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Friday, August 30, 2013

Microsoft And Skype Developing 3D Video Calls

Tim here, and I've got a few stories that are all being posted together. These are stories I've colleced over the last week, but have been busy editing a project for a recurring client. Please also check out the latest news on Apple's Patent for 3D Gesture and Moulin Rouge! 3D.
Hot news from Skype yesterday: Skype has confirmed it is developing 3D video calls! Revealed by a senior executive in a BBC interview marking the 10-Year Anniversary of Skype, the technology is said to be years from launch.

"We've done work in the labs looking at the capability of 3D-screens and 3D-capture," said Microsoft's corporate vice-president for Skype, Mark Gillett. "We've seen a lot of progress in screens and a lot of people now buy TVs and computer monitors that are capable of delivering a 3D image. But the capture devices are not yet there. As we work with that kind of technology you have to add multiple cameras to your computer, precisely calibrate them and point them at the right angle. We have it in the lab, we know how to make it work and we're looking at the ecosystem of devices and their capability to support it in order to make a decision when we might think about bringing something like that to market."

Gillett went on to further express his belief that autostereoscopic screens are pivotal to expanding 3D-capable screens in homes, whether it's a 3DTV, 3D Tablet, or 3D Phone. "I can imagine a day when you have a 3D-cellphone screen that doesn't need 3D-glasses to use it," he said. He went on to add that first TV's will have 1080 HD cameras attached for video calls, and then "you'll see much more penetration of 3D on TVs, on computers and ultimately in smartphones, probably, ahead of seeing it for sending a video call."

This is exciting news. Imagine, not too long from you, you'll be able to video chat with people in 3D using Skype! It's pretty exciting stuff.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Baz Luhrmann Wants To Convert Moulin Rouge! To 3D !

After the great success of The Great Gatsby in 3D Baz Luhrmann says he wants to convert his 2001 film Moulin Rouge! to 3D!

In an interview last week on Entertainment Weekly Radio, director Baz Luhrmann says that Moulin Rouge! 3D might be in the works soon, "Because conversion is getting better and better, I'm going to ask the guys at Fox… maybe can we convert Moulin Rouge! to 3-D," says Luhrmann, who shot The Great Gatsby (released on Blu-Ray Aug. 27) natively in 3-D. "Because I think in a strange way I was trying to make a 3-D movie."

Be sure to go to stores and buy the 3D Blu-Ray of The Great Gatsby if you didn't get a chance to see it in theaters. And if you did get a chance buy it anyways because the 3D was great! And keep an eye out for Moulin Rouge! in 3D whenever it arrives.

Apple's Patent for 3D Gesture Control on Touchscreen Devices

Tim here, and file this one under very interesting: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a newly-granted Apple patent (via AppleInsider) addressing a means for extending the multi-touch input present on Apple's touchscreen devices to the airspace above the screen, allowing for 3D manipulation of objects via 3D gesture inputs.

It was filed in July of 2012 with the title "Working with 3D Objects" and it describes a system that detects both 2D objects in a user interface and a 3D gesture input close to the device's surface, which then generates a 3D object that is presented in the user interface of the device.

The patent reveals that the device detects the location of a user's fingers using a combination of proximity sensors located on the display and capacitive touch sensors. No need to worry because the technology also works in combination with existing touchscreen controls. The new tech will allow users to lift their fingers off the screen and "pull out" a 3D shape from the 2D image. This is very similar to existing CAD (computer-aided design) programs.

Techniques and systems that support generating, modifying, and manipulating 3D objects using 3D gesture inputs are disclosed. For example, 3D objects can be generated based on 2D objects. A first user input identifying a 2D object presented in a user interface can be detected, and a second 3D gesture input that includes a movement in proximity to a surface can be detected. A 3D object can be generated based on the 2D object according to the first and second user inputs, and the 3D object can be presented in the user interface where the 3D object can be manipulated by the user.
As stated above, file this one under very interesting. There are other uses for the new technology, which include the ability to use 3D gestures to sculpt virtual clay-like materials and to change parameters of the object such as shadows, brightness, textures, and more. Expect the iPad to become more of a creative device for numerous industries who use CAD.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Watch: New Trailer For Keanu Reeves' 47 RONIN




A new Japanese trailer for Carl Rinsch's 47 RONIN has dropped and unfortunately it's not in HD, but still definitely worth watching! Some great new shots. Love the scale of this thing. I knew the budget was of note during production but it looks like those dollars are definitely being represented in the final product. Can't wait to see this in HD.

Here's the storyline for the movie:
Keanu Reeves makes an explosive return to action-adventure in 47 Ronin. After a treacherous warlord kills their master and banishes their kind, 47 leaderless samurai vow to seek vengeance and restore honor to their people. Driven from their homes and dispersed across the land, this band of Ronin must seek the help of Kai (Reeves) - a half-breed they once rejected - as they fight their way across a savage world of mythic beasts, shape-shifting witchcraft and wondrous terrors. As this exiled, enslaved outcast becomes their most deadly weapon, he will transform into the hero who inspires this band of outnumbered rebels to seize eternity.


47 RONIN opens on December 25 in native 3D.



Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ben Affleck Is Batman In The MAN OF STEEL Sequel !!

Holy Gigli Batman! Ben Affleck is your new caped crusader! Wow. I am taken aback by the announcement and will have to digest this news for awhile. Sure this is the man who brought us THE TOWN and ARGO, but he is also, well not always known for THE TOWN and ARGO. Warners Bros is betting large on the new and improved Affleck and apparently he will have creative influence over the project - not a surprise given the impact of this announcement and the positive affect he has on projects with his hand in them creatively.

The MAN OF STEEL sequel complete with the dark knight is slated for a July 17, 2015 release! I must say the thought of Affleck and Zach Synder working together excites me.

Here's the official press release:
Ending weeks of speculation, Ben Affleck has been set to star as Batman, a.k.a. Bruce Wayne. Affleck and filmmaker Zack Snyder will create an entirely new incarnation of the character in Snyder’s as-yet-untitled project—bringing Batman and Superman together for the first time on the big screen and continuing the director’s vision of their universe, which he established in “Man of Steel.” The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

The studio has slated the film to open worldwide on July 17, 2015.

Last month’s surprise announcement of the new movie featuring both Superman and Batman created a wave of excitement and immediately fueled discussion and debate—among fans as well as in the media—about who would put on the cape and cowl of Bruce Wayne’s alter ego.

Snyder successfully re-imagined the origin of Clark Kent/Superman in the worldwide blockbuster “Man of Steel,” which has earned more than $650 million worldwide to date, and climbing. The director will now create an original vision of Batman and his world for the film that brings the two DC Comics icons together.

Affleck will star opposite Henry Cavill, who will reprise the role of Superman/Clark Kent. The film will also reunite “Man of Steel” stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.

In the announcement, Silverman stated, "We knew we needed an extraordinary actor to take on one of DC Comics’ most enduringly popular Super Heroes, and Ben Affleck certainly fits that bill, and then some. His outstanding career is a testament to his talent and we know he and Zack will bring new dimension to the duality of this character."

Snyder also expressed his excitement about the casting of Affleck, noting, "Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne. I can’t wait to work with him."

Kroll added, "We are so thrilled that Ben is continuing Warner Bros.’ remarkable legacy with the character of Batman. He is a tremendously gifted actor who will make this role his own in this already much-anticipated pairing of these two beloved heroes."

Affleck recently starred in the Academy Award®-winning Best Picture “Argo,” which he also directed and produced, earning acclaim and a BAFTA Award nomination for his performance in the film, as well as a number of directing honors. In 2010, he starred in and directed the hit crime thriller “The Town.” His recent acting work also includes “The Company Men,” “State of Play,” and “Hollywoodland,” for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor. Earlier in his career, Affleck starred in and co-wrote (with Matt Damon) “Good Will Hunting,” for which he won an Oscar® for Best Original Screenplay.

The new Super Hero film is being scripted by David S. Goyer from a story he co-created with Zack Snyder. Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan and Wesley Coller serving as executive producers.

Production is expected to begin in 2014.

The film is based on Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, and Batman characters created by Bob Kane, published by DC Entertainment.


James Cameron Selects Writer To Pen Four AVATAR Novels!

In an interesting turn of events, Cameron has pushed himself back from the actual writing duties for the AVATAR novels in addition to the help he has enlisted for the actual sequels (and prequel?) scripts. It was long held that Cameron was tasking himself with the novels (which I asked him about personally back in 2011), but obviously due to the immense scope of work that needs to get done in a short period of time, he is reaching out for some assistance.

Of course he is closely overlooking all creative aspects of the novels and the movies to be sure. Cameron has hired Steven Charles Gould (JUMPER) who has a solid background in Sci-Fi writing to pen four books. In fact, he is the president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Says Cameron: "Steven Gould is one of the shining lights in contemporary science fiction, and I've long admired the worlds and characters he’s created in his books and stories. He is already working closely with me and the screenwriters to flesh out the expanding world of AVATAR."

Looking forward to seeing the results of this collaboration for not one, but several books in the AVATAR universe!


Sources: Variety | Wikipedia


Marvel Update: Bradley Cooper and Elizabeth Olsen Being Cast?

Hmmm. Interesting rumors flying about regarding two upcoming movie projects for Marvel, namely GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON.

Seems Bradley Cooper has been extended an offer to lend his voice to the would-be centerpiece of the movie, Rocket Raccoon. Yes, he's an all CG character but that adds credibility to the rumor as the only way Cooper would be able to fit in GOTG would be through voice only. The man is BUSY.

GUARDIANS is already in production in London and also stars Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer), Chris Pratt (Peter Quill / Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Benicio Del Toro (The Collector), Djimon Hounsou (Korath), John C. Reilly (Rhomman Dey), Glenn Close (Dey's superior), Michael Rooker (Yondu), Lee Pace (Ronan the Accuser), Peter Serafinowicz and Karen Gillan (Nebula). Vin Diesel (Groot) has not been confirmed yet.

Also hitting the rumor mill today is Elizabeth Olsen being tapped for Scarlet Witch in the sure to be mammoth production, THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON.

Apparently Olsen is closer to signing than Cooper who may have just only received the offer. Both are strong actors and obviously would add tremendous value to the productions.

More details when and if these rumors become fact. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is slated for release on August 1, 2014 and THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON bows on May 1, 2015.


Source: THR

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Watch: New Trailer For Paul W.S. Anderson's POMPEII

We've got the new trailer for Paul W.S. Anderson's POMPEII starring Kit Harrington (GAME OF THRONES). The movie also stars Kiefer Sutherland (24), Emily Browning (SUCKER PUNCH), Carrie Anne-Moss (THE MATRIX), Jared Harris, Paz Vega, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Jessica Lucas.

There are going to be an amazing assortment of practical stunts if the list of stunt performers are any indication. Clearly CG will be handily in use as well. An erupting volcano, especially one so famous in the annals of history will look amazing in native and rendered 3D. Should be a treat.

Here's the storyline for the movie:
The film follows an enslaved Celtic gladiator (Milo) who falls in love with a noblewoman on the eve of a massive volcanic eruption that destroys Pompeii, an event that also brings him face-to-face with the man who slaughtered his family years earlier.

POMPEII opens on February 21, 2014.



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Watch: New Behind The Scenes Featurette for THOR: THE DARK WORLD

Check the new behind the scenes (BTS) featurette for THOR: THE DARK WORLD! The clips include some BTS shots but not the quantity or duration I would prefer. Undoubtedly there are more coming though and this is a good appetizer! Packed with segments from key cast interviews that will surely be included in the boxed disc releases for home entertainment next year, it shows off the impact that the scale of the movie is having on the stars. Or it's pure marketing fluff. :-) I'm leaning more towards the epic scale knowing how Marvel justly treats it's properties.

It's also interesting to see how Tom Hiddleston's character Loki has evolved into arguably the most popular in the franchise, and that's an impressive feat given the movie titles all have THOR in them! His appearance at Comic-con this year has helped seal that deal I think.

Here's the storyline for the movie:
Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself. In the aftermath of Marvel’s Thor and Marvel’s The Avengers, Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos…but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.

THOR: THE DARK WORLD opens on November 8.


Poster And Image For THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Drops!

Click image to enlarge
Check the new poster and image for THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG! Love them both. If you haven't seen the trailer for the movie yet - what are ye waitin' fer man! Check it here.

The native 3D production is again being shot in 48 frames per second with Red Epics on 3ality Technica rigs! I can't wait to see what Peter Jackson has in store for us this time around. That trailer hints at some amazing effects that will be blowing us away I'm sure!

Here's the storyline for the movie:
The second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG opens on December 13 in HFR 3D.

Sources: TORN | Empire via Collider

 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Characters Poster



Got a characters poster for you from GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY direct from the director, James Gunn himself. Gunn has been quite active in social circles in getting the word out and occasionally some cool items like this pic.

The cast is filling out as well. Below I have some interesting quotes from some of the actors that have been tapped thus far and the roles they will be playing...

Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer): "@ComicFansUnite Mean this from the heart...I hope i do justice to Drax and bring him to life the way comic fans would want. Thats my mission"

Vin Diesel (Groot - casting still not official): "I’m an actor. I can do whatever the … I want. As an actor, not everything has to be the most obvious choice. And sometimes, the best thing you can do — as far as Steven Spielberg and his advice — is to defy expectations. So if everybody thinks you’re going to go for this one thing and you flip it entirely and go for the strangest Marvel character, it’s interesting. And when something is interesting, it’s inspiring."

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY also stars Chris Pratt (Peter Quill / Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Benicio Del Toro (The Collector), Djimon Hounsou (Korath), John C. Reilly (Rhomman Dey), Glenn Close (Dey's superior), Michael Rooker (Yondu), Lee Pace (Ronan the Accuser), Peter Serafinowicz and Karen Gillan (Nebula).

GOTG is slated for release on August 1, 2014.


Friday, August 09, 2013

Want To See A New HERCULES BTS Photo? Direct From The Rock!



Straight away - I don't know if HERCULES will be in 3D, but I'm guessing that they're going to have to convert it to 3D in post to effectively combat Renny Harlin's HERCULES 3D starring Kellan Lutz which is also due in 2014. One thing is certain, that's not a 3D rig in the photo.

Either way, you have to enjoy Dwayne Johnson's tweets, especially when the man is on set. That's the case with his current project HERCULES which is currently shooting. Yes it's being directed by Brett Ratner and I've never been a great fan of his, but the RUSH HOUR movies made a mint (and were ok). I'm just not tuned into his work.

Back to Johnson - he seems to always have a great catchphrase with his set tweets too. Take the one that came with this photo:

No 'over-intellectualized actor speak'. Straight gut talk..bring it on motherf*cker. #EpicWar #HERCULESMovie pic.twitter.com/DKUohPb2QY

Got a way with words right? We'll have more on whether HERCULES goes 3D and definitely more on HERCULES 3D from Harlin. Confused? Don't blame you!

HERCULES opens on July 25, 2014 while HERCULES 3D is slated for March, 2014.


Source: Twitter

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Ang Lee To Lens A 60's And 70's Boxing Movie - Will Explore New 3D Technology And Effects!



We finally have word on what is next for Ang Lee after his superlative production LIFE OF PI, which won him the Best Director Oscar last year. It's a 3D boxing movie from back when it mattered - the 60's and 70's.

The Universal Studios project is untitled thus far, but here is what we know about it:
An epic look at the boxing world of the 1960s and 1970s, as seen through the prism of its biggest rivalries and greatest fights. That will include the showdown between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali that was called the Thrilla In Manila.

Not only is the subject exciting, but what really caught my eye is Lee's continuing passion for 3D. Those of you who saw LIFE OF PI in 3D theaters knows just how well the he nailed it. The 3D, the visuals, the story - all amazingly well done. When I spoke with Lee back in February, he was so tuned into the format that I couldn't stop smiling.

From Deadline: "The idea is to take the exploration of 3D technology and cutting-edge visual effects further, as James Cameron is doing on his Avatar sequels."

That statement has me intrigued! Further, Lee will be working again with James Schamus (also CEO of Focus Features) to produce this project. It's looks like Lee will be a defacto gang member of leading filmmakers championing and excelling in native 3D. Love it!


Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Must Watch: New Trailer For THOR: THE DARK WORLD

I can't tell you how much I love seeing these comic book heroes come to life on the screen! Thor. I couldn't have imagined 10 years ago a scenario where suspension of disbelief could exist with this character, but here it is yet again! The trailer for THOR: THE DARK WORLD sets up expectations for the sequel just about perfectly.

Nice to see Idris Elba getting some more much deserved screen time in this movie. His star keeps on rising and Heimdall's character was practically begging for more exposure in Asgard.

Another cool add-on that YouTube has implemented (for awhile now) is the "POW" button which pixelizes videos to seem like moving comic books - check it out on this trailer. Kind of a fun thing.

Here's the storyline for the movie:
Marvel’s THOR: THE DARK WORLD continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself. In the aftermath of Marvel’s Thor and Marvel’s The Avengers, Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos…but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.

THOR: THE DARK WORLD opens on November 8.




Tuesday, August 06, 2013

See: New Image From THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2

Here's a new image from THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 showing off Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker and Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn. I think DeHaan is perfectly cast. And I mean perfect. I loved the comic books as a child and he fits the mold.

The image is courtesy of DeHaan himself via Twitter. The original image does not have a great deal of resolution.

Here's the storyline for the movie:
In THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, Peter Parker's (Andrew Garfield) life is busy – between taking out the bad guys as Spider-Man and spending time with the person he loves, Gwen (Emma Stone), high school graduation can’t come quickly enough. Peter hasn’t forgotten about the promise he made to Gwen’s father to protect her by staying away – but that’s a promise he just can’t keep. Things will change for Peter when a new villain, Electro (Jamie Foxx), emerges, an old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, and Peter uncovers new clues about his past.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 opens on May 2, 2014.


Thursday, August 01, 2013

AVATAR Sequels Slated For 2016, 2017 And 2018! Cameron Enlists New Writers!! *BUT* Are They Really All Sequels??

...And then there was four! Of course there has been hints and conjecture about having 3 sequels before and now that's been confirmed with James Cameron's AVATAR sequels 2, 3 and 4 being officially announced by Fox -AND- we also have the slated release dates for said movies: December 2016, December 2017 and December 2018 (yes, blockbuster 2015 actually took a step backwards today!).

BUT will they all be sequels? Part of the "hints" that have been dropped have included James Cameron himself back in September of last year when he said: "Because when we drop in, even in the first film in AVATAR 1, as it will be known in the future, we’re dropping into a process that’s 35 years into a whole colonization. That will complete an arc and if that leads into more, we’ll start - not imitating STAR WARS, but it’s a logical thing to do because we’ll have completed the thematic arc by the end of (AVATAR 3). The only thing left to do is go back to see what it was like on those first expeditions and create some new characters that then become legacy characters in later films. It’s a plan."

"I have an idea for a fourth. I haven’t really put pen to paper on it, but basically it goes back to the early expeditions of Pandora, and kind of what went wrong with the humans and the Na’vi and what that was like to be an explorer and living in that world."

So as a fan of the AVATAR universe, don't always believe what is being reported without digging a bit further. This is still conjecture but I have my sources on it. I'll let you know when I find out.

All three massive movies will be shot at the same time alluding to a massive budget green light from the studio. It seems like a no-brainer after the original is the reigning king of the box time office at almost $2.8 billion, but make no mistake - it takes guts to pull a trigger this size.

But the chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos of Fox voiced nothing but confidence: "We at the studio have no higher priority, and can feel no greater joy, than enabling Jim to continue and expand his vision of the world of Avatar. The growing breadth and scale of Jim Cameron’s plans for his magnificent fantasy worlds continue to amaze us all."

"The growing breadth and scale of Jim Cameron’s plans for his magnificent fantasy worlds continue to amaze us all." That warrants repeating!

To emphasize the increased scope of the franchise and the workload that must be completed before production begins next year, Cameron has hired some writers to assist in the undertaking, and the countdown IS ON.

Writers Josh Friedman (WAR OF THE WORLDS), Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES) and Shane Salerno (SAVAGES) have all been tapped by the maestro of it all, Cameron.

Says Cameron: "Building upon the world we created with Avatar has been a rare and incredibly rewarding experience. In writing the new films, I’ve come to realize that Avatar’s world, story and characters have become even richer than I anticipated, and it became apparent that two films would not be enough to capture everything I wanted to put on screen. And to help me continue to expand this universe, I’m pleased to bring aboard Amanda, Rick, Shane and Josh — all writers I’ve long admired –­ to join me in completing the films screenplays."

So where does this leave us? It's interesting and still very much speculative. Will there be a prequel as Cameron has said in the recent past. Are the writers all working on the movies or are they branching off to help build the universe further - case in point, the AVATAR novel that Cameron was said to be working on. I could go on, but the only real answers here is the commitment to dates, the number of movies and the budget green-light on these projects which could and probably will top $1 billion to get made.

Stay tuned for more info. I've got my ears to the same ground that dropped us huge bits of info for the original! Can't wait to hear more...

Sources: THR | Deadline


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