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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Robert Zemeckis Back in 3D With TO REACH THE CLOUDS Starring Joseph Gordon Levitt


Now this is VERY interesting indeed! The project has me very excited with the return of Robert Zemeckis to 3D, the use of cutting edge technology to push the bounds of the cinematic experience (like GRAVITY, where Tom Rothman got the idea for this project) and seeing star Joseph Gordon Levitt in an Oscar worthy role.

That role is Philippe Petit who walked for 45 minutes across a 450 pound tightrope suspended between the two World Trade Center towers in 1974 using a 26 foot long balancing pole. The whole thing is treated as a crime thriller as of course what he was doing was illegal. Expect amazing 3D visuals as the camera whirls up and around Levitt walking across the chasm.

If it sounds familiar, it is. There is also a critically acclaimed, Oscar winning documentary out there called MAN ON WIRE which is definitely worthwhile watching. Clearly the content is strong. With Zemeckis and Levitt involved with cutting edge 3D? I'm definitely in! Should be too hard to suspend our disbelief with this tension inducing high wire act. :-)

More when I get it...

Sources: Deadline | Twitch

Next MALEFICENT Trailer Best Of The Lot Thus Far


 Ah. This is better. More of this please Disney... Much better delivery of what's in store visually for us.

Here is the storyline for the movie:
From Disney comes MALEFICENT - the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the 1959 classic SLEEPING BEAUTY. A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land’s fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal—an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces an epic battle with the invading king’s successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom—and perhaps to Maleficent’s true happiness as well.

MALEFICENT conjures in theaters on May 30

Maleficent on Facebook: facebook.com/DisneyMaleficent
Follow Disney on Twitter: @DisneyPictures
Instagram: http://instagram.com/disneystudios
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/disneystudios/maleficent/
Tumblr: www.disney.tumblr.com
Download "Once Upon a Dream" on Google Play: http://goo.gl/O9JAxb

Dreamwork's GHOST IN THE SHELL Moves to Director Rupert Sanders



I was REALLY hoping Steven Spielberg himself would helm this 3D project and now I'm not sure it will retain stereoscopic 3D at all. GHOST IN THE SHELL remains at Dreamworks so I'm hopeful. The project has been passed over to Rupert Sanders (SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN) and while I like his style - what can I say, he's not Spielberg. That's not an insult by the way.

GITS is now being adapted and written by William Wheeler, but Laeta Kalogridis (SHUTTER ISLAND, AVATAR) was also involved back in 2009 and may still have her touch on the project. She is now working on TERMINATOR: GENESIS along with my pal Patrick Lussier (DRIVE ANGRY, MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D).

Here's a brief description of the original story's background:
Ghost in the Shell is a futuristic police thriller dealing with the exploits of Motoko Kusanagi, a member of the covert operations section of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission, Section 9, which specializes in fighting technology-related crime. She may be named after one of the three Imperial Regalia of Japan and Shirow makes reference to them at the end of the second manga. Although supposedly equal to all other members, Kusanagi fills the leadership role in the team, and is usually referred to as "the Major" due to her past rank in the armed forces. She is capable of superhuman feats, and bionically specialized for her job — her body is almost completely mechanized; only her brain and a segment of her spinal cord are organic.

So yeah, I was looking forward to seeing a Spielberg directed GHOST IN THE SHELL go up against a James Cameron directed BATTLE ANGEL at the box office. Wow that would have been jaw dropping. But with BATTLE ANGEL delayed until at least the AVATARs are out of the way and marketed and Spielberg stepping back from GITS, it won't happen. Oh well. At least these projects are dead. To the contrary they're brimming with life so that's the silver lining. APHRODITE IX was another female cyborg project that was floating around that hopefully will someday see projector light.

Producers Avi and Ari Avid are still attached as well as Steven Paul. Lots of muscle there to get the job done obviously. Let's hope native 3D sticks to this project!

Stay tuned for more info when I get it!

Source: Deadline

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

International 3D And Advanced Imaging Society Announced Top Nominees For 3D Awards

Congratulations to all, especially our friends over at 3ality Technica for their Century Award and Pixar for their Wheatstone Award! Unfortunately I will not be able to make it this year to the award ceremony, but I'm looking forward to seeing some of the highlights soon afterward!


SIR CHARLES WHEATSTONE AWARD TO BE PRESENTED TO PIXAR
CENTURY AWARD TO BE PRESENTED TO STEVE SCHKLAIR AND 3ALITY TECHNICA

The International 3D and Advanced Imaging Society announced its top nominated 3D movies for the 2014 Creative Arts Awards Ceremony to be held January 28th at Warner Bros. Studios.

The top live action nominees include “Gravity” (Warner Bros.), “The Great Gatsby” (Warner Bros.), “The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug” (MGM/New Line Cinema), “Oz the Great and Powerful” (Walt Disney Pictures), and “Star Trek: Into Darkness” (Paramount Pictures).

In the animation category, the top nominees include “Frozen” (Walt Disney Animation Studios), “The Croods” (DreamWorks Animation), “Despicable Me 2” (Universal Pictures), “Monster’s University” (Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar), and “Turbo” (DreamWorks Animation.

“2013 was a year 3D’s blockbuster box office success was matched by creative and technical brilliance,” said Buzz Hays of the True Image Company and Society Awards Chairman. “The level of quality across the board is stunning,” he added.

The Society will present its gold Lumiere™ statuettes to winners in 20 categories selected by ballot from 460 of the Society’s professional voting members.

Pixar will receive the Society’s Sir Charles Wheatstone Award for creative excellence in 3D story telling.

The Society’s annual Century Award will be presented to 3ality Technica. The company’s camera systems have been behind some of this year’s biggest blockbusters including “The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug,” “The Great Gatsby,” “Stalingrad,” and “Oz the Great and Powerful.”

“The Century Award is annually presented to those individuals and companies who have indelibly left their mark on 3D’s first century,” commented Society Awards Chairman, Buzz Hays. “From 3D movies to television, 3ality Technica and its founder Steve Schklair have been a core part of paving the way to 3D’s worldwide success,” he added.

Steve Schklair, Founder and CEO of 3ality Technica stated, “Our entire team is honored and thrilled to be recognized by the I3DAIS for the work we have done during the last 10
years. We’ve worked hard to develop new technologies that make 3D shooting on 2D schedules possible, and that enable great filmmakers to tell better stories while not getting encumbered in the technology.”

More than 150 entries were judged by the Society’s voters for this year’s honors. Submissions were received from all around the world, including: the U.S., China, Japan, Korea, the U.K., Canada, Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, and Taiwan.

About The International 3D And Advanced Imaging Society:
The International 3D & Advanced Imaging Society is a community of content creators and professionals whose mission is to develop the arts and technologies of 3D, advanced imaging and its innovators, as well as educate members and consumers. With over 60 companies and 800 professional members in 20 countries, the Society is open to individuals and organizations active in moving 3D and advanced imaging to an exciting new era of creative achievement and consumer support. For more information please visit: www.International3DSociety.com.

About 3ality Technica:
Known as the company who brought the world U2 3D in 2007, 3ality Technica is considered the birthplace of the current 3D revolution. Headquartered in Burbank, California, 3ality Technica is the leading innovator, providing both production services, rentals, and sales of stereoscopic 3D (S3D) production systems and technology. The company’s product line is comprised of both hardware and software combined to produce the most accurate and advanced image processing systems in the world. These advanced systems are widely used by leading Hollywood filmmakers, the music industry, and by major broadcasters. Releases include The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, The Great Gatsby, Jack the Giant Killer, Stalingrad, Prometheus, and The Amazing Spider-Man. Upcoming Hollywood titles utilizing 3ality Technica’s advanced S3D image systems include Transformers: Age of Extinction, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, Pompeii, and The Legend of Hercules. Recognized as the industry leader in providing 3D production development, and systems rentals on a wide array of projects, 3ality Technica is also noted for its amazingly true‐to‐life 3D image capture for artists such as the Black Eyed Peas, Britney Spears, Alice Cooper, Jennifer, Lopez, One Direction, Katy Perry, and Kenny Chesney. In 2012, the company participated in capturing historical and archival 3D content for the final NASA Space Shuttle Endeavor landing in conjunction with the Society of Camera Operators.
BSkyB, the world’s leading 3D broadcaster bases their live event productions on the backbone of 3ality Technica’s technology. Host Broadcast Systems utilized 3ality Technica 3D equipment to capture and broadcast internationally live game feeds for the 2012 FIFA World Cup. Committed to providing true and accurate 3D to the world, 3ality Technica’s international list of broadcast partners includes TV Globo (Brazil), Telegenic (UK), CCTV (China), BTV (Beijing), Topvision (Germany), Sky Sports (UK), NEP (worldwide), and Fuji TV (Japan). To learn more about 3ality Technica, please visit us at www.3alitytechnica.com.

New Trailer For Warner's 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE


Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) stands out in this trailer for director Noam Murro's 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE. Stapleton's character truly existed in history and helped defeat the Persians at the battles of Marathon, Salamis and Plataea. So while Frank Miller's graphic novels are fantastic, a great deal of it is based on characters that did live and die.

Here's the movie's storyline:
Based on Frank Miller’s latest graphic novel Xerxes, and told in the breathtaking visual style of the blockbuster “300,” this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield—on the sea—as Greek general Themistokles attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war.

“300: Rise of an Empire” pits Themistokles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes, and Artemesia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy.

Warner Bros. Picture presents, in association with Legendary Pictures, a Cruel and Unusual Films/Mark Canton/Gianni Nunnari Production, “300: Rise of an Empire.” The action adventure stars Sullivan Stapleton (“Gangster Squad”) as Themistokles and Eva Green (“Dark Shadows,” “Casino Royale”) as Artemesia. Lena Headey reprises her starring role from “300″ as the Spartan Queen, Gorgo; Hans Matheson (“Clash of the Titans”) stars as Aeskylos; and Rodrigo Santoro stars again as the Persian King, Xerxes.

Click here to watch the first trailer.

300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE opens on March 7


New Trailer For Angelina Jolie's MALEFICENT


One of, if not the most interesting villains in Disney's vast cinematic history is from SLEEPING BEAUTY and that's only going to get more understood with the upcoming release of director Robert Stromberg's MALEFICENT.

The movie examines how Maleficent changes from that of a protector to a vengeful villain through being bitterly betrayed.

Here's the movie's storyline:
From Disney comes MALEFICENT, the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the 1959 classic "SLEEPING BEAUTY". A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land’s fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal—an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces an epic battle with the invading king’s successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom—and perhaps to Maleficent’s true happiness as well.

Click here to view the first trailer.


MALEFICENT bites into theaters on May 30 in 3D and flat.


Monday, January 20, 2014

JJ Abrams: STAR WARS Script Is Done!


Here's an update that director J.J. Abrams gave on STAR WARS EPISODE VII recently to media during the TCA Press Tour for his TV series BELIEVE.

The biggest news out of the session is that the script is in hand for the movie which opens the door to the next phases of pre-production including casting. Further is Abrams insistence on using film for the movie. Meanwhile, Paramount has totally thrown film out the window and distributed THE WOLF OF WALL STREET completely by digital distribution. Only 8% of all theaters remain film only projection. Fox is also due to stop film distribution as is Disney and Lionsgate.

Disney is investing a TON of money into first of all buying Lucasfilm, but secondly in the new franchise movie budgets. Why would you invest top dollar into a dying, and in fact dead (in some studios) medium? The Abrams and Nolans in the world do carry significant sway obviously but we are talking hundreds of millions of dollars here.

What are your thoughts on film vs. digital distribution? You know where I stand...

Here's the Q and A:

Are you close to finding a director for Star Trek 3?

Abrams: I’m just focusing on Episode VII, right now. That’s the focus.

Where are you on Star Wars? Is the script done?

Abrams: Yeah. We’re working really hard. We’ve got our script and we’re in deep prep. We’re full steam ahead.

Since you’re going to have to start production soon, when might we hear announcements about cast?

Abrams: When the announcements happen. But, we’re working really hard on it and it’s quite a thrill.

What are the craziest rumors you heard?

Abrams: God, there have been so many of them, honestly. I don’t know. But, it’s amazing to see how many there are. It’s really remarkable. But, it’s sweet because it shows that there’s an interest in this movie that we all obviously know is there. It is an incredible thing to see how many crazy things get thrown out that people then often write commentaries about how happy they are or how disappointed they are about something that’s completely false. But, it’s a lot of noise, frankly.

Was the Jesse Plemons report accurate?

Abrams: He is one of the actors that we’ve talked to, yeah. It’s not often that I read about actors that I’m going to be meeting. I get to read articles about actors who were going to come in, so I get to see someone and say, “Oh, I read that I was going to see you. It’s very nice to see you.” It’s usually agents talking to people about what’s happening. It’s just a lot of noise.

Would you like to shoot it in IMAX, at all?

Abrams: In the right situation, I’d like to use IMAX again. The problem with IMAX is that it’s a very loud camera. It’s a very unreliable camera. Only so much film can be in the camera. You can’t really do intimate scenes with it. It’s slow. They break down often. Having said that, they’re working on digital versions of that, so there may be a version one day. But, we’re going to be shooting this next movie on film.

More STAR WARS news when we get it...

Thursday, January 16, 2014

GRAVITY Attracts 10 Oscar Nominations Including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress!



Alfonso Cuaron has orbited Oscar before, most notably with 2007's CHILDREN OF MEN where he received nods for writing and editing but he didn't manage to land them. That all is set to change once more as his magnificent force of GRAVITY pulled in audiences around the world and is being lauded as one of the best of year officially now.

GRAVITY has made $675 million worldwide and counting and if you haven't seen it yet do yourself a favor and check it out while it's still in theaters! It's a must see on the big screen and in 3D.

So how is GRAVITY being recognized? 10 nominations! Here they are:
- Best Picture
- Best Director (Alfonso Cuaron)
- Best Actress (Sandra Bullock)
- Best Cinematography (Emmanuel Lubezki)
- Best Original Score (Steven Price)

- Best Production Design
- Best Film Editing

- Best Visual Effects
- Best Sound Editing
- Best Sound Mixing

My sincerest hope is that GRAVITY sweeps. Yes there are important movies this year that have also gotten nods, but GRAVITY I think is a masterpiece and a defining moment in cinematic history. Further I think that the movie brings together the world's audiences in such a unique way that it almost HAS to win Oscar. And not just for visual effects which is all but a sure thing for the movie.

For all of our GRAVITY coverage, click here. The 86th Oscars air on March 2 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollwood, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Michael Douglas Joins Marvel's ANT-MAN As Hank Pym !


As you probably already know, we don't usually post stories on casting unless it is a jaw dropper that could potentially change the trajectory of a production.

Michael Douglas is one of those types of actors! Love him in just about everything he does right back to THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO which I barely remember as a child. Sure I was intrigued by the selection of Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, but I didn't go "wow". I definitely think it will work with him as the lead, but I've never really resonated with him as an A-list actor. Douglas? He is Mr. A-list in my book. Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Jack Nicholson, Harrison Ford and Sean Connery define "movie star" for me. In other words, you've got to earn it over a career.

So now I'm definitely excited with ANT-MAN. Sure the story always held tons of promise, but now the characters can be solidly built around these two anchor actors. Edgar Wright was always a great choice for director from the get-go and I think Marvel has slam dunked another one here.

Apparently Douglas was asked earlier on in the pre-production but he had reservations of some sort or another. Those appear to have been resolved (salary issues? Perhaps. Marvel is known for tight purse strings) and Mr. Gecko himself is stepping up. I'm smiling at Bud Fox right now; my limo window closing...

Here's what producer Kevin Feige had to say about the announcement: "With Hank Pym’s rich history in the Marvel Universe, we knew we needed an actor capable of bringing the weight and stature to the role that the character deserves,” said Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. “We felt incredibly relieved when Michael Douglas agreed to step into the part with the charm and fortitude he brings to every character he inhabits, and couldn’t be more excited to see what he will do to bring Hank Pym to life."

Indeed history and the importance of Pym in the Marvel Universe plays very key roles here. How is Wright and Marvel dealing with how to boot up this franchise? A younger Pym? And older Pym with the suit and name passed on to Lang? Many, many questions that all seem much more intriguing now with Douglas in the mix.

More when we get it!

ANT-MAN is slated to open on July 31, 2015.

Source: Variety


Friday, January 10, 2014

MUST WATCH: Awesome New Intro Clip For NEED FOR SPEED!



Check this clips guys - and the cars therein. WOW. Gotta love the shots and stunts these guys are pulling off just in this alone. No need to say too much here - just WATCH.

Here's the boilerplate:
DreamWorks Pictures’ “Need for Speed” marks an exciting return to the great car culture films of the 1960s and ’70s, when the authenticity of the world brought a new level of intensity to the action on-screen. Tapping into what makes the American myth of the open road so appealing, the story chronicles a near-impossible cross-country journey for our heroes — one that begins as a mission for revenge, but proves to be one of redemption. Based on the most successful racing video game franchise ever with over 140 million copies sold, "Need for Speed" captures the freedom and excitement of the game in a real-world setting, while bringing to life the passion for the road that has made our love of cars so timeless.

The film centers around Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul), a blue-collar mechanic who races muscle cars on the side in an unsanctioned street-racing circuit. Struggling to keep his family-owned garage afloat, he reluctantly partners with the wealthy and arrogant ex-NASCAR driver Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper). But just as a major sale to car broker Julia Maddon (Imogen Poots) looks like it will save Tobey's shop, a disastrous race allows Dino to frame Tobey for a crime he didn’t commit, and sending Tobey to prison while Dino expands his business out West.

Two years later, Tobey is released and set on revenge — but he knows his only chance to take down his rival Dino is to defeat him in the high-stakes race known as De Leon — the Super Bowl of underground racing. However to get there in time, Tobey will have to run a high-octane, action-packed gauntlet that includes dodging pursuing cops coast-to-coast as well as contending with a dangerous bounty Dino has put out on his car. With the help of his loyal crew and the surprisingly resourceful Julia, Tobey defies odds at every turn and proves that even in the flashy world of exotic supercars, the underdog can still finish first.

“Need for Speed” is presented by DreamWorks Pictures, produced by Patrick O’Brien, John Gatins and Mark Sourian, and directed by Scott Waugh. The screenplay is by George Gatins. The story is by George Gatins and John Gatins, and, based on the video game series created by Electronic Arts.

The film releases in U.S. theaters on March 14, 2014.


Thursday, January 09, 2014

Watch: New Behind The Scenes Clips And Pics From HERCULES 3D



Got some new pics and a B-roll for you guys to have a look at from Renny Harlin's HERCULES 3D starring Kellan Lutz.

Front and center in the media in this post are the 3D rigs from 3ality Technica - gorgeous instruments of native 3D are they not?  Love it!! Check out the Red cameras securely placed within.

It's interesting to see how different productions and directors work on set. You can also get a good feel for the scale of this production in some scenes as what I am assuming to be the Assistant Director (AD) calling out instructions over some sort of PA system during one clip. Harlin is seen in quite a few shots.


Here is the storyline for the movie:

Lutz stars as Hercules, the mythical Greek hero, demigod and son of Zeus. Betrayed by his King and sold into slavery, Hercules must use his formidable strength to fight for his freedom and return to his true love, Hebe, the Princess of Crete (played by Gaia Weiss).


HERCULES 3D hits theaters TOMORROW!

Check the B-roll:



Click Image to Enlarge

STALINGRAD 3D Gets North American IMAX Release!



Yes! Definitely excited to see this epic in IMAX 3D!! Columbia Pictures has announced that it will release Fedor Bondarchuk's STALINGRAD in IMAX for North American audiences after wowing audiences in Russia, China, Ukraine and Poland.

IMAX will be hosting the movie for a one week engagement starting February 28 which will nicely segue into the 86th Annual Academy Awards which will be airing March 2. STALINGRAD is Russia's official selection for Best Foreign Language Film.

At last count, the movie has taken in over $67 million thanks in part to the remarkable 3D screenings. Sony's head of worldwide distribution, Rory Bruer says the movie is an ideal fit for IMAX.

STALINGRAD was shot in native 3D using 3ality Technica's gold standard 3D rigs with Steve Schklair as 3D Producer. I saw clips of the movie at 3ality's headquarters in Burbank, CA and my jaw was on the floor. Can't say enough about what I think this movie delivers - the anticipation is palpable for this - trust me!

For all of our STALINGRAD 3D coverage, including a trailer, VFX reel, Schklair interview, photos and more - click here.

STALINGRAD will be released in IMAX on February 28.

Source: Variety

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

PLANET OF THE APES 3 Re-ups Director Matt Reeves!



Seems DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is causing quite a stir internally at Fox as the studio has decided to re-up director Matt Reeves for the 3rd movie of the rebooted franchise.

This is great news for fans of the Apes Universe, including myself. Reeves (LET ME IN, CLOVERFIELD) is perfect to tap again for it and obviously he has taken well to native 3D using 3ality Technica's rigs. Let the man do it again and again I say.

From Deadline: "This time, (Reeves) will write the script with Mark Bomback, one of the writers who scripted the sequel. Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa were the scribes who resurrected the franchise with Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, the Ruper Wyatt-directed film that grossed $482 million worldwide in 2011. The directing deal is done and the writer deals are being worked out right now. It is likely that Reeves will go right into the third film, a priority for the studio."

Here is the storyline for DAWN:
A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.

For all of our DAWN coverage including the latest trailer, click here.

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES opens on July 18, 2014.

Source: Deadline

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Dwayne Johnson On SAN ANDREAS: The First Ever Big 3D Earthquake Disaster Film



Yes! Very interested now in The Rock's new motion picture that is pulling together titled SAN ANDREAS. The movie is slated to begin lensing in Brisbane, Australia in April with an anticipated 2015 release.

I'm looking forward to seeing a disaster film in 3D with as much realism as possible. Last word had Brad Peyton helming the pic, but with an eye of outdoing the master of over the top disaster movies, Roland Emmerich. Perhaps it'll be great popcorn entertainment - I guess either way I'm good for a Dwayne Johnson 3D disaster movie.

Here's the rough storyline for the movie:
After a devastating earthquake hits California, the story centers on a rugged rescue-helicopter pilot (Johnson) making a perilous trip across the state to rescue his estranged daughter.

And here's the tweet that gave away the 3D goodness coming our way:


More info when we get it! Definitely digging to find out if this is a native 3D production or what.




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