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June 08, 2006

Worth a Mention - June 8, 2006

Rodriguez Readies For Sin City 2

(cinematical.com) Here is a quick update for all you clamoring fans anxiously, breathlessly awaiting a sequel to Frank Miller's Sin City. There's not a lot of detail in this update, but there is some solid, encouraging news which should perk you up for a while. Robert Rodriguez (in an interview discussing his upcoming joint project with Tarantino, Grindhouse) dropped a few words about the plan of action for Sin City 2. According to Rodriguez, "We're going to start that probably in about six months." Nothing like a certain, confident answer -- but at least it is something, right?


LASSETER PLANS TO REVIVE HAND-DRAWN ANIMATION

(showbizdata.com) Hand-drawn animation may not be dead, after all. Pixar's creative chief, John Lasseter, has told Time magazine that he may restore Disney's traditional animation unit, which the studio dismantled in response to the success of computer-generated animation, like that employed by Pixar. "Of all studios that should be doing 2-D animation, it should be Disney," Lasseter said in an interview with film critic Richard Corliss. "We haven't said anything publicly, but I can guarantee you that we're thinking about it. Because I believe in it."


Sci-fi Battle Royale Heads To New Line

(comingsoon.net) New Line Cinema has bought the remake rights to the controversial Japanese sci-fi film Battle Royale and set up the project with Neal Moritz and Roy Lee, reports Variety.

The original film, produced by Toie and released in 2000 amid concerns about its violence, is set in an apocalyptic future in which schools are overrun by uncontrolled violence; the government responds by organizing an annual Battle Royale, in which a school class is picked at random and students are pitted against each other on an abandoned island in a game of survival.

Toie also produced a sequel in 2003, Battle Royale II -- Requiem, in which a new class of teen students are forced to battle a rebel group let by a survivor of a previous Battle Royale.


Google Forging Ahead With Wi-Fi Efforts

(news.zdnet.com) Google will begin a phased rollout of a free wireless Net access service in its hometown of Mountain View, Calif., this summer and is still hammering out details with San Francisco officials for its citywide Wi-Fi service there.

Testers who volunteer to offer feedback for the Mountain View project will be able to sign up for Wi-Fi starting sometime this summer, and the service will be widely available to the public later this year, Chris Sacca, head of special initiatives at Google, said Wednesday.

"The Mountain View network rollout is on track to be completed by (the end of) June," Sacca said. Google will operate the network itself and has partnered with wireless technology providers, equipment vendors and integration providers to design, build and install the network, he said.

"We are going to be an ISP here in Mountain View," Sacca said, adding that there are no plans at this time to put ads on the service.

Meanwhile, Google's free Wi-Fi service in San Francisco may or may not have advertisements, he said. "If we get to the point that we decide that providing ads to end users is a benefit, then we might do it," he said. Ads are "not driving this...For us it is much more of an experiment and a lofty social benefit."

He could not say when deployment might begin.

Transformers Movie Speculation Continues

(CGtalk.com) 'Transformers Fan' from Don Murphy Message Board has send us collective thoughts on the upcoming Transformers movie, shared on dozens of posts that he has put together. (With common miscommunication that occurs when posting in message boards, we update our story to reflect the true meaning of Don's rambling.)

In the first draft of the script there were 4 main characters (Transformers) on each side but the plans are to expand that to 5 on each side in the next script revision.

TF cast is composed of Optimus Prime, Jazz, Ratchet, Bumblebee and Arcee for the Autobots and Megatron, Soundwave and Starscream for the Decepticons. The remaining 2 Decepticons are yet to be determined.

As of now, Soundwave’s alternate mode is a helicopter, however Hasbro prefers Soundwave mass shift and the writers seem to be okay with it.

Hasbro seemed anxious to get Soundwave into musical form to unleash Ravage even if it made no sense. They wanted him to turn into something musical later in the story and spit CDS. Soundwave’s minions are to be included in the film and are said to be “part of him.”

Ratchet is currently set as a fire truck. The writers want to make him an ambulance, DreamWorks doesn't. Hasbro actually doesn't mind if he is an ambulance or a fire truck. Jazz will be some sort of sports car and Arcee will be some type of motorbike. DreamWorks is floating a proposal to all the car companies now and licenses being worked out.

The story that sets in Soutwest, USA will be about Autobots who have been on Earth for a long time, (possibly as far back as biblical times) and are engaged in hidden war with other transformers. It will told from human perspective.

There are currently no plans for a 2nd or 3rd film. Assuming the first film does well, 2 more are likely to follow.

The film is aimed to be rated either PG or PG-13 with a November 17th, 2006 release date. The script is expected to be done by July 1st, preproduction begins September 1st and filming begins December 1st. ILM is expect to do the effects.

Please Note: this is all subject to change.

http://www.dreamworksfansite.com/transformers/fullstory.php?id=1967

Union Deal Increases Animation Salaries and Benefits

(animationschoolreview.com) Animators across the country have something to celebrate. The negotiation team for their union worked out a deal with animation producers that will increase their animation salaries and benefits over the next few years.

The Animation World Network, a website dedicated to the animation industry, recently reported that the union representing animators struck a good deal with animation producers. Negotiators for the Animation Guild and Affiliated Optical Electronic and Graphic Arts, Local 839 IATSE, otherwise known as TAG, unanimously recommended that the Guild accept the terms of the agreement. A spokesperson for the union mentioned that union negotiators went into meetings with animation producer representatives from Adelaide Productions, the Cartoon Network, Disney, Warner Bros. Animation, Columbia, DreamWorks, Fox, MGM, and Universal with goals to increase animation salaries and pensions, as well as employer health and pension contributions for free-lance animators. They apparently achieved these goals.

Animation Salaries to Increase with Employment Longevity

The current agreement seems to increase animation salaries at a greater rate the longer an animator is employed with a studio. Under the terms of the deal, animation workers are only guaranteed a $0.75 increase in the weekly wage minimums after the first year of employment, but receive a compounded 3% animation salary increase after the 2nd and 3rd years of employment. This animation salary increase is commensurate with the increases achieved by unions representing live action members.

If you’re an aspiring animator that has yet to do work for a major studio, this news should encourage you to keep trying to get your foot in the door. Before this agreement was reached, many young animators suffered without healthcare and other benefits while earning their reputations doing freelance work. Today, even if you still have to work for peanuts before getting a break, you at least have the opportunity to earn health care benefits and add a little money to your retirement pension.

Gamblers Put Odds On Cars Opening Weekend

(showbizdata.com) One online oddsmaker is predicting that Disney/Pixar's Cars will earn more than 77 million this weekend. In order to win on the Curaçaon-based Pinnacle Sports website, winners will have to bet that it will make less than that amount. Another website, BetUS.com, is not quite so extravagant in its prediction, forecasting a take of more than $41.5 million for the three-day opening. Meanwhile, early reviews of the film are not encouraging. Variety comments, "With Cars, Pixar's enviable run of creative triumphs comes to a skidding stop." The Village Voice says that the movie moves at "a turgid pace, with all the traction of a boxcar going uphill in molasses." David Ansen in Newsweek was somewhat kinder, writing, "Cars inspires more admiration than elation. It dazzles even as it disappoints." On the other hand, Richard Corliss in Time pronounces Cars, "the first great movie of the summer."


-H

Posted by dschnee at June 8, 2006 07:16 AM

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