(Source: geeksugar.com) What do George Lucas and the new Droid have in common? More than you’d think! I’m stoked to get my hands on the new device being offered up by Motorola to see if it really can top my iPhone, but when I got an invite to the San Francisco launch party I noticed something interesting at the bottom: the word “droid” is licensed to Lucasfilm LTD, which means Motorola pays a fee to the Star Wars icon to use his trademarked term.

David Martinon, consul general of France, and Olivier-Rene Veillon, director of the Ile de France Film Commission, hosted Tuesday a gala reception in Los Angeles to announce a tax rebate for international productions, showcase France’s world-class visual effects companies and honor the Annecy Animation Festival.

The presenters, many of whom are long established as key production partners on top-grossing Hollywood and French feature films, were enthusiastic about the new incentive to save money with a French production partner.

The rebate, worth 20% of all eligible costs, is capped at 4 million euros or about US$6 million, they also control the US$18 million a year Ile de France Film Fund, which is open to foreign productions.

(Source: pmstudio.co.uk) Oscar winning Visual Effects company Rhythm and Hues (founded in LA in 1987) set up in Mumbai seven years ago to create the first quality animation/VX studio that could cover the entire production process. This is not an outsourcing model, all the R&H studios have the same departments and when a project comes in staff are assigned based on available resources, irrespective of geography. Staff from across the world have collaborated on films  including The Golden Compass, Narnia, Incredible Hulk, Evan Almighty, Babe and Happy Feet.

Zemeckis’ 3D Dickens adaptation presents studio with high revenue bar at weekend B.O.

Robert Zemeckis has been both a motion capture pioneer and an apostle. “Disney’s A Christmas Carol\u201d marks his third movie shot using the technology and he is such a fan that he formed a studio, ImageMovers Digital, devoted to making performance-capture pictures.

With filmmaker Robert Zemeckis spending about $180 million to produce his latest holiday-themed stop-motion animation extravaganza, according to numerous industry distribution executives, producer/distributor Disney can hardly be accused of being a Scrooge.

(Source: californiachronicle.com) When the South Korean-made mega-disaster movie Haeuhdae opened recently, the $18 million film-the country’s most expensive to date- became an overnight sensation. The CJ Entertainment feature, about a tsunami that threatens to wipe out a popular beach resort, was directed by Je-Kyoun Youn of JK Rim and is loaded with complex visual effects, courtesy of Polygon Entertainment, based in San Rafael, California. Polygon may have recently cemented its status in South Korea’s film industry, but its roots are distinctly Hollywood. Headquartered in the former Industrial Light & Magic building, the company was founded in 2007 by former ILM CG supervisor Hans Uhlig, who is no stranger to the disaster film genre. His credits include The Day After Tomorrow and The Perfect Storm, among others.

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