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Ring Master: Matt Aitken talks about The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Trevor Hogg chats with Matt Aitken about a shape-shifter, Elves who live underground, and the awakening of a dragon named Smaug...

Matt Aitken“We grew fast at the beginning of Weta Digital and by that stage there wasn’t the expertise within the country to grow the company as fast as we had to,” explains Weta Digital Visual Effects Supervisor Matt Aitken who was one of the native New Zealanders working for the company during the production of The Lord of the Ringstrilogy. “But since the time of Rings we have been actively working recruiting local graduates. We have our own in-house training program and the percentage of the crew that is Kiwi is growing all of the time.” The opportunity to pursue visual effects as a career enabled the Oscar nominee to merge his different interests. “I pursued Mathematics as my first degree and have always been interested in
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Kylie Minogue has amazing charisma on The Voice UK, says Pete Waterman

Pete Waterman has said that Kylie Minogue's charisma "oozes from the television" when she is on The Voice UK.

The Stock, Aitken and Waterman songwriter who co-wrote many of the Australian star's early hits told The Guardian that Minogue was always an impressive on-screen presence.

The Voice review: Have Kylie and Ricky given the show new life?

"Kylie was always the sort of person that, when the camera was on her, it really loved her," Waterman said.

"I remember doing so many gigs in the early days where we took television cameras with us and the cameramen would turn around to us and say, 'My God, we've never seen anybody like this girl!'

"And if you watch The Voice that's what you see - someone with such amazing charisma that it just oozes from the television."

He added: "The first time we recorded Kylie I remember Matt Aitken
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Kylie Minogue pulls in the viewers to rescue BBC's The Voice

Plaudits for Australian star as once-struggling talent show gets audience of 10 million viewers

There's plenty to notice in the video for The Loco-Motion, Kylie Minogue's debut pop hit from 1987: the cheesy dance routine; the bubblegum pop production; the kind of perm that should rightfully have been outlawed. What's somewhat harder to spot is any evidence of an artist destined to stick around the music industry for over 25 years.

And yet Minogue, 45, is more than still around: last week her debut appearance as a judge on the new series of BBC1's The Voice seems to have single-handedly revived the show. Figures for the first episode suggest the Australian singer added 2 million viewers to a show that has always struggled to bring excitement compared with its ITV rival, The X Factor.

Pete Waterman, of the Stock, Aitken and Waterman songwriting team that signed Minogue on the back of The Loco-Motion's success,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

15 Unforgettable Stock Aitken Waterman Singles

Youtube

If you’re not into production-line pop, you probably weren’t into Stock Aitken Waterman (aka ‘Saw’). They were the Motown of the 80s, a rebooted Holland-Dozier-Holland producing “the sound of a bright young Britain”. It’s more than twenty years since the trio initially parted company, but that sound still has a hugely loyal following.

Mike Stock, Matt Aitken & Pete Waterman were, at least nominally, the core songwriting team at Pwl Records. Between 1984 and 1993 (this was the Stock/Waterman-only period) the Pwl ‘Hit Factory’ churned out hundreds of songs for countless artists. During that time 70 singles written, produced and/or arranged by Saw reached the UK Top 10, with 13 of them going all the way to #1. They produced the 1984 Eurovision entry for Cyprus, they were the UK’s most successful writing/production team in 1989 and at least one Saw-produced single was in the UK Top 75 every single week between
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

6 Iconic Music Producers Due For A Comeback

With Daft Punk’s Nile Rodgers and Pharrell collaboration, Get Lucky, on course to top music charts all over the world, I’ve been further exploring Rodger’s musical back-catalogue. To my shock, the Chic performer and producer’s musical output has become somewhat less prominent in recent years, despite producing some of the industry’s most iconic tracks and working with some of its biggest names.

This has got me thinking about several big name producers, who have sadly faded from prominence and are long overdue for a comeback. This is not really a critique on the current state of the music industry, as of course young producers keep things fresh and exciting – this is simply more of an exercise in nostalgia, looking at some of the iconic sounds and production styles that it would be wonderful to have back.

These producer’s unparalleled style would work wonders with

Visual Effects Society announces annual award winners

  • IF.com.au
Life of Pi has taken the top prize at the Visual Effects Society Awards, tying with Brave and Game of Thrones with four awards in total.

Among its awards, Life of Pi was honored for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture, while director Ang Lee also received the Ves Visionary Award, presented by visual effects designer Dennis Muren. Actor Harrison Ford also presented veteran visual effects supervisor Richard Edlund with the Ves Lifetime Achievement Award.

Disney-Pixar's Brave scooped the animated film categories while HBO series Game of Thrones dominated the TV categories.

However, Australian effects company Fuel VFX lost out in both categories it was nominated in: Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture and Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture for its work on Prometheus (both categories won by Life of Pi).

The Winners

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven
See full article at IF.com.au »

Visual Effects Society Reveals Nominees of 11th Annual Ves Awards

The Visual Effects Society has announced the nominees for their 11th Annual Ves Awards. From film to animation to television to commercials and video games, the Ves Awards honor the outstanding visual effects artistry.

"Life of Pi's" Ang Lee will be honored with the Visionary Award. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, February 5, at the Beverly Hilton.

Here's the complete list of nominees; for winners/nominees of other award-giving bodies, click here:

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Joe Letteri

Eileen Moran

Eric Saindon

Kevin L. Sherwood

Prometheus

Paul Butterworth

Charley Henley

Allen Maris

Richard Stammers

Life of Pi

Thomas Fisher

Susan Macleod

Guillaume Rocheron

Bill Westenhofer

The Avengers

Susan Pickett

Janek Sirrs

Jeff White

Guy Williams

Battleship

Grady Cofer

Pablo Helman

Jeanie King

Glen Mcintosh

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture

Rust and Bone

Béatrice Bauwens
See full article at Manny the Movie Guy »

Fuel VFX receives Visual Effects Society award nominations

Fuel VFX has received two award nominations from the Visual Effects Society.

The.peer-voted accolade for the company's work on Ridley Scott.s Prometheus follows the near-collapse of the VFX house, which was saved in October 2012 when Animal Logic acquired its assets.

Fuel co-founder Paul Butterworth was nominated for .Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture. for Prometheus (alongside non-Fuel nominations Charley Henley, Allen Maris and Richard Stammers).

The Fuel team of Xavier Bourque, Sam Cole, Simone Riginell and Denis Scolan - representing the hard work of all 16 compositors who worked on the film at the company - were nominated for Prometheus (Engineers & the Orrery) in the "Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture" category.

Fuel has also provided effects on a number of Marvel films including Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger. Fuel continues to run from its Newtown, Sydney-based offices where Animal Logic
See full article at IF.com.au »

The 38th Saturn Awards Nominations

The 38th Annual Saturn Award Nominations were announced earlier this week and we now have the full list of nominees. The Saturn Awards recognizing outstanding Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror releases in the last 12 months. Included in the list of nominees is multiple nominations for American Horror Story and The Walking Dead.

Hugo and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 each received 10 nominations as the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films today announced nominations for the 38th Annual Saturn Awards, which will be presented on Wednesday, June 20.

Other leading titles in the Academy’s film categories were Super 8 (eight nominations); Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger (seven); and The Adventures of Tintin and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (six each). Rise of the Planet of the Apes breathed new life into a classic sci-fi franchise with five nominations, including a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Andy Serkis.
See full article at DailyDead »

Saturn Award Nominees Announced

The Academy of Science Fiction Fantasy and Horror Films has announced the list of nominations for the 38th Saturn Awards, which will be presented on June 20th. These are presented without comment, other than to say to certain TV series, “Surprise! Welcome to Sci-Fi!”

Hugo and Harry Potter Cast Their Spells and Lead Film Nominations for 38th Saturn Awards

Breaking Bad and American Horror Story Scare Up Most TV Nominations in Banner Year for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror; Winners to be Announced June 20

Los Angeles – February 29, 2012 – Hugo and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 each received 10 nominations as the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films today announced nominations for the 38th Annual Saturn Awards, which will be presented on Wednesday, June 20.

Other leading titles in the Academy’s film categories were Super 8 (eight nominations); Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger (seven); and The Adventures of Tintin
See full article at ScifiMafia »

38th Annual Saturn Awards – The Nominees

The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films have announced the nominations for its 38th Annual Saturn Awards. In the film categories Martin Scorsese’s Hugo and David Yates’ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 each scored 10 nominations; whilst in the TV categories AMC’s Breaking Bad scored 6 nominations, followed by American Horror Story with five. The awards ceremony will take place in June in Burbank, Calif.

The complete list of nominees is below:

Film

Best Science Fiction Film

The Adjustment Bureau (Universal)

Captain America: The First Avenger (Paramount/Marvel)

Limitless (Relativity Media)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (20th Century Fox)

Super 8 (Paramount)

X-Men: First Class (20th Century Fox)

Best Fantasy Film

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Warner Bros.)

Hugo (Paramount)

Immortals (Relativity Media)

Midnight in Paris (Sony Pictures Classics)

The Muppets (Walt Disney Studios)

Thor (Paramount/Marvel)

Best Horror/Thriller Film

Contagion (Warner Bros.
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

'Hugo,' 'Harry Potter' Top Saturn Award Nominees

'Hugo,' 'Harry Potter' Top Saturn Award Nominees
Awards season may have come and gone, but sci-fi fans still have something to look forward to with today's announcement of the Saturn Award nominees.

The awards, presented by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, recognize excellence in these genres, which are often underrepresented at other awards shows.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, this year's big movie contenders are "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2," "Hugo," tied with 10 nominations each.

A number of the movies scoring big have been commercial successes but have not received awards show love, including J.J. Abrams' $260-million grossing monster hit "Super 8," which nabbed eight nominations, and "Captain America: The First Avenger," which earned nearly $400 million worldwide, coming in with six.

One of the most surprising cross-genre hits is Woody Allen's romantic comedy "Midnight in Paris," which took home the award for Best Original Screenplay at Sunday's Oscars, in
See full article at NextMovie »

And the Winners of the 10th Visual Effects Society (Ves) Awards Are...

"The Adventures of Tintin" dominated the nominations but it was "Rango" that received the most trophies at the 10th Visual Effects Society (Ves) awards. Stan Lee received the the Lifetime Achievement Award and visual effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull received the George Melies Award. Patton Oswalt hosted the event held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Antonion Banderas, Lou Ferrigno, director Chris Miller, Marc Webb, and Jennifer Yuh Nelson presented awards. But the surprise appearance by Martin Scorsese was the highlight of the evening.

Here's the full list of winners (highlighted) and nominees of the 10th Annual Ves Awards, to visit our Awards Avenue coverage of other award-giving bodies, winners and nominees, click here:

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture

Captain America: The First Avenger

Charlie Noble

Mark Soper

Christopher Townsend

Edson Williams

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Tim Burke

Emma Norton

John Richardson

David Vickery
See full article at Manny the Movie Guy »

Visual Effects Society Announces Nominees for 10th Annual Ves Awards

The visual effects that we are seeing in movies these days are absolutely mind blowing. At this point it doesn't seem like there's any excuse for a film to have bad visual effects unless the people hired lack talent, or the studio is keeping the cash in their pockets.

There's a lot of good nomination this year such as Captain America, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Out of all of these I think that Planet of the Apes might take home the top prize, those apes were incredibly freaky looking. Weta did an amazing job with this movie, and out of all the other nominations this was the movie I was most impressed by. What are your thoughts? What movie did you think have the best visual effect in 2011?

Here's the full press release with all of the nominations:

Los Angeles,
See full article at GeekTyrant »

10th Annual Ves Awards Nominations Announced

10th Annual Ves Awards Nominations Announced
The Visual Effects Society (Ves) today announced the nominees for its 10th Annual Ves Awards ceremony recognizing outstanding visual effects artistry in 23 categories of film, animation, television, commercials, special venues and video games. Nominees were chosen Saturday, January 7 by distinguished panels of Ves members who viewed submissions at the FotoKem screening facilities in Burbank and New York, FotoKem's Spy in San Francisco, and other facilities in London, Sydney, Vancouver and Wellington, Nz.

"The standard of the creative work that is being considered this year is unbelievably high across all categories," said Jeffrey A. Okun, Chair of the Visual Effects Society. "The judges faced a huge challenge because all of the work was so far above the norm. We're honored to have the opportunity to focus the spotlight on the outstanding work that has contributed to some of the highest grossing films and broadcast projects of all time."

As previously announced,
See full article at MovieWeb »

Visual Effects Society nominates “Harry Potter,” “Hugo” and more – Awards Alley

By Sean O’Connell

hollywoodnews.com: Over the weekend, the Visual Effects Society announced the nominees for its 10th Annual Ves Awards ceremony, recognizing summer tentpoles (“Harry Potter,” “Captain America”) and surprise hits (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “Hugo”) for their outstanding visual effects artistry in 23 categories of film, animation, television, commercials, special venues and video games.

“The standard of the creative work that is being considered this year is unbelievably high across all categories,” said Jeffrey A. Okun, Chair of the Visual Effects Society. “The judges faced a huge challenge because all of the work was so far above the norm. We’re honored to have the opportunity to focus the spotlight on the outstanding work that has contributed to some of the highest grossing films and broadcast projects of all time.”

As previously announced, Stan Lee will be honored with the Ves 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award and
See full article at Hollywoodnews.com »

Visual Effects Society Honors Christopher Nolan's "Inception"

Christopher Nolan's "Inception" dominated the 9th annual Visual Effects Society Awards winning the top prize of Outstanding Visual Effcts in a VFX-driven feature. The mind-bending film won all four categories that it was nominated for.

DreamWorks Animations' "How to Train Your Dragon" also received love from the Ves sweeping the feature animation categories including Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature.

The ceremony, held at the Beverly Hilton, also paid homage to Nolan by giving him the inaugural Ves Visionary Award. The great Ray Harryhausen was given the much-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award.

Here's the complete list of the winners of the 9th annual Visual Effects Society (Ves) Awards (Check our Awards Avenue for complete winners/nominees for all award-giving bodies):

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual-Effects Driven Feature Motion Picture

Inception

Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Mike Chambers, Matthew Plummer

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture

Hereafter

Michael Owens,
See full article at Manny the Movie Guy »

"Inception" Tops Visual Effects Society Nominations!

The Visual Effects Society (Ves) has announced the nominees for the 9th Annual Ves Awards ceremony recognizing outstanding visual effects artistry in 24 categories of film, animation, television,

commercials and video games.

Christopher Nolan's "Inception" dominated the nominations receiving four nods. Nolan will also be honored at the event with the inaugural Ves Visionary Award. Ray Harryhausen will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Ves Awards will take place on Tuesday, February 1 and will air exclusively on Reelzchannel Saturday, February 19 at 10p Et/Pt with encore presentations throughout February.

Here's the complete list of nominees for the 9th Annual Ves Awards:

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual-Effects Driven Feature Motion

Picture

Inception

Paul Franklin Visual Effects Supervisor

Chris Corbould Special Effects Supervisor

Mike Chambers Visual Effects Producer

Matthew Plummer Visual Effects Producer

Iron Man 2

Ben Snow VFX Supervisor

Ged Wright VFX Supervisor

Janek Sirrs VFX Supervisor

Susan Pickett VFX
See full article at Manny the Movie Guy »

King Kong 360 3-D opens today in Hollywood

By Sean O’Connell

Hollywoodnews.com: Only the coolest movies get their own theme park rides.

Last week, film buffs descended on Orlando, Florida to drink butterbeers and ride roller coasters during the grand opening of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” part of Universal Studios’ larger theme park. Today, our attentions cross the country for yet another opening tied to a successful movie franchise: King Kong.

In what is being described as the “world’s largest 3-D experience,” this interactive ride at Universal Studios Hollywood takes patrons on a 5-minute tram ride through Kong’s world on Skull Island. But “King Kong” director Peter Jackson and his creative team at Weta Digital Limited worked their own magic to improve the experience. Guests will get their first look today.

Leading up to the release, the L.A. Times interviewed Weta visual effects supervisor Matt Aitken, while Slash Film dug up
See full article at Hollywoodnews.com »

Who's Been Invited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences?

135 filmmakers and executives have been invited by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to join its ranks. Recent Oscar nominees and winners such as Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Mo'Nique, Carey Mulligan, Jeremy Renner, Gabourey Sidibe and Christoph Waltz have been invited to join; but even "Saw's" Tobin Bell and "Avatar's" Zoe Saldana received invites.

New members will be "baptized" in an invitation-only reception in September at the Academy's Fairbanks Center for Motion Picture Study in Beverly Hills.

Here's a complete list of the 2010 invitees:

Actors

Tobin Bell -- "Saw," "The Firm"

Vera Farmiga -- "Up in the Air," "The Departed"

Miguel Ferrer -- "Traffic," "RoboCop"

James Gandolfini -- "In the Loop," "Get Shorty"

Anna Kendrick -- "Up in the Air," "Twilight"

Mo'Nique -- "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire," "Phat Girlz"

Carey Mulligan -- "An Education," "Public Enemies"

Jeremy Renner -- "The Hurt Locker,
See full article at Manny the Movie Guy »
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