Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Gaspar Noé's List of 10 Favorite Films Makes Perfect, Terrifying Sense Gaspar Noé's List of 10 Favorite Films Makes Perfect, Terrifying Sense Jon Hamm Wants You to Know There's Hope for Don Draper After 'Mad Men' Jon Hamm Wants You to Know There's Hope for Don Draper After 'Mad Men' Women Fight Back at Cannes, From Megan Ellison to Emily Blunt Women Fight Back at Cannes, From Megan Ellison to Emily Blunt Of Time & Life: How 'Mad Men' Remade Television Of Time & Life: How 'Mad Men' Remade Television Nikki Finke Returns Nikki Finke Returns Cannes Goes Crazy for Jeremy Saulnier's Gruesome Neo-Nazis vs. Punks Horror 'Green Room' Cannes Goes Crazy for Jeremy Saulnier's Gruesome Neo-Nazis vs. Punks Horror 'Green Room' Cannes Festival Is Dominated by Two Hollywood Masters Cannes Festival Is Dominated by Two Hollywood Masters Top Ten Takeaways: Sequels Rule as Women Boost 'Pitch Perfect 2,' 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Also Strong Top Ten Takeaways: Sequels Rule as Women Boost 'Pitch Perfect 2,' 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Also Strong Cannes: Directors from Fincher to Scorsese Revisit Truffaut's Famous Interview with Hitchcock Cannes: Directors from Fincher to Scorsese Revisit Truffaut's Famous Interview with Hitchcock 'Pitch Perfect 2' Outperforms 'Mad Max: Fury Road'; 'Ultron' Is Now Top 2015 Release 'Pitch Perfect 2' Outperforms 'Mad Max: Fury Road'; 'Ultron' Is Now Top 2015 Release Kristen Stewart Re-Teams with Her 'Sils Maria' Director for Ghost Story Set in Fashion World Kristen Stewart Re-Teams with Her 'Sils Maria' Director for Ghost Story Set in Fashion World Watch: Netflix's Ted Sarandos Heckled at Cannes, Gets Weinstein on His Feet During Heated Debate (VIDEO) Watch: Netflix's Ted Sarandos Heckled at Cannes, Gets Weinstein on His Feet During Heated Debate (VIDEO) George Miller and DP John Seale Go Inside 'Mad Max: Fury Road': "It Was Like Being in a Video Game" George Miller and DP John Seale Go Inside 'Mad Max: Fury Road': "It Was Like Being in a Video Game" Natalie Portman's Passion Project 'Tale of Love and Darkness' Splits Cannes Critics Natalie Portman's Passion Project 'Tale of Love and Darkness' Splits Cannes Critics Cannes: 'Dogtooth' Director Yorgos Lanthimos Scores with Surreal, Macabre 'The Lobster' (Review and Roundup) Cannes: 'Dogtooth' Director Yorgos Lanthimos Scores with Surreal, Macabre 'The Lobster' (Review and Roundup) Weinstein Co. Offers Strong Slate at Cannes Weinstein Co. Offers Strong Slate at Cannes 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Auteur George Miller Does It His Way, No Matter How Long It Takes 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Auteur George Miller Does It His Way, No Matter How Long It Takes The Top 20 Episodes of 'Mad Men' The Top 20 Episodes of 'Mad Men' How the 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Score Paid Homage to Hitchcock's 'Vertigo' How the 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Score Paid Homage to Hitchcock's 'Vertigo' Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A)

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

Photo of Bill Desowitz By Bill Desowitz | Thompson on Hollywood May 10, 2012 at 6:36AM

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.
0
The Hobbit
'The Hobbit'

I'm in Stuttgart, Germany, this week for the FMX conference on animation, VFX, games, and transmedia. This marks the 17th gathering in what has become Europe's most prestigious computer graphics confab in this hub of activity (fittingly, the Museum Square battle in "The Avengers," though shot in Cleveland, occurs in Stuttgart).
 
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.
 
In fact, the ability to now perform principal photography in the computer completes the digital production pipeline for movies and points to the total convergence of live action and animation, so there's a lot of attention being paid at FMX to some of Hollywood's latest and greatest eyecandy, including "The Avengers," "Battleship," "The Hunger Games," "The Lorax," the "Total Recall" remake, "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," "Men in Black 3," and "Wreck-It Ralph," among others.

It's all about creating unique and compelling CG characters and immersive worlds with greater photorealism and rendering power. One of the new buzzwords is "world building," which has to do with inventing universes comprised of geography, culture, and history. These worlds can be fantastical ("Total Recall") or grounded in reality (Steven Spielberg's "War Horse"). Regardless, they need to be designed and manufactured with total believability and a visceral power that transport us. One of the amazing revelations was the Third Floor's sophisticated previs of "War Horse," in which every detail was executed effectively in a low-res version from the English period landscape to the "Paths of Glory"-like trench warfare to the choreography of the calvary charge to the emotional power of Joey, the heroic horse. Some of the details were so effective that they saved Spielberg about three week's worth of work, which is previs at its best.

However, the highlight for me was moderating a panel about higher frame rates with the pioneering Doug Trumbull, technology expert Ray Feeney and Arri engineer Johannes Steurer. Trumbull is adamant about returning to directing with a daring new first-person, sci-fi project he's developing that's tailor-made for virtual production and 3-D at higher frame rates, which could be just the kind of game-changer that reinvigorates the theatrical experience a la "2001: A Space Odyssey." Yet Trumbull's experiment would be a low-budget indie made on his Berkshires farm.

This article is related to: Digital Future, New Media & Technology, James Cameron, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg


E-Mail Updates






Festivals on TOH