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TV & Movie Appreciation
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire with Editor Alan E. Bell

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire with Editor Alan E. Bell

When we last touched base with editor and longtime Creative COW member and community leader, Alan Edward Bell, ACE, he had just finished cutting The Amazing Spider-Man. For The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, we find him reunited with director Francis Lawrence, for whom he edited Water for Elephants. Bell talks about the challenges of editing Catching Fire and some of the gear choices he made to improve the pipeline's efficiency.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
Behind the Lens: Kramer Morgenthau, ASC on Sleepy Hollow

Behind the Lens: Kramer Morgenthau, ASC on Sleepy Hollow

Kramer Morgenthau, ASC has shot over 60 films, including Thor: The Dark World. He has been nominated for 5 Primetime Emmys for his television work, and won an ASC Award for his work on HBO's Game of Thrones. He also shot the pilot for the Fox hit Sleepy Hollow, which gave us an opportunity to talk to him about his work, his influences and his philosophy of lighting and camera moves.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
Restoring the Frank Capra Classic, It Happened One Night

Restoring the Frank Capra Classic, It Happened One Night

Frank Capra's 1934 comedy "It Happened One Night" was recently the subject of a lovingly painstaking 4K restoration by Sony Pictures Entertainment. With tender care to retain the soft, glowing look that Director of Photography Joseph Walker, ASC was so well known for, Colorworks beautifully restored the film with all of the nuance and elegance of the original.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Creative COW
TV & Movie Appreciation
Ender's Game: The Set-to-Screen Color Pipeline

Ender's Game: The Set-to-Screen Color Pipeline

With 1500 VFX plates, 900 final VFX shots and 350,000 R3D source VFX frames spread across more than a year's work and a hundred different people, Light Iron colorist and co-founder Ian Vertovec and CEO Michael Cioni needed to create an efficient data management and color pipeline for Ender's Game. In this case study, Light Iron takes you step by step through the collaboration and innovation that fueled this demanding project.

Feature
Light Iron
TV & Movie Appreciation
Prime Focus Brings The Last Emperor into 3D

Prime Focus Brings The Last Emperor into 3D

Rumors had buzzed for two years that director Bernardo Bertolucci was interested in converting his masterpiece The Last Emperor to 3D. That became a reality when the 3D version debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. The sensitive job of handling the conversion went to Prime Focus in London, which dedicated hundreds of rotoscope artists, proprietary tools and artistic intention to uphold the intention of the original version. The verdict? Bertolucci called it "beautiful and magical."

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
John Dykstra, ASC: VFX Then and Now

John Dykstra, ASC: VFX Then and Now

Creative COW had the great pleasure of speaking to visual effects pioneer John Dykstra, who received his first Academy Award for his work on Star Wars, and, the same year, won an Academy Scientific and Engineering Award for the Dykstraflex motion-control camera that made so many of Star Wars' effects possible. Join us as he shares behind the scenes on Star Wars, speaks about his transition from an artist to a VFX supervisor, and gives us his thoughts on the state of VFX today.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
John Dykstra, ASC
TV & Movie Appreciation
Creating the 3D in Gravity

Creating the 3D in Gravity

Gravity, the highly-acclaimed, intensely emotional space thriller, has been hailed as some of the - if not the VERY - best 3D footage ever seen on the big screen. This has led to some surprise when learning that Gravity was NOT shot in 3D. However, it wasn't entirely converted in post either. It featured an innovative and unique workflow that incorporated 3D conversion during production as well as a complex integration with 3D VFX. In a conversation with Prime Focus World, we find out how they did it.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
Restoring Mary Pickford's Lost Film

Restoring Mary Pickford's Lost Film

Actor, screenwriter, producer and United Artists co-founder Mary Pickford made 205 films in her very productive life. Of those, ten features and 25 shorts were believed lost. Earlier this month, one of Mary Pickford's shorts - Their First Misunderstanding (1911) - was saved from oblivion. The incredible story of how a lost film was found and then salvaged involves more than a little luck, along with the knowledge and skillset of a group of committed film archivists and film preservationists. The story begins in a dilapidated barn. Read more...

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
Storytelling, VFX and the Emotional Medium of Movies

Storytelling, VFX and the Emotional Medium of Movies

It wasn't the effects and it wasn't the cast that made 1933's King Kong the enduring classic that it is (though Fay Wray got a clear shot at immortality). It was the story. The story of a big lug with a soft spot a mile wide. Here's why young filmmakers should sit at Kong's feet.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Stephen Menick
TV & Movie Appreciation
The Wizard of Oz: A Hollywood Jewel Now in 3D and IMAX

The Wizard of Oz: A Hollywood Jewel Now in 3D and IMAX

The Wizard of Oz debuted in 3D and IMAX on September 20 for just one week, and it was a treat not to be missed. For almost a year, a Prime Focus team in Los Angeles and Mumbai carefully rotoscoped and composited each scene to create a respectful, eye-opening 3D version of this iconic movie. The result reveals all the beautiful artistry and craft that went into this much-loved classic.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
TV's All-time Greatest Openings Friday Night ABC 1971-72

TV's All-time Greatest Openings Friday Night ABC 1971-72

Talking about great movie title sequences is pretty common, but talking about great TV opening sequences typically begins and ends with the theme song. Creative COW's Tim Wilson takes a highly personal trip through a single night that offered five great theme songs in five great opening sequences, in five shows that have largely stood the test of time -- and certainly had a profound impact on him: ABC's Friday night lineup in 1971-72, kicking off with The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
TV & Movie Appreciation
A Band Called Death

A Band Called Death

Playing music impossibly ahead of its time, Death is now being credited as the first black punk band (heck...the first punk band!) and its members -- Bobby Hackney, Sr., Dannis Hackney, David Hackney, and Bobbie Duncan -- are finally receiving their long overdue recognition as true rock pioneers. Directors Jeff Howlett and Mark Covino speak about the making of this surprising film.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
Elysium: Insights From The VFX Supervisors

Elysium: Insights From The VFX Supervisors

Vancouver-based VFX facility Image Engine was the VFX unit for Elysium as well as the lead VFX vendor. Associate Visual Effects Supervisor Andrew Chapman and overall Production Visual Effects Producer Shawn Walsh talk about how their company handled the visual effects works from pre-production through to completion.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
Creating the Details of Elysium's Luxury World

Creating the Details of Elysium's Luxury World

VFX facility Whiskytree accomplished approximately 80 shots in Elysium, all of them focusing on the creation of the mansions, municipal buildings, flora and fauna of the wealthy enclave on the torus. Lead VFX house Image Engine and Whiskytree created an unusually close collaboration to get the job done.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
Inside Elysium with Director Neill Blomkamp

Inside Elysium with Director Neill Blomkamp

Five journalists sat in on a round-table interview with Elysium writer-director Neill Blomkamp a week prior to the film's debut. In this intimate portrait, Neill talks about what inspired the film, how he takes an organic, artistic approach to filmmaking, and how his own history, including being a VFX artist, creates a different kind of drive as a director.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
Pacific Rim Animated by Industrial Light & Magic

Pacific Rim Animated by Industrial Light & Magic

When director Guillermo Del Toro conceived the battle between the Kaiju monsters and human-controlled Jaeger robots, he knew the best possible VFX facility to bring this vision to reality would be Industrial Light & Magic, the company that pioneered CG creature-creation. In an unusually close collaboration between director and VFX facility, Pacific Rim gets up-close-and-personal with organic and metallic creatures that are both believable and thrilling.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
White House Down: Method Studios Wreaks CG Havoc

White House Down: Method Studios Wreaks CG Havoc

Method Studios Vancouver created 185 shots on White House Down, including digital doubles of people and places -- and LOTS of explosions. Method's VFX Supervisor and VFX Producer tell us how their crew of just 80 artists put it all together.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Ollie Rankin
TV & Movie Appreciation
Star Trek Into Darkness & the Dolby PRM-4200 Monitor

Star Trek Into Darkness & the Dolby PRM-4200 Monitor

On Star Trek Into Darkness, VFX producer Ron Ames was concerned about standardizing color information between production company Bad Robot and the VFX companies ILM and Pixomondo as well as DI facility Company 3. The solution was installing Dolby's PRM-4200, a professional reference monitor that can be calibrated so that every one shows the exact same color. In this article, Ames and Pixomondo VFX supervisor Ben Grossman talk about how the Dolby Professional Reference Monitor improved the workflow and gave them the confidence that everyone was seeing the same thing.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
Behind the Lens: Rachel Morrison Receives Kodak Vision Award

Behind the Lens: Rachel Morrison Receives Kodak Vision Award

Cinematographer Rachel Morrison, who photographed the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award winner Fruitvale Station, was presented with the Kodak Vision Award at the 2013 Women In Film (WIF) Crystal + Lucy Awards in Los Angeles on June 12. The award is given annually to a female filmmaker with outstanding achievements in cinematography who also collaborates with and assists women in the entertainment industry. Fruitvale Station, directed by Ryan Coogler, tells the story of the 22-year-old Oscar Grant, who is killed by a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) policeman on the Fruitvale Station platform.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Rachel Morrison
TV & Movie Appreciation
Restoring Richard III: VistaVision to 4K

Restoring Richard III: VistaVision to 4K

When The Film Foundation decided to restore Richard III, the non-profit film preservation organization approached Grover Crisp, Sony Pictures Executive Vice President, Asset Management, Film Restoration & Digital Mastering, Sony Pictures Entertainment. The job was to return the film as close as possible to its original version, which involved restoring over 100 shots. Cineric in New York dug up the missing trims and provided the 4K wet-gate scan, and Crisp brought in MTI Film for much of the restoration, including creating missing frames. Sony Pictures' DI and restoration facility Colorworks finished the job with a careful DI, and the film -- which has been released on BluRay by Criterion -- is expected to have a theatrical release through Janus Films.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
Film History & Appreciation
Behind the Lens: Peter Suschitzky & After Earth

Behind the Lens: Peter Suschitzky & After Earth

British cinematographer Peter Suschitzky, BSC, ASC has shot an astonishing number of films that have become iconic: Privilege (the film that inspired George Lucas to ask him to shoot Star Wars), Star Wars Episode 5 - The Empire Strikes Back, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and every David Cronenberg film since Dead Ringers. He got his career start as a child, fascinated by the dark room work of his father, cinematographer Wolfgang Suschitzky, who shot Get Carter among his other credits, and as a very young man shooting documentaries in Latin America. Most recently, Suschitzky was the first to get his hands on Sony's new F65 cameras, to shoot After Earth.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Peter Suschitzky ASC BSC
Film History & Appreciation
The Great Gatsby VFX: Iloura's Valley of the Ashes

The Great Gatsby VFX: Iloura's Valley of the Ashes

In director Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, one of the more dramatic locations is the Valley of Ashes, a bleak, depressing rubbish dump that the characters pass through on their way between Manhattan and Long Island. Nearly everything there was created by Iloura, an Australian VFX company. Iloura Visual Effects Supervisor Julian Dimsey and Compositor Matt Omond speak with Creative COW about the work they did to create the Valley of Ashes.

Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
Film History & Appreciation
The Great Gatsby VFX: Animal Logic Sets the Scene in 3D

The Great Gatsby VFX: Animal Logic Sets the Scene in 3D

Award-winning, Sydney-based VFX and animation company, Animal Logic delivered 590 shots for the gilt, luxurious and captivating film adaptation of The Great Gatsby. 175 people worked on Gatsby over the course of a year and a half. VFX Producer Ingrid Johnston and VFX Supervisor Andy Brown talk to Creative COW about their work on The Great Gatsby.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
VFX Titans Remember Ray Harryhausen

VFX Titans Remember Ray Harryhausen

"When we grieve Ray Harryhausen's passing, we are at least in part grieving perhaps the last living link to the earliest days of movie visual effects," says Creative COW's Debra Kaufman. She spoke to many of today's VFX giants who were inspired by Ray, including Phil Tippett, Richard Edlund, Jeffrey A. Okun and ILM Animation Director Hal Hickel, who says, "Ray Harryhausen's impact on an entire generation (several actually) of filmmakers cannot be overstated, each of them trying again and again to reproduce the wonder they first felt as a child watching Jason fight those skeletons."

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
Iron Man 3, Marvel & The Future of the Superhero

Iron Man 3, Marvel & The Future of the Superhero

Victoria Alonso, Marvel Studios Executive Vice President of Visual Effects and Post Production, began her career in the early days of the digital visual effects industry. We had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Victoria about the Iron Man movies, post production's evolution, remote dailies and coloring on set, 4K & HFR, and keeping the modern superhero movie fresh.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
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