(Source: cinematical.com)  It’s charming to watch a director with his own fanbase become a fan himself, sitting down with someone he admires and conducting an informal interview. Thanks to the blog AustinTranslation, we’ve found a three-part interview on YouTube in which director Tim Burton chats with special-effects master Ray Harryhausen about the ways in which Harryhausen designed creatures and spacecraft of all sorts for classic science-fiction and fantasy movies like Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, Mighty Joe Young and Jason and the Argonauts. You can check out the three clips after the jump. After you’ve watched the clips, read the blog entry on AustinTranslation, since it includes artwork from Gustav Dore, a big influence on Harryhausen.

(Source: awn.com) Deadline Hollywood has an extensive report on MGM’s current financial woes. Their lenders are furious apparently and are on the verge of letting the company go into bankruptcy. If this happens, MGM would get the restructuring that it needs, but will most likely lose the rights to its top franchise such as THE HOBBIT and James Bond. The company says it needs $20 million in short-term cash to fund its overhead and $150 million to stay afloat in 2009 while getting productions like THE HOBBIT into production. The bondholders are ready to let the company file for Chapter 11, because they know they’ll be the first to get paid. This outcome would be disastrous for the future of the company and its creditors.

(Source: Wired) Even the best movies ever made leave unanswered questions in their wake. Some refer to these as “plot holes,” but why not give the filmmakers the benefit of the doubt? Maybe they had a perfectly reasonable explanation in mind, and simply… forgot to include it in the movie.

Some movies’ unanswered questions are integral to their plots, as with Citizen Kane’s famous issue that nobody was around to hear Charles Foster Kane say “Rosebud” as he died. Most of the time the questions are less important than that, but still can affect your enjoyment of the film, for better or worse — yes, some movies are improved, because without unanswered questions to argue about, there would be little to really discuss about the movie. The Transformers movies are prime examples.

So, then, here is GeekDad’s list of the ten best unanswered questions from geeky movies. What do we mean by “best?” Well, these are ones that are fun to talk about, but that aren’t so significant as to seriously detract from the movie’s quality.

10. Independence Day: The computer virus – This movie has so many unanswered questions that one is forced to conclude that most, if not all, really are just plot holes after all. But then there’s the computer virus that Jeff Goldblum uploads into the alien mothership, that is ultimately what allows the humans to defeat the invaders. Ask any software developer, and they will tell you that it is ridiculously hard to write a virus on a PC that works on a Mac, or vice-versa, and those are two computer systems that were designed and built by human beings. The likelihood of being able to successfully write a virus on a human-built computer of any sort that would affect a computer built by telepathic aliens is infinitesimal. Of course, this is an alien species that has managed to travel in huge ships across vast distances but has never invented a clock (hence the countdown timer they use before initiating their attack), so who knows what sort of vulnerabilities their computers might have?

(Source: kidzworld.com) If you’ve ever dreamed of catching the golden snitch in a rousing game of Quidditch, you just might get your chance this Spring. Universal and Warner Bros. just announced the projected opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a new theme park in Orlando, Florida that’s set to open in the Spring of 2010 as part of Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The park cost more than $250 million and brought back the original art and set directors to translate the movies into the theme park.

Experience Hogwarts

Visitors enter the park through the Hogsmeade station archway while a train whistle and plume of smoke sound the arrival of the Hogwarts Express. Daniel Radcliffe says Harry Potter fans will love the park. He said that when he was younger he would come out of movie theatres wishing he could experience the worlds on the screen. With the opening of Wizarding World, lucky Harry Potter fans will get that chance.

(Source: GeeksOfDoom.com) Fox 2000 has pushed forward a seven-figure deal with screenwriter John Logan to script a movie based on the Jordan Ainsley (pen name of Justin Cronin) vampire novel, The Passage. The project is being developed as a possible directing vehicle for Ridley Scott, which would re-team him with Logan, who co-wrote the script for his Oscar-winning epic, Gladiator, with David Franzoni and William Nicholson.

(Source: CNET) Heads up, Nvidia. Intel demonstrated its Larrabee graphics chip for the first time Tuesday at the Intel Developer Forum.

Larrabee will be Intel’s first discrete, or standalone, graphics processor in about 10 years and is expected to compete with graphics chips from Nvidia and AMD’s ATI unit. The demo used an early “stepping,” or version, of Larrabee, which is expected to come out commercially sometime next year.

Larrabee will be targeted initially at the gaming market. The demonstration was based on the game Enemy Territory: Quake Wars from Splash Damage

(Source: latinoreview.com) I’ve seen the 2012 trailer in theaters several times now as well as a few passes online whenever I feel like being underwhelmed. It’s not that the movie is underwhelming in any regard, because a sentiment like that might kill Roland Emmerich, but it’s the sheer scale of the visuals. Watching a plane swoop between two crumbling buildings just looks like another CGI painting on Apple Trailers. Blown up to theatrical size, it looks impressive.

Even the new way Emmerich decides to destroy the White House.

Harry Potter fans should go crazy about the new TV controller, “Magic Wand”. Rather than control your TV through various buttons, you simply need to wave the magic wand, as miraculous as Witchcraft! When you wave it counter-clockwise, the volume will be adjusted while the channels will be changed if you gesture up or down.


Buy it here

(Source: THR.com) The Scientific and Technical Awards Committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveiled 11 scientific and technical achievements on Friday that are in the running for Sci-Tech Awards at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards.

The contenders are enabling technologies for digital intermediate (credit to be determined); the development of Fujicolor ETERNA-RDI Digital Intermediate Film (Fujifilm USA); relighting for virtual characters (USC ICT) Imocap (Lucasfilm Entertainment) ambient occlusion (Double Negative VFX); point-based color bleeding (Pixar Animation Studios) OBAQ/DOALL (Industrial Light & Magic) Film Master (Digital Vision Ltd.) System 5 (Euphonix, Inc.) Rigtight£ (1stCall Studio Equipment) Heden Lens Motors with Two-Stage Friction Drive Planetary Torque Amplifier (Heden Engineering AB).

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