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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Watch: Visual Effects Branch Narrows List to 15

Oscar Watch: Visual Effects Branch Narrows List to 15
Fifteen features have made the semi-finals for the Visual Effects Oscar. In early January, the visual effects branch executive committee members (who selected the semifinalists) will trim the list to seven. At the VFX bakeoff on January 20, the VFX teams screen 15-minute show-reels that show how they achieved their effects. Then the members will vote on the final five nominated films for Oscar consideration. The 83rd Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Tuesday, January 25, 2011, at 5:30 a.m. PT.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 10, 2010 11:31 AM
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  • 12 Comments

TRON: Legacy’s 3-D VFX Stretch Current Movie Tech to its Limits

TRON: Legacy’s 3-D VFX Stretch Current Movie Tech to its Limits
In the current issue of Popular Mechanics, I dig into the edge of the visual effects frontier represented by TRON: Legacy, which Disney opens wide December 17. The sumptuously visual movie will wow moviegoers with its 3-D VFX, if not its compelling storyline. Here's a snatch of the feature:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 9, 2010 7:08 AM
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  • 0 Comments

TRON: Legacy Early Reviews: "Visually Stunning," "Flimsy," "Sloppy," "Immersive"

TRON: Legacy Early Reviews: "Visually Stunning," "Flimsy," "Sloppy," "Immersive"
Well, someone let the cat out of the bag on Disney's Tron: Legacy sequel: reviews weren't supposed to to go live until after the London premiere (the Livestream December 5 is here). A sampling of reviews is below. Some like it, some don't.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 4, 2010 2:21 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Academy Watch: Star Trek VFX Show-and-Tell

Visual effects wonks (like me) who are lucky enough to live in L.A. may want to show up on Thursday, November 18 for the Academy's Science and Technology Council program “Visualize This: Previs in the Making of Star Trek." Using clips and behind-the-scenes footage, a panel led by Star Trek writer-producer Damon Lindelof (Lost, Cowboys & Aliens) will explore the challenges and opportunities of the previsualization (previs) process at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 10, 2010 9:31 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Vanguard Films Forms Alliance with "Kung Fu Panda"'s Stevenson and Moviemill

John Williams' Vanguard Films has inked an overall producing and directing deal with John Stevenson (Kung Fu Panda) and formed a financing and distribution alliance with former president of Lakeshore International Peter Rogers' new company Moviemill.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 8, 2010 9:32 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Freeman To Get AFI Life Achievement Award; Fincher's Rendezvous with Rama in Works

Freeman To Get AFI Life Achievement Award; Fincher's Rendezvous with Rama in Works
Morgan Freeman, 73, is having quite a year. He started off 2010 with his fifth Oscar nomination, for playing Nelson Mandela in Clint Eastwood's Invictus; his latest movie, the well-reviewed comedy thriller Red opens on Friday; and he may actually land David Fincher as the director of his 15 years-in-development outer-space epic Rendezvous with Rama. (See MTV video below.) The reason this is now close to being possible: Fincher and James Cameron's advances with performance capture and 3-D.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 12, 2010 8:53 AM
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Movie Monsters and Screenwriting Perspectives at Academy

Heading toward Halloween, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will celebrate the evolution of creature technology on October 21 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. "Monsters in the Movies" will include an on-stage discussion with industry technical experts plus film clips tracing technological progress from 1933's King Kong to 1993's Jurassic Park and beyond. A display of monster movie artifacts will welcome guests in the lobby. Click here for tickets and info.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 7, 2010 6:04 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Academy Selects Scientific Achievement Short List

Academy Selects Scientific Achievement Short List
The Motion Picture Academy's scientific and technical awards committee has selected 15 achievements for further awards consideration. Now anyone else with similar devices or prior claims can offer their achievements to the committee, by August 31.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 20, 2010 5:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Mid-Summer Box Office Wrap: Top Ten Chart, Studio Report Card

At mid-summer, the box office is lagging just behind last year's pace and ticket sales are flat, reports Anthony D'Alessandro, who charts the season's winners, losers and studio market shares so far (as of last weekend). Will red-hot Inception take the number one box office crown from Toy Story 3? Stay tuned, as numbers and rankings will change by Labor Day.
  • By Anthony D'Allessandro
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  • August 5, 2010 5:37 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Starz Seeks Next Sopranos, Shyamalan Circulates New Script, 3-D Decline, Jonah Hex Misfire

- In a bid to compete with HBO and Showtime, Starz has acquired the U.S. rights to remake the successful and critically acclaimed Aussie drama Underbelly, based on a real life '70s crime family. Former HBO chief Chris Albrecht (who launched The Sopranos) took over as Starz CEO last December. Vulture reports that Underbelly, along with UK show Torchwood and a planned Camelot saga, spearhead Starz's latest programming push. While the crime theme underlines both The Sopranos and Underbelly, it is new for Albrecht to look outside for inspiration. During his twenty-plus years at HBO, he tended to create original programming in-house. Things have changed; old content finds sizable viewership on channels like AMC, and audiences' appeal can be targeted more globally than locally.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 22, 2010 3:32 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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