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Trailer for the documentary Rhythm and Hues:Life After Pi


I think people take for granted, the time and effort that goes into creating these worlds we’ve come to know and love. The pros make it so seamless, that it all floats by us as well as those who hold the checks in Hollywood. Last year when  visual effects house Rhythm and Hues, went belly up, it was the first time people started to take notice at what was really happening in the  vfx world. How could a vfx house, that just created a film that won an Oscar, be bankrupt? The answer to this question eluded me for a long time til I started to talk to friends of mine in that community. I sat on the phone for hours with a lead visual effects supervisor, as he went on and on about the conditions of his community and how having no union or the “magic hat” attitude, many of these studios/directors embody when it comes to movie making, has contributed to this slow crumble. It was all quite disturbing. What lack of respect and for a medium that is prominent in 99.9% of all films today. Hopefully this trailer will shine a light on this travesty.


Life After Pi is short documentary filmed on location at Rhythm & Hues Studios – the Los Angeles based visual effects company that won an Academy Award in 2013 for its groundbreaking work on Ang Lee’s Life of Pi – during the weeks that followed a devastating bankruptcy. The documentary was made by R&H employees who picked up cameras as the meltdown ensued and is part of a larger documentary titled Hollywood Endingmore info on that here. This short doc will be released online starting February 25th later this month. Stay tuned for the release.

This Gravity featurette guarantees them winning every technical category in the Oscars


As we draw close to Oscar time, it’s important to remind people just what deserves what, despite what a few dusty-ass raisins in Hollywood say. I said it before and I will say it again, the Oscars should be a peoples choice award and there shouldn’t be separate categories for male and female actors….there…my two cents. Moving on. If you haven’t seen Gravity yet, you’re dead to me, but if you have, this featurette is mind blowing! Looking like set pieces from a Daft Punk concert, the technology that went into creating this visually stunning film will probably, if  it hasn’t already, be used by Washington in some way shape or form. The film is science from beginning to end and from production to screen. Director Alfonso Cuaron is changing the game in ways I thought only James Cameron could. It makes sense that James would produce this film. This featurette has interviews with Alfonso’s son and co-writer Jonas Cuaron as well as cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki.

If this film doesn’t win every technical award there is this year I am going to be extremely pissed off.



Trailer for an amazing science fiction-fantasy film “DUST” arrives


Quick shout out to Mercia Goia for posting this on Facebook. I don’t know when this all started, but I hope it never stops. A couple of weeks ago you heard me go on and on about my friends Kickstarter project The Ningyo, which is about 15k away from their goal by the way. This got me thinking about the role of the VFX artists in the new millennium and how many of them like The Ningyo’s Miguel Ortega, are beginning to take back the creative control that has been taken from them for so long. It’s a trend that is growing in numbers, especially after the Life of PI debacle, along with a slew of others.

I’m not certain as to whether the creator’s of DUST share the same sentiment, but one has to believe that when a VFX artist decides to take the helm, he or she must empathize with the plight of other VFX artists around the world, but especially those in the U.S.

 DUST is one, of what I hope will be many, midblowing Kickstarter films that made it’s goal, thus allowing them to complete all the visual effects for this piece. Director and Chief Creative Officer at Ember Lab Mike Grier  has created a movie that not only delivers  on emotion, but also cinematography. Before embarking on this amazing journey he spent a lot of time in and around the countrysides of Japan.

Seeing how the landscape of Japan has changed over the years helped inspire some of the themes in DUST. Having seen the trailer, there’s no doubt about the man’s eye. Some of the locations in this film are some of the most amazing images I’ve ever seen.This film reminds me in a strange way of Beast of the Southern Wild in that it blends science fiction with fantasy by utilizing the existing backdrop and the end result if breathtaking.

The money Ember Lab made from commercial gigs helped fund a lot of the set construction, but everyone who worked on the film, did so without compensation. La Vie Boheme! It’s a labor of love and the end result is something to behold. Shot on the RED Mysterium X, it’s a visual masterpiece and rivals anything I’ve seen a major studio release. This is why I don’t see this trend ending anytime soon. Who knows better than a seasoned VFX artists about what a shot needs and how it should be lit? Not taking anything away from cinematographers, but let’s be honest…when 89% of all the cinematography in recent films is being done in post production, who’s the real DP?

I for one hope these talented guys form something bigger than what Hollywood has done and become prosperous at it. It’s time to take it back.

To find out more about DUST please checkout their WEBSITE

DUST on Kickstarter

The World

Throughout history the role of Trackers was to study the shifts in the environment and teach people to live in harmony with the natural world as it changed. Regarded as spiritual guides, Trackers cultivated and protected the balance that existed between the land and its people. But slowly, people’s views began to shift—and the balance was lost. Emboldened by the advance of technology, humanity came to view nature as an element to be controlled and conquered. The rise of walled cities led many to flee the harsh environment of the countryside in search of an easier life. Now, Tracker cultures have all but died out. While Trackers are still needed for trade and travel outside of city walls, they are tolerated as outcasts. City-dwellers have come to view them as a necessary evil.

The Story

A deadly new plague linked to a mysterious dust is devastating the countryside around Kabé—the world’s oldest city.Irezúmi is a disgraced Tracker living in the abandoned outskirts of Kabé. Hired by a Merchant of the city’s underground medicine trade, he has yet to find a cure to the mysterious Dust that has begun falling on the city. Little is known about the Dust or the unusual sickness it causes but as it continues to consume the countryside, Kabé is preparing to shut its gates—denying refuge to anyone outside the walls.

VFX artists Miguel Ortega and Tran Ma, Kickstart a visually stunning cryptozoology adventure The Ningyo

c81d2b4fe81413d6d88044bf62053483_largeGot an email from Miguel Ortega, this amazing VFX artist we did a story on awhile back. In it he told us about a new project he’s working on, that he’s trying to get some crowd funding to complete. My immediate response to the letter was “YES!” and “How can I help?” All this and I hadn’t even looked at the Kickstarter video yet. Why my undying devotion? Cause Miguel is a true autuer/bohemian, doing whatever it takes to transform what’s in his head into something real.

His first project The Green Ruby Pumpkin, was done for $7,000 dollars and he shot the whole thing in his house and he’s doing the same with The Ningyo. I urge anyone reading this article to click this jump and watch that film and you’ll see right away why I am about to get down on the campaign trail for his new project The Ningyo

What Miguel and his VFX partner Tran Ma, has planned is quite ambitious, but if funded, it will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Miguel is a skilled artist with an amazing understanding of light, textures and anatomy, qualities that come in very handy when you consider the scope of this fantastical tale of the “neverwas”. All the pieces are in place for this project, amazing actors, concepts, sets, passion and know-how, all he needs now is for you to watch the Kickstarter video and let it conjure up feelings you haven’t felt since you were a child, well that and whatever you can spare to complete it.

Folks this isn’t like some Kickstarters where huge actors use their celebrity to fund projects they’re too cheap to do themselves. This man is shooting this in his home! If that doesn’t say commitment, I don’t know what does.



The Ningyo KickStarter from miguel ortega on Vimeo.

Animated short “How to train your Robot” does in two minutes what “Real Steel” couldn’t do in an hour


This is an exquisitely crafted short by the Platige Academy that demonstrates, first hand, what simple story telling is about. It’s starts with a well thought out idea and solid concept, then you find those whose vision fits the one your trying to create and then hope to God you guys get along and luckily for them they did or didn’t…who knows? What I know is that this is one solid short with one hell of a pay off. Your gonna love this!

Quick shout out to Geek Tyrant for posting this.

To learn more about the PLATIGE ACADEMY checkout their website HERE.

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR ROBOT from Platige Image on Vimeo.

Outstanding zombie kills in this Walking Dead Season 3 VFX Reel


Can I still be a fan of this series even though I haven’t seen season three yet? I think I’m more amped seeing this amazing “behind the scenes” footage, then most of you will be cause you’ve already seen it. That being said, I’m kinda posting this for myself, in a strange attempt to place the proverbial fire under my ass to watch this somehow someway. In the meantime, check out this demo reel from Stargate Studios, the folks responsible for all those ground breaking kills on The Walking Dead. This video is an astounding example of how far the effects on television shows have come. There used to be a time when studios didn’t even try, but now,not only do they try, they are setting the bar in a lot of cases. I’m rambling…enjoy the video!

2088 Teaser brings futuristic beauty and dangerous robots to tinsel town



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