When I heard that J.J. Abrams was at the VES awards last night, I wasn’t expecting much more than the standard boilerplate quotes. But he spoke to Collider on the red carpet, discussing the broadsaber (and the “many contradictory emails” he’s received about it,) IMAX, CGI, and more. Watch the video, or head over to Collider for the most pertinent quotes.
The basics, though: They’re still putting together the first cut of the film, he’ll be executive producing VIII and IX, there will still be “an enormous amount of CG effects,” (duh) and the broadsaber “was not done without a lot of conversation and it’s fun to see people have the conversation that we had, but in reverse.” None of these are huge revelations (we’ve known that only one scene is in IMAX for months,) but considering how little we’ve had out of Abrams overall, this is a bonanza.
“We have 10 years of work ahead,” said Industrial Light & Magic president and general manager Lynwen Brennan as the company takes over a former Pixar facility in Vancouver. As much as one-third of the work on Episode VII will be done there. In addition to the various new Star Wars films, they’ll also be working on Warcraft and Jurassic World.
Somewhere in space… I don’t read speculation and I try not to even link outright speculation, but our own JawaJames is one of the fans that Hollywood.com’s Christian Blauvelt asked to help ‘storyboard’ their hopes for a beginning to Episode VII.
Wonder twin powers activate? Hot around the internet yesterday was a report from The Inquirer about a presentation where they talk about using gaming engines to drive VFX. I’m not an expert, but there’s a video if you’re really into that sort of thing. And 1313 is referred to as still being in production? Okaaaay…
Your moment of zen. I already wrote up that J.J. Abrams quotes from the other day, but the undisputed champion of that round is clearly The A.V. Club’s Sean O’Neal.
Stop-motion may be cheesey to those of us who grew up in the post-Star Wars era, but Harryhausen’s work – the most famous of which is perhaps the fighting skeletons of Jason and the Argonauts – was hugely influential. (Though to this 80s’ kid, it’s his Medusa in the original Clash of the Titans who kept me up at night!)
“Ray has been a great inspiration to us all in special visual industry. The art of his earlier films, which most of us grew up on, inspired us so much,” said George Lucas. “Without Ray Harryhausen, there would likely have been no Star Wars.”
Coachella’s Tupac was a 2-D creation of Digital Domain Media Group, who won a visual effects Oscar for aging Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. And it was projected using technology dating from the 19th Century:
The effect relies on an angled piece of glass in which a “ghostly” image is reflected. “A piece of glass can be both transparent and reflective at the same time, depending on how it’s situated relative to the audience,” said Mr. Steinmeyer, pointing out the secret.
In the Victorian version of the trick, the glass reflected an actual actor, situated out of sight in near the orchestra. On Sunday night, the image was projected on a piece of Mylar—a highly reflective, lightweight plastic—stretched on a clear frame.
A similar effect was used in 2003 to project an image of Frank Sinatra. Virtual Tupac may go on tour later this year with other (living) hip-hop stars
There were few surprises at tonight’s Oscars: Lone genre Best Picture nom Inception was awarded mostly in technical categories (including Visual Effects… Sorry, ILM.) And Natalie Portman did indeed win Best Actress for Black Swan.
For the rest, The King’s Speech cleaned up with 4 awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Colin Firth. Batman Jesus Christian Bale took home Best Supporting Actor for The Fighter. But perhaps most mind-blowing to this former teen of the 90’s: Trent Reznor now has an Oscar (for The Social Network score.)
As for the ceremony itself… It was pretty standard; All the real fun was (of course) partaking in all the snark on Twitter. I did greatly enjoy the auto-tune, though.
And yes, Irvin Kershner did make the In Memoriam reel, as did modelmaker Grant McCune.