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Posts Tagged ‘WETA’

Tintin – Spielberg talks about why he went motion-capture

Posted by LiveFor on February 22, 2010

There is a great interview with Steven Spielberg over at the LA Times about his work on the Tintin adaption – The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.

It stars stars Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot, King Kong) as Tintin, Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings, King Kong) as Captain Haddock, Daniel Craig (Casino Royale) as Red Rackham and Nick Frost and Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul) as the Thompson Twins. Peter Jackson is producing it with the animation done by Jackson’s Weta Workshop.

“It was based on my respect for the art of Hergé and wanting to get as close to that art as I could, Hergé wrote about fictional people in a real world, not in a fantasy universe,” Spielberg said. “It was the real universe he was working with, and he used National Geographic to research his adventure stories. It just seemed that live action would be too stylized for an audience to relate to. You’d have to have costumes that are a little outrageous when you see actors wearing them. The costumes seem to fit better when the medium chosen is a digital one.”

They are using the technology from James Cameron’s Avatar so it means that it should look spot on and Spielberg could also watch the action on the digital sets as the actors went through the motions.

“I just adored it,“ he says. “It made me more like a painter than ever before. I got a chance to do so many jobs that I don’t often do as a director. You get to paint with this device that puts you into a virtual world, and allows you to make your shots and block all the actors with a small hand-held device only three times as large as an Xbox game controller.”

“When Captain Haddock runs across the volume, the cameras capture all the information of his physical and emotional moves,” the director said. “So as Andy Serkis runs across the stage, there’s Captain Haddock on the monitor, in full anime, running along the streets of Belgium. Not only are the actors represented in real time, they enter into a three-dimensional world.”

Fingers crossed that they get it spot on as I have fond memories of reading the Tintin books when I was a kid. The film is due out in 2011.

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District 9 had some cool guns. Now you can buy some of them

Posted by LiveFor on February 5, 2010

Like me you probably watched District 9 and really enjoyed it. Great story, good effects, excellent acting, but of course some of the best things on screen where the great big alien guns. Who’s with me?

Now the good folks over at WETA have put together exact replicas of two of the weapons from Neill Blompkamp’s film.


Availability: Pre-order Now!
Edition Size: 200
Dimensions: 23.6″ x 39.4″ x 3.9″ (H x W x D)
60 cm x 100 cm x 10 cm
Weight: 11.9lbs (5.4 Kg)

The Nigerian crime lord of the District 9 ghetto, Obesandjo, has amassed a significant cache of prawn hardware through terror and pushing tinned cat food.

The Gas Projector is a powerful weapon. If only it could be fired by humans…

An EXACT replica of the guns used in Neill Blomkamp’s District 9, designed by Dr Grordbort’s designer Greg Broadmore and modelled on the actual props created by the artists and craftspeople at Weta Workshop.

This gun comes battle worn, alien gunk oozing out of its couplings and all the scratches and markings you’d expect from tough action in District 9 and by handling by Nigerian gun runners.

It’s made mainly from glass fibre, with some details made from other materials. It comes with a wall mounting bracket for display.

PLEASE NOTE: Unless your genetic makeup is part prawn, you cannot power up or fire this gun.


Availability: Pre-order Now!
Edition Size: 200
Dimensions: 15.7″ x 39.4″ x 3.9″ (H x W x D)
40 cm x 100 cm x 10 cm
Weight: 10.8lbs (4.9 Kg)

Wikus van der Merwe finds out the hard way that a measure of Alien DNA makes powering up and firing one of these babies a real doddle.

Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.

Both are going for about £300 or $500.

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Mike Mignola working on the look of del Toro’s The Hobbit

Posted by LiveFor on January 23, 2009

Guillermo del Toro had a chat with MTV News this week about how things were going on The Hobbit. He discussed what was happening with the scripting, casting and other pre-production news.

The coolest thing to me was the fact he confirmed that Hellboy creator Mike Mignola was joining him to work on the look of The Hobbit.

“We are sketching and designing with Weta’s John Howe, and [Adam Lee],” del
Toro offered.

“Mike Mignola is coming soon. He’s going to do a stint on the
design team.”

Brilliant news as Mignola’s artwork is brilliant and he’s worked with del Toro on both Hellboy films and Pan’s Labyrinth.

Mignola also did the concept art and design for the Disney film, Atlantis: The Lost Empire.

Check out the rest of MTV’s interview with del Toro.

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Wake the Dead – Concept art for Steve Niles Frankenstein type film

Posted by LiveFor on November 26, 2008

Writer Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, Epilogue) gave a look at one of the conceptual pieces from the upcoming feature film adaptation of his graphic novel Wake the Dead.

“The screenplay, written by Jay Russell and Jim V. Hart is complete,” Niles tells us. Russell is also directing for producer Charlie Lyons. “We recently met with Richard Taylor of WETA and they are set to go, and have even supplied us with early concept art by Gino Acevedo (above).”

Wake the Dead, a modern-day Frankenstein story, was published as a mini-series by IDW. Russell and Hart came aboard the project in May (first details).

“I just read the screenplay, and I can say without a doubt that the screenwriters knocked it out of the park,” Niles enthuses. “The script captures the comic and goes way beyond. Honestly, I couldn’t be happier. It’s everything I imagined and more. Jay and Jim expanded the story beautifully, adding to both the haunting romance and the straightforward horror. I think fans are in for something special.”

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Visit to the set of The Day the Earth Stood Still

Posted by LiveFor on November 17, 2008

Ammon of JoBlo was lucky enough to have a visit to the production offices and set of The Day The Earth Stood Still remake.

Among other things he got to have a look at lots of productions sketches and photos and he had a chat with production designer David Brisbin, special effects team Jeff Okun and Tom Boland, and practical effects maestro Todd Masters (of MastersFX). Here are some cool things about the film he found out (spoilers ahead

– The space ship is an Orb–and there are multiple Orbs that land in different locations all around the globe, including the desert, the ocean, the swamp, and the forest–each Orb has a different purpose.
– The Orbs change color, based on Klaatu’s mood–when angry, the Orb is red, when calm, the Orb is blue.
– The Orbs arrive throughout different times in history–we are shown the arrivals of the Orbs throughout time before the arrival in Central Park.
– Helen (Jennifer Connolly) is an Ethnobiologist (and not a lonely housewife) in this version.
– The film is environmentally conscience–Klaatu comes to Earth to warn us to stop polluting and take better care of our planet (instead of warning us to stop using Atomic Weapons).
– The color palette director Derrickson wanted to use for the film’s overall pallet featured lots of blues and greens–similar to the colors of the original’s theatrical poster (below).
– WETA is doing most of the post-production special effects.
– There are HUNDREDS of special effects shots.
– Derrickson believes that when it comes to effects, if you can shoot it, you should.
– There are a few stages to Klaatu’s organic space suite: the first stage, the suite is translucent; the second stage, the suite is solid; the third stage, you can see the inner being inside the suite; the fourth stage is the dissection of the suit; the final stage is the transition stage, when Klaatu (looking like Keanu) emerges.
– The transformation scene when Klaatu turns into a human–is shot in a similar manner as the werewolf transformation in AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON.
– Gort is somewhere between 25 and 35 feet tall.

He was then shown a rough of the opening scene and described it as:

The Orb approaches through space (like the landing of PREDATOR), and slowly floats down in the middle of New York City’s Central Park. Shortly after ‘landing’ (it’s floating a few feet off the ground, as it’s a giant ball of light and energy), the Orb is surrounded by police and military units–all approaching with guns drawn, taking aim and ready to fire. Snipers arrive on the rooftops of the buildings surrounding Central Park, taking aim and putting the Orb in their crosshairs. The light of the Orb narrows and focuses at the base, where a humanoid figure of light emerges, walking towards the surrounding barricade. This is Klaatu, in his translucent space suite. Helen (the Ethnobiologist, rocking a full body de-tox suite) is the first one to greet Klaatu as he emerges. A second later, a random shot by a trigger happy gunman is heard, and Klaatu is hit in the chest – blood splatters all over the front of Helen’s suite and across her face shield. Helen stands there in shock for a second, then the stomping sound of screeching metal and robotic footsteps comes from within the Orb and a shadow emerges…

All sounds pretty cool and I am now definitely looking forward to seeing this film when it comes out. I do like the idea of the orbs appearing throughout different time periods although I’m not sure how that is going to work in the story. Very intriguing. Also looks as if we will get to see a giant Gort kick some military ass. Who’s with me?


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The Day The Earth Stood Still – 2 new photos and Keanu has insisted that the Klaatu line will remain

Posted by LiveFor on October 17, 2008

Here are a couple of new photos from the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still. They are from The Electric New Paper over in Singapore (I personally feel the top one is a poor photo shop jobby and apparantly the source is a tabloid over in Singapore so take all of this with a pinch of salt). They go on to mention some details of the filming including how a mound of earth was going to double for Gort. Keanu has also said, “[Klaatu Barada Nikto] was actually something that wasn’t in the script. And I said, ‘You’ve got to have that.”

Although most of the film was shot in Vancouver, Canada, the production spent nine days at Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base and the studio took advantage of its airfield and equipment.

More than 150 people, including actors and crew members, set up camp there during filming.

Part of the base’s hangar was converted into a military control room and the crew borrowed two Blackhawk helicopters while on location.

A towering mound of dirt was dumped near the airstrip that will be digitally manipulated to become an alien in the movie.

Weta Digital will be using computer animation to fill the major role of Klaatu’s giant robot counterpart Gort.

Derrickson explored many possibilities for depicting the character, but realised making a faithful homage to the original was best. One script draft had depicted the robot as a four-legged ‘Totem’ that stands upright after firing its weapon beam.

Like Gort’s design, the spaceship and Klaatu’s spacesuit will also have an organic and biological or ecological base.

The original film’s electronic score, which was composed by Bernard Herrmann, has been re-composed by Tyler Bates and used for the remake.

What do you think of the news and the photos?


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District 9 – What is it? Peter Jackson’s Latest Movie

Posted by LiveFor on July 29, 2008

This from Jinja. The short film is particularly good

Here is what I have found so far…

Peter Jackson (King Kong, Lord of the Rings, Brain Dead, Bad Taste, Meet the Feebles) and Neill Blomkamp were due to be making the Halo movie, when that got shelved (apparently temporarily) they decided to work on a new project. I say new, but it the idea seems to have come from a short movie by Blomkamp called ‘Alive in Joburg’.

It is about a fictional/parallel world where aliens have become refugees in South Africa.

This all fits in with the info we are given from the and websites.
It reminds me a little of Alien Nationto be honest, but with Jackson on board and the Weta workshop it should quite an action/effects packed movie.

The US release date for District 9 is 14th August 2009. But, in the meantime you can see the short ‘Alive in Joburg’ below

Discuss in the forum.

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Terminator Salvation, Friday 13th and District 9 Posters

Posted by LiveFor on July 29, 2008

The Terminator Salvation and Friday the 13th are pretty much standard kind of posters that don’t give anything away about the movie in question. Although I do quite like the Friday 13th one for its simplicity and the fact they don’t mention the title. Does the Terminator have a bullet hole in its forehead? District 9 is new to me. Having had a quick look at the web it is apparantly a sci-fi film to do with Peter Jackson and effects by WETA. Not had much chance to dig any deeper but the web site looks kind of groovy. If you know anything more about it let me know.
Discuss in the forum.

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