Archives for fantasy 奇幻片

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.)

John Carter of Meh

I have a question for Andrew Stanton.

I just came out of John Carter of Mars…  I’m a huge Andrew Stanton fan and a huge Pixar fan, but I was really bummed out about this film.   This past week Stanton’s Ted Talk on storytelling has been going around the web.  It’s a great watch!  In that talk he goes on about a number of storytelling techniques he’s learned over the years.  Two of his tips kept ringing through my head while sitting in an empty Imax theater watching John Carter.

  1. No matter what, give the audience a reason to care.
  2. Make your Hero likable.

That leads to my question:

How does one of the better storytellers of our generation set out on his first live action film with a budget around $250 million and not follow his own storytelling rules? How does this happen??

Hey, I’m a spectacle guy… (hell, who isn’t into some popcorn munchin space opera?) but Stanton didn’t take his own advice:  Does amazing cg give me a reason to care?  No… Does a huge weepy score give me a reason to care?  No…  Does a giant battle scene where JC is buried in the dead bodies he’s carving up make me care?  Well… Kinda…  BUT, over the top film-making techniques alone don’t make us care!  You know what makes us care?  Stanton’s rule #2:

Make the hero likable.  Repeat: Make the hero likable…  Man, after Stanton’s Ted Talk the last thing I thought would happen was that John Carter would be such a dick!  In the Ted Talk Stanton showed a board-amatic of early days Toy Story.  Tom Hanks is a total dick!  He’s berating and bullying the toys, and he’s being a full on dick.  That’s right, Woody was a dick (no pun intended).  Stanton tells the story of how they had made Woody a dick so that his arc could be more dramatic.  The story wasn’t working but through hard work they (Pixar) figured out they needed to write him likable.  That lesson, Stanton says, was one of the main things they took away from the Toy Story experience.   It’s ironic: With $250mil, armies of technicians and artists, years of planning and execution he couldn’t make John Carter likable.  BUT with half of the budget, less time and nowhere near the crew; Brad Bird was able to make Tom Cruise likable in Mission Impossible 4.  You would of thought it would of taken the $100mil vfx budget to make Tom Cruise endearing (post 1980’s of course).   I guess we know who of the Freshmen Brainstrust has successfully crossed over out of Pixar.

I don’t wanna be a hater, I love Stanton’s films!  Wall-E is one of the classic stories in filmmaking.  Pixar and Stanton have balls down to their ankles to make the first half of Wall-E a silent film.  It set the benchmark for this years Oscar winner “The Artist”.  Pixar and the Braintrust have always had balls, going all the way back to Toy Story.  As far as story goes, Pixar and their directors would not be denied.   As far as John Carter goes:  I didn’t care.  There was nothing new.  AND it was flat out on the nose…  John Carter has no balls.

We still love you Andrew!  But next time, please, give us a reason to care.

10 Ways Steven Spielberg Has Made the World a Better Place

This has been a big year for Steven Spielberg — he’s launched two TV shows, including last night’s Terra Nova, and produced countless movies. The Spielberg tribute Super-8 was a surprise hit, and it’s become fashionable for other film-makers to claim they’re paying tribute to early Spielberg. Still ahead this year: the huge motion-capture reinvention ofTintin, the Belgian adventure comic… <read the full story here> @ <http://io9.com/>

Spielberg is a legend…  When it comes to high spectacle story telling, he’s probably done more than anyone.  This is just a nice little kudo list of accomplishments that he’s not usually recognized for, so I thought it interesting and deserving.  Here’s a quick look at the list of ten, the article has full descriptions.  I’m counting at least 5 on the list as truly innovative, and having to drive Hight Concept / High Spectacle films.  So it’s no wonder we’re fans!

10 ) Being an early adopter and innovator of CGI

9 ) Keeping science fiction alive on TV

8 ) Taking on tough adaptations/re-imaginings, and making them happen

7 ) Showing that video games could be a viable storytelling tool.

6 ) Preserving and shaping the memory of World War II

5 ) Co-founding a successful new studio, and helping bring back animated films

4 ) Bringing back the Saturday morning serial

3 ) Helping to make robot uprising the new zombie apocalypse

2 ) Bringing back our sense of wonder

1 ) Helping to create the idea of the movie “blockbuster.”

big week for zombies…

First off the trailer for the Dead Island videogame is going to get a movie adaptation.


That’s what I said, the trailer, for the video game is getting a movie deal, from all reviews it’s not from the game itself.  And yes, it’s sounds of a decent size…  Lionsgate size.  Here’s what Lionsgate bossman Joe Drake has to say about it:

The film Dead Island will be an innovation of the zombie genre because of its focus on human emotion, family ties and non-linear storytelling.
Like the hundreds of journalists and millions of fans who were so passionate and vocal about the Dead Island trailer, we too were awestruck.
This is exactly the type of property we’re looking to adapt at Lionsgate – it’s sophisticated, edgy, and a true elevation of a genre that we know and love. It also has built in brand recognition around the world, and franchise potential.

It is a badass little trailer though… but a movie deal?  Zombies have serious pull!

<Read the full story here> and there’s another write up about it <here>

 Second, one of the most memorable zombies from ‘The Walking Dead’ is getting her own story. AMC will put a six-part web series online on October 3rd telling the tale of the infamous ‘Bicycle Girl.’  This is her:

The Walking Dead's infamous 'Bicycle Girl' will be the subject of special webisodes

It’s been a long and grueling wait for The Walking Dead‘s many fans – but the wait for new zombiefied action just got a little shorter: AMC will be airing six short webisodes next Monday, just two weeks before the season 2 premiere.

The short stories will focus on a character who’s infamous for Dead heads, the crawling, bisected zombie girl that Rick Grimes encounters just after leaving the hospital in last year’s pilot episode. Show writers calls the character “Bicycle Girl.” The forthcoming webisodes follow the life of the girl named Hannah leading up to her death, un-death, and finally the iconic meeting with Rick.

So this zombie basically got her own spinoff.   Serious, serious pull…

Here’s a little making of clip:

<read the full story here>

Ohhhh, as long as we’re on the track I just have to add this:

 

Third, comics creator Chris Moreno returns to horror with his new creator-owned comic book “Zombie Dickheads Are NOT Coming to Get You,” debuting in October.

“Zombie Dickheads” is a comedic look at the undead apocalypse from the zombies point-of-view. It follows four dysfunctional zombies who don’t eat human flesh, as they attempt to find a place of their own in a world where they don’t fit in amongst other zombies, humans, and each other.

<read the whole story here> and check out the website here <http://zombiedickheads.blogspot.com/> and the website has an 8 page preview that I totally recommend.

To sum up, maybe you need to go to the after life to get greenlit in this life.  Gotta go write my zombie film now…

 

new ‘prometheus’ synopsis offers a few more vague hints

The Alien xenomorph

The latest short description of Ridley Scott’s ‘Prometheus’ reveals a bit more information about the film – and seems to align with certain rumors about Scott’s newest sci-fi flick…  <read the full story here> @ <http://screenrant.com/>

Ahhhhhh it’s about the very meaning of human existence…  cool!  I am sooooo ready to see this one!

first trailer declares “john dies at the end” an instant cult classic

It’s a combination that has piqued out interest from day one, one that offers the potential of something truly remarkable.Bubba Ho Tep and Phantasm director Don Coscarelli has spent the past year hard at work on a film adaptation of David Wong’s John Dies At The End, a brilliant and often hysterical cult hit scifi horror mashup… <read the story and see the trailer here> @ <http://twitchfilm.com/>

This is looking pretty cool.  I’m digging some of the horror element designs.  Cult Classic?  Don’t know about going that far, but I’d definitely check it out.  Next year we’re gonna have to hit up Fantastic Fest…  Awesome movies there, and a great excuse to get to Austin.  I’ll do a post about the festival itself one of these days.

listen to stephen king read a chapter from the sequel to the shining

At an awards ceremony at George Mason University last Friday, Stephen King regaled audiences with a chapter from Doctor Sleep, his upcoming novel about a grown-up Danny Torrance from The Shining…  <read the full story here>

I’m excited about this book.  I was never a big fan of Stephen King until a couple years ago when I read the Shining.  I was blown away about the economy of words, and the blatant description.  I plowed through the book in no time.  So I read a couple more of his books, and was thoroughly addicted.  It felt really cheezy, like I was selling out all my love for Dostoyevski and Hemmingway…  Then I read Steven King’s “On Writing”.  (if you haven’t read it, and are a writer of any kind, go out and buy it now!)  Man, that was it…  this guy is a genius up there with the all time greats.  His ideas are amazing, and his craft is impeccable.  I recon he doesn’t get the deserved respect because of the genre he writes in, but hey, what great things he’s done for the genre both in books and in movies!  redrum…

impossible pillars: another natural wonder of the world

 

Seeming to defy the laws of gravity, teetering, spindly mountains tower into the air in a surreal display reminiscent of the floating monoliths in the movie Avatar. This is China’s Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, and its particularly stunning natural beauty can’t be found anywhere else in the world… <see more pics and read the full story here> @ <http://webecoist.com/>

This location is incredible…  We’ll be finding a way to shoot some of Bridge of Birds there for sure!

could Manborg be the cyborg-vs.-demons movie we’ve all been waiting for?

Hell has taken over the Earth, led by the evil Count Draculon, and the human resistance is utterly crushed. Until one dying soldier gets transformed into the ultimate engine of vengeance… Manborg! Uh, what? <read about it here> @ <http://io9.com/>

Yeah, that is a movie from 2011…  I’m curiously drawn to it.  Might have something to do with a villain named Count Draculon.   Sorry, but I’m so there!

Workshop Santaniel

Here you can see my works distributed on thematic albums. I have dolls, toys, as well as certain types of design. shop where are my toys:http://boontart.ru/ also sometimes my toys at the store on World Cinema China-town… <see more characters here> 

There are some great creature designs here.    The page is in russian, which makes it a little more difficult.  Tell you what though, this artist has an amazing sense of character design!  I’m in love with these little critters!