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May 19, 2006

Worth a Mention - May 19, 2006

Dean Devlin to Helm Effects-Packed Ghosting

(hollywoodreporter) Dean Devlin is making a shift from producer to director. He will helm Ghosting, an effects-packed paranormal thriller, says The Hollywood Reporter.

He will begin shooting the film early next year after principal photography is complete on the September shoot of his sci-fi adventure Isobar.

Devlin (Independence Day, Flyboys) also will produce Ghosting for his company Electric Entertainment with in-house partners Kearie Peak and Marc Roskin.

Jessie Alexander's script centers on a crippled cop who works with a group of undercover investigators who temporarily paralyze hearts to move back and forth between the land of the living and the dead.

Robert Rodriguez Casts Planet Terror

(scifi.com) Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodriguez and Josh Brolin will star in Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror, a 60-minute zombie movie to be accompanied by a slasher film directed by Quentin Tarantino and released under the title Grind House by Dimension Films,

Universal CG Film Gets A New Helmer

(empireonline.com) Mike Johnson, who co-directed The Corpse Bride with Tim Burton, has been drafted in to take over directing Universal’s animated movie The Tale Of Despereaux.

Despereaux is based on Kate DiCamillo’s book The Tale Of Despereaux: Being The Story Of A Mouse, A Princess, Some Soup And A Spool of Thread, which Universal optioned two years ago. Sylvain Chomet, who brought us Belleville Rendezvous, had planned to direct the film, but was also trying to make another ‘toon based on an unproduced Jacques Tati script. But the load became too great and now Johnson will handle Despereaux.

The CG-animated story follows the misadventures of three friends, a banished mouse, a rat who loves light and a girl with cauliflower ears, who help a princess.

Stan Winston Writes Effects Tell All Book

(news.awn.com) Stan Winston is collaborating on the first-ever book to reveal all the behind-the-scenes secrets of his groundbreaking and hugely influential artistry and effects work.

Titan Books of London will work closely with Stan Winston and the artists of the Stan Winston Studio on the new book, tentatively titled THE WINSTON EFFECT: THE ART AND HISTORY OF STAN WINSTON STUDIO, written by CINEFEX editor Jody Duncan.

THE WINSTON EFFECT is currently scheduled for release in the autumn of 2006 as a lavish hardcover book. Covering Winston’s entire career from his early days as a make-up apprentice at Disney Studios, through his artistic successes with ALIENS, THE TERMINATOR, JURASSIC PARK and EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, to his goals for the future and the ripple effect of his work on other creative minds, the book will feature an extensive array of sketches, production art and photographs straight from the studio archives.

“This is a dream project for us,” said Titan publisher Nick Landau. “We are beyond thrilled to be working with an artist of Mr. Winston’s caliber. The book itself will be a work of art, a collaboration between artist, writer, and publisher that will celebrate Mr. Winston’s role as one of the most talented and innovative creators working in Hollywood today.”

“I’ve been blessed by having been involved in a body of work that spans over 35 years and utilizes the creative minds of the brilliant filmmakers, artists and technical geniuses behind some of the most memorable movies of all time,” Winston said. “I am exposed to this body of work every day that I walk into my studio. It’s an awesome experience and one that I’d like to share with as many people as possible — hence the need to create this book. Although 'state of the art' in every technical way has been used to advance our abilities in creating characters, at the core of their reality still remains the unparalleled tool of the artist’s eye. This book will expose the reader not only to the advancement of our technical expertise, but more importantly to the artists that have brought the work to life. These are truly the renaissance artists of the 20th and 21st centuries."

Poseidon' Packs Punch of Real Science

(livescience.com) Pity the cruise ship Poseidon, for fortune does not follow her.

But it's that same doomed nature that drives director Wolfgang Petersen's 2006 update of the 1972 disaster epic "The Poseidon Adventure."

One is forced to wonder whether another remake of producer Irwin Allen\u2019s "Adventure" is warranted especially after the stunning failure of last year's television take on the story but Petersen's new version is at least an eye-catching evolution of its source material, and if the history of public fascination with disaster films is any guide, this one may fare well either way.

The hallmarks of the "Poseidon" legacy which began with writer Paul Gallico's novel in 1969 are all present. A massive, Moon-blotting rogue wave (which scientists say is a real type of event; see a gallery of big waves and more on this below) topples unsuspecting partygoers on New Year's Eve, leaving only a ragged band of survivors to desperately seek escape.

"Poseidon" excels in both action and special effects the initial and gargantuan wave is just terrifying, especially in IMAX and moves at a breakneck pace sure to exhaust the viewer by the film's end.

More: http://www.livescience.com

CG Anim Giant Swallowed

(news.awn.com) Liberty Media Corp. is buying IDT Ent. from parent company IDT Corp. it was announced today, May 16, 2006. Liberty will give up its holdings in IDT Corp. to add this diversified production/distribution group of companies to its holdings, which includes Starz Ent. Group that will have the capability to create a wide array of CG-animated and live-action programming for domestic and international distribution in all major channels, including broadcast syndication, premium television, theatrical and home video/DVD.

Liberty Media’s sells its interests in IDT Corp. for $186 million in cash and the assumption of existing indebtedness.

Newark, New Jersey-based IDT Ent. ( RedlightCenter.com is a social experience within a 3D
virtual reality. Within the RedlightCenter.com universe, users can freely move about and experience a wealth of social interaction via 3D animated personal "avatar" characters.

Ray Schwartz, President of RedlightCenter.com, who is based in Los Angeles, said, "We are excited to be offering the Internet's most unique
social experience to adults who are open-minded and interested in exploring their sexuality. Women and men can live out any of their fantasies in an empowering and safe environment. Exploring RedlightCenter.com through their avatar characters, users can have fun dancing to live music, viewing some of the world's most erotic art, or watching a sexy show. If someone's imagination can conceive it, it can be fulfilled in this unprecedented sexual universe.

The cyber universe offers Community Events, such as parties, classes, meeting rooms, live music with dancing and art-gallery
openings. These events are broadcast within the online universe. Users also have the ability to put on their own events to real audiences within the various RedlightCenter theaters. User-presented events are expected to include the multimedia broadcast of content from podcasts, films,
book-readings, comedy acts, band performances, instructional classes and more.

RedlightCenter.com is now open to a limited number of users in a pre-beta phase.

Cars: The Render Stats

(upcomingpixar.blogspot.com) Byte and Switch has an article about how Pixar rendered and processed their latest feature film, Cars.

They talked with Pixar's VP of technology, Greg Brandeau, to find out more.

Brandeau says that Cars has put more internal strain on his systems than any other Pixar film to date, '...swallowing up a colossal 2,300 CPU years over the course of the last five years. In other words, in Brandeau's view, a single CPU would have to run for 2,300 years in order to do all the number crunching for this movie.' says the article.

Here are some more facts about the movie and its processing...

- it used 300 times more compute power to make than Toy Story

- 1 gigabyte of memory wasn't enough on their server heads. They had to use something in the region of 32 gigabytes.

- After to switching to a SAN, Pixar cut its rendering times from 10 hours per frame (which should have been normally 1, but the frames created so much stress on the servers, it just didn't happen), down to 1 hour per frame.

Christie's to Sell 'Star Trek' VFX Shooting Models

(Reuters) - Trekkies will be setting their phasers to "bid" this fall when Christie's holds the first official studio auction of memorabilia from all five "Star Trek" television series and 10 movie spinoffs.

CBS Paramount Television Studios is cleaning out its vaults for the sale, comprising more than 1,000 lots totaling some 4,000 items, to be held from October 5 to 7 in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the original "Star Trek" series, Christie's announced on Thursday.

Fans and collectors will have a chance to acquire "Star Trek" artifacts ranging from models of the "Starship" USS Enterprise to Capt. James Kirk's uniform or Capt. Jean-Luc Picard's jumpsuit in an auction where Christie's expects to raise more than $3 million.

Other items to hit the block include props, weapons, prosthetics and set dressings unearthed from five Paramount warehouses.

Among the highlights are a miniature of the Starship Enterprise used in visual effects for the film "Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country," expected to sell for $15,000 to $25,000, and a replica of Kirk's chair from the original TV series that was recreated for the 1996 "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" episode "Trials and Tribble-ations," which is estimated at $10,000 to

$15,000.

Fans with more modest budgets can train their sights on a host of Trekkie ephemera like the 10-inch Resikkan nonplaying prop brass flute used by Patrick Stewart as Picard in the episode "The Inner Light" in "Star Trek: The Next Generation," which carries a low estimate of just $300.

Cathy Elkies, director of special collections at Christie's, said the value of the objects was difficult to gauge because "we don't factor in that emotional fury generated around this kind of material."

Posted by dschnee at May 19, 2006 01:38 PM

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