(digitalartsonline.co.uk) District 9 is set in South Africa, where a crashed spaceship dumps a large number of interstellar refugees — and explores the tensions between the communities of humans and aliens before heading off in traditional thriller direction. Its visual style is based around realistic portrayal of the refugee camps where the aliens live, with the aliens skillfully composited into the scene without looking life traditional flashy VFX.

(Source: cinematical.com) It’s no surprise that the WB would want to send Dakota Fanning over the rainbow, but it is kind of shocking to learn they’ve no intention of a remake. The fifteen year old Fanning would play a grand daughter of Dorothy who, for an unknown reason, ends up in the land of the Tin Man.

But before that gives you visions of Robin Williams heading back to Neverland in Hook, take a gander at this quote from one of the film’s producers: “You’ve still got Dorothy trapped in an odd place, but she’s much closer to the Ripley character from Alien [Sigourney Weaver] than a helpless singing girl.”

(Source: cinematical.com) Seeing what Terry Gilliam can do with a good budget and technology — namely the fantastical worlds he created for The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus with its sky of flicking jellyfish, towering stilts, and a rainbow world of shoes — I began to wonder what the filmmaker could do to help more mainstream work. What if the next 3D blockbuster had worlds seen through Gilliam’s eyes? What if the next animated film tapped into Gilliam’s imagination?

If you’re a photo student, chances are you balk at contemporary digital photography’s over-processed, airbrushed, way-too-clean aesthetic. You want to be real, damn it! And you probably want to create pictures that have the dramatic effects of a view camera’stilt-and-shift selective focus and the organic randomness of plastic shooters like the Holga. Awesome! Consider taking the Lensbaby Composer for a spin.

Essentially a digital SLR lens that’s fitted into a ball-and-socket-style housing, the Composer also has interchangable optics: a single lens, double lens, plastic lens and pinhole/zone plate combo can be swapped in and out depending on the photographic effect you want to achieve. Depending on aperture these four options yield images that range from fairly sharp with a large sweet spot (double glass) all the way to the very gauzy and ethereal (pinhole).

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