Tag Archives: VFX

Academy Award® Nominated ~ Achievement in Visual Effects (VFX)

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl and Geot


Click here for complete coverage of Avatar, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

Star Trek

Click here for complete coverage of Star Trek, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

District 9
District 9

Click here for complete coverage of District 9, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Best Visual Effects, Culture, Entertainment, Hollywood, Movies, Pop Culture, US, Video/YouTube, World

Academy Award® Nomination: District 9

Posted by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, The LCster and Buellboy

District 9
Over twenty years ago, aliens made first contact with Earth. Humans waited for the hostile attack, or the giant advances in technology. Neither came. Instead, the aliens were refugees from their home world. The creatures were set up in a makeshift home in South Africa’s District 9 as the world’s nations argued over what to do with them.

Now, patience over the alien situation has run out. Control over the aliens has been contracted out to Multi-National United (MNU), a private company uninterested in the aliens’ welfare. MNU will receive tremendous profits if they can make the aliens’ powerful weaponry work. So far, they have failed; activation of the weaponry requires alien DNA.

The tension between the aliens and the humans comes to a head when MNU begins evicting the non-humans from District 9, with MNU field agents responsible for moving them to a new camp. One of the MNU field operatives, Wikus van der Merwe, contracts an alien virus that begins changing his DNA. Wikus quickly becomes the most hunted man in the world, as well as the most valuable – he is the key to unlocking the secrets of alien technology. Ostracized and friendless, there is only one place left for him to hide: District 9.

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The cast includes: Sharlto Copley, David James, Jason Cope, and Vanessa Haywood

44D’s Reviews

I loved this futuristic look at a society’s reaction to new comers who may need aid. This movie can be seen in two ways in my opinion: a sci-fi movie about aliens or a sci-fi satire about our own society’s reaction to those different from “us.” Take your pick!

“I thoroughly enjoyed this film. It starts a little slow, but after the first 35 minutes, you’ll be rooting for the aliens. 🙂 The thing that really impressed me, was the filmmaker’s ability to combine documentary style and cinematic style, in a way that looks seamless. Other directors have tried to do it before, but this one really made it work and look real.

There is also a subtle political statement through-out the film, although the director and writers don’t admit that on the DVD extras. But to have it set in post-apartheid Johannesburg, can’t be just a coincidence.”

Did You Know?

All the shacks in District 9 were actual shacks that exists in a section of Johannesburg which were to be evacuated and the residents moved to better government housing, paralleling the events in the film. Also paralleling, the residents had not actually been moved out before filming began. The only shack that was created solely for filming was Christopher Johnson’s shack.

The film was inspired by director Neill Blomkamp’s childhood in South Africa during apartheid.

Star Sharlto Copley had not acted before and had no intention of pursuing an acting career. He stumbled into the leading role as Neill Blomkamp placed him on-camera during the short film.

Sharlto Copley ad-libbed all his lines during the “documentary” sequences.

Many real tribal languages of Southern Africa employ clicking sounds (much like the ones the filmmakers included in the alien language) in their vocabularies, including Zulu (the most widely spoken indigenous language of South Africa) and Xhosa, another frequently spoken South African language (even the name “Xhosa” has a click in it).

The language used by the aliens (clicking sounds) was created by rubbing a pumpkin.

Four Nominations

Best Motion Picture
Best in Adapted Screenplay
Best Visual Effects
Best in Film Editing

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Best Adap Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Picture, Best Visual Effects, Culture, Documentary, Entertainment, Hollywood, Pop Culture, Uncategorized, World

Academy Award® Nominated: Star Trek

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, BuellBoy, Ogenec and TheLCster

On the day of James Kirk’s birth, his father dies on his ship in a last stand against a mysterious alien vessel. He was looking for Ambassador Spock, who is a child on Vulcan at that time, disdained by his neighbors for his half-human nature. Twenty years later, Kirk has grown into a young troublemaker inspired by Capt. Christopher Pike to fulfill his potential in Starfleet even as he annoys his instructors like young Lt. Spock. Suddenly, there is an emergency at Vulcan and the newly commissioned USS Enterprise is crewed with promising cadets like Nyota Uhura, Hikaru Sulu, Pavel Chekov and even Kirk himself thanks to Leonard McCoy’s medical trickery. Together, this crew will have an adventure in the final frontier where the old legend is altered forever even as the new version of it is just beginning.

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Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J.J. Abrams
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J.J. Abrams
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Damon Lindelof
Co-Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Witz
Associate Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Baronoff
Executive Producers . Jeffrey Chernov, Alex Kurtzman, Bryan Burk, and Roberto Orci

The cast includes: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Leonard Nimoy, Eric Bana, Bruce Greenwood, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Ben cross, Winona Ryder, Chris Hemsworkth, Jennifer Morrison, and Rachel Nichols

44D’s Reviews

As an aspiring nerd (no not geek, nerd, yes…there is a difference) I have been trying to break into the world of Star Trek in the traditional sense…watching it episode by episode, series by series. I take sci-fi very seriously! lol This new movie although entertaining feels like a ‘watered-down for the masses’ version of a topic that I know people spend their lifetime’s trying to perfect. Although I don’t speak Klingon, I respect the franchise and was disappointed at the simplistic (often trading true character growth and dynamic for witty one-liners) nature of some of the characters. I am glad, however, that at least a new generation of viewers will be introduced to the characters. Hopefully those who enjoyed the movie will research the series in the proper manner.

“No one does geek-pop chic better than J.J. Abrams. I never watched Alias (dunno why), but I am hooked — hooked! — on Lost and Fringe. Unlike many TV auteurs, J.J.’s vision adapts quite well to the big screen too: see, for example, MI:III, the best movie of the trilogy.

So I was really excited when I heard that J.J. would be doing the reboot of Star Trek. I knew it’d be edgy, yet fun. I knew it would mix in enough of the mythology for the hardcore Trekkies, but also introduce some fresh elements. And I knew there would be a very good mix of bombastic action sequences and intelligent dialogue. I knew all of that. And yet, I was completely blown away by the movie. The dialogue was even better than I’d hoped. The interplay between the characters (like Bones and Kirk, or Scotty and Kirk, and most importantly Kirk and Spock themselves) was just phenomenal. The action was totally kick-ass. In fact, I’m about to unleash my id by watching it again tonight with the subwoofers set to “Stun.” But, above all else, two things really endear this movie to me as a total keeper. The first is the subversion of the operating premise of the Kirk-Spock relationship, where Kirk is the impulsive one, and Spock is all logic and rationality. In the movie, Kirk proves himself to be quite the thinking man, and Spock gets very emotional. Man, I ate it up. You will too, on the off-chance that you haven’t seen this excellent movie yet.

The second is the casting of Chris Pine as Kirk. Sometimes you hear the casting choices and you go “Hell Naw!!! What were they thinking?!?!?” Most times, your concerns are well-founded. Think George Clooney as Batman — ’nuff said. But sometimes, you’re just totally wrong, and you have to admit it. So I admit it — Chris Pine is such an inspired choice for Kirk that he seems borne for the role, just as much as Daniel Craig is, to me, now the definitive James Bond. All I knew of Chris Pine was his role as a homicidal maniac in Smoking Aces. Fantastic role, and he’s obviously quite the actor. But I couldn’t see how THAT guy could pull off a Captain Kirk. Well, I’m extremely happy J.J. Abrams doesn’t listen to me. And, by the way, Eric Bana also is fantastic as Spock’s Romulan nemesis. In short, fantastic movie. Can’t wait for the sequel.”

“Loved it. J.J. Abrams did a outstanding job of re-energizing the Star Trek franchise. With 21st century special effects, he really updated, the normally slow-moving action viewers were used to. Spock and Lt. Uhura hooking up? Brilliant…we get to see what made Spock who he is, and his ongoing struggle to determine if he was more human or vulcan. It was also good to learn why Doctor McCoy aka Bones, earned his nickname, saying…“My wife took everything in the divorce, all she left me was my bones.” Abrams successfully introduced the series to a new generation of Trekkies, somewhere out there, Gene Roddenberry is smiling 🙂

Did You Know?

Randy Pausch, a Carnegie-Mellon Computer Science professor (and “Star Trek” fan) who gained widespread fame as the author of a “Last Lecture” in which he discussed living the life of his dreams in the face of terminal pancreatic cancer, was invited by J.J. Abrams to appear as an extra in this film (he is the Kelvin officer who says “Captain, we have visual“). Pausch wrote in his blog about the experience, “I got a custom-made Star Trek uniform and my own station on the bridge, where I had lots of buttons and controls. I even got a LINE!!!!” Pausch died on July 25, 2008; his paycheck of $217.06 from working on the film was donated to charity.

While most Trekkies will have known this detail for decades, this is the first time that Uhura has been given a first name on screen: Nyota. Gene Roddenberry never came up with a first name for her, so many thought this meant she did not have one, although in literature, Uhura is often referred to as Nyota by her comrades, and she is also referred to as Nyota Uhura in the DC Comics publication “Who’s Who in Star Trek“. There are several nods to this history in the movie: first, when Kirk first meets (and hits on) Uhura in a bar and tells her, “if you don’t tell me your name, I’m gonna have to make one up,” and then when she refuses to tell Kirk her first name throughout the film.

Majel Barrett, the wife of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry, has a role in this film as the voice of the Enterprise computer. She completed her voice-over work two weeks before her death on December 18, 2008.

The Korean-American actor John Cho was initially uncertain about being cast as the Japanese-American officer Hikaru Sulu, but George Takei, who played Sulu in “Star Trek” (1966), encouraged him to take the role as Sulu was a character who represented all of Asia.

Four Nominations

Best Visual Effects
Best Sound Mixing
Best Sound Editing
Best Makeup

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Best Makeup, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects, Culture, Entertainment, Hollywood, Pop Culture, Television, TV Shows, Uncategorized, US, Video/YouTube, World

Academy Award® Nomination: Avatar

Posted by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, and BuellBoy

AVATAR takes us to a spectacular world beyond imagination, where a newcomer from Earth embarks on an epic adventure, ultimately fighting to save the alien world he has learned to call home. James Cameron, the Oscar®-winning director of “Titanic,” first conceived of the film 15 years ago, when the means to realize his vision did not yet exist. Now, after four years of production, AVATAR, a live action film with a new generation of special effects, delivers a fully immersive cinematic experience of a new kind, where the revolutionary technology invented to make the film disappears into the emotion of the characters and the sweep of the story.

We enter the alien world through the eyes of Jake Sully, a former Marine confined to a wheelchair. But despite his broken body, Jake is still a warrior at heart. He is recruited to travel light years to the human outpost on Pandora, where a corporate consortium is mining a rare mineral that is the key to solving Earth’s energy crisis. Because Pandora’s atmosphere is toxic, they have created the Avatar Program, in which human “drivers” have their consciousness linked to an avatar, a remotely controlled biological body that can survive in the lethal air. These avatars are genetically engineered hybrids of human DNA mixed with DNA from the natives of Pandora… the Na’vi.

Reborn in his avatar form, Jake can walk again. He is given a mission to infiltrate the Na’vi, who have become a major obstacle to mining the precious ore. But a beautiful Na’vi female, Neytiri, saves Jake’s life, and this changes everything. Jake is taken in by her clan, and learns to become one of them, which involves many tests and adventures. As Jake’s relationship with his reluctant teacher Neytiri deepens, he learns to respect the Na’vi way and finally takes his place among them. Soon he will face the ultimate test as he leads them in an epic battle that will decide the fate of an entire world.

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Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James Cameron
Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James Cameron
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James Cameron
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Landau
Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James Cameron
Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Refoua, A.C.E. and Stephen Rivkin, A.C.E.
Production Designers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg
Director of Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mauro Fiore, ASC
Senior Visual Effects Supervisor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joe Letteri
Costume Designers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mayes C. Rubeo and Deborah L. Scott
Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James Horner

The cast includes: Sam Worthington, Zoë Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Wes Studi, and Laz Alonso


IMDB member from England
It was Terminator in the 1980’s and then Titanic in the ’90s and it’s definitely Avatar in the 2000s!!

James Cameron is my most favourite director and he has once again broken all boundaries and created a visual extravaganza.

Avatar is Cameron’s latest magnum opus is probably one of the most anticipated movies since Titanic and now it seems that the visionary director has indeed created a film that’ll revolutionize the world of cinema.

The film was absolutely fascinating, interesting, entertaining and emotional. I loved the look on the Pandora jungle and it must be the best scenery in film history and the navis are definitely the best digital characters since Gollum from The Lord of the Rings. The special effects are so amazing that Pandora looks like a real location and you can mistake the navis as real characters. Avatar was almost 3 hours but it didn’t seem that long.

Avatar already makes it on my top 5 favourite movies and I intend to see it again and I am already waiting for it to release on Blu Ray because I’m sure that it will be one of the best Blu Ray titles.

Did You Know?

The year is never stated, but the video log shows that the year is 2154.

Sigourney Weaver plays a James Cameron persona for her character in this film. Sigourney stated in an interview, “I teased him because to me I’m playing Jim Cameron in the movie as this kind of brilliant, approach-driven, idealistic perfectionist. But that same somebody has a great heart underneath. So I have to say I was always kind of channeling him.”

The Na’vi language was created entirely from scratch by linguist Paul R. Frommer. James Cameron hired him to construct a language that the actors could pronounce easily, but did not resemble any single human language. Frommer created about 1000 words.

Nine Nominations

Best Motion Picture
Best Director
Best Cinematography
Best Art Direction
Best Visual Effects
Best in Film Editing
Best Sound Mixing
Best Sound Editing
Best in Music (Original Score)

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Music Score, Best Picture, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects, Computers, Culture, Entertainment, Hollywood, Pop Culture, Technology, Uncategorized, US, Video/YouTube, World