Friday, October 31, 2008

HD EXPO Wrap Up:

Got a great update via Toolfarm from Michele Yamazaki on the HD EXPO and how things wrapped up Wednesday of this week in Burbank:

"Wednesday's panels featured an acquisition to post workflow with RED, featuring Ted Schilowitz and a cadre of cinematographers, producers and post experts, and featuring never-seen-before footage. Also on Wednesday, American Cinema Editors presented "See What's Coming - Meet the Editors of The Hottest New and Upcoming Releases," a panel discussion featuring top editors Paul Hirsch, ACE, Nancy Richardson, ACE, Terilyn Shropshire, ACE, and Myron Kerstein, moderated by Carolyn Giardina. On Thursday, HD EXPO launched the Second Annual 3D Day, a highly anticipated series of screenings and expert discussions about 3D. The panels took a hard look at 3D in its current state but kept an eye towards the future, as the technology barrels into the workflow and into the public consciousness. Industry leader Vince Pace ("Avatar," "Journey to the Center of the Earth," "U2 3D"), led two panels focusing on 3D. "Myth Busting 3D: Stop the Myths. Hear the Truth.", which featured director Eric Brevig, ("Journey to the Center of the Earth"), Doug Merrifield, ("Hannah Montana"), Glen McPherson, ASC, ("Final Destination 4"), Phil Orlins, (ESPN), and Eric Torres ("Final Destination 4"), explored and explained the facts and in some cases the fiction of 3D production. Pace also took the audience through a first hand -discussion of the exciting and challenging deployment of Sports in 3D. 3D screenings accompanied the panels. Peter Anderson, ASC was joined by Doug Bankston from American Cinematographer in a One-on-One conversation exploring Anderson's extensive 3D experience including "U2 3D," and a number of groundbreaking 3D public space projects."

Man I wish I had been able to attend this year's event! Next time!! (Guess I shouldn't jinx it with the Terrence Howard / War Machine hex! - Bring back Terrence Marvel! - Nothing against Cheadle though... ok enough already!)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Some Bolt Scenes Exposed With Miley And Travolta Duet

Freshly debuted is the new Miley Cyrus / John Travolta music video for the song "I Thought I Lost You" and the scenes look interesting - I tell you what, Disney is hitting all the right notes here and could will have a mammoth, MAMMOTH opening. Not only are we talking the 'tween factor but the added 3D revenue effect and what looks like awesome graphics.

Have a look at the video:

Who Is Going To Step Up To Bring Stereoscopic 3D Education To The Students Who Want It?

**UPDATE: October 31st - Bernard Mendiburu, an author of a new book entitled "3D Movie Making" contacted me and sent me the link for anyone interested to find out more info on it - the scheduled release date is February 2009. Here is a look at it's table of contents:

Introduction to 3D Cinema; Why and how do we see 3D?; Managing the switchover to Digital 3D; Introductory workshops; Thinking 3D, or 3D for Storytelling; 3D Art Direction; The 3D Principal Photography; CGI and Visual Effects in 3D; Compositing 3D; Editing 3D; Distributing and Showing 3D; Appendix: 3D Marketplace

Jim here. Recently, there has been a lot of discussion generated by interested students and industry veterans alike that there is a gaping hole in Stereographic 3D formal education. I have had a few prospective students ask: Where should I go to study?

The answer is not so simple. Much of the stereo knowledge lies in industry veterans and in the select few who are now on the leading edge of production - in other words, they ar
e too busy with projects to actually train anyone formally, UNLESS they have "understudies" working with them.

We have a unique situation with a demand that is sure to rise exponentially - just look at the 3D projects coming on stream - Over 20 in 2009! Of cou
rse it is supply and demand and right now, stereo experts are definitely in demand. So how do we get around this?

Well I contacted several industry insiders to understand things from their unique perspectives - I spoke with an Actor/Director; Producer; 3D Film Festival Director; 2D to 3D Conversion Experts; a 3D Consultant; and a 3D Supervisor at a Major Animation Studio. I asked them all: "How do we meet this need? Are there courses available right now to talk about, or is everything "picked up on the job"? What can we recommend to someone looking to enter the stereographic 3D field?"

Thomas Jane, Actor / Director THE DARK COUNTRY:
Jim – Good question! I am faced right now with trying to find people... (for some work on THE DARK COUNTRY). ...Thanks for fighting the good 3d fight. TJ

Christopher Crescitelli, Festival Director - The 3D Film & Interactive Festival:
“With 3-D exploding into all areas of entertainment media including film, television, the web, and video games there is already a demand for skilled production technicians, game creators, animators, cinematographers, camera assistants, and post production personnel who can service and support the work flow associated with the creation of content. It is crucial that educational institutions and film programs across the globe begin to embrace 3-D as a viable skill set and begin teaching the early adopters how to use the current tools available to achieve the highest quality of 3-D output so that the industry at large can benefit from a much needed influx of compelling independent and studio supported content.”

“Most of the 3-D artists I have met through the years are people who were self taught through trial and error, or who have been
mentored by more seasoned individuals who had already been working in the space. Like most craft industries, 3-D trade secrets must be handed down from a Jedi mentor to a Padawan learner who is passionate about learning to create something that is harder do, more expensive to create, and harder to get distributed.”

Andrew Woods, Co-Chair of Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference:
"There isn't much out there... However, John Merritt and I run a full day short course on "Stereoscopic Display Application Issues".The course outline is here: and it runs next on 18 January 2009. The course runs the day before the Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference starts (and at the same venue) So the course is a good way of quickly getting up to speed with Stereoscopic 3D Technologies, followed by the conference which is a good way of getting up to speed with the latest developments."

Neil B. Feldman, EVP Sales, In-Three, Inc.:

"Hi Jim, Great question/issue. As you know, our process, Dimensionalization (2D to 3D conversion), is proprietary. As such, we train all our new employees. Entry level "trainees" do not have to come to us with any prior experience, although if they have some it certainly is a benefit. However, we are great supporters of the concept of creating some new "generic" courses in stereoscopy. -Neil"

John A. Rupkalvis, Stereoscopic Imaging Consultant, Writer & Educator:
"Jim ~
About four years ago, I was planning on teaching a course on this very subject. It was originally intended as a 6-month program to ultimately be expanded to a 4-year degree program. Unfortunately, the school that was scheduled to offer this course lost their funding and had to close. It was to have been located in China, where there seems to be much more interest in stereoscopic matters than in the U.S. Subsequently, I searched several film schools, including UCLA, Cal Arts, and USC. The general response (when there was one) was that this was a niche that would not have enough interest to support such a course."

Phil McNally, "Captain 3D", Dreamworks Animation
Hi Jim, I think 90% of all stereoscopic knowledge is currently held by the stereo photography clubs. People who have been shooting stereo for years as a fringe hobby. If anyone wants to learn they should find the nearest stereo club.

As a side note you should know that I contacted UCLA, USC and CalArts for their perspective on things and asking the same questions. I would have posted this at least a week ago, but I chose to give these guys time to get back to me. No response from ANY of them. Unbelievable. Either their disdain is with the modern blogger as a media or their very own students.

I submit that these centers for education should get their act together, discuss with the stereo community what is required and put together some comprehensive courses. There is an obvious need.

In the interim, we have some excellent suggestions from industry experts:
1. Seek out the stereo clubs in your area.
2. Learn on the job as much as possible if you are a coop student or lucky enough to be working with seasoned 3D experts.
3. Pick up as much as you can on your own through Internet resources and books.
4. Learn more about stereo through conferences and tradeshow seminars and programs.
5. In the absence of comment from the universities, I suspect that you could train the basics of your career with them, and then go to the "graduate school of 3D" by working side by side with a "3D Jedi Master" of a going concern.

And keep your eye on your goal - there is plenty of work out there if this is your chosen field, and from the friendly people I talk to on a daily basis - there is plenty of folks willing to help along the way.

If I can be of further assistance to any student, please email me directly at jim (at) marketsaw (dot) com.

RhinoBall Anybody? Free Disney"Bolt" iPhone App Now Available

Jim here. Check out the free iPhone application at the iPhone App Store called RhinoBall - a promotional piece in advance of the November 21st wide release of their sure to be massive box office hit, BOLT.

The game features a very well thought out and delivered graphics, effects and music and integrates the iPhone's accelerometer stunningly well. Nice trailers are included too (TV as well as Theater).

Thanks to IVY for giving us the heads up on this!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jon Favreau Talks AVATAR

Jim here. Well a certain retro website, to remain nameless (if you want to click through to them via *an excellent blog btw*, then go ahead by all means) had the opportunity granted to them by Jon Favreau to discuss numerous things from IRON MAN 2 to AVATAR. It is always great to hear new stuff on Cameron's work, even if it is from an old school site - too bad they never get any photos over there. *AHEM*, we do (here, here, here, here, here and here, etc, etc) - exclusives of course!

But enough about that (as fun as it is!) - let's hear from Jon:
Favreau on Cameron:

"He's sort of tireless in how much he invests into it as far as his time and effort. You know, he doesn't make a lot of movies, so a lot of thought and effort goes into each one. And I think that he's trying to present this format in a way where it is a game-changer and in seeing it I think it's the future. I don't think it's a flash in the pan. I think it's going to open up a whole new door and I think more so than the glasses it becomes about how many screens could actually present it in its pristine form."

"The amount of screens is just growing at a very, very fast rate in the States and I think in Europe as well and I think Avatar is going to be the kind of movie that's an event that you have to go see and you want to see again just to understand what you're looking at. And then you still have his very effective storytelling. He really creates an adventure and draws you into it in the hero's journey sense of storytelling, the Joseph Campbell sense of storytelling."

It is so good to hear Favreau talk about how Cameron is changing the game and that he is going to borrow what he has learned from him to help with IRON MAN 2. Does that mean stereographic 3D? God, I hope so. Don't let us down Jon! We all know you like it - sure IMAX might be a little too much, but 3D is right up your alley dude.

Let me put it this way: What would Tony Stark do?
You're damn right. Fire it up baby!

Jonas Brothers 3D Concert Movie Launching February 27th

Hey tweens - Jim here. The Jonas Brothers' BURNING UP 3D Concert Movie will be released nation wide on February 27th, 2009.

I will have more info on the scenes and hopefully a play list soon!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Are You In LA Wednesday Or Thursday? Don't Miss The Fusion 3D Mobile Production Units!

If you are a 3D fan and have the opportunity to drop by the HD Expo in Burbank on the 29th and 30th - then don't waste this chance to see the most highly credited stereoscopic 3D production units in the world. And they are mobile! The PACE Fusion 3D system.

"See first hand how A-list productions such as Disney’s Hannah Montana Concert Film, Disney’s Jonas Brothers Concert Film, AVATAR, U2 3D, NBA Entertainment LIVE events, Final Destination 4, and more are revolutionizing the production and post production experience through the seamless integration and transparency of Fusion 3D. Top stereoscopic film maker and innovative technology developer, Vince Pace, will be on hand to answer questions throughout the day*.

Fusion Mobile One is redefining the rules of stereoscopic production as the world’s only multi-cam production unit. Stationed within a 48’ mobile unit, Fusion Mobile One offers the creative team complete control over virtually every aspect of the acquisition work flow including Live 3D viewing, Real Time 3D graphic integration, fiber and satellite transmission capabilities and more. Fusion Mobile One continues to set the benchmark across entertainment categories including Live sports broadcasting, concerts and feature films. This photo of the Mobile One was taken during production of the Jonas Brothers Concert Film at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA in 2008

Fusion Mobile Two is leading the future/changing the landscape of post production as the world’s only location based, fully capable 3D post facility. Providing real-time 3D screening of both tape and file based stereo material, creation of Avid HD and SD files for editors, creation of media files for services such as digital Dailies, internet satellite connection for upload and download of all deliverables and file types of studios, VFX vendors and other post houses. As the heart of the unit, PACE has installed its second fully stereo enabled Quantel system. Originally developed at PACE’s request, the Quantel system allows for creative convergence manipulation in real-time and instant stereo conforms completely uncompressed.

To push the bar one level higher, Fusion Mobile Two is equipped to output security encrypted DCP’s for review in local theaters with Digital Cinema projectors or to be sent to the studio for review. Fusion Mobile Two can then be used to supply PACE post or any other post facility with completely conformed 3D masters for final DI. This gives the production full control over their entire post workflow from the first shot to the last shot and throughout the entire post and editorial process. The photo of Fusion Mobile Two was taken during the location based filming of Final Destination 4 in New Orleans, LA in 2008.

Tours will be 30-45 mins in length and will involve several of the various PACE/Cameron Fusion Systems as well as Fusion Mobile One and Fusion Mobile Two units. Registration is limited and on a first come, first served basis. To register for the expo and a tour click here. If you are already registered for the expo and would like to register for the tour click here.
(If registration if FULL, you can arrive 10 minutes before each tour to see if space has become available. - make sure you tell 'em that Jim from MarketSaw sent ya! :-)

*Vince Pace’s availability and participation is subject to change. Vince will be moderating and presenting during HD Expo panels on Thursday Oct 30.

Wait are you waiting for? The is a heckuva opportunity to see this groundbreaking 3D technology AND ask the co-inventor all about his system!

OH and a simply awesome, recent interview with Vince Pace can be found right here. Read it - it'll do ya good! :-)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Inside Info From the Culver City Set of "Alice In Wonderland"

**UPDATED October 27th: You can add Alan Rickman to the cast of AIW too! The cast for this movie is now approaching insane - If the buzz wasn't already enough, the addition of Rickman and Lee position the movie from all performance angles from odd to evil. Rickman will play Caterpiller, while Lee's part is still up in the air. Updates to follow!

Jim here. ZDonk recently had the opporunity to visit the set of ALICE IN WONDERLAND in Culver City, CA. Zack Roth's father Joe is actually a producer on the movie so the info seems legit enough (and understandingly not too too juicy).

Here is part of his report:

"The set itself was insane - the whole soundstage was draped in green-screen material, and there were dozens of motion capture cameras hanging overhead - it seemed like half the crew was there just to figure out how to make all the technologies work together.

This version of Alice In Wonderland won’t be your fluffy lollipop Disney movie. With Tim Burton directing, and Johnny Depp starring as the Mad Hatter, expect to see a darker, more twisted take on Lewis Carroll’s original narrative. Luckily Johnny Depp was working that day, and I got to see him in character. He looked startlingly crazy - Burton’s take on the Mad Hatter was pretty wild.

Linda Woolverton adapted the screenplay and I am told added some socio-political context to the film’s narrative. No doubt there will be several drug references and crazy mind blowing visuals, but the story will actually have some significant meaning. I don’t want to give away the framework of the story, so all I will say is that Alice and Neo from the Matrix have a lot in common in Disney’s 2010 release…but what does it all mean?!?!"

Check out his full report right here. What the hell does that mean? The Matrix? Remember that scene where Neo chooses between the red and blue pill and the references to AIW? Hmmm.

In related news, Slashfilm reports Christopher Lee has been cast in an unannounced role (most likely the King of Hearts) and Eleanor Tomlinson has been tapped to play a new role specifically made for Burton's vision - a friend of Alice (Fiona Chataway), who appears before Alice falls into the hole. (Yep, spoiler alert - there's a hole of some kind!) And as we already suspected, Danny Elfman is penning the score.

Christopher Lee is plain awesome. Instant credibility to whatever role he plays. Wise choice!

Friday, October 24, 2008

"Bolt" Soundtrack Pre-order Gives Some Clues To The Movie

Hey guys - Jim here. There is a little bit of info here to give us a clue as to the direction that Disney's BOLT will take us on when November 21st rolls around. Amazon has the Bolt Soundtrack CD up for pre-order (shipping Nov 18th).

Minor spoilers below. Fair warning.

Here’s the track list courtesy of The Disney Blog:

1. I Thought I Lost You - Miley Cyrus and John Travolta
2. Barking At The Moon - Jenny Lewis
3. Meet Bolt
4. Bolt Transforms
5. Scooter Chase
6. New York
7. Meet Mittens
8. The RV Park
9. A Fast Train
10. Where Were You On St. Rhino’s Day?
11. Sing-Along Rhino
12. Saving Mittens
13. House On Wheels
14. Las Vegas
15. A Friend In Need
16. Rescuing Penny
17. A Real Live Superbark

Yep - Here is confirmation of the duet with Miley Cyrus and John Travolta. You can relax now that you know for sure that this is indeed going to happen... :-)

MUST WATCH: Awesome New Trailer For "My Bloody Valentine 3D"

Jim here. Whoa - check out this awesome new trailer for MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D. There are obvious gimmick moments like throwing the pick axe at the screen - I knew damn well that was going to happen at some point in this movie!

But I subscribe to 3D gimmicks if used well for the horror genre and I didn't see too much of it in the trailer. I remember the same ol' folks complaining about the gimmicks from the JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH trailer and that went on to earn over $190m worldwide.

What I don't like is 3D gimmicks in other genres like drama, even science fiction. Horror? Ok. Make it work. Check it out yourself:

And don't forget what is probably the most telling aspect of this trailer: The rating. The MPAA rated it "R" for "Graphic, brutal horror violence and grizzly images throughout, some strong sexuality, graphic nudity and language." Don't pretend this is going to be a nice family movie with some 3D thrill ride stunts like JOURNEY. It isn't. I am looking forward to this movie immensely and I have high expectations. We shall see won't we? Opens January 16th, 2009.

"Alice In Wonderland": Crispin Glover Joins The Party

According to THR, Crispin Glover will become the Knave Of Hearts for Tim Burton in his 3D adaption of the classic fantasy tale ALICE IN WONDERLAND. According to the story, the Knave Of Hearts is accused of taking tarts from the Queen Of Hearts and is subsequently placed on trial.

I HEAVILY expect Glover will be involved in performance capture scenes as he has done brilliantly before in BEOWULF. To see some of those perfcap scenes, check this clip out.

Oh, and Danny Elfman is scoring the... well, score.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Soderbergh To Shoot 3D Cleopatra!!

**SAME DAY UPDATE: According to THR, the movie will be set in 1920's Chicago and roughly follows the romance of the classic Egyptian / Roman tale. This is interesting as the mob in Chicago certainly had Italian ties...

Very interesting! Jim here. Steven Soderbergh fresh off of shooting CHE, is not wasting any time in casting Hugh Jackman and Catherine Zeta-Jones in a live action, musical of CLEOPATRA in 3D.

Variety reports that: The $30 million "Cleo" will be shopped for financing and distribution within the next two weeks. Casey Silver is producing.The music has been written by the indie rock band Guided by Voices, and the script is by James Greer, a former bass player for the band and an author."

Well this is awesome news and it should be a visual stunner. I can well imagine the sets that he had envisioned for this project! Stay tuned!

New Scar 3D Poster From The UK!

I hadn't heard anything recently from my friends of the SCAR 3D movie and now I get a great update from ShockTilYouDrop - The movie will be previewing on Halloween night and going wide in the UK on November 7th.

If you want to read more on SCAR 3D, check out much more of our in depth coverage of this movie here, here and here. And don't miss my exclusive interview with Norman Twain the Producer!

Let me tell you something - this movie is GRAPHIC. One of those links above takes you to a age verification process to view it and it is nasty. The clip is in anaglyph format (so wear those cardboard glasses if you got 'em), but the movie will be polarized in the modern style.

Fair warning though on that clip.

In NYC? Check Out This 3DHD Autostereoscopic (No Glasses) 3D LCD Display


Trendsetting Creative Studio, Worlds Away Productions, to Feature Custom Content and Industry-specific Content Demonstrations for Film, Entertainment, Digital Display and More

SAN DIEGO, CA – October 23, 2008, Alioscopy® USA, a leading developer of 3D technology solutions, today announced that Worlds Away Productions, a full service digital, production and live event design facility based in Greenwich Village in New York City, is the site of the company’s first showroom on the East Coast. Worlds Away will showcase Alioscopy’s award-winning, state-of-the-art, 3DHD autostereoscopic (no glasses required) 3D LCD display technology and allow visitors the opportunity to view content that is well suited for applications in a variety of industries, including media and entertainment (film, video, casino gaming and advertising/digital signage), scientific, medical, architectural, and design for applications; all highlighting Alioscopy’s unparalleled clarity, depth, brilliance and real-time capabilities.

“Worlds Away is energized to enter into a relationship with Alioscopy to showcase its autostereoscopic 3D LCD display technology,” said Kim Lee, director and co-founder, Worlds Away Productions. “Alioscopy’s pioneering solution will afford us limitless possibilities to fully explore the trend in 3D—rapidly gaining momentum throughout the film, video, broadcast and digital media industries. We are eager to adopt the 3DHD technology into our production pipeline and experiment with all artistic possibilities for not only creating compelling, immersive visual content without the need for glasses but for integrating and displaying content in new ways in theatre sets, live events and at point of purchase, malls, trade shows, movie theaters, museum displays, and more.”

Philippe Roche, CEO of Alioscopy USA comments: “We are delighted that Worlds Away, a facility known for pushing content creation boundaries in all areas of entertainment and design visualization, will be the first in New York City to host our 3D technology solutions. As interest in leveraging 3D imagery as a valid communication medium continues to skyrocket, especially in 3D film and digital media creation, our conveniently located showroom will enable a wide audience of creative professionals to see first-hand the benefits of communicating, displaying and exploring information in 3D.”

Alioscopy: Advancing Autostereoscopic 3D Display

Alioscopy’s groundbreaking display product, the 3DHD, developed and manufactured by Alioscopy, features a highly specialized lenticular lens that boasts unmatched quality, clarity and depth resulting in a truly immersive and memorable experience for the viewer.

Alioscopy’s underlying open architecture provides an end-to-end solution that allows standard video to be shown and 3D content to be developed and rendered with leading 3D software applications such as Autodesk® 3ds® Max, Autodesk® Maya®, SOFTIMAGE|XSI®, MAXON CINEMA 4D and NewTek Lightwave 3D®. Real-time capabilities enhance the experience even further by allowing the viewer to interact with 3D content as it’s displayed. Please visit the Alioscopy website, for additional information.

Exclusive Press Opportunity – New York City Showroom Demonstrations

Pia Maffei, Alioscopy’s director of operations, will be available at the Worlds Away showroom location, November 12th through 14th, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., for one-on-one briefings to demonstrate the company’s 3D autostereoscopic product line. [Editors’ Note: This opportunity is available exclusively to members of the press by appointment only. To schedule a briefing please contact Vicky Gray-Clark, Ambient Public Relations, (408) 243-8880,, or Laurie Guarino, (408) 876-7064,]

More About the Alioscopy New York City Showroom

The Alioscopy New York showroom is located at Worlds Away Productions, 799 Washington Street, Suite 208, New York, NY 10014. For showroom hours and to schedule an appointment, contact Kim Lee,, (212) 897-3944.

About Alioscopy

Alioscopy® USA, based in San Diego, is a leading developer of a wide range of 3D technology solutions that represent one of the most significant leaps forward in autostereoscopic 3D display technology currently available. The company holds world-wide patents on a unique technology that delivers a one-of-a-kind immersive experience—without the aid of glasses or other device—which helps to solidify messaging, boost brand recognition and garner immediate and memorable attention. The open access technology can be applied to an LCD display and adapted to many industries and applications, including but not restricted to: media and entertainment, mobile communications, games, laptops, kiosks, digital signage, automotive, architecture, engineering and construction (AEC), medical, government and military.

Alioscopy is actively seeking specialized partner relationships and business licensing agreements with manufacturers and OEM’s and is also focused on building a strong network of 3D software specialists to aid in training customers and developing the very best 3D content. The company also provides custom 3D content development and consultation services. Alioscopy is headquartered in Paris, France with offices in San Diego and Singapore. The company’s U.S. showrooms are located in San Diego, Los Angeles and New York City. For further information about Alioscopy, please visit:

# # #

Alioscopy is a registered trademark of Alioscopy. Softimage and XSI are trademarks or registered trademarks of Avid Technology, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and/or other countries. Autodesk, Maya, and 3ds Max are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., in the USA and/or other countries. LightWave and LightWave 3D are registered trademarks of NewTek. All other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New "My Bloody Valentine 3D" Poster Online

Hey well, if I was that guy in the front row, I would be moving to protect the privates right about now!

MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D has an axe to pick with you on January 16th, 2009... lands the new poster - enjoy!

Oh and I have to post this ridiculous rant post from my friend Alex on - it is good for a laugh and boy is he so wrong! He has been anti-3D since day one. This movie is going to wipe the box office floor with whatever is playing at the same time! In fact I commented on his post to the same effect; go ahead - post on there too with your thoughts LOL!

EXCLUSIVE: Mark Goerner Talks James Cameron's "Battle Angel"!!!

Hi everyone, Michael here with a very special interview-- Designer and Artist Mark Goerner has been most generous to share with us his experiences working on James Cameron’s 3-D “Battle Angel!” Mark is an incredible talent at the absolute top of his profession. Some of his work not related to the Cameron project is interspersed throughout this article (along with pictures from Yukito Kishiro's Battle Angel manga). To learn more about Mark and his work you can visit his website,

For over a year and a half, Mark focused his artistic skills, perceptiveness, and creative passion towards the creation of the Battle Angel world. The following interview is a special glimpse into the huge amount of work that has already gone into the project.

For those readers out there who have not yet read Yukito Kishiro’s 9 volume Battle Angel Alita manga series, I urge you to pick it up right away. The Battle Angel books combine a fantastic sci-fi artistic aesthetic with a story that delves into the timeless themes of love, loss, family, free will, and finding one’s path and place in the world. They are packed with hilarious and touching moments, and have some of the most amazingly cool action sequences in the medium of graphic storytelling.

Thanks Mark, for your kindness, and I hope you enjoyed the interview!

MarketSaw: The thing I love the most about Kishiro's Battle Angel graphic novels is how he creates such an incredibly immersive, detailed, cohesive, and unique world. Were you a fan of the Battle Angel graphics novels (the original 9) before starting work on Cameron's project? If not, are you a fan now? If so, what do you like most about them?

Mark Goerner: The funny thing about working in the film business is that intense fans of the creative property are not always the best ones to be designing and developing the adaptive content. It's like having a crush on someone for 8 years and then finally getting your chance...preconceived notions prevent growing into the reality at hand. After reading the series and absorbing the content in the first week of work, I couldn't help but look for the influences that lead to Kishiro's story and world he wove together. I loved most of it, and the few things that didn't resonate gave it character that further set it apart from other post-apocalyptic works from the last 20 years of fiction. It is also important to think how young he was when starting to author this epic. His ability to create a layered fable of a poisonous caste system with the despair of fatherhood lost, and a cyber-youth in moral conflict, struck many chords with me.

MarketSaw: When, and for how long did you work on Battle Angel?

Mark Goerner: It was 12, 4, 23 years? It was a long haul that had a couple stops and re-starts, but basically ran over a year and half for me, which was the longest amount for an artist aside from the production designer, Martin Laing.

MarketSaw: Kishiro's art is amazing, and I think your work is
marvelous, too. What can you tell me about the challenge of
turning Kishiro's artwork into something that would work in a
photorealistic film? How was it "adapting" another artists'

Mark Goerner: 400 million dollar question. This is one of the biggest considerations in the early phases of a themed project that is driven from a popular graphic novel. Potent fandom has to be set aside or at least suspended while tackling the content. I'm sure Marvel deals with this one intensely every time they ponder releasing one of their properties. Cameron had already been armed with a solid understanding of how this would need to be articulated when we entered the studio. What is always exciting in these early stages, is the dialog that occurs when the conceptual art and technology employed informs the director/producer/designer, and causes adjustments in the master plan. The reality is that those that know of the graphic novel are a minute percentage of box office; and those that are obsessed, even less. That is why there are such strong discrepancies in adaptation. Essentially, the movie has to hold its own, in that format, in that era, and with those pan-directional needs to appeal to a wide audience. Look at Akira. The 6 books were turned into 1 anime. Much is lost, and much is distorted to suit the time constraint, format, budget and so-on. That considered, it is still one of my favorite movies. With Battle Angel, there was an underlying consensus from our small crew that Alita needed to retain her inherent style and subtle personality as well as that of most of the secondary characters. Key sets and technology represented in the architecture and robotics were also seen as essential.

MarketSaw: What was your creative working relationship with James
Cameron? What was it like working with him?

Mark Goerner: Oh lord, can I skip this one? Honestly, he is one of the smartest and most resourceful people I've met. Had a few great, creative meetings, and Lightstorm Entertainment had some warm people that evolved into my dysfunctional daytime family on the west side.

MarketSaw: Which other artists worked with you in the Battle Angel
art department? I believe James Clyne and Feng Zhu worked on
Battle Angel as well. How did you all divide the enormous
task of adapting Kishiro's visuals for the screen--did each of
you have a particular focus (i.e. one of you focused on
characters, another on environments, another on props, etc)?

Mark Goerner: It turned out to be a bit of an art buffet with tasks being kicked around. James started a week before I did, jumping immediately into Alita's form and outfits. I initially worked on some of the grand scheme city designs, and then as a few months went by, dove into everything under that world's dreary sun. Seeing as James is my best pal, and one of my biggest heroes, I hope you get a chance to hit him up for further details. Feng was on shortly, and in my opinion was not utilized correctly; but that happens in certain studios and offices on a regular basis. As the last one on, I got to see the whole effort and did my most favorite piece in that last week...wish you could see it.

MarketSaw: What's the most exciting thing about Battle Angel that you
can tell us?

Mark Goerner: NDA's [non-disclosure agreements] are powerful things, so what I can say without issue, is that when they stopped funding that phase of the production, what was left on the walls and in the digital archives was a massive library of what most fan's and newcomers would see as truly powerful. Near the end of the cycle, we began to hit a consistent tone with regard to atmospheres and characterizations that followed or even amplified on Kishiro's vision.

MarketSaw: What can you tell us about what you are currently working
on (and what you have been working on since completing your
work on Battle Angel)?

I have worked on a few different films including Avatar since then, but have moved out of LA, and have returned to working on theme parks, gaming, and other consulting as I did before I swung into the film side of life. I am also in the process of building prototypes and starting to develop a company to manufacture high design architectural surfacing. I still do film art and love the conceptual buzz I get from it, but feel the real world application of design is something I would be remised if not involved in. I am also in the early stages of designing and building a house that is off the grid and will hopefully be a truly unique statement in not only aesthetics but in it's ecological aspects of long term impact.

MarketSaw: What was your working environment like? I heard that the ceiling of the art department was made up to look like
the hanging sky city (Tiphares / Zalem) this true?

Mark Goerner: It was a great neighborhood a few blocks from the central shopping district of Santa Monica, California, housed in a soft-modern building from the mid-eighties that had a dental office where we set up the art department. Our old acoustic ceilinged floor with glass partitions defined our quarters which had a great view of a parking lot where automotive rendezvous of sexual fervor would play out, homeless rants were belted out, and where a bird lady and a 30 pound bag of seed was dumped out. Some mornings I swore I could smell Geltrate and hear the faint squeal of a hand drill. As for Zalem, yes, one of my paintings was turned into a couple hundred dollar foam core donut mounted on the ceiling as a device to get the impact across on one of the occasions when we presented our work. It ended up being a good reservoir for trash and things that needed to be hidden in short order.

MarketSaw: When working on Battle Angel, did you mainly focus on producing photorealistic, detailed, finished paintings, or did you also do a lot of rough conceptual sketches?

Mark Goerner: For that phase of B.A., the focus was in creating exciting large scale visuals that where intended to excite JC when he was in town and available to check out the work and progress. In the process of developing those images, there were the usual rough sketches, but largely we used large printouts to create the biggest impact to push the drama.

MarketSaw: What artistic tools (physical or digital) did you work with on this project?

Mark Goerner: We still did pencil and pen sketches for some of the rough sketches, and some of the half/quarter sections detail orthographic views of Alita and city elements, but the majority was in the fine world of Photoshop with the usual clustering and layering of on-line reference, photos from our own archives, and naturally, painting.

MarketSaw: From your knowledge, has the Alita character design been finalized? Have you seen the
digital model?

Mark Goerner: I believe it was considered final, but then again...even 1 week of time in a production can be enough to provide pause for reflection towards a new design direction. I would gauge that after all of the work on Avatar, and changes in perception, themes in her makeup and suits will evolve further.

A Huge Thanks to Mark for his insight into the creative process on Battle Angel!

I for one really hope that Cameron pushes forward with Battle Angel after Avatar--well, as long as I see it in theaters by the time New Horizons reaches Pluto. I know there are a ton of people out there (both online and people I've spoken to in "real life") who can't wait for a Cameron Battle Angel...and after they read Mark's words I'm sure they will be frothing at the mouth for it even more.

For a great in-depth bio/profile of Mark, check out this article over at CGSociety.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New On DVD And Blu-ray: "Journey To The Center Of The Earth" - With 4 3D Glasses

Thanks to Jason for the headsup.

JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH will be released on October 28th on DVD and Blu-ray and will feature both 2D and 3D versions of the movie - and will include four 3D glasses. You can pre-order with the movie link above.

The family oriented action adventure is based on the original classic Jules Verne story. If you didn't see it in theaters than you definitely missed out on some fun - but there is always the 3D Home Videos route.

The T-Rex scenes are awesome - and so is the Icelandic scenery (congrats to Vince Pace on his work on these segments).

Guillermo del Toro Talks More About "The Hobbit" In 3D!

Jim here. As exclusively posted right here on MarketSaw by yours truly back in November 2007, there stands a very real possibility that THE HOBBIT(s) movies will be shot in stereographic 3D! Back then, there was a good chance that Peter Jackson would be directing, but he changed his mind and instead attached himself as Executive Producer - still much more than what other sites were saying - no PJ at all. We have known about THE HOBBIT in 3D for some time now and I know for a fact that PJ and company have already spoken at length about 3D back in January of this year, from my trusted internal sources at Weta. We even questioned Guillermo del Toro about it live and in person on May 25, 2008.

Now GdT has told MTV the following:

“IMAX is a fantastic medium. I am a shareholder. I love IMAX. I remember seeing ‘Polar Express,’ and then seeing ‘Polar Express’ in 3D and IMAX and having my life completely transformed,” he enthused, excitedly discussing the format’s immersive capabilities. “I think it would be a worthy discussion. But it hasn’t arrived."

“I think that we are experienced enough, I guess would be the term, to know that we should not daydream about [things like that] when we write the screenplay,” he said of whether or not he was even flirting with 3D or IMAX as possibilities. “Right now what we have is, you don’t have two filmmakers and two screenplay writers – you have four screenplay writers. We’ll be talking about 3D, on IMAX – but [not] right now.”

Awesome to hear him openly musing about the possibilities, and I remain steadfast that the movies do indeed get made in 3D and that they are going to be spellbinding. I mean, not spellbinding in only a great story (which we know it damn well will be), but spellbinding in it's immersion and experience. We are going to experience THE HOBBIT in 3D folks - I am staking a lot on this.

What I think GdT is trying to say is that in order to write the screenplay you have to know whether it will be in 3D or not - which makes total sense! Well they ARE writing the screenplays right now and so they have to know RIGHT NOW that it will be in 3D but are keeping it under wraps for some reason. I believe that on that great day back on September 29th where we had financial and contractual commitments to roll out digital and 3D screens, the fate of twin 3D HOBBIT prequels was sealed in victory.

I mean just look at the box office possibilites! 3D means much more revenue and with the potential 2D to 3D conversion of the original LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy and cinematic re-release (again - we were the first to report this from our sources here), the potential is staggering. You KNOW PJ and GdT are looking at this very seriously. Besides, the story really does call for 3D - to become totally immersed in Tolkien's world is a no-brainer.

If I should hear differently from my sources or further positive word, you will be the first to know right here, 'cause you know you get the straight stuff here, and not on AICN about anything 3D. Heck we even knew it would be a two part prequel and that the legal issues between PJ and New Line had been resolved.

I am passionate about all things Tolkien and all things 3D. Makes for a pretty good combination for MarketSaw especially with great sources in place! Stay tuned!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

AWESOME New Trailer For Disney's 3D Animation "Bolt"!

Hey guys - Jim here. Check out the brand new action sequence trailer called "The Chase" for Disney's upcoming 3D animation BOLT.

The effects look stunning - and I have said it before but someone is doing a masterful job with lighting effects on this movie! Nice sense of humor being injected too!

Bolt is due to hit theaters November 21st featuring the voices of John Travolta and Miley Cyrus.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs" Date Moved Up To Avoid "Avatar" Domination

With what can only be described as a defensive move at this point, Sony / Columbia has moved CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS up from its original date of January 15th, 2010 to September 18th, 2009.

The new September date gives CLOUDY some room in between FINAL DESTINATION 4 (August 21st, 2009) and TOY STORY in 3D (October 2nd, 2009). Obviously this was a good move as anything immediately after AVATAR will be eaten alive for quite sometime.

For more info on CLOUDY, check out this post on the announcement and this post on casting.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 08

Hey guys, Jim here. Today is Blog Action Day 08 and I thought I would take part and spread the good word about an organization that I recently started to take part in: It is a micro-lending site that everyday people like you and me can share in and help a lot of people.

Essentially you can review the business cases as laid out by various small business people from developing countries around the world and select who you would like to help out. Then you can send a small amount of money (like $25 through Paypal, or whatever) to the organization who then sends this money along with others to the people in need. Kiva explains it much better than I do here.

The bottomline is you get to help folks out that really need it AND you get your money back (in most cases). You can either withdraw the money or just cycle it back in by selecting another person after the original loan is repaid.

Awesome isn't it? I thought so. Why don't you join me at Kiva and help make a difference. Any questions, let me know!

Fox Website Reveals Avatar Delay? UPDATE: Fox Confirms NO Delay!!

UPDATE: 10/15/08 10:15 am (Pacific): Fox has re-added the December 18, 2009 release date to their site. In addition, we have received word from Fox that the date is still 100% December 18, 2009.

This confirmation of the release date is awesome news. This should hopefully put the rumors Variety started to rest.

I'm quite excited by Fox's confidence in the date-- it means that we will be seeing the beginnings of Fox's Avatar marketing campaign sooner rather than later-- maybe even this December!

Hey everyone, Michael here. 20th Century Fox's website just updated and Avatar is no longer listed as having a December 18, 2009 release date.

The site, which for months had the release date posted as December 18, 2009, now has it listed as "undefined." Does this change actually signify a delay? I can see no other reason the webmaster would have deleted the release date.

So is this a technical glitch of the update process, or is Avatar's release date up in the air? A delay wouldn't be unexpected: Variety reported that several senior studio executives expected that Cameron would persuade Fox to push the release to 2010.

We'll update this post as we hear more.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Quick Post: Reuse or Recycle Those 3D Glasses!


Los Angeles (October 14, 2008) – When Walt Disney Pictures’ newest animated comedy adventure BOLT opens Nov. 21, 2008, audiences in more than 1,000 theatres will not only enjoy a family film about an action-star dog who believes he has superpowers, they will be able to able to see it in RealD 3D, then – with no superpowers required – help save the earth by recycling their 3D glasses in the theater.

With the opening of BOLT, RealD is expanding a comprehensive eyewear recycling program, available for moviegoers to deposit their glasses after seeing a film. However, moviegoers will continue to have the option of keeping their glasses as a souvenir to remember their RealD movie experience. Since RealD launched as a company, recycling its glasses has been a goal. When JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH opened in July, it began a successful pilot program with several exhibitor partners, leading to the new comprehensive program. There are over 30 3D films already announced to be released within the next three years.

“Like any successful recycling program, it’s about making it easy for people to recycle,” stated Michael V. Lewis, RealD chairman and CEO. “We appreciate the participation of our exhibitor partners and know that audiences will appreciate the convenience as well.”

About the Movie

For super-dog BOLT (voice of JOHN TRAVOLTA), every day is filled with adventure, danger and intrigue—at least until the cameras stop rolling. When the star of a hit TV show is accidentally shipped from his Hollywood soundstage to New York City, he begins his biggest adventure yet—a cross-country journey through the real world to get back to his owner and co-star, Penny (voice of MILEY CYRUS). Armed only with the delusions that all his amazing feats and powers are real, and the help of two unlikely traveling companions—a jaded, abandoned housecat named Mittens (voice of SUSIE ESSMAN) and a TV-obsessed hamster named Rhino (voice of MARK WALTON) -- Bolt discovers he doesn’t need superpowers to be a hero. Directed by Disney veterans Chris Williams and Byron Howard, BOLT is a hilarious, fun-filled, action-packed animated comedy adventure in Disney Digital 3-D.

RealD is the global leader in 3D, bringing the most advanced and enjoyable digital 3D experience to cinemas worldwide. RealD’s next-generation technology, deployed across the world’s largest 3D platform in 27 countries with more than 1,400 installations worldwide, provides a stunningly realistic viewing experience. The impact of 3D upon today’s moviemaking has been compared to the advent of color film when once there was only black and white. Beyond cinema, RealD is the worldwide inventor and provider of key stereoscopic technologies used in science, manufacturing, marketing, and other industries, with thirty years of scientific development behind its systems. RealD’s mission-critical 3D visualization technologies are used by organizations such as NASA, Pfizer, BMW, Boeing and more. For more information, visit

Hey, it's a great idea to recycle those glasses if you do not intend on bringing them back for your next 3D movie like I do. If people can remember to bring them back for the next 3D trip, then reusing the glasses is the best option. I did not see a 3D glasses recycle box at my last 3D movie screening, but obviously that is not an indicator for the rest of the world. Let's get in the habit now, rather than later! Reuse or recycle please!

Quick Post: Christie Launches Industry First Technological Breakthrough for 3D

CYPRESS, CA – October 13, 2008 – Christie, a leader in digital cinema projection, is pleased to introduce its Brilliant3D technology that enables 3D content to be projected in full 2K resolution for digital cinema projectors utilizing 1.2” DMD chips from Texas Instruments. A first for the industry, this new technology will be available exclusively on all Christie digital cinema projectors and will be launched at ShowEast beginning October 13th in Orlando, FL. Following the successful demonstrations with RealD at IBC in Amsterdam last month, Christie’s new technology provides 33% more brightness for 3D content and uses only a single lens system.

“We’re very excited about this technological development from Christie. This advancement combined with our RealD XL system enhances the 3D experience tremendously. Together, we can fill screens up to 75ft in width with true triple-flash capable technology, making 3D films even brighter and clearer,” noted Joseph Peixoto, president of worldwide cinema, RealD.

Craig Sholder, vice-president of Christie’s Entertainment Solutions stated, “With more than 15 new movies slated for 3D release over the next 18 months, Christie’s new Brilliant3D will enable exhibitors to project 3D movies onto the largest screens—while reducing both lamp and electricity expenses. Christie engineers initiated development of this technology so that audiences would have the most compelling 3D experience.”

Christie Brilliant3D will be available on the world’s brightest 2K DLP Cinema® projectors, the Christie CP2000-SB and Christie CP2000-XB, as well as on the Christie CP2000-ZX. Christie’s CP2000-M digital cinema projector, based on the .98” DMD chip, will also feature Christie Brilliant3D technology. With this new technology, Christie now offers 3D in full 2K resolution at brightness levels not previously seen before in theatres.

Sholder added, “We’ve enabled our full suite of digital cinema projectors with Christie technology. And, our flagship Christie CP2000-SB will offer double the brightness for 3D projection than any other competitive product on the market. We’re thrilled to offer a much more viable solution to the industry for projecting 3D movies on medium and large screens. Christie remains at the forefront of the digital cinema revolution with 3D solutions for every exhibitor on any size screen.”

In addition, Christie is also announcing a new suite of variable prime zoom lenses that enable a convenient and cost-effective, single lens solution for 2D and 3D content regardless of format, keeping operating costs down. These lenses and new projector solutions will be available for the release of the 3D blockbusters scheduled for the upcoming holiday season.

ShowEast attendees will see Christie’s Brilliant3D technology in action on the Christie CP2000-XB showing select scenes from Lionsgate’s, “My Bloody Valentine”, and Disney’s “Bolt” 3D trailer on the Christie CP2000-ZX displayed at their booth # 1100.

This is awesome news for 2K digital projection. Gotta see this in action!

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Jim Dorey
jim (at) marketsaw (dot) com

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