new plans in mind. See what Scott has to say about new aliens in Prometheus 2 below.
Talking with The Australian (via SciFied) Scott had a few things to say about the sequel:
[Prometheus 2 is] fresh” and “getting away from gods and dragons and shit. If I see one more dragon I’m going to shoot myself. Stop the dragons.” Rather than a dragon, Scott describes his original Alien as “the definitive dragon and he’s a motherf . . ker. The alien’s real which is why it’s probably one of the scariest monsters in film history,” Scott says. “So withPrometheus 2 what I’m trying to do is reintroduce a fresher form of alien in the third act.” The Prometheus “baby” alien was, he concedes, “awfully close to the alien” that tormented Sigourney Weaver. His next one promises to be very different.
So it’s not that there will be no aliens, but that they will be different. And, really, no big surprise there. Scott demonstrated with Prometheus that he isn’t simply interested in rehashing the same old concepts from Alien, so there’s no reason to expect him to change that path now. There’s a bit of paraphrasing in that quote above, but the Australian promises a more full account of the interview, which was timed to promote Exodus: Gods and Kings, will run this weekend.
'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Creators Invited me to be an Ape
It’s truly the arrogance of man, or perhaps just the entertainment journalist, to stand in front of a troupe of motion capture gurus hard at work ‘being’ apes, and think, “Yeah, I could do that!”
We’re in the “large volume” at Weta Digital, a dedicated performance area that is quite literally a volume (remember your high school maths?): a three-dimensional space ringed by infrared cameras that pick up the “dots” (layman’s terms), or markers, on the actors’ bodies and record their movements.
The volume is currently standing in for Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’ climactic scaffolding battle between Caesar (Andy Serkis) and Koba (Toby Kebbell), and two of Weta’s motion capture guns, Craig Young and Isaac Hamon, have been busy scampering around the volume busily showing off their ape-aping skills for the past half hour.
Dressed in trademark mo-cap “pyjamas” (grey velcro jumpsuits to which passive markers are attached), and with their ‘arm extenders’ (effectively abbreviated crutches) on, when “action” is called, they dissolve instantly from a humanoid posture to quadropedal, leaping on top of tables and racing around the volume at a speed that feels particularly simian. They’re also so good at it that they make it look, well, kinda easy.
So, when animation supervisor Dan Barrett generously asks the assembled press horde if anyone would like to try “being an ape”, naturally my hand shoots into the air.
Full article and VIDEO - Take a look: http://www.thevine.com.au/
-H - "No film has captivated my imagination more than King Kong. I'm making movies today because I saw this film when I was 9 years old." -Peter Jackson