April 30th, 2013 by Dunc · No Comments
The Wrap reports that Industrial Light & Magic may open a facility in the United Kingdom to “take advantage of foreign tax subsidies.” They’ve been scouting in East London, their source reports.
Lucasfilm rep Miles Perkins told them ILM has no plans to leave the Bay Area, but going overseas offers certain advantages:
Perkins likened any expansion in London to ILM’s announcement in 2012 that it was establishing a hub in Vancouver to work on specific projects. Like the U.K., certain Canadian cities such Vancouver offer more generous post-production tax credits and subsidies than California.
We’ve already heard rumblings that Episode VII may return the franchise to filming in Britain.
Tagged: ilm · rumors
April 22nd, 2013 by Dunc · 1 Comment
Corporate shenanigans. Jedi News spotted an interesting mention in a recent Variety story on Bob Iger and who might suceed him at Disney: “Many expect theme park and resorts chief Thomas Staggs to land the CEO role, although there are rumblings that Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy also may now be in the running.” Well, business isn’t exactly our division, but I suppose it wouldn’t be out of the question.
In other news, Kennedy and ILM have signed a “co-operation deal” with Chinese VFX company Base FX, both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter have reported. Hrm.
Another name in the hat? Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: The Next Generation) wouldn’t mind jumping ship to Episode VII, Big Shiny Robot learned in a recent interview.
Randomly… Star Wars will be the first movie to be dubbed in Dine, the official language of the Navajo, KJZZ reports.
Filed: lucasfilm · sequel trilogy · star wars
Tagged: disney · ilm · kathleen kennedy
April 3rd, 2013 by Dunc · 19 Comments
Kotaku reported and GameInformer confirmed with Lucasfilm that the company is in the process of shutting down LucasArts. Kotaku says that 150 have been laid off and both Star Wars: First Assault and Star Wars 1313 have been canceled. Variety is reporting that the layoffs are spilling over to Industrial Light & Magic as well.
Here’s part of the official statement:
“After evaluating our position in the games market, we’ve decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimizing the company’s risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games. As a result of this change, we’ve had layoffs across the organization. We are incredibly appreciative and proud of the talented teams who have been developing our new titles.”
This has expected for a while, and there was plenty of speculation that LucasArts was headed for the bin even before Disney was in the picture.
Ron Gilbert, creator and co-creater of several of the company’s most iconic games, says goodbye to Lucasfilm Games.
Filed: gaming · lucasfilm
Tagged: 1313 · ilm · layoffs · lucasarts
February 6th, 2013 by jawajames · 1 Comment
In the land of not-Star Wars, Lucasfilm picked up a couple awards last weekend:
Red Tails won the NAACP Image award for Outstanding Motion Picture, beating out others such as Flight and Django Unchained. In a video clip from the event, George Lucas shares why he produced the WWII action film about the Tuskegee Airmen.
While the Annie Awards were dominated by wins for Wreck-It Ralph and Dragons: Riders of Berk, a team from Industrial Light and Magic won for Outstanding Achievement, Animated Effects in a Live Action Production: Jerome Platteaux, John Sigurdson, Ryan Hopkins, Raul Essig, and Mark Chataway won for their work on The Avengers. Also in the running, we had The Clone Wars crew with four nominations and LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out with one nomination.
Filed: film · lucasfilm
Tagged: annie awards · awards · george lucas · ilm · red tails
December 5th, 2012 by Dunc · 41 Comments
Every time I see someone use the term ‘Jedis,’ I sigh.
Maybe it’s petty, but few things drive me battier than glaring Star Wars typos, particularly when they come from professional and semi-professional news outlets. Here are a few Star Wars terms and spellings every fan (and entertainment journalist) ought to know and use correctly in the years ahead.
Filed: expanded universe · lucasfilm · star wars
Tagged: ilm · lucasarts · lucasfilm animation · skywalker sound
December 3rd, 2012 by jawajames · 1 Comment
The nominations for the 40th annual Annie Awards, showcasing the best in animation, were announced today, with a few nominations headed towards Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Joel Aron got a nomination for individual achievement for Animated Effects in an Animated Production (for the second year in a row).
Sam Witwer was nominated for voice acting for his role as Darth Maul in the season four finale ‘Revenge,’ while Keith Kellogg was a nominee for Character Animation in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production. The season five premiere, ‘Revival,’ was granted a nomination for Jason Tucker for Editorial in an Animated Television Production. The judges do love Maul.
Threshold Animation Studios earned an nomination for Best Animated Television Production For Children with their LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out, that aired back in September. See… more love for Maul! (Don’t forget our interview with writer Michael Price!)
Meanwhile, two teams from ILM got nominations for Animated Effects in a Live Action Production: The crews that worked on The Avengers and Battleship. Another ILM team was a nominee for
Thor’s abs and Hawkeye’s butt Character Animation in a Live Action Production for The Avengers.
Overall, Disney and Pixar picked up a handful of nominations across the board, including 3 Best Picture noms for Brave, Wreck-It Ralph, and Frankenweenie. On the TV side, DreamWorks’ Dragons: The Riders of Berk snagged a slew of nominations for its crew.
“I am very excited about this year’s slate of nominees!” ASIFA-Hollywood president, Frank Gladstone, said in a statement. “We had more submissions to choose from this year than for any prior year in Annie Award history, running the gamut from big studio features to indie films, television series to internet shows, games, shorts and, for the first time, student films, all showcasing the huge variety of venues, creativity, technical innovation, and story-telling that our art form has to offer.”
The 40th Annual Annie Awards will take place on February 2, 2013 at UCLA and are selected and presented by the International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood.
Filed: the clone wars
Tagged: annie awards · awards · ilm · joel aron · lego star wars · michael price · sam witwer · tcw: season 4 · tcw: season 5
October 31st, 2012 by Dunc · 9 Comments
Now that the dust is settled a little from yesterday’s bombshell, we can all take a deep breath and… Continue to freak out about how there are going to be more Star Wars movies. Um.
A good place to start would be Slashfilm’s roundup of yesterday’s conference call with Russ Fischer. It addresses and expands (and yes, in some cases, speculates) on some of those lingering questions you may have on Indiana Jones, Episode VII, Industrial Light & Magic and more.
One thing I haven’t seen widely reported – though I may very well have missed it in the conference call – is Bleeding Cool’s report that Fox retains the distribution rights to the existing films.
One take I found rather interesting – if a bit paranoid – is from The Daily Intel’s Kevin Roose. He speculates that the deal is a financial dud and that Disney is getting Lucasfilm “for a steal.” I doubt this is the last we’ll hear on the financial side of this – and it’s clearly written from the perspective of a Star Wars cynic – but it’s something to keep in mind, at least. In another corner of New York Magazine, Vulture’s Kyle Buchanan and Margaret Lyons have 7 questions about Episode VII.
But overall, I think the reaction has been fairly positive, as Disney is able and – apparently – willing to let fresh eyes take on the franchise
Of course, there’s speculation on the new trilogy everywhere. ThinkProgress’ Alyssa Rosenberg weighs in on how Disney could make Episode VII awesome with 5 ideas plucked from the pages of the Expanded Universe, while Forbes’ Alex Knapp has three options and AMOG’s Keith Veronese has five. (IGN even pulled one up from their archives.) I’m sure we’re going to be seeing everyone and their vat-grown clone throw their favorite book/comic/Boba fetish into the hat for the foreseeable future. We talked a bit about this on Tosche Station last night, but you’ll just have to wait on that one!
Outside of the news sites, we’re seeing lots from the fans – and pros! – on this as well. Author Jason Fry took to Tumblr, as did Bria and Jay. Fansite proprietors at Geek My Life, NJOE and Knights Archive. And, of course, SF/F godfather John Scalzi had some thoughts as well.
Filed: lucasfilm · sequel trilogy · star wars
Tagged: disney · disney buys lucasfilm · episode vii · ilm · indiana jones
February 5th, 2012 by Dunc · 1 Comment
There was no love – or at least, no awards – for The Clone Wars at Saturday’s Annie Awards. However, ILM’s Rango did take home several prizes, including best animated feature, while composer John Williams won for his Tintin score. ILM’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon took best animated effects.
The Clone Wars had 5 total nominations, including Best General Audience Animated TV Production (The Simpsons won) and editing. The individual achievement categories singled out Joel Aron for animated effects and voice actors Dee Bradley Baker and Nika Futterman.
Filed: film · the clone wars
Tagged: annie awards · awards · dee bradley baker · ilm · john williams · voice actors
January 24th, 2012 by Dunc · No Comments
We’re generally not used to seeing a lot of science fiction and fantasy films up for the big prizes at the Academy Awards, but this year does hold a few suprises. Although neither the final Harry Potter film or Andy Serkis’ motion-capture work failed to procure any major nods, there are still a handful of genre films in the big spots.
Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, a steampunk-tinged story of early film based on Brian Selznick’s novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret, is one of the 9 nominees for best picture, along with Woody Allen’s time-travel comedy Midnight in Paris. (Allen’s Annie Hall beat out Star Wars for the same prize in 1977.) Hugo scored 11 nods, including best director, making it the most-nominated film.
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 got a nod for Visual Effects, where it will compete against Hugo, Real Steel, Rise Of The Planet of The Apes and ILM’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
ILM can also celebrate an Animated Feature nomination for Rango, which is up against Shrek spin-off Puss and Boots, Kung Fu Panda 2, A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita.
Tagged: awards · harry potter · ilm · oscars
December 5th, 2011 by jawajames · 1 Comment
The International Animated Film Society released its list of nominations for the 2011 Annie Awards, and both Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the new Star Tours theme park attraction made the list. The Clone Wars earned a nomination for Best General Audience TV Production, competing against such shows as Archer, The Green Lantern: Animated Series, MAD, and The Simpsons. Two voice actors picked up nominations: Dee Bradley Baker, who plays Rex and all the other clones (although the Annie nomination list credits him as Obi-wan Kenobi!) and Nika Futterman, who earned her second nomination two years in a row for voicing Asajj Ventress.
Behind the scenes, Joel Aron of Lucasfilm Animation got nominated for an individual achievement in an animated production for his work on The Clone Wars, while ILM staff picked up individual nominations for their work on Rango, and swept the individual achievement nominations for animated effects in live action productions: Cowboys & Aliens, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. For his work editing a television production, Jason W. A. Tucker picked up a nomination for The Clone Wars.
Star Tours picked up a nomination for best animated special production, running against Adventure Time: Thank You, Batman: Year One, and Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas, among others.
The 39th annual Annie awards will be announced on February 4, 2012.
Filed: the clone wars
Tagged: annie awards · awards · ilm · star tours