Production Underway on Man of Tai Chi

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Thu, 06/14/2012 - 20:00 -- Nick Dager

Production is underway in China on Man of Tai Chi. The film which marks the directorial debut of Keanu Reeves (who also stars) is an homage to kung fu films of the past and will feature more than 40 minutes of martial arts style fight sequences. The film is slated for a 2013 release by Universal Pictures Village Roadshow Pictures Asia and China Film Group. Reeves recently produced a documentary Side by Side in which he examined the transition from traditional filmmaking techniques to digital ones and interviewed pioneers such as James Cameron David Fincher and George Lucas. Armed with that information he chose a digital workflow with the Arri Alexa camera and Codex Onboard recorders. Cinematographer Elliot Davis is using Arri Alexa Studio cameras and Hawk lenses to shoot ArriRaw in anamorphic format captured by Codex Onboard Recorders. Our action film needed the freedom that onboard recording brings to shooting digital and the Codex Onboard Recorders give us maximum recording resolution in a small reliable package ” said Michael Taylor the film’s supervising technical engineer. “We push our gear hard during the average shooting day but we have had no issues with material so we have great confidence in our system.” The digital pipeline for Man of Tai Chi also includes a Codex Digital Lab and a Codex Transfer Station for Mac OS X used to produce dailies and archive digital negative to LTO-5 tape. “We can turn our material around very efficiently ” Taylor said. “Our system of backup and transcoding is simple and fast. What we shoot in the morning is being edited in the afternoon and I know our director loves that.” “The Codex Digital Lab and the Transfer Station give us everything we need to duplicate archive transcode and distribute our footage with minimal fuss with color correction and in a variety of forms ” said Taylor “I have used Codex systems on many films over many years and I have to say there is always great reliability and great support.” Codex equipment on Man of Tai Chi is being supplied by China Film Group. ,3359
Disney Jane Goodall Institute Collaborate on Conservation Effort,2012-06-15,Disneynature and the Jane Goodall Institute have announced the impact of the latest Disneynature conservation program See Chimpanzee Save Chimpanzees.  For every moviegoer who saw Oscar the chimpanzee on the big screen during the film’s record-setting run earlier this year Disneynature made a donation to JGI through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund which will profoundly impact JGI’s efforts to conserve chimpanzee habitat grow educational programs for schools and provide care for orphaned chimpanzees. The conservation program will help to protect 129 236 acres (202 square miles) of wild chimpanzee habitat through infrastructure investments in the expanded Tchimpounga Nature Reserve in the Republic of Congo (Congo). Additionally the program will enable JGI to exponentially grow its education program on the importance of protecting chimpanzees reaching an estimated 60 000 children in 100 schools in Congo. The education initiative will extend to the students’ parents and neighbors ultimately reaching nearly half of the country’s population. The program will also provide food and medicine for nearly all of the orphaned chimpanzees at JGI’s Tchimpounga chimpanzee sanctuary for at least the next year. A huge thank you to Disneynature and the millions of people who saw Chimpanzee in its first two weeks ” said Dr. Jane Goodall DBE founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace.  “The conservation program See Chimpanzee Save Chimpanzees substantially raised public awareness about the threats facing chimpanzees and their habitat and everyone who saw the film helped the Jane Goodall Institute continue its efforts to protect these amazing beings and their forest home now and in the future. “Disney is proud to work with the Jane Goodall Institute to help advance its work to protect chimpanzees and their habitat for generations to come ” said Alan Bergman president The Walt Disney Studios. “The Walt Disney Company has a longstanding commitment to conservation and a renewed focus to connect kids with nature. Through Disneynature we are devoted to making films that move educate and inspire audiences.” In addition to marking the first-ever extension to a Disneynature ticket-sales initiative the See Chimpanzee Save Chimpanzees program was supported across The Walt Disney Company. Disney Interactive Media Group's Animal Kingdom Explorer game Disney Store Disney Cruise Line and Disney’s internal Earth Day engagement efforts all contributed to the program increasing the overall impact on chimpanzee conservation. Additionally proceeds from external collaborations including Alex Woo’s exclusive chimpanzee pendants and reservations made at Starwood Hotels & Resorts through the month of May continue to broaden the impact. ,3362
Doremi Servers to be used in the Main Auditorium at CineEurope,2012-06-15,The Union Internationale dés Cinemas has selected Doremi to provide the digital cinema system to be used in the main auditorium of its new venue for CineEurope in Barcelona Spain June 18-21. After 15 years in Amsterdam the show will be a new venue this year the El Centro de Convenciones Internacional de Barcelona located in the Diagonal Mar area of the city. Each year more 1 500 cinema exhibition and distribution professionals from Europe the Middle East and Africa come to CineEurope to view the latest major cinema releases and extensive product reels gain valuable industry information at educational seminars find new products services and technologies and network with peers at fun-filled special events. Doremi introduced the first 2K Digital Cinema Projector at CineEurope Amsterdam in 2005 and in every year since its servers have been selected to ensure the delivery of show presentations. “CCIB is an extraordinary new location with a beautiful auditorium. Doremi servers are by far the most installed digital cinema servers worldwide. With a 63 percent market share in Europe The Middle East Africa Doremi servers are the obvious choice for this show and this new venue. We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to help the show be successful in its new location.” said Patrick Zucchetta executive vice president business development Doremi. ,3363
Doremi Cinema Ships 40 000th Unit Claims 55% Market Share ,2012-06-15,Doremi Cinema has announced that total shipments of its Digital Cinema servers/IMBs have reached 40 000 units worldwide. Demand for its unique Integrated Media Block capable of High Frame Rate updates via software upgrade reached 11 000 units. Sales of DCP Servers to date this year have risen to over 2 000 with IMB shipments exceeding 4 000. With the year to date figures topping 6 000 this milestone continues to clarify and extend leadership position that Doremi holds in the field. “2012 has been an extension of our record breaking 2011. Our continued success includes not only large scale cinema groups but smaller independent theaters as well ” said Michael Archer vice president digital cinema. “Our customers are looking for proven reliable future-proof solutions designed from experience and delivered at a fair price with solid friendly education and technical support. Large or small Doremi provides technology that reduces investment risk because the solutions are proven and the support is reliable.” This May Doremi recently served as a technical partner of the 65th Cannes Film Festival. Doremi servers were first used at Cannes in 2003 for the screening of James Cameron's Ghosts of the Abyss. In previous years industry partners working with Festival used Doremi servers. Now Doremi has signed a direct partnership with the Festival organization that runs though to 2014. For Cannes 2012 a total of forty DCP-2000 digital cinema servers and IMB (Integrated Media Block) / ShowVault solutions were used to provide 2K and 4K playback. ,3364
Evil Dead Shooting in New Zealand,2012-06-15,Principal photography is underway on Evil Dead in Auckland New Zealand and will wrap in early July. Ghost House Pictures is producing the much anticipated remake of Sam Raimi's 1981 cult-hit horror film The Evil Dead; the film that effectively launched the careers of Sam Raimi (Spider-Man franchise); Rob Tapert (30 Days of Night) and Bruce Campbell who played the Ash character and was co-producer of the original now brings them back to produce an Evil Dead for today's audience that's high on the horror gore plot twists and more from a screenplay written by Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues.  Executive producers are J.R. Young Nathan Kahane Joseph Drake and Peter Schlessel. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions and FilmDistrict have partnered with Ghost House Pictures on a worldwide deal - excluding U.K. and France - for Sony Pictures to distribute the remake of Evil Dead. Five twenty-something friends become holed up in a remote cabin where they discover a Book Of The Dead and unwittingly summon up dormant demons living in the nearby woods which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left intact to fight for survival. A core cast of young fresh talent includes Jane Levy (Suburgatory) as Mia; Shiloh Fernandez (Deadgirl Red Riding Hood) as David; Lou Taylor Pucci (Carriers) as Eric; Jessica Lucas (Cloverfield) as Olivia and Elizabeth Blackmore (Legend of the Seeker) as Natalie. This cast of burgeoning talent share the same spirit we had when creating the original says Tapert. The desire to deliver an unexpected and outrageously scary movie experience for the audience. Evil Dead marks director Fede Alvarez' feature debut.  Originally from Uruguay Alvarez studied filmmaking and communications later opening his own production and post-production company.  In 2005 he won a scholarship to complete a masters in screenwriting in Amsterdam.  In November 2009 he posted his four-minute short Panic Attack! which became an instant viral internet phenomenon prompting intense interest from Hollywood and Ghost House Pictures in particular. We found a brilliant artist in Fede Alvarez.  As a director he understands what makes a story work and how to put the pieces together says Raimi.  I'm really excited to see this story that I care deeply about retold by such a fine storyteller. ,3365
Hollywood Center Studios Hosts Another Dirty Movie,2012-06-15,Hollywood Center Studios recently played host to the cast and crew of National Lampoon’s Another Dirty Movie. Directed Jonathan Silverman the film is the sequel to National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie a sketch comedy starring Robert Klein and Mario Cantone. After completing principal photography in Louisiana the current production set up shop on Stage 2A to shoot pick-ups as well as a number of celebrity cameos. (The stars’ identities are being kept secret until the film’s premiere.) Newly refurbished Stage 2A features a fixed green screen 2-wall cyc that made set up and lighting easy. “It was a fantastic shoot; it went far beyond our expectations ” said Silverman. “They treated us like kings.” National Lampoon president and producer of the film Alan Donnes said that everything the production required was easily accessible including lighting and grip equipment. Because Stage 2A is adjacent to the Babalu Café the lot’s famous diner the production was able to forgo conventional craft services. “We set up a tab and let everyone order what they wanted ” Donnes recalled. “We had actors dancers and Playboy models and everyone raved about the food.” Donnes added that cast and crew also enjoyed the atmosphere on the lot. “We were shooting on the stage where I Love Lucy was shot ” he says. “Everyone including the celebrities was excited—they were feeling the walls. It was magical.” Donnes said the National Lampoon has a number of other films in various stages of pre-production and hopes to be back at Hollywood Center Studios soon. “We’re planning to make it our West Coast home.” National Lampoon’s Another Dirty Movie cast members Jon Klaft (left) and Nolan Gerard Funk (right). Hollywood Center Studios ,3367
HPA Announces Call for Entries for 2012 HPA Awards,2012-06-15,The Hollywood Post Alliance has announced the opening of its Call for Entries for the 2012 HPA Awards.  The standard bearer for excellence and innovation in Post Production the Awards honor the individuals and companies who are engaged in noteworthy and groundbreaking work in post-production.  The award ceremony will take place on the evening of November 1 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles California. This year’s competition marks the seventh year of the HPA Awards. The Hollywood Post Alliance created the HPA Awards to bring to the forefront the individual talent as well as the creative and technical achievements that go into the post production process. The HPA Awards invite entries in the following competitive categories: Outstanding Color Grading using a DI process Feature Film Outstanding Color Grading Television Outstanding Color Grading-Commercial Outstanding Editing Feature Film Outstanding Editing Television Outstanding Editing Commercial Outstanding Sound Feature Film Outstanding Sound Television Outstanding Sound Commercial Outstanding Compositing Feature Film Outstanding Compositing Television Outstanding Compositing Commercial Engineering Excellence HPA Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation in Post Production The period of eligibility for the HPA Awards is September 7 2011 through September 10 2012 and eligible work must have debuted domestically and or internationally during this period.  Entrants need not be members of the Hollywood Post Alliance or working in the U.S. to submit work for consideration. Complete rules guidelines and entry information are available at: Submissions for the creative categories will be accepted through July 10.   ,3368
Report Shows How Technology is Changing Exhibition Business,2012-06-15,Little Hobbits seem to have a big impact—not only in the mythology of Middle Earth but in the real world where the release of the much-anticipated film The Hobbit is expected to bring major changes to the movie theater business potentially requiring new investments in digital projection technology in order to support the film’s higher frame rates. The frame rate issue is just one of several challenges for the global movie theater business presented by the ascendance of digital cinema technology according to an IHS Screen Digest Cinema Intelligence Service report. Digital cinema is rapidly replacing 35mm and made up the majority format on global screens for the first time last year. The number of digital cinema screens in 2011 reached 63 825 equivalent to 51.5 percent of global screens. Growth was hefty with last year’s overall numbers up 82 percent from 35 070 screens in 2010. The rate of digital expansion last year ranged from 92 percent in the Asia-Pacific territory to approximately 66 percent in the Middle East-Africa market as shown in the figure below. “As a result of the shift to digital cinema many changes are rapidly sweeping across the industry presenting new challenges and opportunities in the exhibition and distribution of movies ” said David Hancock senior principal analyst for cinema at IHS. “With digital cinema leading the market the full effects of this disruptive technology now are being felt across the board by film exhibitors distributors and a range of affiliated industries. The most pressing technology issue is higher frame rates—now a matter of concern due to the December 2012 release of The Hobbit by director Peter Jackson.” Cinemas will require an upgrade to the projector to be able to play the film—which was shot at 48 frames per second instead of the conventional 24 frames. About 50 000 screens equipped with Series 2 and Sony projectors potentially will be able to show the movie but time and money will still be required for the upgrade. Another leading director James Cameron is in the process of producing follow-ups to Avatar at the even higher rate of 60 frames per second. A second looming technology issue is laser illumination which will move ahead initially through the retrofitting of existing lamp houses and then move onto laser-illuminated projectors in the longer term. The established digital cinema projection companies and a private company Laser Light Engines is driving interest in this area which could significantly reduce the projector’s cost of ownership as well as providing the extra light sometimes needed for good quality 3D presentation. Cinema sound is also back on the agenda shifting from channel-based sound systems such as 5.1 and 7.1 into so-called immersive sound—effectively object-based soundtracks that can be mixed more flexibly. Dolby Barco Immsound Iosono and Illusonic 3D are the five major actors in this market and the key as to which entities win out will be determined by the partnerships that are formed by the players as well as by acceptance of the new system by content mixers and original creators. On the business side the major improvements in the past year included full conversion to digital cinema for the larger exhibitors along with a spread of the funding group mechanism to help otherwise struggling exhibitors achieve conversion. For the latter groups are in place or in advanced negotiations in the United Kingdom the Netherlands Australia the Philippines Brazil and Denmark—on top of the larger exhibitor groupings also working for this purpose in the United States Canada Japan Australia and South Korea. Along with the shift in film format the increasing use of digital cinema equipment has resulted in plunging demand for 35mm prints. At its peak film distribution used approximately 13 billion feet of film a year—equivalent to a trip to the moon and back five times. That amount began to decline sharply in 2010 and the industry this year will use closer to 4 or 5 billion feet for distribution purposes. Also contributing to declining demand for 35mm prints is the rising cost of silver a key material for film processing. The price of silver has climbed from a stable $5 an ounce for almost two decades to around $25 an ounce in 2012 even hitting a high of $50 at one point. Such developments involving the change in film format are having an impact across the entire value chain including film distributors; film stock suppliers such as Kodak Fuji and Agfa; and film processing entities such as Deluxe Technicolor and other film labs. Already mainstream use of 35mm is projected to cease in the United States and other major markets by the end of next year with global cutoff likely to happen by the end of 2015. For many players in the digital cinema space the focus at present is turning to the second phase of digital cinema conversion: distribution. The industry assumption for the medium to long term is based on satellite delivery of content but competition may emerge from terrestrial networks especially as the cost of higher-speed broadband networks decreases over time. ,3369
Warner Bros. Showcasing Looney Tunes,2012-06-15,Warner Bros. Consumer Products has announced that it will showcase a robust Looney Tunes licensing program for retailers and licensees from around the world at Licensing Show 2012 next week in Las Vegas. The Looney Tunes are everywhere right now: animation theatrical shorts online video games home video and of course merchandise. All of this activity and success is driving our opportunities to develop a refreshed and ever-expanding product line for fans of all ages said Brad Globe president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products. The Looney Tunes characters returned to their roots in the past two years with the release of a number of all-new animated 3D theatrical cartoon shorts. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures in conjunction with family-friendly feature films the shorts were created using state-of-the-art CG animation and rendered in stereoscopic 3D. The two most recent films – I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat and Daffy's Rhapsody – featured the voice of the legendary Mel Blanc via original songs he recorded in character in the late 1940s and '50s. Both I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat and 2010's Road Runner and Coyote short Coyote Falls made the Academy Award shortlist for Best Short Film (Animated) and were nominated for an Annie Award for Best Animated Short Subject. The Looney Tunes resurgence began with the launch of The Looney Tunes Show on Cartoon Network last year. According to Nielsen Galaxy Explorer the show produced by Warner Bros. Animation immediately took off in the ratings delivering a 5.2 rating with Boys 6-11 and eventually hitting a season high 6.6 rating with the same Boys segment in conjunction with a nationwide retail promotion orchestrated by WBCP. At the same time The Looney Tunes Show is now being watched in the UK France Germany Italy Spain Poland Romania Turkey Australia New Zealand Argentina Colombia and Mexico. We hold the Looney Tunes characters in the highest regard and being able to help revitalize this franchise is an amazing opportunity and a privilege said Sam Register executive vice president creative affairs Warner Bros. Animation. I am very pleased to see that our efforts have been received so well not only by the audience but also by the licensing community. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment recently announced Cartoon Universe a free-to-play online world that will provide a safe social environment for young kids to go on adventures solve puzzles and play games with their favorite Looney Tunes characters among others. Launching in North America in fall 2012 and international markets in 2013 Cartoon Universe will introduce a whole new generation to the animated antics of the Looney Tunes. The Looney Tunes characters have been enjoyed by generations and we are bringing them to life in a new way with Cartoon Universe an online game filled with safe social worlds designed just for kids said Martin Tremblay president Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. We are very pleased with the incredible cross-company content support for the Looney Tunes. It's really unprecedented and it has allowed us to re-establish our licensing and merchandising program while re-engaging with fans from around the world added Globe. ,3371
NEC Names Pierre Richer CEO,2012-06-15,NEC Display Solutions of America has promoted president Pierre Richer to CEO. The company said that Richer has guided NEC to strong growth product innovation and channel development over the last five years.   In his new role Richer will continue to shape the vision of the company which has enabled NEC to enhance its standing as the projector and LCD market leader while capitalizing on the growing Digital Out-of-Home advertising market through Vukenet.   “Pierre has continuously achieved company goals through his tremendous commitment credibility and creativity which have translated to a leading market position and revenue growth ” said Nick Akagi president of NEC Display Solutions Worldwide.  “His leadership has been instrumental in transforming NEC Display Solutions into a profitable and premier solutions company.”   “It is an honor to assume the CEO position at NEC Display Solutions a company that accomplishes extraordinary results with quality employees and products ” Richer said.  “I have worked with some very good companies throughout my career but I have never heard customers and channel partners so often say that we are the best and easiest company to work with.  It’s truly a testament to our people who live by our NEC motto of ‘achieving greatness’ by doing amazing things for those same customers and partners.”   Richer has been with NEC since 2003 where he was responsible for sales partner initiatives marketing and service offerings as well as introducing new revenue opportunities through the channel.  He also played a key role in the successful merger of the projector and plasma business units with the desktop and large-screen LCD business units.   NEC Display Solutions of America ,3372
Pat Metheny’s Orchestrion Screened in Dolby 3D and 7.1 Surround Sound,2012-06-15,Earlier this month Dolby hosted a preview screening of Pat Metheny: The Orchestrion Project a 3D concert film by the brothers Francois and Pierre Lamoureux. The documentary was presented in Dolby 3D and mixed and presented in Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound. The movie features the jazz guitarist performing alone in a church in Greenpoint Brooklyn that he uses as a rehearsal space. In the movie Metheny is surrounded by instruments that he controls with a guitar pen or keyboard to create an automated orchestra of jazz. Nonesuch Records released Orchestrion as a studio album in 2010 Metheny's instruments were custom-built by Eric Singer and the League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots) Ken Caulkins at Ragtime West Mark Herbert Cyril Lance and Peterson Electro-Musical Products.The set includes pianos marimba vibraphone Orchestra bells basses guitarbots percussion cymbals and drums blown bottles and other custom-fabricated acoustic mechanical instruments keyboard. According to Metheny’s website he has been developing the Orchestrion concept for more than a decade. “This project represents a conceptual direction that merges an idea from the late 19th and early 20th centuries with the technologies of today to create a new open-ended platform for musical composition improvisation and performance ” he said. Orchestrionics is the term that I am using to describe a method of developing ensemble-oriented music using acoustic and acoustoelectric musical instruments that are mechanically controlled in a variety of ways using solenoids and pneumatics. With a guitar pen or keyboard I am able to create a detailed compositional environment or a spontaneously developed improvisation with the pieces on this particular recording leaning toward the compositional side of the spectrum. On top of these layers of acoustic sound I add my conventional electric guitar playing as an improvised component.” “At least or me ” Metheny said “this takes the term solo record into some new and interesting areas somewhat recontextualizing the idea of what constitutes a solo performance by a single musician. This project is the result of a lifelong dream in this area that dates back to my early youth.” The movie is scheduled to be released in October.