The new trailer for Disney/Pixar’s WALL•E is now online! From Academy Award-winning writer/director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo), the computer-animated cosmic comedy centers on a determined robot named WALL•E. It opens in theaters on June 27.

Take a look: bvim-qt.vitalstream.com

There’s a continuing debate about whether or not computer-animated films should be eligible for visual effects awards. But despite the fine line seen by some, others are quick to point out that many effects artists have the same function on Surf’s Up as they do on Spider-Man. To them, it should come as quite a triumph that the Oscar shortlist for the visual effects category includes two animated films, Ratatouille and Beowulf. According to the Hollywood Reporter, they join 13 other effects-heavy movies, including definite front-runners Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and Spider-Man 3. The trade points out, however, that this is not the first time animated films have joined the effects race. Back in 1994, The Nightmare Before Christmas was one of the three nominees (against Cliffhanger and obvious winner Jurassic Park).

Digital Domain, a special effects firm, wants to raise about $100 million in an initial public offering to pay off debt and maybe produce films, apparently in an attempt to compete with DreamWorks Animation and Walt Disney’s Pixar Animation, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

According to a regulatory filing this week, Digital Domain intends to use its I.P.O. proceeds for “expanding our technology development and licensing program and attempting to enter into the production of animated and visual effects-driven feature films and the development and production of video games.”

“If the words Star Wars make you want to speak up, we want to hear from you! Did the new trilogy leave a sour taste in your mouth? What’s your stance on the Special Editions? Are you ready to stand up for George, or to stand up to him?

The People vs. George Lucas (www.peoplevsgeorge.com) is not only the first truly democratic feature film in history; it’s also a unique opportunity for the millions of opinionated Star Wars supporters and detractors everywhere to speak up about the franchise and its creator, George Lucas.

The WGA, the union representing striking writers, is refusing to allow its members to write for the Academy Awards or Golden Globe ceremonies, reports The Associated Press.

The board of directors of the Writers Guild of America West decided not to give the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences an interim agreement for writing services.

Meanwhile Monday, the guild released a letter rejecting a waiver request from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which awards the Golden Globes. The letter said that granting a waiver “would not advance” the guild’s ongoing battle with studios to negotiate a new contract.

On every Hollywood studio’s wish list, aside from an end to the current writer’s strike, is a splashy, profit-able long-lasting franchise that not only sells tickets, but toys, trinkets and videogames.

Even those who have them—Warner Bros. with Harry Potter and a stable of superheroes, Disney with Pirates and princesses, to name a few—always want more.

Paramount, home to such bankable cash cows as Star Trek, Indiana Jones and the budding Transformers dynasty, aims to turn The Spiderwick Chronicles into an ongoing family-friendly series. The reason’s simple: franchises, like Fox’s Simpsons and Sony’s Spider-Man, can become billion-dollar brands.

With Apple Inc. touching a new, all-time high today on its way to $200 a share, and Hewlett-Packard raising estimates for 2008, there’s word that troubles in Hollywood could mean big-time opportunity in Silicon Valley.

A new report just out this morning from the Wi-Fi Alliance and Kelton Research, shows the Hollywood writers’ strike is leading to a surge in laptop entertainment. No, not that kind of entertainment: the portable computer kind.

According to this survey, 50 percent of respondents said they’ve been going online more often for entertainment, or plan to do so, since the strike began. And maybe more telling: one-third of them say their entertainment now comes from online sources.

(Source: animationguildblog.blogspot.com)            A decade ago, when Disney’s Dinosaur was in production, a grizzled c.g.i. vet and I got into a deep discussion about the c.g. effects industry and how competitive it was. This was his take:

“We’ve had like a lot of changes in the effects business. Companies sprout like mushrooms and die off just as quick. Guys that were employees of one company go off and start their own c.g. effects house, are around for a year and go away. Profit margins are not big because everybody is bidding against each other for the same jobs and killing themselves to get the work done…”

It’s been a while since we last heard from Capcom and Sony Pictures Entertainment about their big collaboration project for the first full-length CGI movie based on the Resident Evil series. However, here’s a big update: eye-popping exclusive screenshots of the Resident Evil: Degeneration.

While the visuals we have don’t exactly seem on par with Final Fantasy: Advent Children, the way the characters were rendered (Claire and Leon ftw!) was still expertly done and go beyond your average Resident Evil game graphics.

(motioncapturesociety.com)        The Motion Capture Society (MCS) intends to become the most respected and accessible global organization for creative motion capture professionals. MCS will support motion capture professionals at every level by offering a range of services to connect, inform, educate and promote, by celebrating achievement, excellence and innovation in all aspects of motion capture.

Join today:  http://www.motioncapturesociety.com/

The Store:   http://www.cafepress.com/mocapsociety

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