Tuesday, December 23, 2008

News - 12/23/08...

Thundercats movie trailer

It's not real, but you have to appreciate the work that went into it. All the effects were done frame by frame in Photoshop. The footage was edited in Adobe Premiere.

The same person also put together this -

Spirit, Bashir Open for X-Mas

Having co-directed with Robert Rodriguez the filmed adaptation of his graphic novel Sin City, Frank Miller makes his eagerly awaited solo directorial debut with a classic comic-book property he grew up with. His stylized take on Will Eisner’s The Spirit comes to theaters on Dec. 25 courtesy of distributor Lionsgate. Moviegoers in New York and Los Angeles can also seek out the critically acclaimed animated documentary Waltz with Bashir, which opens in limited release.

Taking a page from Sin City and the blockbuster screen version of his
300 comic, Miller blends live-action with CG sets and effects to tell the story of a man who fakes his own death and becomes a legendary crime fighter. From the shadows of Central City, he tracks cold-blooded The Octopus and tries to cope with a bevy of beautiful women who either want to seduce, love or kill him. The film stars Gabriel Macht in the title role, with Samuel L. Jackson playing the part of The Octopus. Scarlett Johansson, Eva Mendes, Sarah Paulson, Stana Katic, Dan Lauria, Jaime King, Paz Vega and Louis Lombardi round out the cast.

Reviews for the film haven’t been too kind, but moviegoers can at least look forward to some interesting visuals and comic-book action. The visual effects were created by Entity FX, The Orphanage, R!OT, Digital Dimension, Fuel VFX, Furious FX, Rising Sun Pictures, Cinesoup, LookFX and Ollin Studio.

Waltz with Bashir from Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman has been racking up awards and nominations this Awards season, and now moviegoers on either coast can see what all the fuss is about. Israel’s Academy Awards entry for Best Foreign-Language Film, the pic may also be up for Best Animated Feature when nominees are announced next month.

Co-produced by Bridgit Folman Film Gang and ITVS, the film documents Folman’s quest to recover memories and discover the truth about an Israeli army mission he participated in during the first Lebanon War of the early 1980s. Long-forgotten images begin to resurface as the director interviews old friends and comrades around the world regarding the events.

was named Best Foreign Film at the recent British Independent Film Awards and top animated film by the Los Angeles Film Critics’ Association. It was also included in the National Board of Review’s list of top-five foreign films of 2008, and is up for Annie and Critics’ Choice awards, among others.

LEGO Batman Flies to iPhones/iPods

Just in time for the holidays, fans of LEGO Batman: Gotham City Games can enjoy their favorite caped crusader on iPhones and iPod Touch screens. The Warner Bros. Interactive game features 16 fun mini games that explore the heart of Wayne Manor. Along the way, players pilot the LEGO Batwing and solve some of The Riddler’s most mind-bending puzzles. Each challenge is linked together by a brand new story, shown through stunning, hand rendered cut scenes, backed by a full orchestral soundtrack.

Once players master the game to become a True Hero or True Villain, they unlock bonus content including never before seen artwork, trailers and wallpapers. The wallpapers can then be saved into the player’s iPhone or iPod Touch picture library and used to identify callers or to spruce up the background of their phone.

The game was developed by TT Games, the same studio that created the acclaimed console release. You can download it from the iTunes App Store for $5.99 (a special holiday price) at http://tinyurl.com/lego-batman-itunes-game.

Bully Bros. Post Ready for Business

A new state-of-the-art post and vfx studio has opened its door in Santa Monica, Calif. Founded by creative director/lead fx artist Kiki Chansamone and exec producer Jason Forest, Bully Bros. specializes in full-service HD finishing for spots, expert compositing, RED and P2 conversions, 3D previz/storyboarding and on-set vfx supe work. The facility is housed at Christopher Sliney’s Playground Media Group.

Chansamone comes to Bully Bros. after nine years as lead Inferno artist at R!OT in Santa Monica, and Forest is the founder/exec producer of TV spot production house Bully Pictures in Marina Del Rey, Calif.

The new facility just finished campaigns for IW Group (Wal-Mart and Met-Life), DraftFCB (Taco Bell), Bozell/Jacobs (Alegent Health), Ogilvy & Mather (Nature Made), and Chiat/Day (Visa). Chansamone and Forest have been good friends since meeting on a Bacardi campaign several years ago. “We started Bully Bros. Post with the goal of creating a ‘family’ atmosphere, not just for ourselves, but for our clients as well,” Chansamone says. “Artistically and technologically, we want to build a company that is based on working with well-known brands for well-known agencies.”

“We’re not just a finishing house; from storyboard to delivery, we can do everything at the Playground,” says Chansamone. “Because of our experience with effects supervision, we can work with agencies to cover everything from assisting on conceptual design, to working with creatives and directors to help determine the best ways to approach vfx shots. We also shoot second unit for green-screen, as well as production and capture for effects-oriented projects. For us, it’s all about being involved as early in the pipeline as possible.”

To learn more about the company, visit www.bullybrospost.com.

NYC kids given early "Child's Christmas in Wales"

Thanks to the Welsh Assembly Government office in New York, children in the Big Apple's hospitals and schools will get a sneak peek of the first animated version of Dylan Thomas's famed story A Child's Christmas in Wales.

In advance of its United States commercial release, the office has been working with Michael Jeffrey of Brave New World Productions to provide private screenings to such children's organizations and institutions as Bronx public schools, Blythedale Children's Hospital, the Brooklyn Children's Museum and the United Nations International School in Manhattan.

Brave New World produced A Child's Christmas in Wales in both Welsh and English in association with Cwmni Da in Caernarfon, Wales. The Welsh-language version will be aired on Christmas Eve (Wednesday night) on Welsh channel S4C.

Directed by British animator Dave Unwin, the 30-minute film combines 2D hand-drawn and computer animation with live-action sequences filmed in Swansea Bay and at Thomas's childhood home on Cwmdonkin Drive in the city's Uplands neighborhood. It's voiced by Brothers and Sisters star Matthew Rhys.

Published posthumously in 1955, A Child's Christmas in Wales tells of a young boy who wants to know what Christmas was like in the old days. Hearing vivid descriptions of Yuletide in 1920s Swansea, he learns that the magic of Christmas is perennial.

"A Child's Christmas in Wales is a genuine Welsh classic Christmas tale which brings to life in Dylan Thomas' very own unique way what Christmases of his own childhood were really like," said Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan.

"A wide range of organizations across the United States will get to learn more about life in Wales through watching this film."

Scene from Dave Unwin's A Child's Christmas in Wales.

Rooftop Films Call for Submissions

Rooftop Films, the yearly film festival that takes place across the rooftops of New York City, is currently accepting submissions for its 2009 summer series. Next year’s festival, the 13th anniversary of Rooftop, runs from May through September. The early submission deadline is January 5, 2009. Submission fees are a reasonable $9, and everybody who submits receives two free passes to any Rooftop Films show. They’re a solid filmmaker-friendly organization that I hear only good things about and should be commended for supporting both animation and live-action filmmakers. Complete submission info can be found on the Rooftop Films website.

(Thanks cartoonbrew)

New Years Looney Tunes marathon

Looney Tunes make a return appearance to television on New Years Day when Cartoon Network is scheduled to broadcast an all-day 14-hour marathon of classic Warner Bros. cartoons.

95 shorts, spanning four decades, begin on New Years Day (January 1st) at 6am with Freleng’s The Wabbit Who Came To Supper (pictured above). The final hour at 7pm highlights Chuck Jones masterpieces like One Froggy Evening, Duck Amuck, Duck Dodgers and What’s Opera Doc?. Jon Cooke posted the exact schedule on the Termite Terrace Trading Post forum.

But note, this is a one-time-only stunt. Perhaps overwhelming ratings will convince the network to return these treasures to the regular line-up. Whatever happens, this sounds like the perfect way to start 2009.

(Thanks cartoonbrew)

Newsweek Names Steve Jobs, John Lasseter in List of 50 Most Powerful People for 2009

Newsweek's cover story "The Story of Power" contains their "highly subjective list of the most powerful people who will figure in the era over which [US President Barack] Obama will preside." Sitting at #34 and #35, respectively, are Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple and co-founder of Pixar, and John Lasseter, chief creative officer at Disney/Pixar. Lasseter is named for his success at turning Pixar from an independent animation studio into a critical and popular success story, and the prospect of movies' resiliency in tough economic situations. Jobs is named for Apple Computer's dominance over the iPod and iPhone markets, but he has also set industry trends with video for sale or rent on the iTunes store and is also currently the Walt Disney Company's largest shareholder and a member of the Board of Directors.

New "Batman: The Brave And The Bold" Images, Upcoming New Episode Information

The World's Finest has received new information and two dozen new images from an upcoming Batman: The Brave and The Bold episode.

Cartoon Network has passed along the episode synopsis and two dozen images for the upcoming Batman: The Brave and The Bold episode "Day of the Dark Knight!." To get a closer look at the images, click on the thumbnails below.

The all-new Batman: The Brave and The Bold episode "Day of the Dark Knight!" is scheduled for January 2th, 2009. Below is the description.

The evil Morgan Le Fey has taken over Camelot and turned everyone to stone! To thwart her plans, Merlin transports Batman and Green Arrow back in time to retrieve Excalibur, defeat Etrigan, battle dragons and return King Arthur to the Throne! In the teaser, Guy Gardner teams up with Batman to stop a criminal riot at Green Lantern Corps.

This week's episode of Batman: The Brave and The Bold on Cartoon Network will be a repeat of the series opener "The Rise of the Blue Beetle." The episode will air Friday, December 19th, 2008, at 8pm (ET) on Cartoon Network. Cartoon Network has also scheduled the episode "Terror on Dinosaur Island!" to re-air at 8pm (ET) on December 26th, 2008.

Holiday Look-alikes

They have rosy cheeks, red noses, cherubic faces ... and so do all the Christmas characters!

(Thanks TMZ)

Happy Holidays!!

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