China is Creating its Own Sci-fi Franchise to Rival “Transformers” and “The Hunger Games”
(qz.com) Hollywood remains the global mecca for big-budget sci-fi movies, producing global multi-part powerhouses such as The Hunger Games and Iron Man. As Chinese financing flows into Hollywood movies, China’s own fast-growing film industry wants to try its hand at building a sci-fi franchise of its own.
Chinese film studios have wrapped up production of The Three-Body Problem, an adaptation of a popular sci-fi novel about an alien invasion that takes place during the Cultural Revolution. The three-part series that it’s the first part of has sold more than a million copies in China—unusually high popularity for the genre in China. In November 2014, the first book was translated into English and published in the United States by Tor Books.
The film will be the first of a five-part series co-produced by Alibaba Pictures and Yoozoo pictures, both relatively new players in China’s film industry. Each feature is reported to have a budget of 200 million yuan (about US$32 million), and the first feature is to hit theaters in July 2016.
China’s consumers have an appetite for foreign and domestic films alike. Six out of the ten highest-grossing films in China were from Hollywood, while the remainder were produced at home.
What China’s film industry lacks is a very specific type of franchise—series that have a large narrative universe, and that rely heavily on special effects. Hollywood studios love these franchises because audiences prefer to see them in the theater rather than at home (which helps curb piracy), and they also come packed with intellectual property that’s easy to license out. The Three-Body Problem marks an early Chinese attempt to follow this model.
China’s domestic film industry remains an important part of the nation’s entertainment industry as a whole. Box office receipts hit $4.82 billion in 2014, and that figure will likely exceed the US by 2017. And with a quota of only 34 foreign films that can show in theaters each year (expected to increase by 10 movies in 2017 for art-house and Oscar-winners), Chinese movies have some advantage.
Moreover, the industry has plenty of room to grow—America has 20 movie screens per resident, while China has less than five.
2015 VES Summit Keynote Speaker Announced – Dean Devlin
(us2.campaign-archive2.com) As we move from the information age into the Visualization age where every industry uses imagery to educate, communicate, entertain and sell — it’s creative development and its aligned businesses that will drive this developing economy. Virtualization speaks to cloud-based production, to augmented and virtual realities, to multi-platform experiences, and the broad idea of hyper-connectivity. It encompasses heightened realities, immersive experiences, presence capture, and more. This evolution is bringing about changes and expansion in Storytelling.
Exceptional Storytelling remains the ultimate goal but approaches are open to innovation. From TV taking non-time-constrained forms, to audience-driven narratives, to 360° experiences, webcasts and six second videos — all being told across multiple platforms — the creative world is in a seismic shift.
The VES Summit will delve into these exciting times and processes. Come join us!
Source with more info: http://us2.campaign-archive2.
Pirates Of The Caribbean 5 Finishes Filming
(denofgeek.com) Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales has wrapped production in Australia, it’s been confirmed.
For the last few months, production on Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales has been ongoing in Australia. Johnny Depp is reprising the role of Captain Jack Sparrow for the movie, and Javier Bardem leads the new additions to the cast.
This time around, the film is being directed by Espen Sandberg and Joachim Ronning, and it’s been revealed that production wrapped on the new movie at the end of last month. Not that you’re going to be seeing it anytime soon. We’re still just under two years away from the release of Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which is set to arrive in cinemas on July 7th 2017. We suspect there might just be a fair amount of post-production work to get through.
See Every Visual Effects Winner in Oscar History
(time.com) Visual effects have come a long way since Star Wars took home the first Academy Award for Best Visual Effects in 1978. Revisit everything from a galaxy far, far away to a dream near you with a look at every Visual Effects Oscar winner since the award’s inception.
VIDEO – Take a look: http://time.com/3717348/see-
‘The Thing’ Actor Jamie Bell inspired by Andy Serkis
(TV3.ie) Jamie Bell is inspired by Andy Serkis, and followed his lead when using motion capture in ‘Fantastic Four’.
The 29-year-old actor used motion capture to portray The Thing in ‘Fantastic Four’ and learned a lot about the technique from his ‘Tintin’ co-star, who most famously used it in ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘King Kong’.
Jamie said: ”I’ve worked with Andy Serkis a few times now, and seeing how he creates those characters is inspiring.
”When I did ‘Tintin’ I was asking a lot of questions.
”It’s all about breaking through that wall of technology and getting through to people. You need to work closely with the visual effects people to make sure you have authorship of your performance.
”That can be blurry at times, but as long as you’re in close contact, then you’re fine.”
Jamie also had his voice digitally altered because he and film bosses felt it would be ”pretty silly” for him to change his tones himself.
He explained to Shortlist magazine: ”We had a few conversations and we ultimately decided it would be pretty silly for me to put on a voice.
”You lose a sense of who the character was before. They’ve changed my voice in post-production – it’s me but slightly warped.”
NUKE and V-Ray
(fxguide.com) Today at Siggraph the Foundry and Chaos Group are announcing V-Ray for Nuke. The renderer allows Nuke artists to render full V-Ray on any version of Nuke or Nuke Studio and runs on Windows and Linux. For artists doing environment work camera projections are an essential tool environment work, and so Chaos have worked closely with The Foundry to, for example, support NUKE’s Project3D. As a result V-Ray now emulates the Project3D node as closely when rendering V-Ray in NUKE. This means you have the option to avoid having to pass assets back and forth between departments to adjust 3D elements to match live action elements. It also means for the generalist, far more control without having to leave their current work space.
V-Ray’s Nuke version is built on the same adaptive rendering core as V-Ray’s standard plugins for Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya. “The introduction of V-Ray for NUKE adds a powerful component to a comprehensive pipeline,” said Sean Brice, product manager for NUKE, The Foundry. “By bringing increased creative capabilities and efficiencies to the pipeline, artists can focus more on the creative process, achieving better results in less time.”
We caught up with the Chaos developers and spoke to a team of artists who did a brilliant test during the Beta cycle, to answer the question: “why would I want to render in NUKE and not just MAYA?”.
Full article: http://www.fxguide.com/
UK Needs 1.2 Million New Digital / Creative Workers
(screendaily.com) A total of 1.2 million digital and creative skilled workers needed by 2022 says Creative Skillset
The digital and creative sector is expected to need 1.2 million new workers by 2022 – equivalent to half the current workforce.
Creative Skillset, the creative industries skills and training body, has accepted the challenges of the unprecedented growth outlined in the UK Commission for Employment & Skills (UKCES) report, Sector Insights, Skills Challenges in the digital and creative sector.
In order to meet this level of growth, fairer access to job opportunities and training is essential, according to Creative Skillset.
The report demanded that the digital and creative sectors speak to a wider field of potential recruits with different educational and professional backgrounds.
Outside of IT and Tech, the creative digital sector is formed of small businesses and has high levels of freelancers, characterised by informal recruitment and barriers to training.
Creative Skillset CEO Dinah Caine said: “With a growing workforce, ensuring fair access is an absolute priority for our industries. That’s why we’ve launched Hiive, a professional networking site for the creative community.
“No matter what background you come from or whether you’re a filmmaker, photographer, games developer, an apprentice a school leaver, a graduate or a digital design veteran, Hiive has the right mix of tools and resources to help you start or further your career.”
Powered by Creative Skillset and with startup co-investment from UKCES, Hiive has gained more than 23,000 members since its launch in March. The site provides information on accessing the industries, including apprenticeships.
Later this month, Creative Skillse will launch a Trainee Finder service that matches trainees with companies across the UK’s animation, games, film, high-end TV and VFX industries on the platform.
Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy Ed Vaizey said: “The latest report from UKCES confirms how important diverse talent is for these fast growing sectors, and initiatives like Hiive and the work of Creative Skillset have already made great strides in championing fairer access and training in the creative industries.”
Paramount VFX Supe Takes us Behind the Scenes of the Effects Created for Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation…
(3dtotal.com) Tom Cruise (Risky Business) has developed a reputation for performing his own stunts, but even the fearless actor needed some digital magic conjured by David Vickery (Furious 6) who supervised the visual effects for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015).
“The marketing campaign has focused on the practical effects, and that is fair to a certain extent because Chris McQuarrie’s (Jack Reacher) mantra was always do it for real, get it in-camera, and no CG for CG sake,” notes Vickery, who was responsible for over 1,200 visual effect shots. “But inevitably there are portions of the movie that rely on visual effects to enable them to be brought to life.”
A particular example comes to mind. “You could have had Tom Cruise at the side of the A400 with wires everywhere which aren’t much fun to see. Visual effects steps in and paints the rigs out. In addition to that the vision of the filmmaker was to make the location more acceptable to the story. We filmed it in the UK but the A400 environment was supposed to be a disused military airfield in Belarus. We replaced large portions of the background, reorganized the structure of the airfield, and put in grass covered hangers and fencing.”
“We did previs for the A400 because Airbus was going to be picky about where we could put our rigs and mounts,” states David Vickery. “We knew exactly the shots we were going to get, exactly where Tom was going to run on the plane, exactly where camera angles needed to be, and the speed the plane would be travelling.”
Angelina Jolie Pitt to Exec Produce Animated Feature ‘Breadwinner’
(animationmagazine.net) Angelina Jolie Pitt and her Jolie Pas Productions have teamed up with Aircraft Pictures (Toronto), Cartoon Saloon (Ireland) and Melusine Productions (Luxembourg) to executive produce a new animated feature, The Breadwinner. Based on the best-selling YA novel by Canadian author Deborah Ellis, the project is being directed by Cartoon Saloon’s Nora Twomey (co-director, The Secret of Kells) from a screenplay by live-action writer/director Anita Doron.
The Breadwinner is the story of an Afghani girl named Parvana living under Taliban rule, who passes herself off as a boy in order to support her family when her father is unjustly imprisoned. According to the producers, in addition to highlighting messages of self-empowerment and ingenuity, the film will also celebrate the culture, history and beauty of Afghanistan — and a version produced in Dari is planned in addition to an English cut.
The Foundry introduces MARI 3
(screenafrica.com) At Siggraph 2015 – the world’s largest conference on computer graphics, taking place from 9 to 13 August at the Los Angeles Convention Centre – The Foundry is demonstrating MARI 3, the newest version of its 3D paint package. Ideal for texturing and look development artists in the VFX, animation and games industries, MARI 3 combines productivity enhancing features with broader and tighter pipeline integration. This includes an exposed node graph for advanced users and integration with the rendering and baking capabilities of MODO, The Foundry’s 3D content creation solution.
“Fitting into the pipeline or creative lifecycle in which an artist works is just as important as enabling artists to create beautiful 3D painted and textured content,” said Jack Greasley, head of new technologies at The Foundry. “Therefore, MARI 3 continues The Foundry’s commitment to addressing not only what artists need to do but how and where they do it. This includes seamless integration with third parties, open APIs and support for industry standards.”
MARI 3 brings support for widely used shaders such as Unreal, as well as for OpenSubdiv geometry. Within the games market, more AAA and indie game developers have adopted MARI to create the cinematic quality characters and experiences required in today’s most successful games.
For visual effects artists, MARI 3 delivers creative tools that provide the performance, power and quality that the creation of today’s high resolution assets require. Prior to MARI, 3D paint solutions could only handle a small handful of textures at one time. Now, with MARI, artists can create and edit thousands of high resolution textures, freeing them to concentrate on their art rather than technical details. As film and television audiences demand more spectacular visual effects, MARI lets artists push their artistic imagination.
“I’ve used MARI for almost five years now and really don’t know where I would be without it. It has been the cornerstone for all of my texture work both personally and professionally,” said Justin Holt, texture paint lead, Sony Pictures Imageworks. “MARI is a world-class tool for any serious texture painter and I highly recommend to anybody who wants to succeed in the world of textures to pick this tool up now because it will quickly become one of the only tools you will ever need. I have spent time exploring MARI 3 and I simply cannot wait for the official release in order to take advantage of all of the wonderful new tools it will offer.”
MARI 3 will be commercially available in Q3 2015. For more information on MARI 3, visit The Foundry website.
2016 OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
(awardscircuit.com) The likes of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “In the Heart of the Sea,” and “Jurassic World” look like the top contenders at the moment. “The Martian” can break up the party if it becomes the technical marvel of the year.
The full list with runner-ups: http://www.awardscircuit.com/
Unionizing VFX In Vancouver – Frequently Asked Questions
(vfx.iatse.com) VFX is a modern labour chimera of part-time and full-time artists and technicians. Successful labour movements of the 21st century will need to reflect global competition and evolving digital technologies as traditional jobs are supplanted with ever increasing contract employment. The question is “Do you want to have a say in the way it evolves?” We invite you to do your own research. Talk with other union members in the industry. Ask IATSE members about working under a union contracts with benefits. If you have already made up your mind or want more information call 604.664.8921 or email the union at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let us know when you are ready to join the Union behind entertainment and we will assist you.
IATSE 891 responds to questions and concerns expressed by VFX artists:
“Why is IATSE 891 interested in unionizing all BC VFX artists?”
“Will I make more or less money in a union?”
“Will IATSE 891 be involved in management?”
“Is there seniority?”
“I want the freedom to negotiate my own contract”
“Does a unionized VFX industry mean I can’t be laid off or fired?”
“What are we guaranteed if we organize a union with IATSE?”
“IATSE 891 is a business that only wants our dues.”
“What type of benefits does IATSE 891 offer to its members?”
“Does IATSE 891 provide training?”
“When can we expect union contracts?”
“Will 60, 70, or 100 hour work weeks be common with a union contract?”
“Is it possible to contractually sign away my right to overtime?”
“I hear unions protect ‘Lazy Joes'”
“I’m an artist. I donate my time to make my art better. I make enough money and don’t want or need overtime, or a union contract.”
“Will a unionized VFX industry just encourage studios to leave Vancouver?”
Source with more: http://vfx.iatse.com/faq.aspx