finding dory real life inspiration

Last month, I traveled to the Monterey Bay Aquarium to talk to Andrew Stanton and the filmmakers of Pixar’s upcoming Finding Nemo sequel Finding Dory. On my visit, I got to preview 30 minutes of the upcoming film and chat with many of the filmmakers at Pixar who are creating Dory’s next adventure. But not only that, I got to learn how Pixar took multiple research trips to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which served as inspiration for the Marine Life Institute seen in the final film.

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jeremy saulnier interview

If there’s a 2016 film more intense than Green Room, I’m not sure how I’m going to survive. Writer/director Jeremy Saulnier‘s thriller has a crazy hook – members of a punk band witness a murder and take refuge inside a concert venue’s green room as a gang of deadly neo-Nazis lay siege – and the execution lives up the promise of that premise. Green Room is vicious and unrelenting and masterfully crafted by a filmmaker who has grown with each of his films. Between Murder Party, Blue Ruin and now this, Saulnier has proven himself to be one of the most exciting young filmmakers working today. Green Room is a serious frontrunner for any Best of the Year list.

So of course I jumped at the chance to speak with Saulnier about his film. Our conversation begins with his experience in the punk rock scene, touches on how to create effective cinematic violence, and yes, we do talk about casting the great Patrick Stewart as a calculating skinhead leader.

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Diane Keaton on ellen

The initial versions of the Finding Nemo story didn’t even feature a fish named Dory. Find out how Ellen DeGeneres‘ appearance on television changed everything, and learn how Modern Family and DeGeneres’ talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show has helped with the casting of the sequel Finding Dory.

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ghostbusters board game

Cryptozoic’s Ghostbusters: The Board Game was a gigantic success on Kickstarter, raising over $1.5 million from gamers and movie fans who wanted to relive one of the most beloved franchises of all time. But since the original Ghostbusters film went on to inspire a sequel, a reboot, several cartoon spin-offs, a video game, and more than its fair share of toys, a tabletop follow-up was inevitable. Today, Cryptozoic launched the Kickstarter for Ghostbusters: The Board Game II, a standalone game that can be played by itself or in combination with the original game.

I had the opportunity to speak with Mataio Wilson, the lead designer on Ghostbusters: The Board Game and its sequel, about what it’s like to adapt a beloved movie into a tabletop experience, how his past history with Dungeons & Dragons inspired this game, and what the sequel will bring to the table for experienced players and newbies alike.

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findingdory-poster1

Each new Pixar film employs newer and better technology, but Finding Dory introduces an unprecedented amount of new software to their production pipeline. The company’s chief technology officer Steve May, who worked on Finding Nemo as the supervisor of the shark sequence, says that the process of how they make films has changed a lot since then, but “mainly computers are way faster and algorithms are way better.” Finding Dory introduces three completely new technologies and major improvements in one of their older pieces of software.

After the jump, you can learn about all the new technology being used in Pixar’s latest feature film and how that allowed them to create a character that would have been impossible in the Finding Nemo days. Hear director Andrew Stanton explain how the advances change the filmmaking process, and his producer Lindsey Collins explains that while the new tools make things easier to create, it has made producing a Pixar movie even harder than it ever was before.
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Hunters - Nathan Phillips and Britne Oldford

Syfy’s new series Hunters could be a cross between V and Homeland. An FBI agent discovers a terrorist organization called Hunters, who are actually aliens from another world. Nathan Phillips and Britne Oldford play agents pursuing the Hunters, and Julian McMahon plays the main Hunter.

Hunters is produced by Natalie Chaidez and Gale Anne Hurd, adapted from the book Alien Hunter by Whitley Strieber. We got to speak with Chaidez, who also used to produce Syfy’s 12 Monkeys, after her Hunters panel for the Television Critics Association. Hunters premieres Monday, April 11 at 10PM on Syfy.  Read More »

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karyn kusama 2

Director Karyn Kusama made her directorial debut in 2000 with the critically acclaimed Girlfight. Her sophomore effort was the 2005 adaptation Æon Flux, which she didn’t have enough creative control over. Kusama’s third feature, 2009’s Jennifer’s Body, while divisive, isn’t without its fans. Since making that horror-comedy, Kusama has directed episodes for Halt and Catch Fire and The Man in the High Castle, but after a six-year wait, the director’s newest film, The Invitation, is now opening in theaters.

The unsettling thriller shows a dinner party gone wrong, told from the perspective of a potentially unreliable narrator, Will (Logan Marshall-Green). Written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, Kusama’s film is driven by an emotional and unsettling atmosphere, an uneasy sense of dread and loss we discussed with the director.

Below, read our Karyn Kusama interview.

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findingdory-poster2

When a Finding Nemo sequel was announced, many people, including myself, were skeptical of the motivations behind the announcement. Yesterday you learned how director Andrew Stanton came to find that a Finding Nemo sequel was necessary. And now we reveal why he felt Dory’s story was not over.

On a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I got to preview 30 minutes of Finding Dory. And I must admit, the 13-minute opening of the film (which I will not spoil) floored me. It was unexpected, dark, emotional and so very compelling. And what interests me is the idea that Finding Dory is actually a movie about disabled character on a journey to embrace what she may feel is her big flaw.

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Hunters - Julius McMahon

Gale Anne Hurd has made movies about aliens. In fact, one of the greatest of all time, the sequel Aliens. She also produced one of my personal favorites, Alien Nation. So the news that Gale Anne Hurd is back in the alien game should mean a lot. She is producing the new show Hunters on Syfy.

Hunters is about a race of alien terrorists who have infiltrated humanity, and the FBI agents who pursue them, including a Hunter working for us. Natalie Chaidez developed the adaptation of Whitley Strieber’s book Alien Hunter for television. We got to speak with Hurd after her Hunters panel for the Television Critics Association. Hunters premieres Monday, April 11 at 10PM on Syfy.  Read More »