Archives for film 电影

“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!)

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.

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>

Prometheus Q&A

I’m lining up for this bad boy!  Can not wait for this film to come out!

Read all about the Prometheus Q&A <here> on <bleedingCool.com>

 

 

 

‘NATA5’ A Triptych

My work dwells in a netherworld between urban fine art and contemporary graphics, A collision of real and digital media it is primarily illustration based with a firm foundation in drawing, I focus mainly on the human form particularly the face, interweaving elements from the animal kingdom often reflecting the absurdity of human nature… <see more artwork here> @ <http://www.behance.net/>

This work is great… lots of emotion in the faces and really pushed with the style.  It would be great for concept drawings for a film.  Definitely check out the full gallery at the bottom of the link.

Shout to Korea, Action!

Besides Korea’s well known cell phone, semi-conductor and shipbuilding industries, Korean film has also become globally renowned. The industry went through rapid growth in various areas over the last decade and achieved significant developments in its quantity.

The creative stories and dynamic images featured in Korean films have gained the world’s attention. Several films were shown to wide acclaim in major film festivals across the globe catching the eyes of both film professionals and the world audience. Therefore, Korea is becoming the first country film professionals look to when searching for new talent… <read the full story here> @ <http://www.biztechreport.com/>

We have some great connections in Korea and are actively sourcing work there.  Very interesting and creative country that we would love to do business in!

the art of the criterion collection covers

This is film geeky, but I’m totally into the Criterion Collection and movie posters…  so pretty much heaven of an image library!  This stuff is amazing inspiration, such different takes on all the stories.  You can still feel the movies tone, but the artist(s) take and style comes through so strong.  <See all the kick ass images here>