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Heavy Metal – Who is writing and directing the sci-fi anthology?

Posted by LiveFor on March 11, 2010

Been a while since there has been any movement on the new Heavy Metal sci-fi anthology animated movie. Now author Neal Asher (check out my interview with him) has some more info on who will be directing and writing the various sections for the film – some top directors involved. I wonder if Cameron’s would have any ties to the Avatar universe?

Pre-release Information – A $50 million budget 3D CG animated movie based on the magazine. This probably won’t have any stories from the first 1981 movie, however like the first one, it will feature around seven or eight different stories. Each segment will be directed by a different person. The title to this movie hasn’t been chosen yet. This current title is just a placeholder.

Main Crew:
Executive Producer – David Fincher and James Cameron
Producer – Kevin Eastman and Tim Miller
Director – David Fincher (1 segment)
Director – James Cameron (1 segment)
Director – Zack Snyder (1 segment, a story that Kevin Eastman wrote)
Director – Gore Verbinski (1 segment)
Director – Mark Osborne (1 segment, a comedy with Jack Black)
Director – Tim Miller (1 segment)
Director – Jeff Fowler (1 segment)
Director – Kevin Eastman (tentatively 1 segment)
Director – Guillermo del Toro (tentatively 1 segment)
Director – Rob Zombie (tentatively 1 segment)

Writer – Marc Laidlaw (1 segment)
Writer – Steve Niles (1 segment)
Writer – Joe Haldeman (1 segment)
Writer – Neal Asher (1 segment)
Writer – Kevin Eastman (1 segment, a story that Zack Snyder will direct)
? – Jack Black (a comedy segment that Mark Osborne will direct. No details on how he’s involved, but most likely will be an actor)
? – Jhonen Vasquez (no details on how he’s involved, but most likely will be a writer)

Which of the writers and directors excites you the most?

Source: Heavy Metal

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Blur Studio animation reel 2009

Posted by LiveFor on January 15, 2010

Fantastic CGI animation here via Neal Asher.

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Heavy Metal – Fan made poster for David Fincher’s sci-fi anthology film

Posted by LiveFor on October 22, 2009

Raymond Swanland is the artist behind this cool looking poster for Heavy Metal. David Fincher is the driving force behind the film, but each segment will have different directers, scriptwriters and animators behind it (check out my interview with sci-fi author Neal Asher, one of the writers for the film).

Source: Collider

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Heavy Metal – Kevin Eastman talks about it’s progress

Posted by LiveFor on May 12, 2009

Heavy Metal is a new version of the old animated sci-fi anthology based around the cool comic book anthology. Anthology used twice in one sentence. That could be a record.

Movieweb caught up with Kevin Eastman (he of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) who is producing the film with David Fincher and Tim Miller.

Here is what he had to say about it’s progress:

Right now, David has a grand plan and he’s asked us to sort of keep those cards close to our chest until the right announcement comes out, but what I can tell you is that part of the frustrating part of going through the studio system, which David knows more than Tim (Miller) and I. Guys like Zack Snyder and Gore Verbinski and Mark Osborne have committed to come on board and direct sequences in this. There are three other directors, that I can’t tell you yet, but will be jaw-dropping when we can tell you. David has put together a program that is pretty outstanding and it’s sort of fascinating for guys like Tim and I, who have worked at the studio level, at a number of levels, but never at a David Fincher level. Whereas we would’ve probably agreed to the deal seven versions ago, David is still negotiating and it’s like, ‘Oh my God, we just want to do this movie,’ but, all kidding aside, that’s why we’re working with David. Not only does he have just a brilliant vision, and a great sense of storytelling but he’s very committed to doing this right. We don’t want to spend $50 million and not blow everybody out of the water with this project. I’d guess within the next 30 days would be the official announcement of what’s going on and where it’s going, and then we can talk again.

I am itching to hear more about the directors and animators involved in this film.

Neal Asher is one of the writers and you can read more about his involvement in my interview with him.

Are you looking forward to the Heavy Metal film? What do you want to see in it?

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The Goon – First look at the animated feature

Posted by LiveFor on March 14, 2009

Here is the first look at the animated version of The Goon. Eric Powell’s excellent comic book brought to CG 3D life by Blur Studios (they are also working on some of the Heavy Metal film – you can check out their Rockfish short in my interview with Neal Asher). AICN had the exclusive.

David Fincher is directing The Goon film along with some of the Heavy Metal anthology film.
I personally love The Goon comic and think this picture of the Goon and Frankie looks brilliant. They look just like the comic book and I love the dead zombie on the right. All in all it is shaping up to be a great looking film.

Very exciting stuff.

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HOMEDiscuss in the Forum

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Orbus – Neal Asher’s next book. Someone make them into films

Posted by LiveFor on February 24, 2009

Hollywood need to make Neal Asher’s books into films. This is the blurb for his next book, Orbus.

Now in charge of an cargo spaceship, the Old Captain Orbus, flees a violent and sadistic past, but he doesn’t know that the lethal war drone, Sniper, is a stowaway, and that past is rapidly catching up with him. His old enemy, the Prador Vrell, mutated by the Spatterjay virus into something powerful and dangerous, has seized control of a Prador dreadnought, slaughting its entire crew, and now seeks to exact vengeance on those who tried to have him killed.

Their courses inexorably converge in the Graveyard, the border realm lying between the Polity and the Prador Kingdom, a place filled with the ruins left by past genocides and interplanetary war. Secure in that same place the Golgoloth, a monster to a race of monsters, is recruited by the terrifying King of the Prador into the long cold war between his kind and the humans. It is imperative that Vrell be hunted down and killed, for what he knows and what he might become.

Meanwhile, something that has annihilated civilizations is stirring from a slumber of five million years, and the cold war is heating up, fast.

Even if you’ve never read one of his books you know that sounds cool.

Check out Neal’s blog, The Skinner and my interview with him.

Discuss in the Forum

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Exclusive Interview: Kenny Carpenter – Salvaging Outer Space

Posted by LiveFor on January 13, 2009

I posted the trailer for Salvaging Outer Space a while back. The comments posted for it where both positive and negative. I was intrigued by the thing.

Then I got an email from the Kenny Carpenter, the filmmaker behind Salvaging Outer Space. He provided me with lots of information about the making of the film and was also happy to do an interview for the site.

I think it gives some idea as to what goes into making an independent film. Hopefully this will inspire some budding filmmakers out there to go out there and make that film they always wanted to make.

Have a read about the making of the film followed by my interview with Kenny Carpenter, then whack your thoughts in the comments section. If you have seen the film then let people know about it. Now over to Kenny:

With a sci-fi feel like “Startrek The Motion Picture”, “A Scanner Darkly”, & “Serenity”, this stylish feature film combines live acting & anime to deliver a comic-style universe.

It’s a film that’s unrated, yet very family friendly!

While Captain Laruge (Kevin G. Cooper) & his crew are in search of a valuable salvage in deep space, armed ships appear out of nowhere & attempt to destroy them. Proper teamwork means success or death. However, in space…….trust is a rare find!

This is an independent feature that cost less than $20,000 US to produce, but was all that we had and treated it like a million, considering most Hollywood flicks cost 100M+ to make these days. It was done using HD cameras and live acting via greenscreen and almost all the cast were shot separately, eliminating scheduling issues and any cast switches. This is why greenscreen is awesome to use in filming independent features where no unions are involved to protect all parties involved during principal!

CGI was used for backgrounds and blended with live acting into pseudo cartoon using rotoscope type software, which we had to wait a year to catch up with our editing system’s compatibility. All dialogue was captured like interviews, using consistent clip-on mics. While one documentary filmmaker was getting genius praise in magazines for using Cineform’s Intermediate codecs to efficiently edit High Definition on PC’s, we were already doing the same on an effects heavy scale in 1080 resolution. It was the only way at the time to keep resolution pure without noticeable video compression.

Storywise, when I wrote the movie, I wanted to fill a gap in Sci-Fi that was lost. That 70’s into 80’s space flick feel went out with all these space marine and horror/scifi one-offs. Many Startrek/Star Wars fanmade films were made, but let’s face it…they are simply that! Salvaging Outer Space is original as I could get it, with exception to there being a ship in outer space with a captain and crew, albeit…..very small ship…the size of a large yacht, which it kind of looks like. It begged to be a pieced together look.

I wanted paranoia, mutiny, tragedy, love, friendship, greed, dark comedic humour, long-winded tech talk, advanced technology that could exist in the future even when watching the movie a few years from now, a darker time in a semi-post apocalyptic setting, comic book-style look and feel, sequel possible, classic sci-fi feel, getting personal with the characters, having the audience use character interactions to guage the 3D perspective of the background environment in the ship to get acquainted, good mix of music from symphonic keyboards to progressive rock, and honestly…a way to pull the audience away from their everyday lives altogether.

Making independent films is a tough business just to get produced, let alone making money back with hopes of some profit to share with cast/crew. Making a niche market product, like a science fiction piece, can either totally make or break you, I’ve come to find out.

Live for Films: Salvaging Outer Space makes the most of modern technology on a limited budget. Apart from the money side of things what was the most challenging aspect of the shoot?

Kenny Carpenter: Making the characters converse smoothly, despite most never met each other on shoots. The acting was mostly monologue style or acting off of me. They were all greenscreened. The other part was keeping all the angles matching between acting and virtual set backgrounds. Keeping everything pure High Definition from start to finish was challenging as the whole movie was done using limited computer resources available during HD’s infancy! We also had to cartoonize the cast, which wasn’t available in batch renderable software until a year after the initial cut.

LFF: What will you do differently when making your next feature?

KC: I always push the envelope, but part of that is increasing quality in image/sound, story continuity, acting, edit flow, budget constraint and allocation, and more. It’s not about doing it differently as much as a continual growth and progression towards meeting Hollywood’s set quality standards on budgets that they use for production’s toilet paper.
It’s most independent’s dream to make the best movie with no budget, right??? Imagine what we could do WITH a budget!!!!!

LFF: If you could pass on one piece of advice to a novice film maker what would it be?

KC: Be paranoid to complete your art and maintain your own visions. (mostly for indie filmmaking, not large studio productions) Don’t trust everyone with your project. A cast member could lose interest after signing on, a fight between actors could break out and they refuse to work together, or any number of problems and times where you rely on others to help. Unless you are unionized and working on a stronger budget that can support/handle dramas, keep as many aspects under your control as possible! I can’t stress or say enough about this topic, but there’s no time in this to do it justice. That’s why I write, direct, edit, partially score, do visual effects….mostly myself!

LFF: What are your top 5 science fiction films of all time?

KC: Aliens, Star Wars episode III (despite some points), Fifth Element, Startrek II, Jason X.

LFF: Your favourite science fiction novel?

KC: Robot City…. it’s a spin-off from the original I Robot novels. It’s not edgy enough for theatrical, but I’d love to make it for Direct To Home Video.

LFF: What are your views on the current legal wrangling going on between Fox and Warner Bros over the distribution rights for Zack Snyder’s Watchmen film?

KC: I only glanced at the controversy, but if 20th Century Fox had purchased rights to DC in the 80’s…it would almost seem a shut case! Everyone involved should have been smart about it from the beginning and checked who owned what! Same as getting your cast/crew to sign proper waivers…you just do it!!! Hey…it keeps the giants at each other’s throats and from attacking the little guy for a moment, right?

LFF: To the general public science-fiction is often looked on as something a little geeky, yet big budget science-fiction films are often incredibly successful. Why do you think this is?

KC: When you get cool actors to use cool gadgets with cool special effects and plenty of cool television and print promos tied into everything, the nerd factor goes out the door. We all use computers now, but before…it was strictly nerds and businesses. It’s all about peoples’ comfort levels and perceptions! Look at the Matrix… get rid of K.Reeves, the sunglasses, fancy clothes and unrealistic karate hype and you are left with a very bleak world that almost resembles a horror movie more than a sci-fi. The oracle belongs in horror genre more than sci-fi anyways…with all those predictions. It’s all perception!

LFF: What is your favourite piece of science fiction technology in film or TV?

KC: Definitely the lightsaber as you can rob banks at night in 2 minutes! I wouldn’t want to pass gas near a saber, though!

LFF: If money was no object and you could have any actor alive or dead to star in it, what film would you make?

KC: Christopher Walken! He’s just badass! What he does with voice and attitude is phenomenal! I’d make any movie I could with him in it, but if I had to choose a role…. supernatural twin brothers, one evil and running half of a post-apocalyptic world, the other an outcast sorcerer gathering a team of powerful misfits to take him down. Cliche in many ways, but a good story and movie experience can be made out of it.

LFF: What was the first film you ever watched? Do you think that it has had any influence on your later work?

KC: You know, I’ve been watching soooo many movies with my folks as a kid that I don’t even remember the first. I will say that Ghostbusters and Return of The Jedi were very important to me as a kid. Special and Visual effects are strong with me.

LFF: Star Wars v Star Trek?/span>

KC: If this were about who’d win, I would say Star Wars…only because the jedi and sith could hyperdrive directly to Earth and the federation, seduce and knock up all the women they could with their mind tricks, and with all the children being born, well…the federation would have to collapse.

LFF: If you were going to be killed by any movie villain or monster who or what would it be? What would your last words be?

KC: 20th Century Fox’s Aliens….. I wouldn’t have words, as I’d be the victim that gets the inner mouth through the skull!

LFF: If you were Supreme Overlord of the Earth what would your first decree be?

KC: Get me a venti cafe mocha and cancel all 90210 style television programming

LFF: Who would you thank in your Oscar acceptance speech?

KC: I would thank George Lucas for creating and pushing the envelope on great digital tools we all use, despite the competition and segregation that also spun off of it in instances such as Avid versus Adobe. Without his contributions, we’d be completely stuck without visual effects and less chances of independents showing off their talent. Also, science fiction would be more drab without his visions.

LFF: Where and when will we be able to see Salvaging Outer Space?

KC: For the moment, is home to DVD sales until Salvaging Outer Space gets picked up by distributors. We may just split rights globally and keep control, but we’ll see.

LFF: What is your next film as a director going to be?

KC: It depends on people and money! If I don’t get stronger industry or financial connections, it will be a tight science fiction flick that will mostly be photo-realistically done in computer with some chromakey live acting mixed in. There are 2 concepts going in separate directions, but feasible on micro-budget. I would like to be brought into a remake or sequel to low-budget horror or sci-fi of popular 80’s titles, personally as a step.

LFF: What film are you most looking forward to seeing in 2009?

KC: I think the Terminator IV film or Transformers II. I love robots destroying robots and things like that! It’s one thing to watch a person shoot another person, but to watch high tech things whip out lasers or huge machine guns….hand me some popcorn!

LFF: Thanks very much Kenny. Good luck with the film.

Check out my previous interviews with Neal Asher and Will Stotler and Marc Robert who are the creators behind the zombie movie, Able.

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Happy New Year everyone

Posted by LiveFor on January 2, 2009

A belated Happy New Year to you all (yesterdays posts were all prescheduled as I wasn’t near a computer).

Did you all have a good time? Drink too much? Make resolutions that you have already broken.

We had a quiet one. Put our 2 year old daughter to bed then Catherine, my son and I watched Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (I enjoyed it more seeing it the second time now that the anticipation for it had gone – still full of faults but an enjoyable romp) before turning over to Jools Holland on BBC2 and welcomed in the New Year. Then it was in bed for about 00:15!

I just want to thank everyone who has visited this little site since it started back in the middle of last year. It’s been a fun few months since Chisholm said to me, “You should do a film blog and post reviews for us to read.” Since then people from all over the World have found it and seem to like it. Big thanks to you all and to all the regulars to the site and the forum. I’m also blown away by the fact I’ve had a couple of proper interviews with some film makers and an favourite author of mine. Hopefully there will be more interviews to come in this year.

What was your film highlight of 2008? What are you looking forward to in 2009? I can’t wait to see Zack Snyder’s Watchmen (although I have a horrible feeling the court case will just delay it’s release). I also want to see Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino, Milk, Slumdog Millionaire and many other things.

Once again thanks. Now go out and tell a couple of friends about the site. Let’s spread the word people.

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Heavy Metal – Video interview with Neal Asher on Sci-Fi London

Posted by LiveFor on December 30, 2008

Neal Asher has emailed me the news that he has recently had a video interview with Sci-Fi-London.

It can be found here if you care to take a look.

SCI-FI-LONDON was lucky enough to meet Neal Asher at his Essex home to talk about his latest book, The Gabble & Other Stories, about writing and about 15 years of the Polity universe, David Fincher, Heavy Metal and the internet as a distraction from real work.

It’s a great interview about parasites, politics and the Polity. The Heavy Metal stuff starts round about the 26:30 mark and questions about adapting his own works into film and TV at the 30:41 mark.

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Good to be back – What did you get for Christmas?

Posted by LiveFor on December 29, 2008

Hi all. Did you all have a good Christmas? What did you get up to and what movie related cool stuff did you get as presents from Father Christmas?

We had a lovely Christmas. The kids loved everything they got and Christmas dinner went off without a hitch which was great. Plus I got to see my son sing in the Metropolitan Liverpool Cathedral which was fantastic (he has recently become a Chorister there).

I also got some great gifts from my Wife and family and I am made up with all of them. Here are just a few.

Classic Sci-Fi Collection : Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers / Thing From Another World / Incredible Shrinking Man / This Island Earth / Creature From The Black Lagoon / It Came From Outer Space

Mongol – The Rise To Power Of Genghis Khan – Director Sergei Bodrov’s sweeping MONGOL focuses on battles physical and emotional as it follows the early ascent of the ‘Great King’ Genghis Khan in the 12th and 13th centuries. Born Temudgin to a kingly father, the film introduces the nine-year-old (Odnyam Odsuren) making his first fateful decision: going against his father’s wishes and choosing the lesser-born Borte as his future wife. When his father is poisoned, Temudgin flees from his father’s rivals. Temudgin is saved by a young prince, Jamukha, and the two become blood brothers. That bond of friendship is tested, though, when the grown Temudgin (Tadanobu Asano) wages war–against the Mongol code–to win back the captive Borte. As Temudgin asserts his own power, he must also face Jamukha in all-out battle if he is to secure the safety of his family and his own kingly destiny. Gorgeously shot on location in Kazakhstan and Inner Mongolia, MONGOL represents the first in a proposed trilogy of films that will chronicle the full impact of Genghis Khan’s reign. As ambitious in scope as its subject was in life, MONGOL–a 2008 Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film–offers a unique look at the influence of love and loyalty to the life and times of one of history’s most enigmatic rulers.

The Mist
(2 Disc Edition) – Frank Darabont (THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, THE GREEN MILE) serves as director, writer, and producer of THE MIST, an adaptation of Stephen King’s classic novella. After a vicious storm wreaks havoc in their small town in Maine, artist David Drayton (Thomas Jane) heads out to the town supermarket for some much-needed supplies with his young son, Billy (Nathan Gamble), and his neighbour, Norton (Andre Braugher), in tow. Their trip soon turns to terror when a menacing white mist settles in, leaving this group of locals and out-of-towners fighting for survival against an unknown, bloodthirsty enemy. When the local religious zealot (Marcia Gay Harden) begins to convince the group that the mist is punishment from God, Drayton and his cohorts realize that they may be trapped inside with an enemy just as dangerous as whatever is lurking outside.

Tension runs high in this tale as the trapped group faces difficult moral decisions. Should they stay and wait out the terror, or make a break for it and risk suffering a terrible fate? Is the eerie mist the will of God, an experiment from the local military base gone awry, or, maybe, a freak natural disaster? Without modern conveniences and the normal conventions and rules to guide them, the group is easily swayed by the loudest opinion. Will they save themselves at the expense of each other, or work as a team to save everyone? There is a decent amount of blood and gore for horror fans, some deadpan humour and just a hint of politics thrown in for good measure. Thomas Jane is a stoic leading man, but Frances Sternhagen and Toby Jones are more fun as unlikely heroes. Laurie Holden, Alexa Davalos, Bill Sadler and Jeffrey Demunn also star in this creepy tale.

– Welcome to Westworld, where nothing can go wrong…go wrong…go wrong….Writer/director Michael Crichton has concocted a futuristic “Disneyland for adults”, a remote resort island where, for a hefty fee, one can indulge in one’s wildest fantasies. Businessmen James Brolin and Richard Benjamin are just crazy about the old west, thus they head to the section of Westworld populated by robot desperadoes, robot lawmen, robot dance-hall gals, and the like. Benjamin’s first inkling that something is amiss occurs when, during a mock showdown with robot gunslinger Yul Brynner, Brolin is shot and killed for real. It seems that the “nerve center” of Westworld has developed several serious technical glitches: the human staff is dead, and the robots are running amok. Suddenly promoted to the film’s hero, Benjamin (who seems as surprised and shocked as the audience) must first avoid, then face down the relentless Brynner. Much of Westworld was lensed on the expansive grounds of the old Harold Lloyd estate in Beverly Hills, so it’s no surprise that there’s something Lloydlike about Dick Benjamin’s instinct for self-preservation.

The Art of Ray Harryhausen
– A great looking book which takes you into the ideas and processes that Harryhausen has used throughout the years. Plus it is signed by the great man himself.

Watching the Watchmen
– Acclaimed as one of “Time Magazine’s” 100 Best Novels, “Watchmen” is widely considered to be the greatest graphic novel of all time. “In Watching The Watchmen”, artist Dave Gibbons gives his own account of the genesis of “Watchmen”, opening his archives to reveal excised pages, early versions of the script original character designs, page thumbnails, sketches and much more, including posters covers and rare portfolio art.Featuring the breathtaking design of Chip Kidd and Mike Essl, “Watching The Watchmen” is both a major art book in its own right, and the definitive companion to the graphic novel that changed an industry.

The Gabble and Other Stories
– Neal Asher. Can’t wait to read this.

Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life
– Steve Martin – Steve Martin has been an international star for over thirty years. Here, for the first time, he looks back to the beginning of his career and charmingly evokes the young man he once was. Born in Texas but raised in California, Steve was seduced early by the comedy shows that played on the radio when the family travelled back and forth to visit relatives. When Disneyland opened just a couple of miles away from home, an enchanted Steve was given his first chance to learn magic and entertain an audience. He describes how he noted the reaction to each joke in a ledger – ‘big laugh’ or ‘quiet’ – and assiduously studied the acts of colleagues, stealing jokes when needed. With superb detail, Steve recreates the world of small, dark clubs and the fear and exhilaration of standing in the spotlight. While a philosophy student at UCLA, he worked hard at local clubs honing his comedy and slowly attracting a following until he was picked up to write for TV. From here on, Steve Martin became an acclaimed comedian, packing out venues nationwide. One night, however, he noticed empty seats and realised he had ‘reached the top of the rollercoaster’.B ORN STANDING UP is a funny and riveting chronicle of how Steve Martin became the comedy genius we now know and is also a fascinating portrait of an era.

Just some of the bits I got (having some problems with uploading images, but I’ll get it sorted so you can see what they all look like). Let me know what you got. Take it easy and enjoy the rest of the holiday.

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