Ghost in the Shell Geisha Masks Featurette

Later this month brings the live-action adaptation of the iconic manga Ghost in the Shell. It remains to be seen if this new take on the material will be something that can resonate with both general audiences who may not be familiar with the title or those who are loyal to the manga and the beloved anime adaptation. Regardless of whether or not the movie turns out to be praiseworthy, one aspect of the production undeniably deserves acclaim, and that’s some of the work done by Weta Workshop.

Weta Workshop quickly became the go-to company for both practical and visual effects after their work on Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, and since then they’ve been part of countless Hollywood productions, churning out some truly outstanding work. Ghost in the Shell is no exception, and you can see their quality work in a video with former Mythbusters co-host Adam Savage exploring the robotic geisha masks created for the movie with Weta’s founder and creative director Richard Taylor.

Watch the Ghost in the Shell geisha masks featurette after the jump. Read More »

Doctor Strange Visual Effects

When it comes to blockbuster movies, visual effects companies can create (and destroy) anything. Sequences where entire cities are destroyed or an entire creature created with visual effects happen regularly, and the technology is so advanced that they pretty much all look incredible. The more impressive trick in visual effects these days is when one of the companies responsible for these effects makes it so that you aren’t even aware there’s a visual effect happening.

In the case of Doctor Strange, there are endless visual effects, mostly because of how our characters can manipulate the world around them. However, some of the more impressive visual effects you may not have realized were there to begin with. A Doctor Strange visual effects reel was recently published online, and I was floored to learn of the existence of more extensive visual effects than I had initially though, including some of the best digital doubles of actors you’ve ever seen. Watch below. Read More »

doctor strange visual effects

In an age where most superhero movies are guilty of ending with giant portals opening in the sky and cities being completely obliterated, you’ve got to hand it to Doctor Strange: its climactic action scene puts a fine and clever twist on the “giant sky portal, city completely obliterated” formula. A new reel showing off how Industrial Light and Magic brought this sequence to life has arrived online and it’s very cool…and loaded with shots from the film’s final 20 minutes. So if you missed Doctor Strange in theaters, be wary of spoilers.

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A Cure for Wellness scene

A Cure For Wellness hails from a remarkable craftsman. Director Gore Verbinski‘s latest has more to offer than beautiful and grotesque imagery. He’s continually heightening, in big and small ways, the film’s unholy atmosphere, as the camera moves smoothly from one creepy room to the next.

One of those menacing rooms is the steam bath, where Dane DeHaan‘s character first begins to experience what he can’t explain. If you want to know how Verbinski and everybody pulled off that sequence, then hear the director provide commentary for A Cure for Wellness scene below.

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La La Land Rehearsal

Even though La La Land has been sweeping up during awards season (with plenty more victories to come at the Academy Awards this coming weekend), there has been some backlash surrounding the modern romance with classical musical style. One of the lingering criticisms about the film has been the fact that despite turning in fantastic performances, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone don’t sing and dance like true musical professionals. Frankly, I think that’s intentional, but that doesn’t mean director Damien Chazelle took the musical elements of his film lightly by any means.

A new La La Land rehearsal video has surfaced that was shot on Damien Chazelle’s iPhone. The video in question shows the extensive rehearsal process that was employed in order to plan the opening Los Angeles freewayway song and dance number. The cast and crew took over a scaled down parking lot in order to plan all the blocking with cars and performers, and you can see how it compares with the final scene below. Read More »

Kong Skull Island Clips

The onslaught of Kong: Skull Island marketing is underway as Warner Bros. and Legendary throw everything they can at audiences to convince them to see this latest iteration of the classic movie monster. This new King Kong comes with quite an epic promise of having him meet up with Godzilla sometime down the road (and a post-credits scene after Kong: Skull Island may hint at what’s to come in that regard), but the question is whether Kong stands strongly on his own.

A new batch of Kong Skull Island clips have surfaced online over the past few days, giving us more insight into the human characters who encounter Kong and the rest of the mythical monsters on Skull Island. In addition, we get to see some pretty incredible shots of Kong, showing us that the visuals in this movie will be quite stunning. And if that’s not enough, then an IMAX featurette should help pique your interest.

Watch the Kong Skull Island clips after the jump. Read More »

black panther

The appeal of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been, ever since its earliest days, the promise of watching so many seemingly disparate characters fight and co-exist and come together to save the day in a shared world where the events of one adventure can have a profound effect on one another. And then they pulled if off and we got spoiled and the rest of Marvel Studios’ “Phase 3” has to find a way to get us excited all over again. And you know what? This new video, which teases Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, and Avengers: Infinity War, feels like a healthy injection of fuel into the Marvel hype machine. No one can sell themselves quite like Marvel can.

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VOTD: The Evolution of CGI Faces in Movies

CGI Faces in Movies

Visual effects in movies have advanced in a spectacular way in the relatively short history of cinema. What once was thought to be impossible to create in post-production has become a mainstay in blockbuster tentpoles. More recently, visual effects companies have become quite skilled in creating human faces entirely with computer generated imagery, and a new video essay shows us how this part of movie magic has evolved in a small window of time.

Watch the evolution of CGI faces in movies after the jump. Read More »

Beauty and the Beast Featurette

Fans of Disney’s beloved animated classics from decades past consistently ask why the studio is bothering updating movies that everyone already loves. In the case of Beauty and the Beast, director Bill Condon recognizes that the original iteration of Beauty and the Beast was perfect, raising the question of why Disney is bothering to remake it at all. A new Beauty and the Beast featurette attempts to explain that by going behind the scenes and showing fans how they’re making this story feel familiar and new at the same time.

Watch the Beauty and the Beast featurette after the jump. Read More »

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Rogue One Visual Effects

The visual effects of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story were quite the topic of discussion once fans saw that actor Peter Cushing was recreated by way of a motion-capture performance and digital effects. However, that’s not the only reason that the film ended up with an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects.

A new Rogue One visual effects reel from the wizards over at Industrial Light & Magic shows off all the layers that went into the planetary destruction of Jedha after a little blast from the Death Star. There are also some breakdowns of sequences on Scarif when the Rebels are attacking the Imperial base on the tropical planet.

Watch the Rogue One visual effects reel after the jump. Read More »