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Immersed in Movies: Talking 'The Hobbit,' Higher Frame Rates, and Virtual Production at FMX [Updated]

I'm in Stuttgart, Germany, this week for the FMX conference on animation, VFX, games, and transmedia. Not surprisingly, the emphasis at FMX is on virtual production, the hottest industry topic, thanks to the influence of "Avatar" and the lingering interest in last year's Oscar winner, "Hugo," among others.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • May 10, 2012 6:36 AM
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Jackson, Walsh, Berg and Echols Talk 'West of Memphis' at Sundance: "Stay Tuned"

Producers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh participated in a Sundance press conference for Amy Berg's controversial doc "West of Memphis" Saturday.
  • By Anne Thompson and Charles Lyons
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  • January 22, 2012 2:43 AM
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Video Watch: Peter Jackson's "Hobbit" Production Diary, Teaser

Peter Jackson has been brilliantly nourishing our collective hobbit-mania with production diary videos from his latest shoot, and yesterday's newest installment doesn't disappoint. Jackson's Christmas Day present gives us a glimpse at one of the biggest stars in "The Hobbit:" New Zealand. The first teaser for the "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" (the first of a two-film set) dropped earlier this week, so Middle Earth-fans have plenty to to be excited about heading into 2012. Check out the production diary below, as well as the trailer (if it somehow didn't take over your Facebook when it was released last Wednesday).
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • December 26, 2011 8:47 PM
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Immersed in Movies: 'Avatar' VFX Wiz Letteri Compares 'Apes' and 'Tintin,' Caesar and Haddock

It's been a great year for Joe Letteri, Weta Digital's senior visual effects supervisor, with "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" as the front runner for the VFX Oscar and "The Adventures of Tintin" opening today and competing in the animation category.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 21, 2011 12:04 PM
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  • 1 Comment

The Three Gifts of Andy Serkis: Hobbit Teaser, Caesar and Captain Haddock

Among the many things to be thankful for at this time of year, such as compelling art house films fighting for your box office dollar after a summer of mindless tent-poles ("Shame" beats "Green Lantern" any day), let us acknowledge Three Gifts from Andy Serkis for the year 2011. The first two may never get the credit they deserve, but "Hobbit" fans will be excited for the third:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 15, 2011 4:45 PM
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Spielberg's Exhilarating E-Ride Adventures of Tintin Closes AFI FEST with North American Premiere: Review and New Trailer

As Jamie Bell, sporting a Tintin haircut, introduced the closing night attraction at AFI FEST 2011, Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin" (December 21), he felt the need to tell the audience exactly who Tintin is. Belgian Herge's comic book character was created back in 1929, serialized in newspapers around the world, and over the years translated into 80 languages, selling 200 million copies. "I started reading the comics when I was eight," said Bell. "I've been preparing for this role for a while." Herge had said before he died in 1983 that if anyone could direct "Tintin" it should be Steven Spielberg. The director sent a video from the Virginia set of "Lincoln," admitting that this is the first time he's directed an animated movie.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 11, 2011 1:58 PM
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Clip Watch: Classic Tintin Stop-Motion Animation from 1947, En Francais

As a frame of reference for those of you eagerly awaiting the Jackson/Spielberg The Adventures of Tintin, which opened well in Europe this week, here's the first black-and-white stop-motion part of what some folks grew up on in Europe: Tintin and Snowy (or Milou) in Claude Missone's Le crab aux pinces d'or (The Crab with the Golden Claws, 1947). It's frame for frame the same as Herge's comic book of the same name.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 30, 2011 8:39 AM
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Foreign Box Office: Spielberg's Adventures of Tintin Opens Big Overseas

Sony and Paramount's move to open Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin overseas months ahead of its December stateside release --where the Herge comic books are beloved--is paying off. The performance capture film opened overseas with an estimated $55.8 million in 19 markets.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 30, 2011 5:20 AM
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Jackson will Direct Next Tintin Along with The Hobbit; Secret of the Unicorn Opens Abroad October 26

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn opens abroad this week (the U.S. waits until December 21), so what better time to confirm that producer Peter Jackson will direct the second installment of the franchise? Most critics have been pretty high on the commercial-looking performance capture action movie, whether or not they have a history with Hergé‘s comics, so a second Tintin is a safe bet.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • October 25, 2011 7:40 AM
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Fall/Holiday Preview: Four Films to Get Animated About, Especially Tintin

Fall/Holiday Preview: Four Films to Get Animated About, Especially Tintin
Bill Desowitz considers the Fall/Holiday seasons animated features, The Adventures of Tintin, Puss in Boots, Arthur Christmas and Happy Feet Two. Which have the right stuff to join Rango as an Oscar contender?It's obviously been a terrific week for Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin, given the mostly positive reviews coming out of Europe timed to the October 26 international release. And judging by the stunning new trailer and the footage I've already seen, the experiment seems to have paid off well for Spielberg and producing partner Peter Jackson. In fact, Tintin could very well turn out to be the performance capture game-changer for animation that we've been expecting, feeding off the momentum from Weta's innovative work on Avatar and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • October 21, 2011 5:44 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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