VisPop 维斯泡泡

Project Kronos
电影《Kronos》

Huge Kudos to Haz who did this great short and looks like he’s got a feature gig off the back end.  He’s a good friend of VisPop, and hopefully we can work together someday down the track.  Anytime VFX guys get films off the ground we should all give a standing round of applause!  Well done man, sincere congrats!

 

Project Kronos from Hasraf HaZ Dulull on Vimeo.

 

Dullul, a VFX artist on “The Dark Knight,” “Hellboy 2″ and the mini-series “The Bible,” will direct from his own screenplay. Shot as a faux-documentary, Dullul’s 14-minute short chronicles a space agency of the near future and its first contact with intelligent life on an interstellar space mission.”

Producers are Chris Lemole and Tim Zajaros of Armory Films, Chris Bender, JC Spink & Jake Weiner of Benderspink and Scott Glassgold and Raymond Brothers of IAM Entertainment. Glassgold and Brothers developed and produced the original short film, which debuted earlier this year…

Here’s the article in Variety about his movie deal!

JIANG WEN’s “Gone With The Bullets” Oh yeah!!
姜文的《一步之遥》喔耶!

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PIXOMONDO is honored to work with Director JIANG WEN on his new feature film “Gone With The Bullets”

PIXOMONDO荣幸参与姜文导演新片《一步之遥》

Gone With The Bullets is set in 1920′s Shanghai. “It will be another action drama about contests of wits and power. It has a tense pace and is full of Jiang Wen’s playful imagination but on a grander scale,” says Marco Ma co-owner of Beijing-based Buyilehu Films.

《一步之遥》故事设定在19世纪20年代的大上海。“这将会是姜导另一个关于智慧与力量争夺的动作影片。这部影片富有紧张的节奏,并充满着姜文式顽皮的想象力。”北京不亦乐乎影视公司合伙人马柯提到。

Pixomondo is in charge of all Visual Effects works on the project and is tasked with the development of key visual effects sequences. Pixomondo Beijing’s Senior VFX Supervisor, John Dietz, is leading our international team and we look forward to further collaboration from pre-production (including previz and concept art) through shooting and in to post-production.

Pixomondo全权负责这部影片的视效内容,并参与重大特效场次的艺术创作。由 Pixo北京公司高级视效总监John Dietz带领这支国际团队,热情饱满,目前正加紧进行前期制作(包括前期预演和概念设定),随后将进入现场监理以及后期制作。

You can check out the full blurb on the Pixo website here.

It’s great to be working with Pixomondo on this project.  We’re doing some great things in Beijing.  For those of you in the west, Jiang Wen is the best and most famous domestic Chinese director.  If you haven’t had a chance to check out his films… Please, Please close your web-browser and go find one right now.  Here’s a link to his IMDB.  Check out Devils On The Doorstep and The Sun Also Rises.  He’s an amazing actor as well…  He’s cool & I’m honored to be working with such an amazing filmaker!  This is sure to be a special film!

Gone_with_the_bullets_poster

jiangWen

VisPop speaking at FMX

 

FMX 2012 will attract industry leaders, digital innovators and creative researchers from the animation, games and visual effects industries for four days in Stuttgart. FMX has quickly become the largest conference of its kind in Europe that reunites the industry annually to discuss the most important issues. FMX invites artists, industry leaders and decision makers to speak in the conference about the latest trends and innovative approaches featured in the year’s most influential movies, games and transmedia.”

I’m so stoked we’re doing two talks at FMX this year!  It’s such an incredible venue, and such a pleasure to be taking part.  The last time I was there was to give a talk on Charlotte’s Web.  If you’re gonna be around FMX2012, find me around the conference or drop me a line and let’s arrange to chat.

The first talk I’m giving is about the work I supervised on Hunger Games at RSP.  A link to the fmx description is HERE in the online program.

The second talk is about what we’re doing here at VisPop and how it pertains to the vfx industry.  A link is HERE.  I’m just gonna get into the state of the union of vfx, and how we’re taking our knowledge in the industry and apply our experience into the entire filmmaking business.  Now that we’re into our second year, I’ll discuss how it’s going and what we’re learning!

Here’s the details:

The state of the union in Visual Effects is well documented. You can read many articles about vfx becoming a commoditized industry on the web. Hard work, unfair conditions, low cost of entry, to unionize or not to unionize , pressure from clients in an industry with very few buyers, vendors undercutting each other and on and on. We at VisPop spent many years on the front lines, in all roles on the vfx vendor side. We fought just like everyone else to make ends meet in a low margin ball game. Sometimes we were successful, sometimes we weren’t, just like everyone else. We learned from our mistakes, we implemented processes, we got better, and we eaked out our living/existence!

So what makes VisPop different? We’re broadening our scope outside of traditional vfx. We’re teaming with independent filmmakers to push the innovation of the entire filmmaking process. We want to change the perception of where vfx and spectacle fits in the filmmaking process and parlay that into leverage in our filmmaking negotiations. We’re using our vfx backgrounds to co-produce low-med budget high spectacle films.

So can VisPop make a difference? Can a couple of long-timers from the vfx industry change the way films are financed, made, even distributed? Hopefully we can help get things rolling. If we can get more talented people from the vfx industry believing they can be involved in the entire filmmaking process then we’ll consider that a success. So just ask yourself: “are you a film-maker or a shot-maker?”

VisPop selected as an official Australian delegation member for Industry Forum in Beijing

 

It’s so encouraging for VisPop to be chosen for this forum.  It’s great to be recognized for our hard work building relationships and projects in such a high potential region like China.  Momentum is gaining for our high spectacle independent films!   Thanks to the Aussie Embassy and Screen NSW for organizing the event!  Here’s more info about what the forum is all about:

Building on the success of the inaugural Australia‐China Film Industry Forum in December 2010, the second Australia‐China Film Industry Forum will be held on Monday 23 April 2012 in Beijing. The Forum will be organised by the Australian Embassy Beijing, with the assistance of a wide variety of related Australian government agencies. This Forum, with a feature film focus, is aimed at further reinvigorating the relationships between the film industries in Australia and China. It will include panel sessions, presentations, and both bilateral and multilateral networking opportunities.

The Forum aims to capitalise on an increased awareness of the Australian film industry in China and the Chinese film industry in Australia, by bringing together key industry players from both countries, with the following objectives:

• Stimulate formally-accredited co-production activity following the coming into force in December 2008 of the bilateral Film Co-Production Treaty;

• Boost commercial prospects for the Australian film industry through joint industry collaboration;

• Expand cultural cooperation and understanding through the medium of film;

• Promote two-way capacity-building and training opportunities between Australia and China in the film industry.

The film industry is expanding rapidly in China. Film production is now attracting heavy Government investment, and office-box takings are increasing dramatically year-on-year, creating demand for resources and expertise. The Forum will endeavour to create lasting links between industry professionals from both countries, whilst also providing a platform to promote the Australian film industry as cutting-edge, modern and diverse, highlighting key strengths including feature film production and financing, documentary, digital animation and design, cinematography and post-production.

The Forum will also provide Australians with the chance to learn from Chinese counterparts about local industry resources, development and emerging opportunities, providing a platform for effectively engagement with Chinese film industry representatives in a sustained and meaningful way. The ultimate goal is to provide a platform from which to help build lasting creative, industry and production links between the two countries which will develop long into the future.

Of course we’ll be meeting with our partners in the region! If you’re interested and in VisPop and our high spectacle independent films AND you’ll be or know someone who’ll be in Beijing, drop us an email and let’s try and arrange a meeting!

 

“VisPop” in Hunger Games Credits!

I’m never one to be that much into credits, but man am I proud of VisPop being up there on the credit-roll of The Hunger Games.  After a year of VisPop being a company, With James, Jim, Ann, and myself working so hard to make things happen, it’s such a great feeling to see VisPop up there on the big screen for the first of MANY times to come!!  With the huge Spectacle surrounding the film, it makes it all the better with our focus as a company.  James, Jim, Ann I’m sorry your names aren’t up there, but VisPop’s is!  WOOOOOOoooooo!  Thanks Rising Sun, Chantal and Lionsgate for doing it, that’s very cool!

VisPop’s work on The Hunger Games 维斯泡泡与《饥饿游戏》

So VisPop just finished up working with Rising Sun Pictures on the “The Hunger Games”.  We came in to help supervise on 209 of the film’s more difficult shots.  We worked closely with the filmmakers and the artists at RSP to execute some amazing visual effects work on what will become one of the years biggest High Spectacle films.

Our main responsibilities for the Hunger Games were the Mutations, the Capital City and the full Tribute Parade sequence including Katniss & Peeta’s Fire wings.  We also worked on a whole load of other cg environments, misc 2d/3d work and Katniss’ kick ass fire dress.  The Capital City was a huge challenge!  The design process went on for a long time, but it is well worth it in the results.  It was very clear that nothing like The Capital has ever existed so it had to be created in cg.  The closest reference was probably Welthauptstadt Germania which we came back to a lot for ideas.  The next biggest challenge were the mutations!  Anytime you get into creature work it’s great and the concept here made it all the more kick-ass.  The hardest part, not unlike any creature work, was in working out how anthropomorphised the critters were.  In this case how much of the characteristics come from the tributes and how much comes from a dog?  I’m really proud of how they turned out, I think the guys did some fantastic cg on the Muts.  It was great to work with Daniel Jeannette again.  He did an amazing job directing the animation!  The other big challenge was the Tribute Parade.  The Tributes, Snow, and some of the close-up crowds were live action, but the rest of that entire sequence is cg.  We did all the Presidential Palace and Avenue, lots and lots of crowd work, all the fire wings… man, just a lot of work.  But when you sit down and see that sequence pieced together it nails the aesthetic of the Capital.  Anytime the visual effects pound home that tone in a smart way you feel proud to have brought that work to the project.

We really do feel privileged to have been part of such an amazing high spectacle film that is clearly destined to have a huge impact on society and culture.  We’ve just returned from Hong Kong where the media storm for Hunger Games is as big as it is here in Sydney.  We haven’t been in North America while the marketing frenzy has been ramping up, but we’re hearing the scale that Lionsgate is pushing the film is almost unprecedented, particularly for a mid-major studio.  It’s all well worth it, the film stays really close to the book and the book is fantastic.  My personal opinion is they have really nailed the empowerment angle for kids.  In the Narnia films, for example, the kids become kings and queens and their empowerment comes through the responsibility those roles bring.  In Hunger Games the kids are thrown into a more gritty and real context where self survival (and all of society’s survival by proxy) becomes the empowerment.  I can see that extra edge being attractive to kids and teens.  Combine in high spectacle action and dystopian, anti-government themes for an entertaining experience for the older demographic  AND of course there’s plenty of romance and elegant dresses.  It’s a cool concept for a film (actually 3-4 films) and no-doubt will cane it at the box office!

VisPop is incredibly proud of the people we collaborated with on the show and would like to think the visual fx work will stand out as some of 2012′s best!  It was great to work with RSP again.  We always have a lot of time for the folks over there in Adelaide who continually are working on some of Hollywoods best!  So go drop the $18AU for a movie ticket, another $10 for some popcorn and sit back to be entertained by High Spectacle Film at it’s best.  Ohhh, not to take sides but VisPop is definitely team Gale… (and Peta sucks.)

Vispop will be @ Filmart!

WE’VE DONE A NEW FOLIO OF OUR 2012 SLATE FOR FILMART HERE  (we’d love feedback!)

Hey folks…  Vispop is traveling to Hong Kong for Filmart from the 19th to the 22nd of March.  We’re looking to build relationships for our English language, High spectacle Independent films to be co-produced in Asia.  Our background comes from Hollywood blockbuster films like the Harry Potters, Terminator Salvation, Wolverine and many more.

Take a look at our newly released  2012 slate  of films and see if you’re interested!  Just drop James or myself an email (james@vispop.com & jdietz@vispop.com) if you’d like to get together and chat about us or yourselves.  We’re looking forward to all the great events at Filmart and the list of attendees looks fantastic.  We can’t wait to be back in Hong Kong!  Hope everyone has a great Show!

cheers!

(We’re gonna try and tweet quite a bit from the show, so follow us on twitter!)

VisPop@Workshop In Sydney

Dan over at Nerdi asked us to be a part of his workshop “Interesting” on Monday night in downtown Sydney.  The speakers will each get a little bit of time to chat about themselves and then there will be a Q&A.  After, the audience will breakout with the speakers and do a bit of a workshop.

I’m gonna talk about taking a film idea and turning it into a practical pitch that can be used to go out and get financing!

Since VisPop is a production company , I’m going to slant it into what we at VisPop want to see to get us excited and then involved in people’s projects.  So everything will be slanted from VisPop’s perspective of High Spectacle Low Budget Films.

During the “Interesting” Workshop we’ll make a list of the key questions you need to ask yourself/yourGroup before investing time or resources into pitching a film.  VisPop will then setup a website where the group will continue defining a pitch brief for a project the group wants to develop.  If the group is interested, VisPop will continue helping the group  work on the pitch.  If the group is STILL interested and have finished the pitch, VisPop will assess the pitch and see if we want to get involved with the project officially, or possibly we can pass on the pitch to people we know.  Then who knows, maybe the film will get made?

There are gonna be some great speakers and the guys at Nerdi are awesome, so we’re really looking forward to the night!  Come on along, the info is below.

jdietz

 

Film making for independent film makers has always been an art of love. There is such a huge wealth of creative talent out there but sadly so many of their ideas never make it to a screen.“Interesting” – a film funding and distribution workshop, endeavours to remove the inhibitions that stop these great ideas. We have assembled a group of inspiring and innovative people who will address the process of creating sustainable film making.
It all starts with an idea… Let’s make it possible to make it reality.Adam Chapnick is a principle at IndieGoGo.com and the founder of Distribber.com. Adam is a new-model film distribution specialist known for flipping Hollywood convention on its ear by employing a mix of grassroots, online and digital distribution strategies. He has overseen the theatrical, home video and grassroots distribution of dozens of documentaries since 2002.

Simon Sheikh is national director of the community advocacy group GetUp! GetUp is an independent, grass-roots community advocacy organisation giving everyday Australians opportunities to get involved and hold politicians accountable on important issues. Simon has used the medium of film to great effect for social change through GetUp!’s campaigns.

Jemima Robinson is the Australian director of the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Jemima has been running the festival for 6 years and has a unique insight into film festivals and the selection criteria. Jemima is passionate about film and adventure and regularly travels to some of the most remote locations to pursue these passions.

Gabrielle Rogers & Georgina Drury are obsessed with film, education and students. They are a Director and Producer team who have created some of the most beautiful Shakespeare interpretations to inspire students into a love affair with Shakespeare and film. They have collaborated with NIDA and the FTO to realise their dream. They have recemntly launched Shakespeare Shorts a series of 3 short films based on his enduring plays A midsummer Nights Dream, Hamlet and Sonnets.

John Dietz is the co-founder of the Fox Studios based production company VisPop. As a visual effects supervisor on films like 28 Weeks Later, Where the Wild Things Are, Terminator: Salvation and most recently The Hunger Games, John is known for leading large teams with passion and commitment, and delivering results that blow audiences away. For the past year he and his colleagues at VisPop have been drawing on this blockbuster experience to develop a slate of high concept, visual effects heavy independent films. John is determined to create original, quality content that will resonate with lovers of high spectacle films around the world.

Extended Hunger Games TV Spot

Box office forecasters now predict that The Hunger Games will break $100 million on its first weekend of release in the US.

See the new spot <here> at <bleedingCool.com>

A robot that flies like a bird

TED Talks Plenty of robots can fly — but none can fly like a real bird. That is, until Markus Fischer and his team at Festo built SmartBird, a large, lightweight robot, modeled on a seagull, that flies by flapping its wings. A soaring demo fresh from TEDGlobal 2011

See the talk and others at TED here

I love human ingenuity! How clever are we….  450 grams?! So simple. Unfortunately it’s only a matter of time before the military get their hands on it and find some way of using the tech to deploy incendiary devices across enemy lines. No! Lets dare to dream of better applications. How about we augment the head with a camera and biomimic chicken head image stabilization to one up the brilliant work of BBC’s Life of Birds?