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(Source: variety.com) Setting aside a swirling controversy in the visual effects community, the executive committee of the Motion Picture Academy’s vfx branch has voted to expand the number of vfx Oscar nominees from three to five.

The move was the subject of heated debate at last Thursday’s branch meeting, according to insiders, even though the Visual Effects Society and several of the bigger vfx studios have pressed for the change.

The change must be now approved by the Acad’s Awards Rules Committee and then by the Board of Governors. Both bodies usually defer to the branches on such matters, but changes of this scale are unusual, and approval is not automatic.

(Source: GordonAndTheWhale) When Steven Spielberg was working on JURASSIC PARK in the early ‘90s, Phil Tippett was tabbed in pre-production to create go motion effects for the dinosaurs. When the two were looking at the rendering of a Tyrannosaurus Rex chasing a herd of Galamides by Dave Muren and ILM, Spielberg proclaimed, “You’re out of a job.” That was when Tippett corrected Spielberg, saying “Don’t you mean extinct?”

Many movie fans may recognize this exact quote because it was implemented by Spielberg into the film, but they may not realize the sheer significance of the effects. JURASSIC PARK had ushered in a shift in technology; go motion effects and other stop motion variants were soon to be replaced by computer generated images, or CGI, in live-action films.



(Source: Variety) Last week’s FMX visual effects and animation conference in Stuttgart, Germany, featured presentations on “Alice in Wonderland” and the vfx of “Avatar,” as well as a presentation by Victoria Alonso on “Producing the Marvel Experience.”

While students and pros packed into the main Koenig-Karl Hall to learn about those hits, a smaller group nearby was taking in a program with more far-reaching implications: the “5D/Europe” conference.

In the FMX program, 5D is defined as “a global community of creative thinkers committed to exploring the vital role of design in the new collaborative and multi-disciplinary process of digital creation in all narrative media.”



(Soucre: darkhorizons.com)  Deadline  reports that producers Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher (“Pulp Fiction,” “Erin Brockovich”) have optioned the film rights to Alan Goldsher’s music history fantasy parody novel “Paul is Undead”.

The story portrays John Lennon as a zombie guitarist from Liverpool who kills and reanimates his three bandmembers. The quartet create hits and bloody mayhem across the world as they snack on fans’ brains.

The book also features Mick Jagger as the UK’s best zombie hunter, and Yoko Ono as an eighth level ninja. There’s even a scene where Jesus agrees with a zombie John Lennon that the Beatles are bigger than him.



(Source: lompocrecord.com) Santa Maria’s award-winning special-effects company — Cafe FX — could be leaving the area for greener pastures in Texas.

“That’s one of the options we have,” chief executive officer Jeff Barnes said Monday. “The options also include the potential of staying here a little longer.”

But Texas is one possible target should the company decide to move, he said. Los Angeles is another.

Barnes said the motion picture and special effects industry is driven by tax incentives, and “California doesn’t really have any incentives appropriate to our industry.”



(Source: effectscorner.blogspot.com)  The International Cinematographers Guild magazine has an interview with a DP regarding visual effects:

“It’s definitely true that the technology is improving constantly.  But I don’t understand why it still costs so much. I don’t know why so often we are at the mercy of shots being delivered late when we are trying to make a deadline or timing an answer print or DI.”

Yeah, it’s those darn VFX people!  Don’t we know that they’re trying to make a deadline?  Gesh.



(Source: latinoreview.com)  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), saying it was “in the public interest” today approved a request by the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) to permit recent movies to be sent directly to American households over secure high definition transmission lines from their cable or satellite providers prior to their release on DVD or Blu-ray.

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