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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sylvester Stallavatar??


YO! If you drop a DEMOLITION MAN on a ROCKY planet in broad DAYLIGHT who might you think that actor would be?

Ah, yep. 60 year old Sylvester Stallone apparently is in talks with James Cameron about appearing in one of his upcoming movies, most likely Avatar! Another source of this rumor is here. Details are very sketchy but certainly makes one think what role he may wind up in. After Rocky Balboa, Stallone's career has seemed to revitalize so he may come with renewed fan vigor, yet be more affordable than say 10 or 20 or *sigh* 30 years ago. But hey, I think he would bring a lot to the table for this film. Important to note that this is still a rumor - nothing is official, although it seems he did say to a reporter that Cameron did call him about one of his upcoming films; so either Avatar (likely) or Battle Angel (not so likely as it has been pushed back a bit).

For you Stallone fans, he has also spoken with Quentin Tarantino about a role in Inglorious Bastards, which is centered during World War II and looks like one heck of a ride.

I wonder if Avatar's planet has customs officers? Hmmm... trying to think of a clever pun using a-steroid and asteroid but my mind is mush... ANYONE THINK OF ONE? Post it!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A quick sponsorship message

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I use http://www.blogsvertise.com/ for content, Google Adsense and AdBrite for ads that are relevant to my blog.

The most important thing to me is that any sponsor ads are on topic. If they aren't, I will take 'em down!

Finally, I will rarely blog about my sponsorship setup, but this is done as a courtesy to anyone else out there who is blogging and was curious. Feel free to email me if you have a question about it!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Avatar vs. Interstellar - Head to head in 2009?





2009
is shaping up to be one of the most fascinating years in history regarding epic adventures in space.

I have written about James Cameron's Avatar being planned for Memorial Day 2009 (incidently Michael Biehn has confirmed he has spoken with his friend Cameron and hopes to be cast in the movie after many previous collaborations).

Now, probably one of only a handful of directors that could challenge Cameron and his innovations head-to-head is jumping into the summer blockbuster mix: Steven Spielberg! The L.A. Times reports that Spielberg will direct an outer space effort called Interstellar which apparently hinges on travelling to alternative universes through a wormhole. The release is expected in 2009...

I am dying to get the casting on Interstellar and its budget. Stay tuned to MarketSaw for more details when I get 'em!! My money is still on Cameron. Rumor has it that they are not even using optical cameras for Avatar--seems that infrared cameras are front and center to 'film' the cast's 'Performance Capture' which will then be computer generated in pure grandeur.

Friday, March 23, 2007

AVATAR UPDATE: Cameron's Vision and a Video Game?!


BusinessWeek's (BW) cover story for the April 2nd edition is all about 'Motion Capture' or 'Performance Capture' in James Cameron's world. He says that actors convey emotion, not motion thus the terminology.

Also revealed about Avatar during BW's interview is that "The futuristic movie about an ex-Marine will be released in 2009 simultaneously with a massive, multiplayer, video game based on the film." Cameron is really starting to put into action his plans of the last 10 years. Finally the technology that he has been seeking to make his dream projects are becoming reality--or virtually reality. :-)

Cameron's longer term vision takes into account the power of the MMORG and merges it with film. No more camera angle switching - you are IN THE MOVIE, invisible and omnipotent to the scene; you can elect to view the scenes from any angle and you are swept to that position seamlessly. He sees his virtu
al worlds that are created for film, being re-purposed for gaming. Cameron would like to work with individuals to create lavish fantasy environments for gaming and films, I suppose like hard core gamers use level editors to build new maps to share with their community. Awesome stuff here. If Cameron can achieve half of what he is talking about, the entertainment industry would be spun upside down. He sees this technology taking place certainly years down the road, but not decades. Imagine watching a 3D immersive film and seeing the car or building you created in the background! Some video games just are not successful until they open up level editing to the public; they need that domino effect and quite frankly, the public generated maps and levels are typically better than the originally engineered ones! Now bring scenario that to digital 3D film and you are starting to get it.

But for today's world, Cameron is happy with advances like doing away with dozens of sensors on actors faces and replacing it with a form-fitting device that traces their movements via mini-cameras and software. Actors can don this equipment minutes before a take rather than endure hours in the makeup chair. A lot of money is going to be saved here. In fact, the industry will be able to use a single actor to portray a life, from child to senior without makeup.

Probably the most important contribution for his vision thus far is the 3D digital filming using 'Performance Capture'. Cameron can actually see what the actor is doing as it will roughly appear in the final film ("
a reality level equal to an '80s video game") while the end product will be 100% photo-realistic. He will be able to make minute changes not possible before because you would have to wait months to see the visual effects after all the shooting has been done. You don't want to have to call back the cast for re-shoots; and in many cases it is simply impossible with busy actors. Pragmatically and operationally Cameron has come a long way. No wonder the studio jumped at this opportunity after seeing the level of detail Cameron had already put into the planning. The excitement sure is building for Avatar and it will soon be reality.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Gears of War FEATURE FILM ?


Variety has announced that New Line Cinema has secured the film rights to Gears of War.

If you have not played Gears of War (GoW) on the Xbox 360, then you probably don't know what the excitement is all about. Lets just say that GoW was the most intense video game yet produced for the console market and the best game of 2006.

However, and a big however, is that they had better not screw it up like Doom. Karl Urban and The Rock did a half decent job with the movie, yet it bombed critically and with the box office. Effective marketing and buzz is essential for this genre of film. Get it done!

One big advantage that GoW will have over the other 'gamer movies' that have been made: One word... CHAINSAW. It will be a gore fest to be sure, but well within the realms of fantasy--not like the Hostel series which is hauntingly possible.

Stuart Beattie (Collateral, Pirates of the Caribbean series, Derailed) wrote the treatment that won over the competing camps. Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen will produce and GoW's lead game designer Cliff Bleszinski will be the executive producer for the film adaptation.

Stay tuned for casting news... (Yah I know the dude looks like Tommy Lee Jones... AIN'T gonna happen. These guys are walking mountains!)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Avatar: Why this movie is important...


James Cameron is back. Avatar is planned for release in the summer of 2009. Why should MarketSaw be thinking about this movie now?

We all know what Cameron is capable of, but then again do we? Titanic, Aliens and True Lies exhibited innovative approaches to big budget productions but now Cameron is attempting the holy grail of cinema, 3D. However his approach introduces risk. He is counting on the widespread adoption of 3D digital theaters by 2009, something that I am hesitate to assume. There has to be a catalyst to start that whole ball rolling and perhaps Avatar is it. Before today the 3D world was ruled by IMAX, their system being spectacular and immersive.

Here is what I have heard so far: Cameron is always wanting to push the envelope and tackle projects that REQUIRE new technology to accomplish. In Avatar's case, it's advanced 3D ('Fusion Camera') and CGI (the movie is 60% CGI!!). New theaters just for this new technology? I hope so. The industry has been resting on the old way of doing things for too long. A simple projection screen can be accomplished at home. They will need a couple thousand of these theaters built by mid 2009 though! Now thats what I call a movie launch; theaters built specifically to host this movie (and more to come of course).

Everybody knows the impact Star Wars and The Matrix has had on film making. What Cameron is doing has far, FAR more ramifications and if he succeeds (I think he will) we will be one step closer to actually stepping into the movies themselves.

So how do you PAY for all of this? Well first of all you need economies of scale. Cameron will be filming another movie with the same type of tech. So what is being produced after Avatar? Battle Angel Alita apparently. Another project Cameron has had in the works for some time now.

By the way, Sigourney Weaver (Alien series) has definitely signed on (playing Grace) and there are some good rumors on Angelina Jolie (The Good Shepherd) contributing. For you audio buffs, industry icon James Horner has confirmed his involvement as well.

The budget on Avatar seems to be on par with what Titanic cost: $200,000,000! It should be a spectacle and define yet another threshold of innovation from the Cameron camp.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Outlander vs. Pathfinder



It is interesting that Karl Urban was originally connected to the lead role of Kainen in Outlander but due to a scheduling conflict had to move on to another role - another viking in fact in Pathfinder.

I suppose there are some simularities between the two, but judge for yourself.

Biases aside, Outlander has the advantage. Caviezel is a much deeper actor and can convey dark emotions on the screen that Urban just can't summon. No offense to Urban as his track record is awesome (LOTR and The Bourne Supremacy come to mind) but Caviezel has an ethereal quality that stems from The Passion of the Christ and Deju Vu.

Other than the starring role, Outlander has the chops over Pathfinder again too. Who can argue with having Ron Perlman as a viking? Can't wait to see that. Well I DID see that during production. The man is huge and that is coming from a guy who is not a slouch either (I'm 6'6"). And John Hurt is well, John Hurt - gotta love it; 135 movies since the early '60s.

The finished Outlander product should be spectacular. Outlander should at least double Pathfinder's box office take. Not that I won't be going to see Pathfinder though ;-)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Outlander

Well where would MarketSaw be without plugging MY new movie: Outlander. Yes, I am in this one but just as a background actor.

Check out this Outlander site. Excellent resource to this upcoming movie starring Jim Caviezel. I actually stood face to face with him on the battlefield after running full tilt following our illustrous king played by John Hurt. I spoke with John briefly and shook his hand; a nice guy. Did not get to meet Ron Perlman however and that was a disappointment.

It was a great experience and sure whets my appetite for more acting. Or maybe some more stand up comedy. The mud is still not off of my winter boots after months of use!

I must say that Caviezel is a true professional. In the scenes that I saw him in, he prepared thoughtfully and rarely was distracted from the task at hand. One particular scene has him engaging a viking just a few feet in front of the camera with the 'village well' behind them. He patiently worked with the actor dueling with him and showed him repeatedly how to come at him with his sword. The idea he was conveying was that he needs the guy to come at him full steam and swing hard toward him and he (Jim) would use his right hand to hit the guys right shoulder just when he wanted him to let up a bit. The end result was truly believable as an action sequence and a credit to Jim's experience. I suspect that much of the swordplay he used in The Count of Monte Cristo helped a great deal. By the way, that is simply an excellent movie if you have not seen it yet. A keeper in my books.

So keep an eye open for Outlander starring Jim Dorey errr.... Caviezel. :-)

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