Archives for spectacle 场面

aliens: mothers, monsters and marines

Aliens: Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver)

James Cameron’s 1986 filmAliens contains a fascinating exploration of the way Western culture has traditionally aligned feminine characteristics onto nature while masculine characteristics have been aligned with civilisation. However, far from the more clear cut representation of this dichotomy that Cameron would later explore inAvatar (2009), where feminine/nature equalled good and masculine/civilisation equalled bad, Aliens has a more complex exploration by presenting two extremes of femininity with masculinity caught in the crossfire in the middle… <read the full article here> @ <http://blog.cinemaautopsy.com/>

WOOOoooooo, love the alien(s)…  Both are classics, and we’re using them as benchmarks for Rangda.  Love the line of “Alien is the best haunted house movie ever.”  Completely sums it up.

visual effects industry bill of rights?

43 of the top 50 films of all time are visual effects driven. Today, visual effects are the “Movie Stars” of studio tentpole pictures – that is, visual effects make contemporary movies box office hits in the same way that big name actors ensured the success of films in the past… <read the full bill of rights here>

I find this read incredibly interesting…  It directly relates to everything we stand for and all the reasons we’ve started up VisPop.

It’s well documented, the state of the union in vfx…  You can read about vfx becoming a commodity here and here.  Hard work, unfair conditions, 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 and scrapped 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. But we learned from our mistakes, we implemented processes, we got better, and we eaked out our living.

I like these descriptions of the  vfx industry in the VES’s bill of rights:

  • a central role in today’s feature films
  • visual effects are the “Movie Stars” of studio tentpole pictures
  • Visual effects drive the entertainment marketplace  which entertains billions of people across the globe, and earns billions of net profit dollars each year.

If those aren’t signs of potential I don’t know what are. So the question of the day then becomes, with all this potential where’s the leverage? With all this potential, where is the leverage? Repeat it a third time… With all this potential, where is the leverage. That is the question we asked when we started VisPop! I mean shit, this is the question that made us leave our good jobs in vfx, jump off the ledge, and risk everything we have on a new company.

The vfx industry is the most broadly creative department in filmmaking. When I say the word creative here, I mean true “creativity” – combining technology, problem solving, pragmatism, and heart. Some of the best artists of our age are working on vfx concept art, we have the understanding of storytelling through camera-work in previs, color theory and composition in digital lighting, performance through animation, programmers with PHD’s coding bleeding edge scientific tools… the industry creates ANYTHING imaginable, any scenario, any character – every single day! if we can create anything imaginable, we can tell any story imaginable… that’s a phenomenal concept! BUT if you ask studio filmmakers about vfx, they’ll tell you “oh yeah, they’re the guys with the chrome balls running around on set”. (To be fair, it is extremely hard to credit what you don’t understand, and vfx is a black box that very few outside the industry are able to invest the time needed to truly understand). Soooo, perception (chrome balls) isn’t matching reality (creative filmmakers).

Let’s go back to vfx being creative, techie, problem solving, pragmatic, and having ticker. Guess what folks, that’s a pretty good definition of Innovation. That’s right, we’re incredibly innovative people in an industry driven by innovation. BUT where the hell is our innovation in business models? In negotiations? In being the entrepreneurs of our projects? In management? Where are the industry’s “chrome balls” (this time I’m not talking about the ones on set). Hopefully you see where I’m going here… Where are our Film Producer skills as an industry? We have some very competent, excellent individuals in the industry that would/could/will make excellent feature film producers, but as a whole the industry is too overwhelmed with the business of innovating creativity and technology to be bothered with innovating business.

So, here we are managing %25 to in some cases %50 of a feature film’s budget and we’re not producers on the film??? Sometimes we’re credited as producers, but if %33 percent of the budget is vfx, where is the %33 percent of decision making across all the departments… casting, location, financing, distribution, production?

So what is VisPop doing about all this? We’re broadening our scope in the filmmaking process… we’re teaming with independent filmmakers to push the innovation of the entire filmmaking process. Through that we’ll change the perception of where vfx/spectacle fits into the filmmaking industry, and parlay that into leverage into more filmmaking negotiations. “We’re filmmakers not shot makers.” Scream it from the roofs!

So can a couple of dudes from VisPop make a difference? Can a couple of long-timers from the vfx industry change the way films are financed, made, distributed?? Hopefully we can help get things rolling. Hopefully we can get more people from the industry involved in the entire filmmaking process. Hopefully we can start the movement. So just ask yourself: “With all this potential, where is the leverage?”

Next time I’ll write about the difference between what VisPop is doing about it, and the many salvation cries throughout the industry of “create your own content”.

robot nominated to carry Olympic flame

robo.JPG Scientists at Aberystwyth University have nominated a humanoid robot to carry the Olympic Flame as part of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay… <read the full article here>

Bring it on!

 

platt: bigfoot boom in banff?

Bigfoot

That’s the assertion of a dedicated bigfoot research organization based near Calgary, which claims not only to have video and photo evidence of the mythical beast, but DNA proof as well… <read the full story here> @ <http://www.calgarysun.com/>

giant cocoon made from packing tapes

The installations, which look like the work of horrifyingly large arachnids, grew in scale and scope as the year progressed, first deployed inside a small Croatian gallery, then an abandoned attic during October’s Vienna Design Week…  <see full story here> @ <http://www.neatorama.com/> 

Oh my god this is soooo cool!

welcome to our world of imagination

Imaginary Friends Studios was founded by friends, Stanley “Artgerm” Lau, one of the top artists on Deviantart.com with close to 6 million page; Kendrick “Kunkka” Lim, a game designer who worked previously at a Tokyo-based game studio; and Kai “Ukitakumuki” Lim, who at 19 had already art directed two major game mods for Half-Life 2 including Hull Breach and Nuclear Dawn.

Imaginary is much more than a concept art, comics and illustration studio. With its “By-artists-for-artists” mantra and its small but ever-increasing cult-like online fan following, Imaginary truly represents a next-gen creative approach to the creative business by hot-housing its established and fresh new talents, delivering creative services and content to a global audience.  <read all about them, and check out their work here>

Wow, really cool vibe.  Bit of a collective of concept artists… definitely have to hook up with them!

the webpage of ed lopez

My Name its Ed Lopez (edlo). Here you can find a general sample of my most recent work in the matte painting field, manipulation and digital painting…  <see artist’s webpage and more art here>

Wow, love this dude’s work!  Go check him out and give him some props!

 

 

american diplomatic memo outlined rules for yeti hunting in nepal

On December 10, 1959, Ernest Fisk of the American embassy in Kathmandu delineated the Nepalese government’s regulations on any mountaineer’s interactions with the yeti… <read the full post here> @ <http://io9.com/>

Nothing like good ol’ 50’s conspiracy…  Everyone loves sasquatch!

too cute: tiny robot busts out the dance moves


Japan has robots in just about every flavor you can imagine. There are ‘bots to care for the elderly and ‘bots to cook you ramen. There are even robots to belt out the latest pop tunes<read full story here> @ <http://www.cnngo.com/>

Makes me think of that great dance scene in Geisha…

wouldn’t it be great to have a full-size more human robo-geisha doing a full dance?  Cool stuff!

the pentagon’s beetle borgs

Researchers create what may be the perfect scout: a bug controlled remotely through a chip implanted in its optic lobes and flight muscles…  <read the full story here> @ <http://discovermagazine.com/>

Awesome title!  Awesome pic! Awesome article!  AWESOME!