Archive for the ‘Animation’ Category

Competing for Gamers’ Hearts and Minds

Video game sales failed to live up to high hopes in December, with total industry sales falling 21 percent to $3.99 billion from $5.07 billion a year ago.

For the year, game sales were $17.02 billion, down 8 percent from $18.59 billion a year ago, according to market researcher NPD Group.

The poor performance of video game sales in physical retail stores masks what’s really happening.

Gamers are shifting their purchases to online, social and mobile forms of gaming — dubbed digital gaming — while the retail side is shrinking fast.

The growth in digital isn’t quite big enough to offset the shrinking retail numbers.

In December, hardware sales were down 28 percent while software was down 14 percent.

Full told, the estimated total consumer spending on games includes physical video and retail games, used games, game rentals, subscriptions, full-game digital downloads, social network games, downloadable content, and mobile games. Not counting hardware, this had estimated sales of $16.3 to $16.6 billion in 2011, down about 2 percent or so from a year ago.

Hardware sales were down 11 percent for the year, as were accessories. Software was down 6 percent. New physical retail sales of portable, console and PC games were $9.3 billion in 2011, down 8 percent from $10.1 billion in 2010. Sales grew for used games, full-game digital downloads, downloadable content, and mobile gaming apps.

“Overall industry results are not entirely surprising given that we are on the back end of the current console lifecycle, combined with the continued digital evolution of gaming,” said Anita Frazier, analyst at the NPD Group. “Core gamers continue to be engaged and spend on established franchises across both the digital and physical format using multiple devices for different gaming occasions.”

Shed added, “Our overall estimate of the market continues to point toward the increased imperative for deeper visibility into digital distribution than is available today, not only in the U.S. but globally.”

NPD is working with research company EEDAR to try to come up with more accurate numbers for global digital and physical game sales worldwide.

For the full year, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 was the best-selling game, and it took the top honors in December. Just Dance 3 from Ubisoft was No. 2, followed by Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim from Bethesda Softworks, Battlefield 3 from Electronic Arts, and Madden NFL2012.

During the year, Microsoft said it sold 1.7 million Xbox 360 consoles in December and it was the top console seller in 2011. Microsoft also said it outside the second-place player by more than 2.7 million units. It captured about 49 percent of consumer retail spending at $6.7 billion in sales for 2011. Of that, $2.1 billion was spent on accessories such as Microsoft’s Kinect motion-sensing system.

Microsoft said it has sold 66 million Xbox 360s, has 40 million Xbox Live members, and has sold more than 18 million Kinect sensors. Microsoft said it ended the year with 40 percent share of the console hardware market.

Sony said it sold 6.5 million PlayStation 3 consoles in the holiday season.

source: http://dailybitenews.com/?p=7011

Visual Effects Bill of Rights draws a line in the sand

The Visual Effects Society, the industry’s organization of visual effects artists and technicians, today released a Bill of Rights designed to call attention to problems affecting its membership and Hollywood. The document follows an open letter to the entertainment industry by the VES, which cited a downward spiral of working conditions and benefits as well as earnings for effects pros around the globe.  “In the VES open letter, we said it was time to step up as the voice of the visual effects industry by talking to all parties regarding their concerns,” said exec director Eric Roth. “At this time we have engaged in a vigorous dialog with key stakeholders at all levels and believe our Bill of Rights lays out the vital concerns of each segment of the industry. Our next step is to focus on bringing all parties together to seek solutions.”

source: deadlinehollywood.com

While training and education are crucial to supporting the VFX and Animation industries here at home, what this bill of rights actually reveals is that much of the labor continues to be outsourced to India and China, where working conditions are not regulated and wages are minimal.  Every U.S. industry faces this harsh reality. Despite the fact that we remain the leader in creation of filmed entertainment, producers are content to have the work done in sweatshops around the world, rather than maintain a talent base here at home.

Scott Arundale

The Bloom is off the Rose: 3D market being reconsidered by the industry

We knew it would come to this.  My kids who are fairly tech savvy even sniff at the 3D glasses now.  They could care less and tell me that it’s just another way to charge more.  The post production industry is still hoping for a windfall when it comes time to retrofit the enormous back library of titles and present them in 3D.  I am very interested to see how Titanic does when it returns next spring in stereo.

This article by David Lieberman at Deadline.com:

Investors are jumping on the anti-3D bandwagon as the weekend’s lackluster sales of 3D tickets for DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 2 seemed to confirm that audiences are fed up with the higher prices exhibitors are charging for the immersive visual experience. Shares of 3D technology company RealD were down 12% in mid-day trading to $27 — amounting to a 23% decline over the last two weeks. Even with the drop, RealD shares are up nearly 40% from this time last year. Investors appear to be more disenchanted with DreamWorks Animation, which is making all of its films in 3D. Its shares were off 3.3% at midday to about $24 — which is down nearly 20% vs this time last year. 3D tickets accounted for about 45% of Panda’s domestic box office revenues. By contrast, last year DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek Forever Aftergenerated 60% of its opening-weekend revenues from 3D, even though it was on 343 fewer 3D screens, Lazard Capital Markets analyst Barton Crockett notes. Wall Street’s most vocal critic of 3D — BTIG’s Richard Greenfield — reiterated his “sell” recomendation for DreamWorks Animation and lowered his 2011 earnings estimate for the company to $1.54 a share, from $1.81. The company’s movies “have not lived up to expectations and the global DVD market is in a free fall as consumers continue to shift from buying to renting.”

And the NY Times weighed in after the long holiday weekend:

Has the 3-D boom already gone bust? It’s starting to look that way — at least for American moviegoers — even as Hollywood prepares to release a glut of the gimmicky pictures.

Ripples of fear spread across Hollywood last week after “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” which cost Walt Disney Studios an estimated $400 million to make and market, did poor 3-D business in North America. While event movies have typically done 60 percent of their business in 3-D, “Stranger Tides” sold just 47 percent in 3-D. “The American consumer is rejecting 3-D,” Richard Greenfield, an analyst at the financial services company BTIG, wrote of the “Stranger Tides” results.

One movie does not make a trend, but the Memorial Day weekend did not give studio chiefs much comfort in the 3-D department. “Kung Fu Panda 2,” a Paramount Pictures release of a DreamWorks Animation film, sold $53.8 million in tickets from Thursday to Sunday, a soft total, and 3-D was 45 percent of the business, according to Paramount.

Consumer rebellion over high 3-D ticket prices plays a role, and the novelty of putting on the funny glasses is wearing off, analysts say. But there is also a deeper problem: 3-D has provided an enormous boost to the strongest films, including “Avatar” and “Alice in Wonderland,” but has actually undercut middling movies that are trying to milk the format for extra dollars.

“Audiences are very smart,” said Greg Foster, the president of Imax Filmed Entertainment. “When they smell something aspiring to be more than it is, they catch on very quickly.”

Muddying the picture is a contrast between the performance of 3-D movies in North America and overseas. If results are troubling domestically, they are the exact opposite internationally, where the genre is a far newer phenomenon. Indeed, 3-D screenings powered “Stranger Tides” to about $256 million on its first weekend abroad; Disney trumpeted the figure as the biggest international debut of all time.

With results like that at a time when movies make 70 percent of their total box office income outside North America, do tastes at home even matter?

After a disappointing first half of the year, Hollywood is counting on a parade of 3-D films to dig itself out of a hole. From May to September, the typical summer season, studios will unleash 16 movies in the format, more than double the number last year. Among the most anticipated releases are “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” due from Paramount on July 1, and Part 2 of Part 7 of the “Harry Potter” series, arriving two weeks later from Warner Brothers.

The need is urgent. The box-office performance in the first six months of 2011 was soft — revenue fell about 9 percent compared with last year, while attendance was down 10 percent — and that comes amid decay in home-entertainment sales. In all formats, including paid streaming and DVDs, home entertainment revenue fell almost 10 percent, according to the Digital Entertainment Group.

The first part of the year held a near collapse in video store rentals, which fell 36 percent to about $440 million, offsetting gains from cut-price rental kiosks and subscriptions. In addition, the sale of packaged discs fell about 20 percent, to about $2.2 billion, while video-on-demand, though growing, delivered total sales of less than a quarter of that amount.

At the box office, animated films, which have recently been Hollywood’s most reliable genre, have fallen into a deep trough, as the category’s top three performers combined — “Rio,” from Fox; “Rango,” from Paramount; and “Hop,” from Universal — have had fewer ticket buyers than did “Shrek the Third,” from DreamWorks Animation, after its release in mid-May four years ago.

“Kung Fu Panda 2” appears poised to become the biggest animated hit of the year so far; but it would have to stretch well past its own predecessor to beat “Shrek Forever After,” another May release, which took in $238.7 million last year.

For the weekend, “The Hangover: Part II” sold $118 million from Thursday to Sunday, easily enough for No. 1. “Kung Fu Panda 2” was second. Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” was third with $39.3 million for a new total of $152.9 million. “Bridesmaids” (Universal Pictures) was fourth with $16.4 million for a new total of about $85 million. “Thor” (Marvel Studios) rounded out the top five with $9.4 million for a new total of $160 million.

Studio chiefs acknowledge that the industry needs to sort out its 3-D strategy. Despite the soft results for “Kung Fu Panda 2,” animated releases have continued to perform well in the format, overcoming early problems with glasses that didn’t fit little faces. But general-audience movies like “Stranger Tides” may be better off the old-fashioned way.

“With a blockbuster-filled holiday weekend skewing heavily toward 2-D, and 3-D ticket sales dramatically underperforming relative to screen allocation, major studios will hopefully begin to rethink their 3-D rollout plans for the rest of the year and 2012,” Mr. Greenfield said on Friday.

End of Year B.O. tallies suggest that 3D is cannibalizing the industry

Nikki Finke reports on the dilemma facing distributors with regards to the new technology and ticket pricing:

The Top 5 Grossing Movies of 2010 in North America were Toy Story 3 (3D – Disney/Pixar), Alice In Wonderland (3D – Disney), Iron Man 2 (2D – Disney/Marvel distributed by Paramount), The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2D – Summit Entertainment), and Inception (2D – Warner Bros/Legendary Pictures). Interesting how not all were 3D despite the higher ticket prices, which has prompted one prominent media analyst this week to call on the movie industry to scale back on the number of 3D movies it has planned because demand for them is lessening and 3D is “not the panacea which Hollywood studios hoped it would be”, says Rich Greenfield.

He notes that total movie industry box office is down over $152M or 30% year-over-year. And 4th quarter-to-date, box office is now down over 8% and could easily end the quarter down 9% given how poorly newly opened films are performing. In turn, attendance for Q4 2010 will likely be down around 12% – “a staggering number for an industry that expected 3D technology to motivate people to get out of their houses and go to the movies,” he says. ”The U.S. consumer is becoming increasingly less interested in 3D movies. While the horror and gross-out comedy genres may benefit from 3D (think Saw 3D or Jackass 3D), the vast majority of 3D movies this year have been disappointing at best (the exceptions being Alice in WonderlandToy Story 3, and Despicable Me).”

Greenfield calls this “A Recipe for Disaster: Hollywood is combining substantial price increases ($3.25 3D upcharge is the average in the US on a $7.00-$7.25 average 2D ticket), with annoying glasses that substantially dim the light of a movie and which young children spend more time playing with than wearing, with sub-par content (not to mention the fact that 3D gives some people headaches and others cannot see 3D imagery at all). While you may think of us as the ‘3D Grinch’, we fundamentally believe content and story are the key factors to success and that technology alone is not a long-term path to success or profits. The movie industry should reduce the number of 3D movies it has planned or at least substantially scale back the upcharge as they are simply charging way too much for poor content. Did a Jack Black comedy, Gulliver’s Travels really need to be in 3D? We suspect even if the movie was bad, lowering pricing (to 2D levels) would have ended up selling more tickets.”

Although others’ projections for 2011 and 2012 box office are upbeat, Greenfield maintains that weak box office is likely to accelerate studio plans for early release premium Video-On-Demand. “While the exhibitors continue to focus on the risks to cutting into their 4-month release window, we suspect the weakness in exhibition attendance trends is likely to provoke Hollywood to accelerate their plans to release movies earlier in the home. Studios need to find new revenue streams to bolster movie profits in 2011 and beyond. We continue to expect multiple studios to begin trialing early-release, premium-priced VOD by late Q1 2011/early Q2 2011.”

Perhaps video gaming is good for a child’s mind

NPR’s Michelle Trudeau reports on a fascinating new study that suggests hours in front of the gaming console may be time well spent for developing minds.  What is not up for debate in the study are the consequences of exposing our children to an ultra-violent world of savagery and gruesome images such as CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS , a frame grab of which is depicted below.

Parents, the next time you fret that your child is wasting too much time playing video games, consider new research suggesting that video gaming may have real-world benefits for your child’s developing brain.

Daphne Bavelier is professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester. She studies young people playing action video games. Having now conducted more than 20 studies on the topic, Bavelier says, “It turns out that action video games are far from mindless.”

Her studies show that video gamers show improved skills in vision, attention and certain aspects of cognition. And these skills are not just gaming skills, but real-world skills. They perform better than non-gamers on certain tests of attention, speed, accuracy, vision and multitasking, says Bavelier.

Seeing Shades Of Gray

Vision, for example, is improved in gamers. Specifically, the kind of vision called “contrast sensitivity,” that is, the ability to see subtle shades of gray.

“And this is a skill that comes in very handy if you’re driving in fog,” Bavelier says. “Seeing the car ahead of you is determined by your contrast sensitivity.” Skilled gamers also are able to see smaller type size than non-gamers on vision tests.

But Bavelier wanted to know which came first: Is better vision caused by playing action video games, or is better vision a skill that gamers bring to the table? Perhaps, Bavelier wondered, gamers already have sharp vision, and are thus good at action games and vision tests.

To check this out, Bavelier recruited non-gamers and trained them for a few weeks to play action video games. “At the end of their training,” Bavelier says, “they’re told, go back home. No more gaming. They’re not allowed to play any games.”

Then they came back into the lab every few months to have their vision re-checked.

Bavelier found that their vision remained improved, even without further practice on action video games. “We looked at the effect of playing action games on this visual skill of contrast sensitivity, and we’ve seen effects that last up to two years.”

Gamers, Bavelier has also found, have better attention than non-gamers — they stay focused. She gave gamers several tests to measure attention and found that gamers get less distracted by what came before and by events in their surroundings.

Laser Focus

They are able to detect, for example, new information coming at them faster. So as a result, they are more efficient. And Bavelier also says that gamers can switch from task to task much faster than non-gamers, making them better multitaskers.

Body Moving Games

Gaming may improve children’s cognitive skills, but it’s not without drawbacks: There’s a lot of evidence showing a correlation between gaming and childhood obesity. New devices — like Nintendo Wii, PlayStation Move or Kinect for Xbox 360 — might help game lovers get off the couch, but do games used with these systems show the same potential to improve a child’s aptitude for tests and other challenges?

Not really, says Daphne Bavelier, a brain and cognitive sciences researcher at the University of Rochester. “Those games typically don’t have the same effect [on the brain],” she says.

At the same time, she said some studies have found that exercise itself can have an impact on the cognitive skills of older adults, but she says that we don’t know yet whether the same is true for the younger set.

“We see that typically in people that don’t play action games, their reaction time [on tests of multitasking] lengthened by 200 milliseconds, which is something like 30 percent,” Bavelier says. “But in gamers, it lengthened only by 10 percent.”

Closing The Gender Gap

Brain researcher Jay Pratt, professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, has studied the differences between men and women in their ability to mentally manipulate 3-D figures. This skill is called spatial cognition, and it’s an essential mental skill for math and engineering. Typically, Pratt says, women test significantly worse than men on tests of spatial cognition.

But Pratt found in his studies that when women who’d had little gaming experience were trained on action video games, the gender difference nearly disappeared.

After 10 hours of training, Pratt brought the women back to the lab and gave them the spatial cognition test again.

“And we found that the women improved substantially, and almost caught up to the men’s scores,” he says.

Pratt also investigated another area of spatial cognition called “the useful field of view,” which is essentially how much of the visual field a person can perceive at any given moment. In other words, as Pratt describes it, “How wide can you cast your net of attention?”

Typically, there are baseline differences between men and women on this test, with men performing significantly better. But Pratt found that training on action video games enabled women to significantly improve on this test of visual attention.

Pratt says playing these video games changes your ability to learn, and to find and integrate new information.

“Video game players are able to pick up very subtle, statistical irregularities in environments and use them to their advantage,” Pratt says. “And these same irregularities in environments are the things that help us guide our behaviors on a daily basis.”

Game Console Artists

To better understand how gamers acquire these non-gaming skills, neuroscientist Lauren Sergio, of York University in Toronto, looks inside the brain. She’s found an important difference between gamers and non-gamers in how and where the brain processes information. She likens skilled gamers to musicians.

“If you look at professional piano players, professional musicians, you see this phenomena where they don’t activate as much of their brain to do very complicated things with their hands that the rest of us need to do. And we found that the gamers did this as well.”

Skilled gamers mainly use their frontal cortex, according to Sergio’s fMRI studies. That’s an area of the brain specialized for planning, attention and multitasking. Non-gamers, in contrast, predominately use an area called the parietal cortex, the part of the brain specializing in visual spatial functions.

“The non-gamers had to think a lot more and use a lot more of the workhorse parts of their brains for eye-hand coordination,” Sergio says. “Whereas the gamers really didn’t have to use that much brain at all, and they just used these higher cognitive centers to do it.”

So the next time you despair that your child is immersed, yet again, in an action video game, remember: Gaming can improve some important skills.

Bavelier hopes that more action video games will be developed that train these skills without the violence found in the typical games available today. And all the researchers suggest that parents should limit their kids’ time on video games. Moderation, they say, is the key.

Epic, Epic, Epic : Peter Jackson buys the new Red camera in bulk for The Hobbit

The train appears to be leaving the station as another “A-List” director, Bryan Singer endorses the new Red Camera system known as Epic:

From: bleedingcool.com

In my youth, Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon was almost an mythical movie, and a big part of the myth revolved around the “special lenses” that Kubrick used to shoot the film. Made by Zeiss from NASA-developed still-camera lenses, they allowed Kubrick and cinematographer John Alcott to shoot a number of scenes in the film that were lit entirely by candlelight.

From what I keep reading about its capabilities, I think Kubrick would have loved the upcoming Red EPIC camera, and here’s one hint as to why.

Bryan Singer has personally stopped by the Red User forums to leave a Christmas Eve message, revealing just a little of what he’s planning for his next picture:

I’m very much looking forward to using the EPIC Red for my next movie Jack the Giant Killer which will be shot in, what else, 3D. The camera’s incredibly compact size and extraordinary resolution are ideal for the 3D format.

But more importantly Jack the Giant Killer is my first movie set in a time before electricity. The EPIC’s extraordinary exposure latitude will allow me to more effectively explore the use of natural light.

“More importantly”? Yeah, I’m sure some people are going to read that as anti-3D sentiment. Either way, I’m reckoning that this is going to be a wonderfully shot movie and to know that Singer is feeling ambitious about the cinematography is nicely encouraging.

Update: 12.17.10

From Jim Jannard and Darius Wolski, A.S.C.

Ridley Scott’s upcoming Science Fiction film, which begins principal photography this spring, will be shot on EPIC.

“In my opinion, the new Red Epic camera is about to revolutionize all spectrums of the film industry.

I am going to use Epics in my new project directed by Ridley Scott. I am amazed with the quality of the image and the fact that you can shoot 5k at 120fps without compromising resolution, and most of all the size of the camera.

Combined with the Element Technica Atom 3d rig, we will be able to shoot a 3d movie with the flexibility of a conventional cinema camera.

I don’t see anything that comes close to it at the moment. I can’t even imagine the potential Epic will have on the big blockbuster industry as well as independent cinema.”

11.28.10 from Jim Jannard, owner and developer of the Red Camera systems:

Peter Jackson’s two film adaptation of The Hobbit will be shot in 3D using RED DIGITAL CINEMA’S soon to be released EPIC Digital Cameras.

The Hobbit will be amongst the first productions in the world to use the EPIC and at least thirty cameras will be required by the 3-D production. The EPIC’S small size and relatively low weight, makes it perfect for 3-D – where two cameras have to be mounted on each 3D rig.

The successor to RED’s industry changing RED ONE, the EPIC has 5K resolution, can shoot up to 120 frames per second and has a new HDRx™™ mode for the highest dynamic range of any digital cinema camera ever made. Taking everything they had learned from building their first camera, RED designed the EPIC from scratch and have produced a smaller, lighter camera that is an order of magnitude more powerful.

Jackson has a long history with RED, dating back to when he directed the short film ‘Crossing the Line’ as a very early test of prototype RED ONE cameras. “I have always liked the look of Red footage.” he says, “I’m not a scientist or mathematician, but the image Red produces has a much more filmic feel than most of the other digital formats. I find the picture quality appealing and attractive, and with the Epic, Jim and his team have gone even further. It is a fantastic tool, the Epic not only has cutting edge technology, incredible resolution and visual quality, but it is also a very practical tool for film makers. Many competing digital systems require the cameras to be tethered to large cumbersome VTR machines. The Epic gives us back the ability to be totally cable free, even when working in stereo.”

Jim Jannard the owner and founder of RED flew to New Zealand earlier this year with members of his team so that Jackson could test the EPIC and assess its suitability. “Everybody at RED is incredibly proud that Peter has chosen the Epic” says Jannard, “The Hobbit is a major production, and could have chosen any camera system that they wanted. The fact that they went with us is extremely gratifying.”

The Hobbit will start shooting in New Zealand early next year.

Jim

Holographic Video moves closer to reality

Scientists say they have taken a big step toward displaying live video in three dimensions — a technology far beyond 3-D movies and more like the “Star Wars” scene in which a ghostly Princess Leia image pleads, “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi.

In that classic movie, the audience sees her back before a new camera perspective shows her face. Such a wraparound view of a moving image was just movie-trick fantasy in the 1977 film, but now?

“It is actually very, very close to reality. We have demonstrated the concept that it works. It’s no longer something that is science fiction,” said Nasser Peyghambarian of the University of Arizona.

Actually, the results he and colleagues report in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature look more like a slide show than a video. In experiments, the technology displayed a new image only every two seconds. That’s only about one-sixtieth as fast as the system would need to produce true video.

The image also gave only a 45-degree range of viewing angles because the original was shot with 16 cameras in an arc.

But Peyghambarian figures that with more development — and more cameras — his team can produce a true 3-D video screen that might reach living rooms in perhaps a decade. And you wouldn’t need those funny glasses to enjoy it.

Apart from the possibilities for entertainment, it might allow doctors in multiple places around the world to collaborate on live surgery, he said. If the screen were placed flat on a table, they could get a 360-degree view by walking around, just as if the patient were lying there.

While the 3-D image would not actually be projected into the air, that’s how it would appear to a person looking into the screen.

Other possibilities, Peyghambarian said, including eye-catching ads at shopping malls and a technique to enable designers of cars or airplanes to make changes more quickly. Live 3-D video could also help the military train troops, he said.

We see objects by perceiving the light that bounces off them. Peyghambarian’s technology uses holograms, two-dimensional images that reconstruct the light that would have bounced off a physical object, making it look 3-D.

In contrast, technology used for 3-D movies like “Avatar” or the election-night “hologram” of a CNN reporter in 2008 produces images that don’t show different views from different angles, as a genuine hologram or a real object does, Peyghambarian said.

Many people have seen holograms of still images. The Arizona group is one of maybe half a dozen around the world that are trying to move that technology into 3-D video, said V. Michael Bove Jr. of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab.

Bove said several groups, including his own, have in fact produced such videos, achieving the magic rate of 30 frames a second. But those displays are only about the size of a postcard or smaller, he said, and one big challenge is how to make the display bigger.

The Arizona group uses a plastic plate that stores and displays an image until another image is written electronically on it. That approach might someday allow for much bigger images, said Bove, who is collaborating with the Arizona researchers but did not participate in the new study.

Peyghambarian said he now gets an image every two seconds on a 4-by-4-inch device. His team also has a 1-foot-square plate, but that takes longer to replace images.

He would like to scale up to plates about 6 or 8 feet square to show people at full size, so they could appear at meetings without having to actually show up.

His work was sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the military.

Bove compared the state of holographic video research to that of developing television about 80 years ago. Different groups are taking different approaches, and it is not clear which technology will prove best, he said.

In any case, he said, the Arizona system “produces bright, sharp holographic images…. This thing is beautiful.”

Source: Detroit Free Press

Location Filmmaking 2011 Finalists Announced

Dodge College of Film and Media Arts announced today the finalists for the new Location Filmmaking program.  During the month of January, two films will be shot, one a live action 3D film lead by Bill Dill, A.S.C. and the other a film combining live action and visual effects lead by Scott Arundale.  The completed films will be presented in the Folino Theater on Friday, April 29th at 7pm.

The two teams selected for either 3D or VFX film projects will be announced November 20.

***************************************************************************************

3D Location Finalists

Cottontail by James Humphreys

Director:  Rob Himebaugh

Producer: Natalie Testa

Cinematographer: Scotty Field

Editor: Arica Westadt

Sound Designer: Sean Yap

Production Designer: Ryan Phillips

**********************************

Gift of the Maggie by Ben Kepner

Director:  Chris Bryant

Producers: Jane Winternitz & Samantha Price

Cinematographer: Greg Cotton

Stereographer: Tashi Trieu

Editors: Chase Ogden & Matt Kendrick

Production Designer: Jeanette Sanker

**********************************

The Harvest by Turner Jacobs

Director:  Alexander Gaeta

Producer: Missy Laney

Cinematographer: Trevor Wineman

Stereographer: Andrew Finch

Editor: Ryan Kaplan

Sound Designer: Cody Peterson

Production Designer: Christy Gray

**********************************

A Smart Fly by Brandon Wade

Director:  Brandon Wade

Producer: Zach Mason

Cinematographer: Jason Bonninger

Editor: Sean Yap

Sound Designer: Andres de la Torre

Production Designer: Scheherazade Dadci

**********************************

VFX Location Finalists

A Good Man by Gary Alvarez

Director:  Gary Alvarez

Producer: Ayelet Bick

Cinematographer: David Rivera

VFX Supervisor: Alessandro Struppa

Editor: Jonathan Melin

Sound Designer: Affan Tanner

Production Designer: Micah Embry

**********************************

A Nervous Wreck by Jonathan Thompson and Norm Leonard

Director:  Jonathan Thompson

Producer:  Renee Mignosa

Cinematographer: John MacDonald

Editor: Andrew Carney

Sound Designer: Jeff Brown

Production Designer: Lauren DeWitt

**********************************

Prey by David Thompson

Director: Jack Brungardt

Producer: Ian Dalesky

Cinematographer: Michael Althaus

VFX Supervisor: Bryan Chojnowski

Editor: Alex Griffin

Sound Designer: Derek Beamer

Production Designer: Kaitlin Kubiak

**********************************

Time Capsule by Ira Parker

Director:  Shane McCarthy

Producer: Samer Imam

Cinematographer: Jared Wheeler

VFX Supervisor: Nader Owies

Editor: Affan Tanner

Sound Designer: Chris Mastellone

3D Television Net plans ambitious slate

The 3D joint venture between Sony, Imax and Discovery unveiled a large and exclusive slate of first run series of original programming and acquisitions. Tom Cosgrove, President and CEO made the announcement of native 3D programs that willl air 24/7 when the channel launches in 2011.

The channel will feature one of the most extensive libraries of 3D content in genres that are most appealing in 3D, including natural history, adventure, theatrical releases and IMAX movies.

The series and films announced today are (in alphabetical order):

Original Series

Abandoned Planet

Explore the strangest places on earth — entire cities now completely devoid of all humanity.  This series of one-hour programs sheds light on why people have abandoned the places they once called home and what happens after they leave.  Produced by Flight 33 Productions.

Africa in 3D

From Gannet Island and its 100,000 seabirds of the same name sharing one giant rock, the 60,000 flamingos at Kamfers Dam, the Luangwa River and its 30,000 hippos and much more, this series of one-hour programs captures the richness and diversity of the world’s second-largest continent.  Produced by Aquavision Television Productions.

China

China’s beauty is little seen, often hidden and always surprising.  This hour-long series studies the thronging cities, epic vistas and spiritual heartlands of this huge and mysterious nation in stunning 3D.  Produced by Natural History New Zealand Ltd. (NHNZ).

Jewels of the World

This hour-long series gives viewers unprecedented access to UNESCO’s ‘World Heritage’ sites, where the planet’s natural and cultural gems are catalogued and protected, including:  the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu, Peru; the Temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia; and the Grand Canyon National Park in the United States, among others.  Produced by Natural History New Zealand Ltd. (NHNZ).

Exclusive U.S. Premieres

Attack of the Giant Jellyfish (Discovery)

This hour-long program explores the myths and realities behind the global explosion of deadly jellyfish, including the giant Nomura, whose strength and size makes them capable of capsizing boats and wreaking havoc on the high seas.  Produced by Story House Productions.

The Haunted (Discovery)

Using infrared cameras and sensitive recording devices, a paranormal team investigates true, chilling and terrifying stories of animals and their owners who are experiencing the unexplainable.  This one-hour program is produced by Picture Shack Entertainment.

Into the Deep 3D (IMAX)

This IMAX special takes audiences on a spectacular three-dimensional exploration of the undersea world. Using the IMAX 3D camera in its underwater housing for the first time, this film captures unique marine life and magnificent underwater vistas.

Magnificent Desolation:  Walking on the Moon 3D (IMAX)

Through the magic of IMAX 3D, narrator Tom Hanks takes viewers to the lunar surface to walk alongside the 12 extraordinary astronauts who have been there to experience what they saw, heard, felt, thought and did.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Sony)

Inspired by the beloved children’s book of the same name, this animated 3D feature follows inventor Flint Lockwood and a brainy weathergirl as they attempt to discover why the rain in their small town has stopped, and food is falling in its place.

Monster House (Sony)

A suburban home has become physically animated by a vengeful human soul looking to stir up trouble from beyond the grave, and it’s up to three adventurous kids from the neighborhood to do battle with the structural golem in this comically frightful tale.

Odeon: 50% Of U.K. Box Office 3D Within 3 Years

uk cinema

According to Rupert Gavin, CEO of Odeon & UCI Cinemas, speaking on BBC radio. Odeon is spending £70 million ($107 million) converting screens to digital. Odeon expects to have 500 digital screens installed by the end of summer, with Cats & Dogs and Step Up 3 still to come on 3D.

Odeon’s also holding a 3D live fashion show for Ozwald Boeteng at its flagship Leicester Square site in September. Sashaying up and down the catwalk will be beamed live to other cinemas in Paris, Milan and Tokyo. Designer 3D glasses are sure to follow.                      Source: Deadline.com

Return top

About 3D & Digital Cinema

If you are a tech head, cinema-phile, movie geek or digital imaging consultant, then we'd like to hear from you. Join us in our quest to explore all things digital and beyond. Of particular interest is how a product or new technology can be deployed and impacts storytelling. It may be something that effects how we download and enjoy filmed entertainment. It may pertain to how primary and secondary color grading will enhance a certain tale. The most important thing is that you are in the driver's seat as far as what you watch and how you choose to consume it.