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Thompson on Hollywood

Immersed in Movies: Talking 'Looper' VFX

Rian Johnson, like many directors, hated CG without really understanding it. But no more, thanks to "Looper's" VFX supervisor, Karen Goulekas ("Green Lantern," "The Day After Tomorrow," "Spider-Man"). In fact, she made it her mission to turn Johnson into a convert. But then Goulekas had no choice: she needed A-list VFXers to create convincing work for the futuristic thriller about time traveling hit man Joseph Gordon-Levitt confronting his older self (Bruce Willis) in an existential showdown.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • September 28, 2012 11:54 AM
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Immersed in Movies: Back to Basics with 'Hotel Transylvania'

It turns out that Genndy Tartakovsky's hand-drawn vision for "Hotel Transylvania" was just what this troubled movie needed. The monster mash about letting go of your children and learning to live with humans (echoing Pixar's "Monsters, Inc." and "Finding Nemo") might be light on story, but...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • September 20, 2012 11:53 AM
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Immersed in Movies: The VFX Tipping Point?

With Digital Domain Media sinking like the Titanic and filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but Searchlight Capital Partners coming to the rescue and buying its Oscar-winning VFX division ("Titanic" and "Benjamin Button") for $15 million...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • September 11, 2012 3:02 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Immersed in Movies: Revisiting 'The Avengers' and Handicapping the VFX Oscar Race

Unlike the Oscar race for best animated feature, there's already a clear front-runner for VFX: "The Avengers," with its dazzling work from Industrial Light & Magic (especially the Hulk). Of course, there's still quite a heated race ahead when Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" hits theaters December 14...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • September 6, 2012 3:08 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Immersed in Movies: Diving into 'Finding Nemo 3D'

I went up to Pixar last week to see "Finding Nemo 3D" (which platforms theatrically September 14 at the El Capitan and elsewhere before surfacing Dec. 4 on Blu-ray & Blu-ray 3D from Disney Home Entertainment). It'll be interesting to see how "Nemo" performs after 10 years in light of Disney racking up a record $94.2 million...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • August 23, 2012 4:45 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Immersed in Movies: Halon Partners with Minimo Vfx on New Previs Process

Previs boutique Halon Entertainment ("The Hunger Games," "Prometheus," "Life of Pi") has formed a partnership with Minimo Vfx of Barcelona that will usher in a new "build it once" philosophy for CG creatures during pre-production. This will avoid the duplication of making them again later on during VFX. The two companies are currently working together on "Dome," directed by VFXer Brandon Fayette.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • August 20, 2012 7:56 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Talking Virtual Production and Higher Frame Rate at SIGGRAPH

Virtual production and higher frame rate dominated the conversation at this week’s SIGGRAPH conference in LA, just as they did at FMX earlier in the year. Despite Warner Bros. scaling back on the number of screens that it will play “The Hobbit” at 48 fps on December 14...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • August 9, 2012 3:53 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Previewing Disney's Animated 'Wreck-It Ralph'

I got a 25-minute glimpse this week of Disney's "Wreck-It Ralph," the wacky comedy that takes place inside the world of video games coming November 2. Funny and inventive with enough iconic cameos to put a smile on the face of gamers, it's more "Alice in Wonderland" than "Tron"...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • August 2, 2012 3:03 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Previewing Art and Science at SIGGRAPH, with Muren, Letteri, Trumbull, Landau, Deakins

The prestigious computer graphics conference SIGGRAPH has always been about the convergence of art and science. It's a place to showcase the latest and greatest advancements driving the industry's blockbuster work in VFX and animation. This year, the 39th edition returns to the LA Convention Center (Aug. 5-9).
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • July 26, 2012 12:27 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Cracking the 'Ice Age' Success on its 10th Anniversary

It's hard to believe that the "Ice Age" animated franchise is now 10 years old with the fourth installment, "Continental Drift," opening Friday.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • July 12, 2012 1:18 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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