Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Worth a mention - 01/28/15

MPC Let Go 150 Artists

(           Over the last week, the media has been focused on the PDI/Dreamworks layoffs, but in London a similar situation happened with no media coverage at all.

As a lot of you may know, there is currently a boom in the London VFX industry due to increased tax cuts. MPC have been ramping up for their next blockbuster project, but unfortunately, one week later around 150 artists were let go due to schedule changes. From what we know through our sources, on top of schedule changes, the project that was meant to be done in London is instead to be done in Canada. **Updated 27/01 based on info from comment below** “London was suppose to help Van to finish the movie but the deadline has been postpone so Van can complete his work without any help. At the same time the biggest project that was running in London has been pushed 4 months as well”

The case is similar to the Digital Domain situation couple of years back, with people quitting their jobs to move to MPC with many also travelling across the world from New Zealand/Australia.

We all know that the VFX industry is not regulated and situations like this are always recurring. Half the crew for World War Z were let go when the movie was put on hold (over 200 artists). Pixomondo closed in London leaving their artists unpaid. Prime Focus let all their staff go after their merger with Double Negative. And now it happens again right after all the bad reaction to the Variety article.

All the above info was gathered from a few sources. If you or anyone you know was one of the artists let go, please feel free to get in touch and share your story!

We hope that all you guys find work soon.

From Comments: This article contain some errors. There wasn’t a project that was suppose to be done in London and has been moved in Vancouver. Quite the opposite. London was suppose to help Van to finish the movie but the deadline has been postpone so Van can complete his work without any help. At the same time the biggest project that was running in London has been pushed 4 months as well. So what the company is suppose to do? Keep 150 artists to do nothing and get bankrupt? This is a project base job, we all know that.

Full article:

‘Ghostbusters 3’ To Shoot In New York

(            Paul Feig recently confirmed that he and "Ghostbusters 3" writer Kate Dippold would shoot the reboot in New York. Some fans were worried that the director may relocate the setting, since he will be doing a remake and not a continuation of the movie.

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"No, to me it's such a New York movie and the biggest sin would be to pull it out of there." The 52-year old filmmaker told Empire.

Feig added, "I just love New York and, selfishly, I just want to shoot in New York."

That would at least remind us of the original movie where and maybe we can get a glimpse of the Ghostbusters building in Central Park West.

Paul Feig still stands firm in his decision to create an all-female ghost busters team. However, he will still add some stuff from the original movie that featured Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and the late Harold Ramis.

"We're not recreating the old movie but we want to do just enough fun nods that the fans will go, 'Oh, okay, they're acknowledging that the other movie existed," the "Ghostbusters 3" director claimed.

Some people thought that Paul Feig will be creating a parody of the classic comedy, but he assured fans that it won't be like that.

"I like to watch parodies, but I don't want to do them because they're too referential. Comedy that's too referential has such a short shelf life, whereas comedy that's based around characters will be relatable 2000 years from now because people won't change that much," the "Bridesmaid" director explained.

There have been reports that Paul Feig is currently in negotiations with Melissa McCarthy to star in "Ghostbusters 3". According to The Hollywood Reporter, the star of "The Heat" is in early talks to star in the reboot of Ivan Reitman's blockbuster comedy.

"It came out publicly that we're in talks with Melissa but there's a lot to work out," the director confirmed the news.

Paul Feig is aware that he has a lot of haters, but he made a promise on New Year's Day that he will try not to disappoint the avid "Ghostbusters" fans.

"Happy New Year to everybody, even the Ghostbusters reboot haters. I love you all. I promise I will try not to ruin your childhoods. #iswear," he wrote on Twitter.

The "Ghostbusters 3" director then explained why he chose to make a reboot instead of a sequel.

"A lot of people ask why I didn't create my own thing but Ghostbusters never ran out of steam, it's such a great idea." Feig said.

He added, "It's such a fun franchise so why not bring it to a new generation? The old movie is never going to not exist. It's not my plan to erase every copy! Hopefully they can all live together."

Will 2016 Be Hollywood's Year Of The VFX Blockbuster Meltdown?

(          Just in May of 2016, we’ve got Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Captain America 3 on May 6th and Alice in Wonderland 2 vs. X-Men: Age of Apocalypse on May 27th. Universal has a Seth Rogen comedy for May 13th, which will arguably be a sleeper hit by default. June sees only The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and the head-to-head match-up of How to Train Your Dragon 3 and Finding Dory. Spidey may be splitting already and expect one of the two animation titans to jump from the June 17th date. Offhand we should expect Star Trek 3 to aim for June as well, especially if Spidey bolts, and Transformers 5 will probably stick to pattern and drop in late June.

In March of 2016, we’ve got seven major releases, all would-be big budget films that will be competing for the same domestic box office dollar. We have an untitled Disney animated film, an untitled Ridley Scott project from Fox that many presume is Prometheus 2, the big-budget Warcraft adaptation from Universal that was moved out of December 18, 2015 after Disney moved Star Wars Episode VII to that date, a DreamWorks toon called Boss Baby, the third entry in the Divergent series, a Dean Devlin-directed original called Geostorm, and the aforementioned Beverly Hills Cop IV.  To be fair, the only major release thus-far slotted for April is Universal’s Mummy reboot for the 22nd, although one of the early-May superhero films may shift to early April and I would expect G.I. Joe 3 to not wade into deep summer waters and opt for April as well.

July is an absolute zoo of big movies, all of which have big budgets and big expectations. We’ll see if Fox actually makes Independence Day 2 in time for the July 1st launch, and Walt Disney DIS +0.09% dropping their Steven Spielberg-directed BGF onto that date means that they smell an opening. But there is still Sony’s Angry Birds and Warner Bros.‘ Tarzan to contend with. Although Warner Bros.’ two scheduled would-be franchise starters in July, Tarzan and the Guy Ritchie-helmed King Arthur reboot, both feel like potential placeholders for a Batman v Superman date change. But July 8th brings us the heavily anticipated “Marvel Untitled”, presumably directed by Cameron Crowe, while July 15th brings Ice Age 5 from Fox and the aforementioned Bourne sequel from Universal. July 29nd brings a third Planet of the Apes movie from Fox. Oh, and don’t forget that we’re supposed to be getting a Shazam movie from Warner Bros. in July too.

August and September are pretty quite thus far. Sony has a Smurfs installment in early August and Warner has a LEGO Ninjago set for September 23rd, or the same date as a Sony Pictures Animation enterprise to be named later. November and December are the usual flood of would-be blockbusters competing with the eventual Oscar bait. We get a DreamWorks Animation Trolls movie, a Harry Potter spin-off (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), a major Disney Animation feature in November. December closes things out with an alleged Sandman movie from Warner Bros., Alvin and the Chipmunks 4 entry from Fox, a Star Wars spin-off from Disney, and an untitled Illumination animated film from Universal.

There are a few months where it’s not wall-to-wall blockbusters and all of the above dates are subject to change in the next two years.  But what you see in the above schedule are two specific situations. First of all, we have an absolute avalanche of big pictures that basically have to be mega-hits in order to be profitable. Second of all, as you can see, pretty much all of the major studios have their schedules mostly lined up for 2016 with the aforementioned franchise entries. With pretty much 3/4 of the year devoted to hardcore franchise scheduling, there is that much less room for smaller pictures beyond the stereotypical franchise/tent pole entries. Even on a per-studio basis, it looks like we’re looking at the bulk of the schedule from Paramount, Disney, and Universal, if not Fox and Warner Bros., along with the smaller distributors (Lionsgate, CBS Films, etc.).

So the issue is whether 2016 will be the biggest blockbuster year in history and if so at what cost?  Can the market handle such a continuous run of relative mega-tent poles?  And if it can, will there be any room to breathe in the marketplace for the so-called smaller movies that happen to sneak into the multiplexes? I’ve long defended against the notion of blockbuster meltdown by pointing to all the “regular” movies that studios were releasing even during the summer season. But with the slate above, there won’t be much room for the major studios to make smaller or more niche-targeted releases.

Summer 2011 was pretty crowded, and yet the industry survived. How will the marketplace and moviegoers overall react to a multiplex with the closest thing we’ve seen to what amounts to non-stop blockbusters? Summer 2016 is going to be the biggest summer we’ve ever had, while the rest of the year will be jam-packed too. The end result may well be what I’ve talked about before, with the hit franchises basically protecting the studio from the under-performing franchises, with the potential for a giant wash for any number of the major studios.

The end result will be basically every A-level franchise (Batman/Superman, Captain America, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Transformers), every B-level franchise (Amazing Spider-Man, Star Trek, Planet of the Apes, X-Men, Divergent, Bourne), and every animation Goliath (Finding Dory, How to Train Your Dragon 3, Ice Age 5, The Smurfs, Alvin and the Chipmunks, whatever else Sony Animation and Universal’s Illumination decides to drop), and goodness knows what else all competing in one uber-crowded year. The good news is that 2017 will have to be light on franchise fever by default, since most of these installments can’t knock out an entry every year. The emphasis thus far in 2017 is on untitled comic book installments and animated franchises.

I’m not predicting doom or industry implosion. But it will be fascinating to watch Hollywood basically throw everything it’s got at the audience in one long year and seeing how it transpires. Come what may, the box office reports will be incredibly exciting.

VFX Artemple-Hollywood Celebrates One Year Anniversary

(           Culver City, CA, January 27, 2015 - Artemple-Hollywood, a high-end, full-service Visual Effects and Design company specializing in the art of seamless and "invisible" visual effects work for feature films, television, commercials, themed entertainment, special venue projects, and original content creation, is marking its one year anniversary having produced visual effects work for one of last year's most successful films, is currently producing visual effects for an upcoming studio feature, is commencing work on new projects, and has hired a noted industry executive. The announcements were made today by Mr. Wei Zheng, Principal and Creative Director, Artemple-Hollywood.
Artemple-Hollywood is currently producing visual effects for Warner Bros. highly anticipated film, "Entourage," directed by Doug Ellin.  Since its formation in January 2014, Artemple-Hollywood produced visual effects for the critically and commercially acclaimed blockbuster film, "Gone Girl." Both Wei Zheng and Marco Maldonado, the company's VFX Supervisor, have enjoyed long-standing working relationships with the "Gone Girl" director David Fincher, and have collaborated on several of his past films, such as "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," "Zodiac," "The Social Network," and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

Independence Day 2 Moves Forward - Casting Begins

(          With the much anticipated sequel having received the green light in November, casting is now underway on director Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day 2. TheWrap today reports that Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games, The Expendables 2) has been offered a leading role.

Set to hit theaters June 24, 2016 (almost exactly 20 years after the original), Independence Day 2 is looking to begin production in May with a script most recently rewritten by Carter Blanchard (best known for the short-lived 2009 series “G vs E”). Previous drafts were done by Emmerich and Dean Devlin, and then by James Vanderbilt. Although Will Smith will not be returning, both Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman are expected to reprise their roles as David Levinson and President Thomas J. Whitmore, respectively.

Hemsworth can next be seen in Kieran Darcy-Smith’s By Way of Helena, reteaming with Hunger Games franchise co-star Woody Harrelson. He’ll follow that with a role opposite Kate Winsley and Sarah Snook in Jocelyn Moorhouse’s The Dressmaker before returning to Panem for one last time in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, hitting theaters onNovember 20.

The original Independence Day opened on July 3, 1996 and earned an impressive $817.4 million worldwide. Emmerich is also set to produce the sequel alongside Devlin and Harald Kloser.

VFX Compensation and Working Conditions Continuing to Decline, in California and Elsewhere

(             The drought in SoCal production jobs is causing some pros to migrate to more favorable climes, while other once-plentiful entertainment specialties are becoming threatened in the region. At the Santa Barbara fest this year, below-the-line pros are the focus of panels as well as Variety’s inaugural Artisans Awards on Feb. 3.

Michael Cioni, CEO of digital post house Light Iron (recently acquired by Panavision) has some tough love for pros suffering in the new climate. “People miss the old days,” he says. “My advice to them is to lead or get out of the way.”

Cioni says the days of a production community mainly based in Los Angeles are gone for good. He blames the Great Recession and rapid technological change for squeezing below-the-line pros, but adds much of what feels like a squeeze is really uncertainty about the future.

“If you can see the future, you can see yourself in it,” says Cioni. “Today, you ask people to think five, seven, 10, 12 years from now, and people are like, ‘I don’t know what to think.’ ”

Even reliable corporate pillars of the old entertainment economy, such as Kodak and Sony, have seen their roles reduced or nearly eliminated, he observes.

But there is a reality alongside this perception. Subsidies draw work from one area to another — which is the rationale for offering them, after all. If there is such a thing as financial “greenhouse gases” changing the climate, government subsidies are among the biggest culprits.

“Subsidies have been pretty much decimating live-action and visual effects work here in Southern California, and in most of California,” says Scott Squires, a longtime visual-effects supervisor who has been active in the fight to improve the lot of vfx artists. And he sees vfx compensation and working conditions continuing to decline, in California and elsewhere.
Both physical and digital production have migrated to locales where governments subsidize film production. Jobs have moved with the shows, and some pros have followed the jobs.

The Assn. of Digital Artists, Professionals, & Technicians, or ADAPT, attempted to challenge foreign subsidies using World Trade Organization treaty rules, but that effort ended earlier this year. “After months of campaigning,” said the org in a statement, “we were only able to raise a minuscule amount, which would only cover 2% of the total legal costs.” The rapid collapse of the vfx industry in California may be a cause.

Some California pros are leaving the business rather than uproot their families and become global nomads. As a result, SoCal is becoming a gradually less hospitable place for productions that choose to remain there. Squires reports one L.A.-based post-production company recently got work on a studio release but had trouble finding compositors to do the job.
“The studios are tightening their belts,” says Squires, “and it’s not just the below-the-line people. I’ve talked to a producer or two that used to be hired on big projects and they’re now being offered half the amounts they used to be offered.” And they have some reason to cut costs: The collapse of DVD revenue, soft theatrical attendance, and the rise of digital distribution, which has lower margins than the studios are accustomed to.

“In our neck of the woods, there’s always a squeeze, and the studios are always behind it,” says Steve Kaplan, labor organizer for IATSE Local 839, the Animation Guild. He, too, cites subsidies, which helped drive offshore much “in-betweening” (the in-the-trenches part of animation).

Kaplan says in the generally lucrative feature animation sector, “you don’t see a lot of this work being offshored — yet. If the producers could think of a way to do it, I think they would.” But when DreamWorks Animation suffered a string of box office fizzles, it laid off 500 and announced plans to move production on “Captain Underpants” outside the U.S.

DWA didn’t specify where “Underpants” production would go. China and India are possibilities, but Canada is more likely.
“This has been attempted before,” says Kaplan. “It’s my understanding DWA had attempted to do feature animation at the studio in India that was owned by Technicolor, but the work had to be re-done, and that impacted the timeline.” Canada’s animation studios are non-union, but artists in the country’s western region are talking to Animation Guild Local 891.

It’s not all bad news for displaced pros, though. Cioni thinks there is hope, starting with the proliferation of new distribution outlets, which drive demand for production and post services. He urges pros suffering in the new climate to educate themselves and embrace the new digital world. “There’s ample food for everybody.” He points to digital companies like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Buzzfeed as examples.

“They come out of nowhere and they dominate. If you go to Netflix and Buzzfeed, do you think they talk about the good old days? Probably not.”

Amazing 3D CGI Hologram Comes To Vegas

This is one of the 3-D video segments at Center Bar inside SLS Las Vegas, formerly the Sahara.

VIDEO - Take a look:

Jupiter Ascending Concept Art Better Than the Movie?

(          The Wachowskis' Jupiter Ascending was originally scheduled to be released last summer. It was delayed to February 6th in order to fully finalize the massive amount of SFX shots used in the film. From its most recent trailer, Jupiter Ascending will be visually spectacular. Whether it will be successful financially is up to the movie-going audience to decide.

The film stars Mila Kunis as a space opera Cinderella who does not realize that it is her fate to be the Queen of the Universe and of particularly the mother planet whose inhabitants were the first to populate a small little blue planet known as Earth. Helping her in her quest to become Queen is Channing Tatum as a genetically engineered soldier cultivated specifically for this role. Eddie Redmayne (recently Oscar nominated for his Stephen Hawking portrayal in The Theory of Everything) is an ambitious royal eager who also has eyes on the throne.

The concept art is absolutely stunning, particularly the work done by Philippe Gaulier and Olivier Pron who were responsible for some of the space station designs.

Philippe Gaulier has worked on films such as Iron Man 2 and 3, Thor: The Dark World, and Avengers: The Age of Ultron. Gaulier is currently working at Method Studios in London as the art department lead concept artist where he splits time between Soho and the onset film studios art departments.

Olivier Pron has worked on movies such as Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man 3 , Cloud Atlas, Watchmen and X-Men: The Last Stand. He is a concept artist and matte painter currently working in the film and entertainment industry at Method Studio based in London as well.

Take a look:,manual

The VFX of Unbroken

(           For ILM visual effects supervisor Bill George, Angelina’s Jolie’s Unbroken proved to be chance to implement cutting-edge effects work in a story-driven tale. The film required complex plane battles, crashes, environments, crowd extensions and even sharks to help tell the story of bombadier Louis ‘Louie’ Zamperini imprisonment in a Japanese POW camp after his B-24 Liberator crew crash in the South Pacific.

“When we come onto a project, each project is different and we adapt our sensibility to whatever we’re working on,” George told fxguide. “It was really important that when we did our work, when it was finished it would fit into what was happening in the film. Angie and also Roger Deakins, ASC (the DOP) were the driving forces - the people we looked to for how the film is going to look and feel.”

We talk to George, who with producer Steve Gaub, oversaw work by ILM, Animal Logic, Rodeo FX, Hybride, Ghost VFX and Lola VFX, about ‘fitting in’ Unbroken’s effects shots. Taking on the lion’s share of the work would be ILM and Animal Logic. ILM dealt with many of the plane and ocean shots, outsourcing to Rodeo, Hybride and Ghost, with Animal Logic completing several prison camp extensions, the bomb to Tokyo sequence and some wide establishing matte paintings. Lola came on board to complete emaciation effects on the camp prisoners.

Full article:

‘Imitation Game’ Director in Talks For Sony Space Tale ‘Passengers’

(          “The Imitation Game” director Morten Tyldum is in negotiations with Sony on space drama “Passengers,” written by “Doctor Strange” writer Jon Spaihts.

The studio bought rights to “Passengers” last month. Neal Moritz and Ori Marmur will produce through Moritz’s Original Film banner along with Michael Maher for Start Media and Stephen Hamel of Company Films.

Earlier this year, Focus Features had been in talks to acquire U.S. rights to “Passengers” with Keanu Reeves starring. “Passengers” went back on the market after the Weinstein Co. ditched the project after acquiring the rights with Reese Witherspoon attached; the actress later departed and was replaced by Rachel McAdams, who has also left the project.

Spaihts’ script is set on a spacecraft in the future with thousands of passengers making an interstellar voyage to a distant new planet. One passenger awakens from cryogenic sleep 90 years before anyone else and decides to wake up a female passenger sparking the beginning of a love story.

Tyldum has been nominated for an Oscar and a DGA award for “The Imitation Game.” He is repped by WME, Anonymous Content and Michael Schenkman.

Below the Line: Visual Effects of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

(             For the sci-fi adventure “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the filmmakers had two major visual problems to solve:  how to make rich, colorful worlds set in many interstellar locations that kept the spirit of the comics on which the film is based and how to depict two of the more unconventional characters, Groot (a tree man) and Rocket Raccoon.

This series singles out behind-the-scenes players and their contributions to films competing during the movie awards season. Read More »

“The main focus was to get Rocket and Groot to be as real as possible,” said Stephane Ceretti, one of the Oscar-nominated visual effects supervisors on the film. “We didn’t want them to pop out.” Because these two characters were animated amid live action, the director James Gunn and his effects crew needed to make sure they didn’t cause a distraction. “James said to us, ‘We don’t want Rocket and Groot to look like Bugs Bunny in the middle of the Avengers.’”

The visual effects team decided to fully animate the characters rather than use  the hybrid performance capture technology employed by another effects Oscar nominee, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” With Rocket Raccoon, they used a real animal for reference and inspiration.

“We had a raccoon come into our offices in London when we were preparing to shoot,” Mr. Ceretti said. “His name is Oreo. He’s black and white like the cookies.”
They studied the way raccoons use their hands, they way they look at things, the way they eat.

On the set, they used stand-ins, including the actor Sean Gunn, the director’s brother, who wore a green suit to take Rocket’s place during the shoot. He worked to get the flow going between the actors so that the performances and reactions to Rocket would feel natural. “The funny thing is that Sean, when he sits, is the height of Rocket,” Mr. Ceretti said. “So that was convenient for people to know where to look.” They shot scenes with the actors and stand-ins, and another version of the scenes without them.

When Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper  recorded their dialogue for Groot and Rocket Raccoon, respectively, the visual effects team shot them with cameras, so  some of their acting and expressions could be worked into the facial animation. For the large volume of animation work, the filmmakers turned to the firms MPC and Framestore. Mr. Gunn directed these animation teams to get all the elements together from the live-action shoot and merge them with the animated elements.

Groot is a more stoic character with fewer lines (though one of those, “I am Groot,” was especially memorable), so the animators had to figure out ways to show his expressions. “We worked a lot on the eyes,” Mr. Ceretti said. “We worked on how big they were to get the right amount of emotion out of his face.”

For the film’s colorful background, which required several blue-screen shoots for the actors, the team used references from Mr. Gunn.

“As he got into the movie, James started creating a visual bible of the kind of images he loves and wanted to get us inspired by,”  Mr. Ceretti said. “He wanted a very colorful universe, mixing brightness, darkness and all these saturated colors.”

While many sets were built practically by the production design team, some elements were entirely the result of visual effects, like Knowhere, represented as a giant floating skull.

“We pretty much had to build all of that because we did a big chase inside the skull,” Mr. Ceretti said, “so as a CG asset we needed to build this entire environment. It was pretty huge.”


-H            -A SWAT team raided the Budapest set of World War Z (2013) and seized 85 fully-functional automatic weapons.  Paperwork for the guns claimed that they were non-fuctional, when in fact they were very much real, a real no-no for Hungary’s Anti-Terrorism Unit.   -IMDB Trivia

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Worth a mention - 01/27/15

Mission Impossible 5 Is Terrified Of Star Wars

(           It seems that Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt has made yet another intense escape from perilous danger… though this time it's from the clutches of the release date Death Star that is Star Wars: The Force Awakens! Mission: Impossible 5 - the yet-to-be-subtitled latest entry in the venerable, reliably-performing Cruise franchise - was originally set to break its way into theaters on Christmas Day this year, just one week after The Force Awakens , but now it is being reported that Paramount Pictures has shifted project's release date in a major way to move it away from the sci-fi blockbuster.

The news, which comes to us from TheWrap, says that Mission: Impossible 5 will now be heading to theaters a whole five months earlier, and will now be in theaters on July 31st. This date sets it against much more feasibly beatable box-office peers like the remake of Point Break starring Luke Bracey; the Ryan Reynolds sci-fi body-swapper thriller, Self/Less (aka, NOT Deadpool); and Jake Gyllenhaal boxer drama, Southpaw.

The Mission: Impossible series has continued to show no sign of degradation in its box-office take with 2011’s Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol raking in nearly $700 million globally, outperforming its 2006 predecessor (ironically enough directed by The Force Awakens helmer, J.J. Abrams). The movie ranks as the most successful film of Tom Cruise's career, and naturally expectations and anticipation are high for the sequel. The shift in release date should greatly help the new film's numbers at the box office, as people won't have to choose between it and Star Wars at the end of the year.

While it's exciting that we'll be able to see Mission: Impossible 5 way earlier than originally thought, this news is a bit of a head-scratcher. The release date for the movie is now just six months away, and we know NOTHING substantive about it, at all. It’s very unusual for a film, especially one on this big-budget popcorn level to not even have so much as a basic plot synopsis floating out there in the ether this far from release. The window of a Christmas theatrical debut would have given Paramount the opportunity to spread marketing materials out over time, but now it looks like the promotional department for this film is going to have kick things into overdrive.

Beyond just promotional materials, however, let's not forget there’s the matter of the film itself. Mission Impossible 5 began shooting in Morocco back in August, with reports scattering about of Cruise doing his own stunts in some high-end racing vehicles and an Airbus A400M aircraft. But now that the movie will be coming out during the summer, that means that the time for post-production is being cut by six months - and that's quite a lot of post-production time. Here's hoping that the movie is currently way ahead of schedule.

Disney Reveals Guardians Of The Galaxy Was Over Budget At $232 Million

(             Media giant Walt Disney has revealed that the production cost of last summer’s blockbuster comic book movie Guardians of the Galaxy came to $232.3 million which was “slightly over the agreed budget.”

The film stars Chris Pratt as the leader of an outer-space superhero group which includes a talking tree and a raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper. They team up with characters played by Glenn Close and Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro in search of an ancient artefact known an an infinity stone.

Despite having a far-fetched plot, Guardians of the Galaxy has won widespread praise and grossed $772.8 million worldwide according to industry analysts Box Office Mojo. It was the third-biggest earner of 2014 after the final instalment in the Hobbit trilogy and runaway leader Transformers: Age of Extinction which grossed $1.1 billion.

Guardians of the Galaxy made back $3.33 for every Dollar spent on it which is one of the highest returns of any of the 10 pictures produced by Disney’s comic book division Marvel Studios. Its heroic success is thanks to snappy dialogue, stellar performances and clever integration of disco classics such as Marvin Gaye’s ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ and ‘I Want You Back’ by the Jackson 5.

The picture’s psychedelic look has earned it Oscar nominations for best visual effects and best make-up and hairstyling. It has also cemented the status of its director James Gunn as a Hollywood heavyweight. Mr Gunn began his career as a screen-writer at low-budget studio Troma but has risen to become arguably the hottest property at Marvel.

Guardians of the Galaxy falls short of being Marvel’s biggest-grossing movie as that accolade goes to 2012 superhero team-up The Avengers. It made $1.5 billion at the box office and became the third highest-grossing movie of all time. However, its director Joss Whedon had the advantage that the stars of his movie were already well-known names like Iron Man and the Hulk. In contrast, Mr Gunn has brought to life characters which previously had little currency for moviegoers.

Astounding special effects keep children gripped whilst Mr Gunn has also managed to make his movie appeal to an older generation by packing it with references to the 1970s and 1980s, from the disco music to a cameo of retro television puppet ALF. The occasional adult joke and a saccharine-sweet ending adds to its air as a spiritual successor to ‘80s adventure movies. It all came at a cost.

Movie budgets are usually kept a closely-guarded secret by powerbrokers of the major studios and their financial statements rarely shed any light on this. It is because studios tend to absorb the costs of individual pictures as part of their overall expenses and don’t have to report the budgets for them.


Pacific Rim 2: The New Apocalypse Del Toro is Cooking Up

(             Guillermo del Toro has a justified reputation as one of the busiest men in Hollywood. There never seems to be a time in this guy's career when he hasn't had a half dozen irons in the fire. While his gothic haunted house pic Crimson Peak is set to debut just before Halloween this year, and we're closer than we've ever been to seeing his long promised H.P. Lovecraft adaptation At the Mountains of Madness, the persistent talk coming from Camp Del Toro is the continuing saga of his Jaeger-rific world in Pacific Rim 2.

More Rocket Punch Please!

While it is still scheduled for release in April of 2017, there has been reason to hope for a Pacific Rim Cartoon to show up before then and catch us up on the state of affairs between those other worldly Kaiju and the Jaegers built to stop them from taking over our planet. Del Toro elaborated:

"What’s great is it’s a great set-up and a link between the first movie and the second movie. It really enhances the mythology of the characters; we have cameos of characters from the first movie, but mostly it’s a new set of characters. New jaegers, except for one or two, [and] new kaijus. It’s really fun.”

Pacific Rim 2 is set to pick up a few years after the events of the first film and it sounds like we'll start off in a Kaiju-free world where the Jaegers are on the verge of becoming unnecessary. Del Toro has given us a sense of what to expect in that yes, the rift between worlds was indeed successfully closed off at the end of the first one but that doesn't mean the Kaiju threat is completely gone.

"The main idea that we're bouncing off is the fact that Newt drifted with a Kaiju brain, and all Kaiju brains are connected. We say that. They are like a hive mentality. So, you know, draw your own conclusions."

Will Charlie Day have Kaiju voices in his head?

Del Toro has confirmed that scientist duo of Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day) and Hermann Gottlieb (Burn Gorman) are indeed set to return, even admitting that the odd couple scientists are his favorite Pacific Rim characters to write for. How easy is it to imagine the first signs of the re-emerging Kaiju threat being picked up through Geiszler's messed up brain? Cue his ensuing panic and frantically trying to convince everyone else that a new apocalypse is looming and in need of some Jaeger canceling. Rev up Gipsy 2.0!

All this means we should expect to hear more about the cartoon in the near future as animation on a Pacific Rim scale will take some time to complete. If the entire 13 episode series is going to come out before the sequel things should start falling into place, with details emerging soon.

Creator of Digital Human Holograms Wins "Best in Show" Award

(           ARHT Mediasaid it won the inaugural "Wildeboer Dellelce Award for Best in Show" at the Cantech 2015 investment conference earlier this month.

The creator of digital human holograms called HumaGrams had a significant presence and held live demonstrations at the annual tech conference which featured some of the fastest growing companies in the Canadian tech sector.

"ARHT Media knocked it out of the park at the Cantech'15 Investment Conference" said president of Cambridge House and producers of the Cantech conference Jay Martin.

"Their presentations were slick and engaging and their tradeshow exhibit created a full-day buzz for the investors. This is an exciting company."

Indeed Martin is not the only one with this view. The company has already amassed an illustrious board of advisors which boasts a myriad of household names including Paul Anka Larry King Jason Bateman Richard Bronson Michael Buble Carlos Slim Kevin O'Leary and entertainment manager Irving Azoff.

CEO Paul Duffy was also interviewed about the company's human hologram technology by the Space Channel's InnerSPACE team at  Cantech. The video include a full demo of what HumaGrams can do.

The early stage Toronto-based company’s human holograms are based on its Augmented Reality Holographic Technology (ARHT) platform which is a scalable repeatable and transportable form of 3D without the use of special glasses.

The groundbreaking platform which allows humans to interact with the HumaGrams opens up a wide range of applications – from concerts to retail stores and tradeshows. The platform also ties up seamlessly with the idea of proximity marketing and e-commerce.

Essentially celebrity holograms can be created and placed in window displays and other high traffic destinations drawing customers into a region of proximity and offering them a value proposition. For example the HumaGrams can deliver a message on a particular product tilted towards the viewer’s level of interest then offer up the ability to buy the product right there on the spot through a QR code an SMS text or side load of a coupon to the retailer’s mobile app on a smartphone.

In December ARHT unveiled its first big retail partnership with Harry Rosen one of Canada's largest menwear retailers to create its first-ever human hologram named Vincent.

Hybrid CGI / Live-action "Monster Trucks" Parks At Christmas Release

With the latest franchise sequel having entered production last year, Paramount Pictures has some very exciting news today for Mission: Impossible fans. Mission: Impossible 5, formerly planned for release on December 25, 2015, will arrive nearly five months earlier than expected! Look for Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt to once again grace the big screen this July 31! The hybrid CGI / live-action family film Monster Trucks, meanwhile, will take Mission: Impossible 5‘s original Christmas Day release. That film was previously scheduled for release on May 29, 2015.

Directed by Christopher McQuarrie (The Way of the Gun, Jack Reacher), Mission: Impossible 5 also stars Jeremy Renner (Marvel’s The Avengers, Kill the Messenger), Alec Baldwin (The Departed, “30 Rock”), Simon Pegg (Star Trek, The World’s End), Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction, Dawn of the Dead) Simon McBurney (The Last King of Scotland, The Theory of Everything) and Rebecca Ferguson (Hercules, The Red Tent) and features a screenplay by Will Staples and Drew Pearce.

The July 31 date will see Mission: Impossible 5 opening opposite the Antoine Fuqua-directed boxing drama Southpaw (starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker, Naomie Harris, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Rita Ora and Victor Ortiz), the Ericson Core-helmed big screen remake of Point Break (starring Ray Winstone, Teresa Palmer, Edgar Ramirez, Luke Bracey) and Tarsem Singh’s Ryan Reynolds-led science fiction thriller Selfless.

No plot details for Mission: Impossible 5 have, as of yet, been released, but check back for updates as soon as they become available. If you missed them, you can also check out some photos from the new film’s London production right here.

42nd Annie Awards Ready To Celebrate The Best In Animation

BURBANK (PRNewswire)        Saturday, January 31 marks the 42nd Annual Annie Awards™ recognizing the year's best in animation. The black tie event will kick-off at 5 p.m. with Red Carpet arrivals and a VIP champagne reception, followed by the awards ceremony at 7 p.m. and after-party immediately following the show. All events will be held at UCLA's Royce Hall.

Scheduled to present the coveted Annie trophies this year are the comedy-folk duo Garfunkel & Oates - actress-songwriters Riki Lindhome and Kate Mucucci; Veteran voice talent and industry legend June Foray; Songwriter and music director Richard Sherman, Filmmaker and artist Tomm Moore; Industry professionals Leslie Iwerks, John Musker, Ron Clements and ASIFA-Hollywood Executive Director, Frank Gladstone. "Since 2002, the Annies have often been a predictor of the annual Academy Award for Best Animated Feature," remarked Gladstone. "And each year our audience, nominees and range of films grows to encompass a wider and increasingly influential filmmaking community."

The Annie Awards™ honor overall excellence as well as individual achievement in a total of 36 categories including Best Animated Feature, Best Animated Special Production, Commercials, Short Subjects and Outstanding Individual Achievements. The Best Animated Features nominations this year are Big Hero 6 (Walt Disney Animation Studios), Cheatin' (Plymptoons Studio), How to Train Your Dragon 2 (DreamWorks Animation SKG), Song of the Sea (GKIDS/Cartoon Saloon), The Book of Life (Reel FX), The Boxtrolls (Focus Features/Laika), The LEGO Movie (Warner Bros. Pictures), and The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (GKIDS/Studio Ghibli).

Oculus Announces Virtual Reality Film Studio

(             Facebook Inc.’s Oculus Rift is exploring the movie space with the launch of a new entertainment in-house studio called Oculus Story Studio. The studio’s focus will be on making virtual-reality films. Their debut piece premiered yesterday, Monday December 26, at the Sundance Film Festival.

“This is really tuning in to what a lot of people who are extending 360-degree film into VR cannot do yet,” Oculus’ Chief Executive Brendan Iribe said. “It’s getting into the heart and soul and magic of VR.”

The first project is a three-and-a-half to ten-minute interactive film called “Lost”; the first of five short animated films, which they will produce over the next year. Former Pixar artist, and now current creative director of Story Studios, Saschka Unseld, directed “Lost”. The viewer is placed into a forest scene with a mechanical creature, with the film displayed on a new device prototype called the “Crescent Bay”. This same prototype was on display at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month.

“A real-time version of a Pixar experience that you’re inside of,” said Iribe, describing the experience.

At this stage the film studio team is comprised of approximately 10 people, including individuals who have worked at Lucasfilm and Pixar Animation Studios.

Oculus has made a giant leap forward for virtual-reality devices since their launch. After launching in 2012, Oculus went from a $2.4 million kickstarter campaign in September 2012 to a $2 billion acquisition by Facebook in July 2014.

With this move from Oculus we are likely to see their competitors following suit in the not too distant future. Sony Corp. has shown off their virtual reality headsets with their Project Morpheus and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. joined the party when they collaborated with Oculus technology and launched the Gear VR. Not to be left out Microsoft Corp. launched their HoloLens last week, however they could face some limitations when it comes to movie streaming, which may not affect the other competitors.

The size of the Oculus Story Studio could grow significantly. It all depends on the success they achieve with the “Lost” film at the Sundance Film Festival this week.

What Dreamworks Animation's New Strategy Means For Its Future

(            Remember when animated movies meant something special?

It's hard to get that feeling now that there's one seemingly every few months. Nobody knows that better than Dreamworks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA). The studio is hurting and after 2014. And that's never been clearer following a hat trick of under-performing films. Yes, you can spin How To Train Your Dragon 2 as a hit… and compared to Mr. Peabody and Sherman and The Penguins of Madagascar it's a big win, but it comes with an asterisk I'll touch on later.

For now though news has broken that the studio is scaling back its slate and shrinking it to two movies a year versus three (which was always a lofty goal) and unfortunately laying off hundreds of talented people in the process. Yet will that even be enough?

Wall Street is split with numerous analysts stuck somewhere in the neutral to sell piece of mind and you can see why that's the case. 2014 was the first year since 2010, the studio had three films hit theaters and it went much worse this time around. At least 2010 had the capper of the Shrek franchise in the mix and even though that was a series that declined film after film, it was a proven moneymaker.

The problems in 2014 really started earlier than expected when The Nut Job and The Lego Movie swooped in early and proved to be big hits. Parents happily took their kids to the theaters to see the films since it was too cold to do anything else, but when Mr. Peabody, Muppets Most Wanted and Rio 2 followed in the spring they were less hesitant to return and spend more money.

So when Mr. Peabody collapsed it became the third film out of the last four Dreamworks Animation releases to do so and that caused panic. Mr. Peabody carried higher hopes because it had built-in brand recognition and the same window as The Croods, which launched the year prior and proved to be a big hit.

Full article:

Unreal Engine 4 Demo Blurs Line Between Rendered and Reality

(           I've seen a lot of impressive game-engine footage over the years, but nothing quite like the Unreal Engine 4 demo put together by level designer and "CG generalist" Benoit Dereau. Dubbed Unreal Paris, this four-minute clip looks like it was shot inside a real-life apartment. One might call it astonishingly beautiful—or something. See for yourself:

Too bad the video isn't from an actual game. I'd play Real Estate Simulator if it looked like that.

If you want to tour the apartment yourself, a downloadable build is supposed to be available on Dereau's site, though the link appears to be broken right now. Thanks to The Verge for the tip.

VIDEO - Take a look:

Michael Bay Apologizes For Not Using VFX For B-52 Crash

(                 Film producer Michael Bay on
Wednesday apologized for the inclusion of footage of a B-52 crash in a
new movie, and Paramount Pictures will remove the shot.

A trailer for the Bay-produced time-travel movie, "Project Almanac,"
shows the characters watching news footage of a fiery plane crash. The
footage appears nearly identical to actual video of a 1994 B-52 crash
at Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington state, which killed four Air
Force officers.

Families of two of the crash victims — Col. Robert Wolff and Lt. Col.
Mark McGeehan — were outraged after seeing clips from the film, and
told Air Force Times they had no doubt it showed the crash that killed
their loved ones. They said they were disappointed the clip was
apparently being used in a context that is entirely different from
what actually happened.

Michael Bay's "Project Almanac" angers families of B-52 crash victims

Paramount Pictures said on Tuesday that the filmmakers used footage of
a different crash that took place in Tokyo in 2009, but that crash
does not resemble the film footage that angered Wolff's and McGeehan's

In his statement to Air Force Times, Bay said he thought a two-second
shot of the plane crash in "Project Almanac" was a visual effect when
he watched the completed movie. Bay was upset to learn first-time
director Dean Israelite had instead used actual crash footage.

Footage from a B-52 crash in 1994 looks similar to a clip of a plane
crash in a trailer for a new film from Paramount Pictures.

"I let film directors make their movies at Platinum Dunes [Bay's
production company] and give them tremendous responsibilities," Bay
said. "Well, unfortunately a very bad choice was made to use a real
crash instead of creating a VFX [visual effects] shot, without
realizing the impact it could have on the families."

"I have asked Paramount Pictures to remove this shot immediately from
the picture," Bay said. "I want to also extend my deepest apology to
the families, and also to the U.S. Air Force."

In an email, Katie Martin Kelley, Paramount's executive vice president
for publicity, said the studio is "in the process of removing the
footage from the film and promotional materials. The film's theatrical
release date [Jan. 30] will remain the same."

Wolff's daughter, Whitney Wolff Thompson, said in an email that she
accepted Bay's apology.

"Mr. Bay, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your apology and
your quick response to this," Thompson wrote. "I appreciate your
willingness to admit that this was indeed a real plane crash, and that
a mistake was made in choosing to use it."

Sarah Wolff, Wolff's daughter-in-law, also accepted Bay's apology and
said she is glad he has asked the shot be cut.

"That is all we were requesting," Wolff said. "I appreciate his swift
response and will hope that Paramount offers a similar apology."

Attempts to contact Israelite were unsuccessful.

Frontier Lays Off 15 Employees

(          Frontier Developments has axed 15 positions from its Halifax studio somewhat unexpectedly, leaving this branch of the overall studio with a somewhat hazy future. According to investor reports, the move is the result of a refocusing of the company's business plan around its two major games, and with all of the expertise on Elite: Dangerous and the upcoming Coaster Park Tycoon concentrated in Cambridge, it simply made more sense to reduce staff in the satellite studio.

No word on what this means for the long-term health of the Halifax location, which may very well be facing the axe as well. Our deep consolation goes to all employees affected by the layoffs.

BAFTA Nominations for Best Animated Film

(              With under two weeks to go until the 68th British Academy Film Awards, it’s time to take a look at the nominees for Best Animated Film.

Best Animated Film Nominees

Big Hero 6
 (Walt Disney Animation Studios)

Directors: Don Hall, Chris Williams
Starring: Jamie Chung, T. J. Miller and Maya Rudolph
Robotics prodigy Hiro lives in the city of San Fransokyo. Besides his older brother, Tadashi, Hiro’s closest companion is Baymax, a robot whose sole purpose is to take care of people, but a devastating turn of events throws Hiro into the middle of a dangerous plot.

The Boxtrolls (LAIKA)

Directors: Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable
Starring: Elle Fanning, Ben Kingsley, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg
The Boxtrolls are a community of quirky, mischievous creatures who inhabit a cavern beneath the city of Cheesebridge but an adventure unfolds when villainous Archibald Snatcher hatches a plan to get rid of the harmless beings.

The LEGO Movie (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Directors: Chris Miller and Phil Lord
Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell and Liam Neeson
Emmet, an ordinary LEGO figurine who always follows the rules, is mistakenly identified as ‘the Special’ – an extraordinary being capable of saving the world. He finds himself drafted into a fellowship of strangers who are on a mission to stop an evil tyrant.

It is surprising to see that How to Train Your Dragon 2 didn’t make the cut, especially since the first How to Train Your Dragon movie was nominated in 2010. But how great is it that The LEGO Movie is a nominee? Especially since it had been left out of Oscar nominations this year.

Like the Golden Globes, the BAFTA’s Best Animated Feature Award is a fairly new addition to the ceremony, having only been added in 2006. And because it’s so new they both seem to favor the fresher technology of CGI animated movies. The BAFTA’s past winners have all been CGI animated features, with Disney’s Frozen winning the previous year, so Big Hero 6 is in for a good chance.

This will be LAIKA’s third nomination for their third movie. Coraline and ParaNorman were previously nominated for a BAFTA but both lost to Pixar with Up and Brave. With more financial and promotional backing behind The Boxtrolls and with outstanding critical claim, could this be LAIKA’s year?

‘Hobbit’ Storms China, Crosses $600M Overseas: International Box Office Update

(      The holdovers had it at this weekend’s
international box office. The frame was up roughly 11% from last
weekend across the Top 10 studio titles playing overseas, largely
thanks to the China performance of The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five
Armies. That film now has an international cume of $616.9M and a
worldwide total of about $866.5M. That’s a little less than $100M off
the $960M with which The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug ended its run
in 2014.

However, an apples-to-apples comparison would be difficult to
make at this juncture given currency fluctuations. Nevertheless, the
China bow of Five Armies nearly bested the entire Middle Kingdom run
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in local currency terms
. The earlier
film traveled to a total 315.9 yuan while Five Armies grossed 307.9
yuan in its first three days. 

Smaug’s three-day was just 198M yuan in
February on 2014. On just under 200 plays, IMAX added $6.8M to Five
Armies‘ China arsenal, setting a record for a non-summer release.

also places Five Armies just below Transformers: Age Of Extinction’s
nearly $10M all-time record in the format.

Sony Animation Production President to Step Down

(                Michelle Raimo Kouyate is stepping down from her position and transitioning to a first-look producing deal with the studio.

DreamWorks Animation isn’t the only animation house that is going through changes.

Michelle Raimo Kouyate, the production president of Sony Pictures Animation, is stepping down from her position and transitioning to a first-look producing deal with the studio.

The deal encompasses both animation and live action parts of Sony’s slate. One of her first roles will be coming on board as a producer on SPA’s Medusa. Medusa is an animated comedy being developed by My Little Pony director Lauren Faust.

A new head for the animation division was not named but a search is in progress. Raimo Kouyate will oversee the transition.

Under Raimo Kouyate, SPA launched Hotel Transylvania, with a second movie being released later this year, and put out hits The Smurfs 2 and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.

Working on Medusa was a catalyst for her decision to step down, she said.

“I’ve been thinking about it for a while and when I was working on Medusa, it started to bring up the feelings of really being back in the game,” Raimo Kouyate told The Hollywood Reporter. “And there comes a time on an animated project when you just need to get a producer on it, when it hits a stage where it’s story boarding and moving to the next level. So I thought if there was ever a time to do it, now was it.”

She added: "Sony Pictures Animation is an incredible place with talented artists and creative people. I am totally confident that great things will continue to come out of it and I'm so excited that I will be a part of it."

‘Transformers 5’ To Build New Robots

(         The Transformers 5 news has been mostly rumors
up to this point, but new confirmations have hit. Michael Bay is
officially out, content to simply produce the next film. In his place
it is said that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles director Jonathan
Liebesman will be taking over.

This could mean the next movie in the series will meet the same
critical reception as before, since TMNT was generally about as well
received as the Transformers films after Revenge of the Fallen.

For fans who are willing to take the chance and see it anyway, the
Transformers 5 story has been given a little more detail with the
confirmation of new robots and a general plot reveal. Optimus Prime
gave viewers a hint at the end of Age of Extinction about where the
Transformers 5 plot would go.

‘Transformers 5′: Classic Quintessons will be the main villains

The series is officially heading to Cybertron as fan favorite
characters join the fight. If you’ve seen the original animated
Transformers movie, you might remember some of them.

The new Autobot  faces making this Transformers 5 news exciting are:

- Override

- Red Alert

- Ultra Magnus

For the Decepticons:

- Scourge

- Blitzwing

- Cyclonus

- Ultra Magnus

- Cyclonus

The giant transforming planet hasn’t been confirmed for the series
yet (he has been rumored on IMDb, though, as Optimus Prime’s “evil
twin brother”). Other Autobots are expected to join the ranks, known
only as the “Mechanoids.”

Other additional faces include the previously rumored Quintessons, the
dark forces Optimus Prime was talking about at the end of the last
film. This film could easily become the Empire Strikes Back of
Transformers movies as the villains could be too powerful this time.

The Jetsons Movie Gets a Writer; Will Now be Animated

(           Audiences will soon meet George Jetson,
Jane (his wife), daughter Judy and his boy Elroy in a new animated
Jetsons movie. Deadline has reported that Warner Bros. has hired Matt
Lieberman to write the new film adaptation of the 1960s animated
series. Lieberman’s other works include a new Scooby-Doo feature and a
planned remake for Short Circuit.

The Jetsons has seen a complete transformation since last year’s
announcement that Kanye West was eyeing the project as a creative
director. Yeezus! How would that have turned out? Since then, the baby
boomers that grew up watching the show have taken a big sigh of
relief. Maybe Kanye can still step in to do the original motion
picture soundtrack? If he gets the scent of an Oscar, anything is

In a surprise turn of events, the newest take on the futuristic
family, which has until this point been envisioned as a live-action
film, is now going to be an animated feature. A few years back, Robert
Rodriguez (Sin City, Spy Kids) announced the live-action adaptation as
his next project. He can never make up his mind. First it’s
Barbarella. Then he is directing Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.
Whatever happened to Shark Boy and Lava Girl 2? Fans would surely
appreciate that sequel.

The project has also seen plenty of scribes come and go since the
first inkling of a feature length movie was announced. Adam F.
Goldberg (Fanboys, Aliens in the Attic) wrote an early version of the
script that was reportedly not half bad, making it onto the
prestigious Black List in 2011 for best unproduced screenplays. With
Goldberg’s exit, Van Robichaux and Evan Susser reportedly stepped up
to rewrite the project with little previous experience. This will mark
the first effort to approach the film from a purely animated
standpoint. With the new idea to adapt the show into an animated
movie, the project should see less trouble attracting a strong cast of

The effort to get the film made over the past several years is a clear
indication that Hollywood is looking to adapt whatever bankable asset
leftover from older viewers’ childhoods. Although the viewers who
watched the series during its original 1962-63 run may not appear too
chafed by a returning version of the popular program, those who saw
the revived version of the show in 1985-87 might still feel sore over
having such a well-known program adapted. Still, an animated version
leaves less of a bad feeling in the stomach than the live-action

Let’s hope the final film turns out better than half of the atrocious
live-action remakes of popular animated programs that have been
released thus far. The last thing audiences need is another Alvin and
the Chipmunks. Or Garfield. Or The Flintstones
 ... or The Smurfs.

-H       -Mission: Impossible III (2006) filming took place at Paramount sound stages which for the previous 18 years had been used solely for episodes of Star Trek.