Why not flip a few pages on the calendar, look at the year ahead, and take some wild, random, and completely uneducated guesses the films we’ll be talking about a year from now. In most cases, we haven’t even seen a trailer; that doesn’t mean they don’t sound promising.

Coraline — This stop-motion pic has already garnered the critical acclaim; it’s probably a safe bet to snag a nomination.

Up — It’s the latest from Pixar, which means a nomination is all-but-guaranteed.

Monsters vs. Aliens — The use of 3D technology — it’s supposed to be jaw-dropping — might push it into contention.

While THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON and WALL-E scored significant victories Saturday night at the VES Awards, VFXWORLD caught up with several of the winners backstage at the Century Plaza Hotel.

WALL-E director Andrew Stanton singled out the growing recognition for vfx in animated features. “The [animation] process may be different, but we have the same kind of effects team at Pixar and they’re doing the same work [as their live-action counterparts],” Stanton emphasized.

Backstage at the Oscars on Sunday night, where her brother was awarded a posthumous supporting actor’s award, Kate Ledger told reporters that her family is very much in the loop on his final movie.

“We’ve seen a little bit of the footage,” she said of Terry Gilliam’s “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” Heath Ledger’s last film. “I think it’s going to be amazing.”

The head-trippy “Parnassus,” about a traveling magician who gives customers more than they bargained for, is a joint production of financial entity Grosvenor Park and sales mogul Samuel Hadida of Davis Films. It was gliding along as just another independently financed production — and product of Gilliam’s funhouse imagination — when Ledger died early last year, in the middle of production.

(Source: vfxworld.com)    Phil Tippett talks  creatures, the state of the industry and his desire to play down his title as “pioneer.”

The awards shelf at Phil Tippett’s place is pretty full already: two Oscars — for the visual effects in Jurassic Park and Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi; four other Oscar nominations — for Dragonheart, Willow, Starship Troopers and Dragonslayer and an Emmy for the CBS Documentary Dinosaur!. But the award that Tippett received Saturday night from the Visual Effects Society is one that reflects the overarching influence of his stellar career: the George Méliès Award for Artistic Excellence. In choosing Tippett, the VES board of directors recognized Tippett’s pioneering efforts in advancing the art of visual effects through his own work as a creature designer, animator, visual effects supervisor and director, and as head of his 25-year-old shop, Tippett Studio. Previous recipients of the Méliès Award have included the seminal vfx producer/director Robert Abel, and Pixar/Disney producer/director John Lasseter.

On Friday, February 20, 2009, a federal appeals court struck down a California law that sought to ban the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. This law, initiated in 2005, would have prohibited the sale or rental of violent video games to anyone under the age of 18. The reason it was overturned was because video games already have a voluntary ratings system and the presiding judge feels that the parents can control whatever games are brought into the household? Does this make sense? Should the government have laws determining what games we can purchase?

Director Alex Proyas (Dark City, I, Robot) told SCI FI Wire that his upcoming film adaptation of John Christopher’s young-adult SF series The Tripods will be the first of an envisioned trilogy of films.

“We’ve done a draft, we’re basically at the first-draft stage of Tripods, and we’re about to go into our second draft,” Proyas said in an exclusive interview on Monday. “Pretty happy with the script; I think it’s come a long way. … We’re only doing the first book, The White Mountains, and the notion is, obviously, that it will hopefully be a trilogy. But we’ll probably just be shooting the first movie independently.”

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