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TV & Movie Appreciation
Sony Imageworks Takes Us On The Yellow Brick Road to OZ

Sony Imageworks Takes Us On The Yellow Brick Road to OZ

Sony Imageworks provided over 1,100 digital visual effects shots to Oz the Great and Powerful, a movie which explains how a small time magician became the great Wizard of Oz. Featured are two all-digital characters, the 18-inch China Girl and Finley, the wise-cracking monkey with wings, as well as a host of other digital creatures from river fairies to flying baboons. In addition, Imageworks provided environments from the Kansas Circus to Emerald City and effects work that include the magic of evil and good witches and Oz himself.

Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
Film History & Appreciation
VFX Crossroads Pt. 2: Can The VFX Business Be Saved?

VFX Crossroads Pt. 2: Can The VFX Business Be Saved?

In VFX Crossroads, Part 1, we took a close look at how the seeds of the VFX industry’s dysfunctional business model were planted in its earliest days. Although outsourcing and tax incentives/subsidies are the culprits most often cited in today’s news, we saw that the financial picture for VFX houses is far more complex than that. Here in Part 2, we look at some of the solutions proposed by leading voices in the VFX industry, including a VFX facility trade associations, a union or guild, and ending subsidies. The question is, is it all too little too late?

Editorial, Feature
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
VFX Crossroads: Causes & Effects Of An Industry Crisis

VFX Crossroads: Causes & Effects Of An Industry Crisis

The VFX industry is in a crisis. As Life of Pi won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects, the venerable facility that created those effects - Rhythm & Hues - declared bankruptcy, and they're hardly the first to close their doors due to financial problems. Debra Kaufman pulls from her 25 years of experience covering the industry to take a close look at how the creators of some of cinema's indelible images are falling prey to dysfunctional business models. Their deep historical roots have also led to visual effects becoming one of the least-profitable areas of film and TV production. How did we get here?

Editorial, Feature
Debra Kaufman
Film History & Appreciation
What Star Wars Means To Me

What Star Wars Means To Me

Part of the criteria your future spouse must meet is a deep knowledge of the Star Wars Universe and you can quote most of the lines from at least one of the original Episodes, but how did the magic, the action, the VFX (before you even knew what VFX were and it was all oh so real!), and The Force, change you? Mike Cohen answers with what Star Wars means to him.

Editorial, Feature
Mike Cohen
Audio Professionals
The Art of Foley: John Roesch Honored by MPSE

The Art of Foley: John Roesch Honored by MPSE

John Roesch is one of the most accomplished Foley artists in the motion picture industry, with contributions to more than 400 films in a three decade-spanning career. He is the recipient of two MPSE Golden Reel Awards (The Dark Knight, The Matrix) alongside more than a dozen nominations. He has worked on 16 films that have won Academy Awards for Best Sound or Best Sound Editing. John Roesch spoke to Creative COW about the art of Foley and his extensive experience in creating sound effects.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
John Roesch
TV & Movie Appreciation
Bill Taylor, ASC Commended with the John A. Bonner Medal

Bill Taylor, ASC Commended with the John A. Bonner Medal

VFX pioneer Bill Taylor, ASC has been voted to receive the John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which was presented at the 2013 Scientific and Technical Awards. Inspired by Ray Harryhausen and some of the greatest icons of effects history, Bill has achieved feats of his own. We had the opportunity to speak with him about his luminary career.

Feature, People / Interview
Bill Taylor, ASC
Film History & Appreciation
Stereoscopic Cinema: A Discussion & Review of The Hobbit

Stereoscopic Cinema: A Discussion & Review of The Hobbit

There is no doubt that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a cinematic work of art, but Mike Cohen looks beyond the technical jargon, remembers some of the first 3D, discusses what HFR 3D is today - something completely new - and gives us a great movie review of The Hobbit.

Editorial, Feature
Mike Cohen
TV & Movie Appreciation
Review: The Hobbit Without An Unexpected Pun in the Title

Review: The Hobbit Without An Unexpected Pun in the Title

Not being a teenage Tolkien freak anymore, Kylee Wall was reasonably enthusiastic, but not lose-your-mind crazy like she was when she saw The Two Towers back in the day. She wasn't even dressed up in an elven cloak and holding a bow like the girl that sat next to her. But when the film entered Bag End for the first time with Ian Holm narrating - In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit - Yikes, emotions. Read Kylee's reactions to seeing The Hobbit in all its glory - 3D, HFR, and all.

Review
Kylee Peña
TV & Movie Appreciation
Lawrence of Arabia: Sony's Beautiful 4K Restoration

Lawrence of Arabia: Sony's Beautiful 4K Restoration

Sony Pictures Entertainment recently finished a 3-year process culminating in a stunning 4K restoration of the 1962 masterpiece Lawrence of Arabia, completed just in time for the film's 50th anniversary. Guided by Sony Executive Vice President Grover Crisp, this massive project engaged cutting-edge technology and expertise from Sony Colorworks DI facility as well as Prasad Corporation and MTI Film, working together on a newly scanned negative. One of the most beautiful films of all time is now more gorgeous than ever.

Feature
Debra Kaufman
Film History & Appreciation
The VFX Files: Nancy St. John of Prime Focus Vancouver

The VFX Files: Nancy St. John of Prime Focus Vancouver

A pioneer in digital visual effects, Nancy St. John most recently worked on Men in Black 3, as Prime Focus' Executive Producer. Her career has spanned the beginnings of digital visual effects at Digital Productions and Robert Abel & Associates in Hollywood to Vancouver or "Hollywood North." She shares her experiences with Creative COW.

People / Interview
Nancy St. John
Film History & Appreciation
Aaron Sims: Previs and Visual FX Design

Aaron Sims: Previs and Visual FX Design

Aaron Sims talked to Creative COW about his work on the much-lauded TV series "Falling Skies," as well as summer VFX hits "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." Sims is also working on a feature-length version of his short "Archetype."

Feature
Aaron Sims
TV & Movie Appreciation
Restoring Jaws

Restoring Jaws

Universal Pictures is celebrating its 100 years of filmmaking with a list of 100 of its most notable films, thirteen of which will be restored. Jaws is one of those films, and in this article, we take you back into the water to find out just how safe it is to scan an original negative and bring Jaws back to life.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
Who Shot Rock & Roll - Arclight Productions

Who Shot Rock & Roll - Arclight Productions

Arclight Productions just finished an original documentary short, inspired by and presented at the Annenberg Space for Photography's exhibit Who Shot Rock & Roll. The documentary -- Who Shot Rock & Roll: The Film -- was produced and directed by Steven Kochones and celebrates the collaborations between photographers and recording artists who created some of the most enduring images in rock history.

Feature, People / Interview
Steven Kochones
Film History & Appreciation
VFX Supervisor Jerome Chen on The Amazing Spider-Man

VFX Supervisor Jerome Chen on The Amazing Spider-Man

Jerome Chen, Academy Award-nominated senior visual effects supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks, talks about choreography and creation of the VFX on The Amazing Spider-Man.

Feature
Jerome Chen
TV & Movie Appreciation
Method Studios: VFX for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Method Studios: VFX for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Method Studios was approached by Fox's visual effects team to work on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and were offered some very tasty stuff to solve - a train sequence with burning bridges, full CG fire, all in stereo. As CG artists, this is the kind of meaty work you really want to go after. Randy Goux shared his experiences on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter with Creative COW.

Feature
Randy Goux
TV & Movie Appreciation
Academy is the New Home for 70,000 Vintage Hollywood Stills

Academy is the New Home for 70,000 Vintage Hollywood Stills

The trove of still photographs and memorabilia that comprise the Bison Archives, a private collection of film historian Marc Wanamaker, now paint a comprehensive story of the history of film in America, from its earliest days to the present. Creative COW couldn't pass up the opportunity to know more about this impressive collection and the raison d'etre for its existence.

Feature
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
Cinesite Creates Effects for Disney's JOHN CARTER

Cinesite Creates Effects for Disney's JOHN CARTER

Cinesite Visual Effects Supervisor Sue Rowe approached the mammoth job of creating 831 visual effects for John Carter -- which marks the live-action debut of noted animation director Andrew Stanton -- with a lot of experience under her belt.

Feature
Sue Rowe
Film History & Appreciation
The SciTech Award Goes to... The Lowry Process

The SciTech Award Goes to... The Lowry Process

On February 11, the Academy will honor John D. Lowry, Ian Cavén, Ian Godin, Kimball Thurston and Tim Connolly with a Scientific and Engineering Award for "the development of a unique and efficient system for the reduction of noise and other artifacts, thereby providing high-quality images required by the filmmaking process."

Feature
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
The Joy of Filmmaking

The Joy of Filmmaking

People have been understandably speaking about Martin Scorsese's film "Hugo" as a celebration of the life and films of Georges Méliès, but it is also a tribute to those who LOVE to watch films and even to film preservation.

Editorial
Tim Wilson
TV & Movie Appreciation
These Amazing Shadows: An Editor's Journey

These Amazing Shadows: An Editor's Journey

An editor's journey through the films that made America (or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love the B-Roll). These Amazing Shadows, an 88-minute documentary, tells the history and importance of the National Film Registry and cameos some of history's most treasured films as it reveals how early films shaped and revealed a changing nation and why we most need to preserve them for posterity.

Feature, People / Interview
Doug Blush
Film History & Appreciation
32TEN Studios Opens for Practical/Digital Effects

32TEN Studios Opens for Practical/Digital Effects

Former ILM and Kerner Optical employees have banded together to launch a new company at a familiar address in the historically significant building at 3210 Kerner Blvd in San Rafael.

Feature
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
Restoring the Classic Beauty, Children of Paradise

Restoring the Classic Beauty, Children of Paradise

Children of Paradise [Les Enfants du Paradis] is perhaps the most stunning classic film you've probably never seen. The movie was made in 1943 - 1944, when the Nazis forbade the making of films longer than 90 minutes, and released in 1945. It was last shown in the U.S. 30 years ago, despite the fact that 600 French critics, directors, actors and technicians have voted it as "Best French Film Ever." Join Debra Kaufman as she brings the restoration of this classic beauty to light the story of how Éclair Labs in Paris battled a disintegrating nitrate original.

Feature
Debra Kaufman
Film History & Appreciation
Coloring Game of Thrones

Coloring Game of Thrones

HBO's Game of Thrones is a rich palette of colour and display. Ireland's Screen Scene Post Production took on the task of enhancing the balance between worlds so vastly different, that colour play was a powerful component to straddling the extremes. Debra Kaufman looks into the slew of talent that brought these fantasy realms to light.

Feature
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
The VFX Files: Captain America: The First Avenger

The VFX Files: Captain America: The First Avenger

Join Debra Kaufman for the latest installment of The VFX Files, as Captain America: The First Avenger is brought from the realm of comic book imagination and 2D art, to the 3D world with stunning visual effects. Get the inside story of how thirteen VFX houses contributed to this new Marvel super-hero franchise as they share their stories with Debra Kaufman.

Feature
Debra Kaufman
Film History & Appreciation
Behind the Lens: Cinesite's magic touch with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Behind the Lens: Cinesite's magic touch with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

More from our exciting series, Behind the Lens: Creative COW's Debra Kaufman had an opportunity to speak with Cinesite 2D supervisor Andy Robinson and 3D supervisor Holger Voss about their facility's work on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. One thing is clear to anyone who's followed the Harry Potter franchise: the movies, which began in 2001, are a visual representation of the increasing maturity of visual effects artists and their technology. It's more than just Voldemort's nose, too, that Cinesite has created. Look behind the lens and unveil the magic.

Feature
Debra Kaufman
Series


Authors

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Christine Bunish (1)
Alee Caldwell (1)
Mike Cohen (3)
Ben Consoli (8)
COW News (20)
Jon Favreau (1)
Lesli Linka Glatter (1)
Randy Goux (1)
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Debra Kaufman (45)
Steven Kochones (1)
Matt Latham (1)
Hillary Lewis (3)
David McGiffert (1)
Stephen Menick (1)
Adrian Pennington (1)
Sue Rowe (1)
Kylee Peña (9)
Ken Weissman (1)
Tim Wilson (23)
Steve Wright (1)


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