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June 12, 2006

Worth a Mention - June 12, 2006

Lucas Wants Connery For Indy 4

(comingsoon.net) Lucas was among those honoring Connery as he received the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award on Thursday. "I would love him to be in the next 'Indiana Jones'... maybe I can push him into it," said Lucas. When asked if he knew whether or not Connery wanted to appear in the film, Lucas said, "I think he does."

Lucas jokingly added, "We are writing him in whether he wants to do it or not."

Excuses Abound as Cars Under-Performs

(jimhillmedia.com) Disney's spin machine went into overdrive yesterday, as the Mouse tried to explain away why it wasn't actually disappointed that "Cars" (Which had originally been projected to take in $70 - $75 million) only managed to make $62.8 million over its opening weekend.

The good news is ... "Cars" was No. 1 at the box office this past weekend, raking in an estimated $62.8 million. Which (according to Box Office Mojo) gave this John Lasseter film the second highest opening weekend gross ever for a film that was released in the month of June (Only Warners' "Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban" -- which debuted back in June of 2004 -- earned more. Taking in $93.6 million over its opening weekend).

The bad news is ... $62.8 million is a figure that's significantly south of what had originally been projected for this Pixar Animation Studios production.

According to Chuck Viane, president of Buena Vista Pictures Distribution: "As far as expectations go, we've all grown accustomed to hitting home runs. And -- in anyone's ballpark -- $60 million is a home run. On Monday, 61 percent of (the children in the U.S. will be) out of school. Then a week from Monday, 81 percent. That's the great thing about the summer — it's not just about the weekend. The week takes on the aura of being a seven-day playdate."

On average -- tickets sales for a Pixar picture tend to drop off by 37.6% from that film's opening weekend to its second weekend in release ... Well, that indicates that Mickey probably doesn't have another "The Incredibles" or "Monsters, Inc." -sized hit on its hands.

That perhaps is the real problem here. That expectations were unnaturally high for "Cars." That -- given the $7.4 billion that the Walt Disney Company just paid out in order to acquire Pixar -- that the investment community unrealistically assumed that this animation studio's string of smash hit films would just go on forever.

Now that attention has turned toward how "Cars" performs during its second weekend in release, a lot of people at Pixar & Disney hoping and praying that moviegoers prefer Lightning McQueen over the more realistic street racers that can be seen in "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" (I.E. That Universal Pictures release that rolls into theaters next Friday).

Because if this new John Lasseter film actually follows current box office trends and its ticket sales fall off by more than 50% during this Walt Disney Pictures release's second weekend in theaters ... Well, Mickey may find himself with some real "Cars" trouble on his hands.

Paramount and Nick Pick Up CG Mayfly

(Variety) Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies have picked up the children's film pitch Mayfly from writing team Leo Benvenuti and Steve Rudnick, reports Variety.

The insects have a very short lifespan, with some living only for one day. The story concerns a mayfly who accidentally oversleeps and, with the help of a tortoise friend, discovers the value of living for the moment. Concept puts the opposing lifespans of the two creatures into play since tortoises often live close to 100 years.

Nick Movies executive Julia Pistor will produce the CG-animated project.

Feast Gets A Release Date - Outspoken FX Artist "Jazzed"

(moviehole.net) Was just talking to one of the producers of "Feast" , who has some good news for those who have been yanking for the film to hit the creamy screen. It's coming. I swear. September. September 22, to be exact.

The movie - which you'll recall was the result of the last "Project Greenlight" - will be released in several theatres, and then will hit DVD sometime near Halloween. So, a very quick window between the cinema release and the DVD release. Regardless, it's great that it's finally coming out - and on the big screen, the way a good ol' splatterfest should be seen.

Fangoria Magazine spoke recently to FX artist Gary Tunnicliffe, who revealed that plans finally seem to have been nailed down to get the movie on the big screen. “We were on the set of PULSE [on which Tunnicliffe and his Two Hours in the Dark company provided FX for extensive reshoots; more on that soon], and we were all going, ‘Look, when’s FEAST coming out?’ And the Dimension guys put their hands on their hearts and said, ‘October, Halloween, this year.’ It’ll be 200 screens, midnight shows I believe, followed by a big DVD release. So finally, people are going to get to see the movie.” Just as we were putting this item together, The Weinstein Company announced on its site that the opening date will be September 22; the size of the release has yet to be officially announced.

“I’m so jazzed about FEAST; people are gonna love it,” Tunnicliffe continues. “Like I’ve always said, I believe it will find its audience, and the audience will find FEAST. I think it will catch on like wildfire.”

That would be a happy ending for the John Gulager-directed film, which has been on Dimension’s shelf for some time now and whose often contentious production was opened for all of TV-land to see on the GREENLIGHT series. “People [who’ve seen the show] say, ‘Wow, I can’t believe you said some of the things you said,’ but the truth is, I could’ve been made to look a lot worse,” Tunnicliffe admits. “I said some pretty horrendous things—I was not backward about coming forward. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m pretty outspoken, and I have a big mouth. Some days I said things, and my crew would look at me wide-eyed, and then the cameras would leave and they’d go, ‘I don’t believe you said that, dude! You just said that guy was an asshole on camera!’ Ah well, it’s all in the heat of battle, who cares? But obviously, it was funny to be standing in a store in Hollywood later, and have someone walk up and say, ‘You’re the guy who said, “You’re the director, why don’t you f**king direct me,” right?’ ”

Harry Potter 5 Shoots In Italy

(comingsoon.net) An Italian newspaper reports this morning that crew and production team members from Order of the Phoenix have been visiting a series of small medieval towns in the Savona area (near Genoa), with a view to shooting part of the movie in Italy. I don't know how reliable this is, given they're not supposed to film outside the UK... Could it be a second-unit crew? The mayor of Balestrino (one of the small towns) says people from WB have "surveyed" the locations, but are yet to get in touch with the local administration. But they said they loved the atmosphere: this part of Italy offers breathtaking landscapes, what with both the Tirreno sea and the Alps being close by. There's also a centuries-old sanctuary to the Virgin Mary, which would make striking background scenery...

The Mayor also says WB asked him to postpone any plans of renovation and repair to the ancient buildings - apparently, they don't want building sites and scaffoldings in the movie... The fact they could come in Italy to film something is important majorly because no HP movie has been filmed outside UK as I remember (maybe I'm wrong)

Superman Returns Gets Spider-Man 3 Teaser

(CGtalk.com) Director Sam Raimi revealed during an interview with Superhero Hype! that the first teaser trailer for "Spider-Man 3" will accompany the theatrical release of "Superman Returns."

Project 880 Sequel In The Works

(cinescape.com) Casting has begun for James Cameron's first major motion picture since TITANIC, PROJECT 880.

The story of PROJECT 880 is set in the future and follows Jake, a paraplegic war veteran who is taken to another planet. The planet, Pandora, is inhabited by the Na'vi, a humanoid race with their own language and culture.

Moviecitynews posted the casting details and what they are looking for in each character. For Jake, the male lead, they want: Early- mid 20's. Caucasian. Angry and jaded, he harbors a grudge against the world and his current situation. Highly intelligent and creative, he hides his softer side behind a thick wall of issues. Having suffered great tragedy, he is scarred both emotionally and physically. His encounters with the local indigenous culture changes his life.

Casting details:

[JAKE (FORMERLY YOUNG MALE LEAD)] Early- mid 20's. Caucasian. Angry and jaded, he harbors a grudge against the world and his current situation. Highly intelligent and creative, he hides his softer side behind a thick wall of issues. Having suffered great tragedy, he is scarred both emotionally and physically. His encounters with the local indigenous culture changes his life.

[NEYTIRI (FORMERLY YOUNG FEMALE LEAD)] 16 - mid 20's. Female. Any ethnicity, including Caucasian, but exotic in some way…"other". Jake's lover and teacher, a Na'vi native of Pandora. She moves and behaves with confidence and a sense of nobility. Lithe as a cat. Athletic and agile, she is a warrior. Graceful movement and an ear for languages and dialects are essential.

[GRACE (FORMERLY THE MENTOR)] There is no need to submit on this role.

[NORM] (mid 20's) A scientist who has trained for years to come and work on Pandora with the Na'vi. Can be American or from another country. He feels that he has been pushed aside by Jake, but eventually they come to respect each others strengths. He has an unlikely relationship with Trudy and can't get over her interest in him. Not something he has experienced a lot. Physical agility and an ear for languages and dialects are essential.

[AKWEY] (mid to late 30's) Male Any ethnicity, including Caucasian. A Na'vi who has volunteered to work with the humans. He is a quietly noble presence. Someone to trust implicitly. His relationship with one of the human doctors is touching in its unrequited intensity. Physical agility and an ear for languages and dialects are essential.

[TSU'TEY] (early to mid 20s). Male. Any ethnicity, including Caucasian. A Na'vi who has been chosen to be Neytiri's mate...until Jake comes along. Groomed as the next leader of the tribe, he has a potentially explosive personality. But we must also be able to see his vulnerability when he comes to realize that to save his people he must trust the man he hates most. Physical agility and an ear for languages and dialects are essential.

[QUARITCH] (40-50) Male American. A seasoned Marine Corps colonel who has come to Pandora to be in charge of the troops. One side of his face is twisted by scars from an encounter with some Pandoran predator. He is calm and focused. He has trained his whole life for a war and wants to fight one here. He believes he is doing the right thing.

[SELFRIDGE] (35-50) Station supervisor. Male. American. A smart, forceful, charismatic man who is utterly focused on the success of the operation of Pandora. His calm, almost breezy style belies an absolute ruthlessness in the pursuit of his goals. Like his historical prototypes, the governors of Spanish and English colonies in the Americas, his mission is to overcome all obstacles to gain a foothold in the new world, and more importantly, show a return on the staggering investment. Think of him as a classy, young, ambitious agent.

[TRUDY CHACON] 25-35. Female. Tough, serious, straight-laced ex-Marine pilot. She has an unlikely relationship with Norm. She can't believe this smart scientist thinks she is so cool. And he has never met a woman like her and can't get over her interest in him.

PROJECT 880 is Cameron's first major motion picture since TITANIC. The film will use Cameron's his new digital 3-D technology to film the movie.

PROJECT 880 is aiming for a 2008 release with a sequel already in the works.

Peter Jackson Likes Bending Spoons

(uk.news.yahoo.com) The Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson is reportedly close to signing a deal with celebrity spoon-bender Uri Geller to turn his novel into a movie.

Ella, which charts the story of a young teenager who discovers she has psychic powers, will be a low-budget British-based project, Geller hopes.

The psychic met the New Zealand film-maker last month (MAY06) to discuss the venture, and wowed the director with his trademark metal-bending powers.

Geller says, "I gave the book to Peter Jackson two weeks ago.

"I'm keeping my fingers crossed because it's an incredible novel. Ella has some kind of power in it so I believe, if it's done in the right way, it'll be a spectacular film.

"Peter was definitely impressed though. And he even filmed me spoon-bending."

For Indian Superstar, "VFX is the way of the future."

(animationxpress.com) Superstar Shah Rukh Khan really meant it when he remarked,"I want to open my own VFX studio" in a recent interview to a business daily.

Located at Khar in Mumbai, Red Chillies Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. the entertainment company owned by King Khan recently kickstarted its VFX division 'Red Chillies-VFX'.

Shah Rukh who is currently shooting in Kuala Lampur for Farhan Akhtar's Don commented “VFX is the way of the future. I personally believe that with all the colour, charm, passion and the lyricism that already exists in hindi cinema, the way to enhance the romance of films is going to be through the addition of VFX in our technique of cinema. Technology can only better the process of story telling and narration. It is a tool which the largest film-making nation in the world cannot afford to ignore!"

"Also, it is necessary to develop our own system as somehow the understanding of VFX in an Indian way is important because it will help us retain our USP of films and not end up being a reflection of the western way of thinking when it comes to effects. VFX is the next big addition to our films and needs to be nurtured and developed if our films have to truly get international in the near future” added Khan.

"Technology giant HP is providing end to end solutions for our studio. Our team size is currently close to 25 - 30 artists and technicians and we are looking to ramp up to a team strength of 100 in a couple of years time" he added.

CGI Festival UK Coming Soon

The CGI Festival in 2004 was launched to provide creative artists in the UK a showcase of the latest CGI work in Film, Television and Games development. It provided an opportunity to participate in Master classes, Technical Presentations as well as technique based sessions from some of the World's leading artists on the exhibition floor. Over 1,500 people attended the event, with many of the conference sessions sold out.

We are now delighted to announce that our 2006 dates for this bi-annual event will be made available shortly. Once again, we are planning to present world class speakers from the world of 3D and all areas of computer graphics. The event will take place in London in November.

Please be sure to check back to the web site for regular updates to the event and our plans for what will be a very exciting event.

Check it out: http://www.cgifestival.co.uk/


Posted by dschnee at June 12, 2006 06:57 AM


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