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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Watch: Tim Burton and VFX Master Ken Ralston Talk Alice in Wonderland

Oscar Watch: Tim Burton and VFX Master Ken Ralston Talk Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland presented a high degree of difficulty for veteran VFX master Ken Ralston and director Tim Burton, who tends to prefer live action FX to digital ones. He clearly wrestled with the huge volume of CG effects—the film used far more green screen than he’s ever dealt with. “It starts freaking you out after a while,” he said at Comic-Con, admitting that Alice in Wonderland was “the most difficult” movie he’s ever done. Burton insisted on avoiding motion-capture as much as possible (the effects team did mo-cap some actors, for reference). Burton wound up favoring “pure animation and using actors in mysterious ways,” he said.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 11, 2011 9:29 AM
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Oscar Video: Santa Barbara Producers and Womens Panels

For those who missed coverage of last week's Santa Barbara International Film Festival producer's panel, Lynda.com has posted video clips (below). Producers on the panel moderated by the LAT's Patrick Goldstein include Darla K. Anderson of Toy Story 3, Iain Canning of The King’s Speech, Alix Madigan of Winter’s Bone,Todd Lieberman of The Fighter, Mike De Luca of The Social Network and Jamie Patricof of Blue Valentine.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 11, 2011 9:16 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Barnard's Athena Film Fest Launches; Screenings of Miss Rep, Desert Flower, Mo, Winter's Bone

Friday night marked the opening of the first ever Athena Film Festival (February 10 to 13), organized by Barnard’s Athena Center for Leadership Studies director Kathryn Kolbert and Women and Hollywood's Melissa Silverstein. Athena turns out to be the first ever women and leadership festival, revealed Barnard president Debora L. Spar as she kicked off the fest with a string of hideous statistics proving that the percentage of women in leadership positions in Hollywood today is still worse than the aerospace industry.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 11, 2011 7:27 AM
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SBIFF Oscar Q & A: Nicole Kidman Talks Career, Rabbit Hole

SBIFF Oscar Q & A: Nicole Kidman Talks Career, Rabbit Hole
A week of celebrity tributes honoring Oscar-nominated directors and actors at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival concluded Feb. 5 with Nicole Kidman appearing to receive the Cinema Vanguard Award at the city’s spectacular single-screen theater, the 2000-seat Arlington, reports Justin Lowe. Christopher Nolan, James Franco, Annette Bening and Geoffrey Rush were among the luminaries accepting awards earlier in the fest.A packed house greeted SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling, who began the program by introducing a 15-minute clip reel featuring a variety of films from the Oscar-winning actress’ career – from her early appearances in the 1991 romance Flirting and the comedy/thriller To Die For, to more recent titles The Hours, Cold Mountain and Margot at the Wedding, as well as one of Durling’s personal favorites, Australian director Baz Luhrmann’s musical Moulin Rouge.
  • By Justin Lowe
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  • February 11, 2011 7:03 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Berlin Dealbook: Pina, Midnight's Children, Tyrannosaur, Hot Potato, House of Horror (UPDATE)

Berlin Dealbook: Pina, Midnight's Children, Tyrannosaur, Hot Potato, House of Horror (UPDATE)
The deals keep coming at the European Film Market in Berlin.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 11, 2011 5:55 AM
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Oscar Talk: Bening vs. Portman, Leo's Gaffe, Nominees Lunch, BAFTAs, Inception Surge

Oscar Talk: Bening vs. Portman, Leo's Gaffe, Nominees Lunch, BAFTAs, Inception Surge
We're in the thick of the Oscar race now. In this week's Oscar Talk podcast, In Contention's Kris Tapley and Guy Lodge and I discuss the real contest between Annette Bening and Natalie Portman, whether Melissa Leo's glam ads are opening up the field in supporting actress, and how the Nominees Lunch and the upcoming BAFTAs on Sunday give us a sense of where the races are tipping.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 11, 2011 4:59 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Lionsgate, Studiocanal, Miramax Sign Home Video Deal

The new Miramax business plan is about exploiting the 550-title library acquired from Disney--in all media: DVD, Blu-ray, EST and online and global cable VOD.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 11, 2011 3:05 AM
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London Film Critics Circle Goes for Fincher, Firth, Bale, Bening, Manville

The Social Network squeaked ahead of The King's Speech at the 31st London Film Critics’ Circle Awards Thursday with four wins to three. Each boasted seven nominations. The Social Network Film and Director of the Year, homeboy Andrew Garfield for British Actor in a Supporting Role, and Aaron Sorkin for Screenwriter of the Year. The King's Speech won Best Actor for Colin Firth, British Director of the Year for Tom Hooper and The Attenborough Award for British Film of the Year.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 11, 2011 12:35 AM
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Indie Spirit Award Nominees Talk; Presenters Are Eisenberg, Saldana, Rudd, Wasikowska

Film Independent and Indie Spirits sponsor Jameson Irish Whiskey handed out personal recording devices to the 2011 Spirit Award nominees -- which yielded some nominees' take on their filmmaking experiences. Jennifer Lawrence, Aaron Eckhart, Dale Dickey, Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger are among the folks who addressed such topics as riding bikes in Manhattan, taking baths and giving blood.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 10, 2011 10:45 AM
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Social Network Q & A: Composers Reznor & Ross Talk Score, Fight Club Musical, Editors Baxter & Wall

Social Network Q & A: Composers Reznor & Ross Talk Score, Fight Club Musical, Editors Baxter & Wall
Bragging rights to a quantity of Oscars are important to the bigger-scale films vying for technical awards. Amy Dawes covered the Q & A for The Social Network including composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, and editors Kurt Baxter and Angus Wall:Trent Reznor took an instinctual, unstudied approach to creating his first film score, and it paid off – surprising even him. So said the Nine Inch Nails frontman last night at a screening in Hollywood of The Social Network, for which the score he co-created with Atticus Ross is nominated for an Oscar – and has already won a Golden Globe.
  • By Amy Dawes
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  • February 10, 2011 9:35 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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