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Salon Article about Linux in VFX
A new lengthy article has appeared on Salon giving more information about the inroads Linux is making in the film FX and Animation industry. While there are few ILM specific details, the article provides good info on the impact on the industry and the software vendors.
The Pixar website has just been redisigned, proudly displaying the characters from Monsters Inc. on the main webpage. But probably one of the best new features is the inclussion of all of Pixar's short films. Among them is The Adventures of Andre and Wally B., one of the landmark film in the early days of computer animation (1984, if you consider that old) and one of the last projects done by the Lucasfilm Computer Graphics Group before it became Pixar.
Seems we have gotten the first confirmation on the opening date of Star Wars Episode 2. Both the previous Variety report on the trailer controversy and the Boston Globe state that the second prequel film will open wide May 17, 2002, a Friday.
Seems a controversy is brewing over the first Episode 2 trailer. Apparently the deal was struck between Lucas and Pixar, bypassing much of the studio meddling, and using also an obscure MPAA rule. Also a short promotion of THX featuring the characters from Shrek has been pulled off, not surprising since the trailer will show in front of Pixar's movie.
Variety is reporting today that ILM just got the contract for another film: Dreamcatcher, based in one of the latest Stephen King novels. The film will star Morgan Freeman and be directed by Lawrence Kasdan.
The Marin County Independent Journal, reports on the continuing saga of Lucas Digital's move to the San Francisco Presidio, to the yet to be constructed Letterman Digital Center. The move has been pushed back until 2004.
Cinematographer.com has a new featured article about the HD digital cameras used in the filming of Star Wars Episode 2. It consists of an interview with Producer Rick McCallum, post-production supervisor/TD Mike Blanchard, and ILM principal engineer Fred Meyers.
MSNBC is carrying an article about family friendly companies, and it seems that the Lucas companies, including ILM, are among the top family friendly ones in California. It has appeared for six years on that list. The Lucas companies report shows several statistic and some of the features of the work environment that has made the Lucas empire a better place to work at.
Variety is reporting today that ILM has promoted Cliff Plumer as its Chief Technology Officer. The post had been vacant for more than 2 years. Though judging from the quality of the work you wouldn't guess that.
Official Star Wars Site Has Brief John Knoll Report
The official Star Wars website has updated its "Ask the Lucasfilm Jedi Council" section with a question about the how will the miniatures be shot for Episode 2: with the digital cameras or with the traditional VistaVision ones. And answering it was John Knoll himself.
In a stunning (though not completely unexpected) development, Disney has decided to close The Secret Lab, its in house CG and FX facility that was formed out of Dream Quest Images and Disney's on CG department. DQI was among the oldest FX facilities around, and some ILM FX supervisors got came from there.
The Alias/Wavefront website reorganized again and the customer reels have been relocated. You can still catch some of ILM's work on Episode 1, The Mummy, The Perfect Storm and a couple of TV commercials. You can even get a couple of brief shots of stuff like "Work in Progress" from the 2001 customer reel.
The latest issue (number 9) of the Softimage online customer stories highlights the work of ILM for Steven Spielberg's AI. The story concentrates on the two main CG characters in the film: Teddy and the futuristic Mechas.
During SIGGRAPH 2001, ILM presented several cdlips, both at the Electronic Theatre and at the Animation Theatres. But there was one short film that wasn't mentioned much, because the main credit was not ILM. It was a short film titled "The Moving Pyramid", created by Wolf-Rudiger Bloss with help from ILM. It's the story showing that the ancient Egyptian pyramids moved, and how they finally stopped.
The Alias/Wavefront site for the Maya Masters program has finally put online the section dedicated to Associate Visual FX Supervisor Habib Zargarpour. During SIGGRAPH 2001 at the AWGUA event, Habib was one of the first four people recognized and inducted into the Maya Masters program.
On October 17, 2001 at the San Francisco Exploratorium, ILM VFX Supervisor Tom Bertino gave a talk about his career and the ILM short film "Work in Progress". ILMfan regular boneheadfx went to the event and brings us a report.
Review: Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace DVD
The long awaited DVD of Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace has recently been released and not only does it gives us a chance to view the new installment in the prequel saga, but it's also packed with many features showcasing the production of the film and the outstanding VFX work by ILM.