Posted on Friday, February 15th, 2013 by Angie Han
In a weird way, special effects are never less noticeable than when they’re done really well. The best artists are able to blend the real and the unreal so seamlessly that it’s all but impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins. So it’s cool to get a chance to see the painstaking labor that goes into enhancing these films, as we do in two new VFX reels for Looper and The Hobbit.
In a similar vein, we also have behind-the-scenes featurettes from Brave and Life of Pi, which not only explore the making-of processes but also offer commentary from directors Mark Andrews and Ang Lee (respectively). Watch all four videos after the jump.
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What’s weirder than a resurgence of the supermarionette show Thunderbirds, which originally premiered in the UK in 1965? How about a version that eschews the puppetry that has long characterized the title, in favor of a blend of live-action and CGI? The weird part is that this isn’t the first live-action venture for the characters. Jonathan Frakes directed a live-action Thunderbirds feature, which was released to rather dismal reviews and box-office returns in 2004.
ITV Studios is backing a new series called Thunderbirds Are Go!, with the CG work to be done by WETA. The new show shares a title with the first Thunderbirds film, released in 1966. This one will have a new creative team; original Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson passed away in December, at age 83.
Info from the press release is below, along with some classic video. Read More »
Duncan Jones would like WETA to help bring his next sci-fi movie to life and, after that, he’s changing genres. The director of Moon and Source Code has been talking about making his third film, an “homage to Blade Runner,” for some time and now he says it might be his last in that genre. In a new interview, Jones revealed that he’s spoken to the crew at WETA, hot off their latest success with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and he “would be privileged to get the chance” for them to work on his mysterious, untitled sci-fi film. Read Jones’ quotes and more after the jump. Read More »
UPDATE: The 15 second tease that premiered at the end of this webcast is now embedded after the jump
Earlier this week, 20th Century Fox and WETA Digital revealed a first look at one of the performance-captured apes from Rupert Wyatt‘s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, scheduled for release August 5. The extremely brief video gave audiences a good idea of what to expect from the work done on the film by the effects house behind Avatar and The Lord of the Rings. There are no actors in ape costumes in this film; all of the apes in this prequel to Planet of the Apes were captured via performance capture on set and will not speak. (All communication is non-verbal.)
How did they go about crafting such an achievement? Will it work? At 2:30 p.m. PST Wednesday WETA hosted a LiveStream event on Facebook where fans were able to ask questions of WETA’s Senior Visual Effects Supervisor Joe Letteri and Caesar himself, Andy Serkis. They showed some new footage and provided a whole bunch of tidbits ultimately revealing that the trailer would hit the net on Thursday.
After the jump, we’ve got the embed of the event for your viewing pleasure as well as some bullet points of information that was revealed. Read More »
Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back producer Gary Kurtz is going back to big effects films with Panzer 88. We first heard about the film very briefly last year, when Hellboy co-writer Peter Briggs was said to be directing “a supernatural horror film set in a German tank during WW2.”
At the time, Briggs said he’d been having meetings with Kurtz, and the producer is now completely on board, along with the effects gurus at WETA, who will bring the $20m indie to life. Read More »
Last week the big news on the Mad Max franchise was that the new film, Fury Road, wouldn’t be the only new film. A pair of reports said that series director George Miller is prepping two films to be shot back to back: Fury Road and the follow-up, reportedly called Mad Max: Furiosa.
Now we’ve got an announcement from WETA about the company’s involvement in the films (hooray) and an unsubstantiated report that the process of creating two films might delay the production. Wait, what? Read More »
Kenneth Grahame‘s The Wind in the Willows, which follows four anthropomorphized characters in a classic pastoral English countryside, has been adapted to the screen many times. Now there’s a new version on the way, to be directed by Ray Griggs, with Peter Jackson’s WETA providing a suite of animatronic effects to bring the animal characters to life. Read More »
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Photo credit: Matt Dentler
WETA Workshop has signed on to create practical and creature effects for director Kristoffer Aaron Morgan’s independent horror film, The Home. Written by friend of /Film, Eric Vespe, better known to the masses as Quint from Ain’t It Cool News, and produced by Steven Schneider (Paranormal Activity), the film is currently being shopped around for financing. Described as a “character driven, atmospheric, twisted creature flick”, The Home tells the story of a firefighter who “is nearly killed during a failed rescue that leaves him physically and emotionally scarred. To recuperate, he is taken to a secluded nursing home where the elderly residents appear to be suffering from delusions. But after witnessing a violent attack, he soon realizes that the screams behind the walls are caused by more than hallucinations, and the residents are being preyed upon by twisted, monstrous nightmares that lurk within the home itself.” Sounds rather creepy.
Congratulations to Kristoffer and Eric for landing the five-time Academy Award-winning effects team behind Lord of the Rings. The duo last teamed up for the 2004 short film Blind, which screened at the 2004 South by Southwest Film Festival. Check out that short film embedded after the jump.
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