13 items from 2015
With recent examples like Housebound, What We Do In The Shadows (review), The Devil's Rock and Black Sheep, it's clear that New Zealand is quickly becoming a hotbed of quality quirky genre films. How much of that is due to the direct influence of Peter Jackson and his earlier output like Bad Taste and Dead Alive (aka Braindead) could be up for debate, but when it comes to writer/director Jason Lei Howden's feature debut Deathgasm, there is no question. Howden cut his teeth doing visual effects on many films for Weta Digital, including as senior paint artist on two of Jackson's Hobbit films. But it's his love of practical [Continued ...] »
Academy Award-winning cinematographer Andrew Lesnie has died at the age of 59. Leslie was the cinematographer for Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, for which he won his first and only Oscar in 2002. He afterwards continued to shoot for Jackson, lensing "King Kong," The Lovely Bones" and "The Hobbit" trilogy. "Andrew Lesnie and Peter Jackson would giggle behind the camera together like the most mischievous pair of movie masters that I've seen," said film critic Harry Knowles, who visited the set of "The Lord of the Rings." Jackson's New Zealand production house, Weta Digital, posted their condolences on Facebook: "Our memories of Andrew will always be of a wonderful and caring person who looked out for the technicians around him, was keen to have a good laugh and keep everyone jollied along, even when things were at the most stressful for everyone." Ron Johanson, president of the Cinematographers Society in. »
- Casey Cipriani
The undisputed standout in Peter Jackson's sixth and final Middle-earth movie The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies was Richard Armitage, whose rigorous performance as the increasingly deranged Thorin lent psychological weight to what was otherwise an action-heavy final chapter.
Now that you're more than a year out of it, how does it feel to look back on the Hobbit experience?
"You know what, it feels like a lifetime ago. I mean, I think we wrapped in 2013, but then the release of the final film at Christmas reminded us all of the work that we've done. It was such a nostalgic time because it was Pete's farewell to the Middle-earth saga, and it was really »
In addition to working with director Peter Jackson on J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy series, Lesnie was responsible for several blockbusters such as “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and Will Smith’s “I Am Legend.”
In 2002, he won his first and only Oscar for lensing the original “Lord of the Rings” pic, “The Fellowship of the Ring.”
“I wouldn’t recommend that anyone do a trilogy,” he joked at the time.
Jackson has yet to release an official statement on Lesnie’s passing, but the staff at his production house in New Zealand, »
- Variety Staff
Furious 7, the early front-runner for Best Picture, was just over halfway done with its primary shoot when Paul Walker died in a car crash in November 2013. Replacing Walker, one of the two major faces of the franchise (along with Vin Diesel), and reshooting half of the film would have been inconceivably vulgar, as well as vulgarly expensive; so, according to The Hollywood Reporter, director James Wan summoned Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital to complete the arduous task of bringing Walker back to believable life. The masters of digital wizardry conjured a hybrid avatar of Walker, amalgamating computer imagery, practical effects, and stock footage of Walker and his two brothers, who both bear an uncanny semblance to the late actor. While you can occasionally discern when Walker’s avatar is being used in the film, the unprecedented attention to detail and advanced technology make the actor feel jarringly alive, and »
- Greg Cwik
Spoilers: This article may contain plot details some readers may wish to avoid.
Paul Walker's unfinished scenes in Fast & Furious 7 were completed using a combination of cutting-edge visual effects, archive footage from the Fast movies and body double work from his brothers Caleb and Cody Walker.
Watch footage of the digitally-recreated Paul Walker below:
Paul passed away mid-way through the Furious 7 shoot in late 2013, leaving Universal with a blockbuster hanging in the balance.
Paul's character Brian O'Connor plays an integral part in the action film's storyline, and Peter Jackson's Weta Digital VFX firm was enlisted to help complete the actor's final big screen performance.
Director James Wan finished Paul's performance by digitally »
When Furious 7 hits theaters next weekend, it will be the last time the late Paul Walker will ever be seen on the big screen. The actor passed away in November 2013, while on a brief Thanksgiving hiatus from shooting Furious 7, which lead to the production shutting down for several months, not only for the actors to mourn their friend, but for the filmmakers to figure out how to give him a proper send-off. We reported last April that the actor's brothers, Cody Walker and Caleb Walker, served as stand-ins for Paul when production resumed, but now we have new details about how visual effects artists re-created the late actor.
The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Peter Jackson's Weta Digital effects house took unused footage from previous Fast and Furious movies to re-create a digital version of Paul Walker for the rest of the Furious 7 production. The process is »
This story first appeared in the April 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. No actor is indispensable. That is the blunt lesson from the fact that Universal Pictures was able to complete its April 3 tentpole, Furious 7, following star Paul Walker's death in a November 2013 car accident about halfway through the shoot. Beyond saying that brothers Cody and Caleb stood in for Walker and that director James Wan culled footage of Walker from the earlier films, Universal declines to discuss which tricks were employed to breathe life into Walker's character. But sources say Peter Jackson's Weta Digital
- Carolyn Giardina
Principal photography on Pete’s Dragon got underway on February 10, 2015 in New Zealand. The film is a re-imagining of the 1977 Disney classic and will blend live action and CGI to tell the story of the special bond between an orphaned boy, Pete, and his best friend, Elliott, who just happens to be a dragon.
The film stars Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help) as Grace, a park ranger who discovers the existence of Elliott; ten-year-old Oakes Fegley (This is Where I Leave You) as Pete; Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games) as Jack, a local mill owner; New Zealand native Karl Urban (Star Trek Into Darkness) as Jack’s brother, Gavin; Oona Laurence as Natalie, the young girl who befriends Pete; and Oscar-winner Robert Redford (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, All the President’s Men) as Grace’s father.
- Mike Tyrkus
Principal photography on Pete's Dragon commenced today in New Zealand. A reimagining of the 1977 Disney classic, Pete's Dragon will blend live action and CGI to tell the story of the special bond between an orphaned boy, Pete, and his best friend, Elliott, who just happens to be a dragon.
The film starsBryce Dallas Howard as Grace, a park ranger who discovers the existence of Elliott; 10-year-old Oakes Fegley as Pete; Wes Bentley as Jack, a local mill owner; New Zealand native Karl Urban as Jack's brother, Gavin; Oona Laurence as Natalie, the young girl who befriends Pete; and Oscar winner Robert Redford as Grace's father.
Pete's Dragon is directed byDavid Lowery (Ain't Them Bodies Saints) and produced by Jim Whitaker, with Barrie Osborne serving as executive producer. The screenplay is by Lowery and Toby Halbrooks. Weta Digital, the visual effects company founded by filmmaker Peter Jackson based in New Zealand, »
Production on the remake of the classic Pete's Dragon has officially started in New Zealand Disney announced this morning, along with providing details on the new cast that will bring the story to life. Come inside to learn more.
While this may not be as exciting (for some) as Disney's Other big news this morning, if you're looking forward to the remake of Pete's Dragon then you'll be happy to hear that cameras are rolling:
Principal photography on “Pete’s Dragon” commenced today in New Zealand. A reimagining of the 1977 Disney classic, “Pete’s Dragon” will blend live action and CGI to tell the story of the special bond between an orphaned boy, Pete, and his best friend, Elliott, who just happens to be a dragon.
- email@example.com (Jordan Maison)
Principal photography on Pete’S Dragon commenced today in New Zealand.
A reimagining of the 1977 Disney classic, Pete’S Dragon will blend live action and CGI to tell the story of the special bond between an orphaned boy, Pete, and his best friend, Elliott, who just happens to be a dragon.
The new film, scheduled to be released in U.S. theaters in August, 2016, stars Bryce Dallas Howard (“The Help”) as Grace, a park ranger who discovers the existence of Elliott; 10-year-old Oakes Fegley (“This is Where I Leave You”) as Pete; Wes Bentley (“The Hunger Games”) as Jack, a local mill owner; New Zealand native Karl Urban (“Star Trek Into Darkness”) as Jack’s brother, Gavin; Oona Laurence as Natalie, the young girl who befriends Pete; and Oscar winner Robert Redford (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier, »
- Michelle McCue
The Associated Press reports the Academy Award winner behind “Titanic” and “The Terminator” dropped the bad news for fans hoping to see the first of three new movies in 2016 while promoting the local film industry in Wellington, New Zealand with “Hobbit” director Peter Jackson. Cameron filmed the 2009 blockbuster there, and has returned to produce the three sequels, which will be released over three consecutive years.
See photos: Disney Releases First Look at ‘Avatar »
- Greg Gilman
13 items from 2015
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