Friday, Jan 30, 2009
Director Chris Milk, Whos Gonna Save My Soul Also Nominated for a Grammy
(Marina del Rey, CA) VFX studio Gradient Effects has announced that its team of artists has received a Visual Effects Society Awards nomination for creating the tragic central character in Gnarls Barkleys Whos Gonna Save My Soul, written and directed by Chris Milk of @radical.media. The news comes shortly after the much-acclaimed clip received a Grammy nomination.
The live action clip is set in a diner and begins with a woman breaking up with a man who is crushed by the loss. He picks up his knife and cuts out his heart - a photoreal CG heart that sings the ballad and emotes the universal feelings of loss and grief that come with a broken heart.
The symbolic character was critical to the success of the heart-wrenching, sometimes humorous, and thought-provoking story.
The guys at Gradient Effects designed, created and animated the photoreal CG heart character. It was important that he conveyed both emotion and realistically sang the vocal for Whos Gonna Save My Soul. Gradient got involved in preproduction and were committed collaborators every step of the way. They even wrote custom software for the blood coming off the hearts body, said director Chris Milk.
Involved early on and throughout the process, Gradient Effects employed photoreal computer animation and performance capture techniques. They developed new software for the project.
On set, Gradient created HDRI maps to enable them to match the lighting exactly in CG. We explored how to get the character to look organic and wet, trying different techniques and algorithms that we applied on top of the organic surface, explains Gradients Olcun Tan. The project was modeled and animated in Maya, rendered in Mental Ray and composited in Flame and Shake.
Performance capture - the technique of capturing the performance of an actor and applying it to a digital character - is perhaps most recognized in feature film production. The Gradient team applied several such techniques to capture the performance for the heart. Using ICT, they motion-captured singer Cee-Lo Greens performance and mapped his face onto the digital heart. They also did motion-capture on an actor and used this to create the hearts body language. Cee-Los lips were then given extra animation using Image Metrics.
To attain blood spatter from the heart, Gradient developed a proprietary software system that analyzed stress on the hearts geometry; the data was then passed through the pipeline into Real Flow. Matching the CG blood to the real, on-set blood, the process predicted where blood would fall from the heart.
About Gradient Effects
Located in Marina Del Rey, Gradient Effects is a visual effects studio with an integrated Digital Intermediate suite, dedicated to delivering dynamic visual artistry for feature films and other forms of entertainment.
Gradients work can be seen in upcoming features including Warner Bros. Richard Kelly-directed The Box, starring Cameron Diaz, James Marsden and Oscar nominee Frank Langella; Warner Bros. This Side of the Truth, directed by Ricky Gervais and Matthew Robinson, starring Gervais and Jennifer Garner; and the Katherine Heigl starrer The Ugly Truth, helmed by Robert Luketic for Lakeshore Entertainment. For further information about Gradient Effects, call 310.821.3177 or write email@example.com.
Saturday, Jun 23, 2012
The Second "Kazakhstan Montage of Cinemas: Film & Cultural Festival" launches at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) in Los Angeles on Aug. 3 for a one-week celebration of Kazakh cinema and culture, including musicians.
The festival is a stellar opportunity for directors, producers, location scouts, and the general public to get an understanding and appreciation of this exotic locale without leaving home.
Sweeping from the Caspian Sea on its Russian border to the Altai Mountain range on the Chinese border, Kazakhstan has a rich nomadic history as well as a powerful current tapestry of cultures. Since gaining independence in 1991, the Central Asian Republic has embraced its remarkable filmmaking past that dates back to the 1930's, when Sergei Eisenstein made his classic Ivan the Terrible in this mystic land, and has even given rise to several "New Wave" movements.
Opening night on Aug. 3rd begins with a reception at 7 pm, and includes a program of live entertainment until 11 pm, at the DGA Theater.
Sponsored by Kazakh Geographic Society (KazGeo.kz ), helixfilmsinc.com , the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and the Honorary Consulate of Kazakhstan in Los Angeles, the festival includes Advisory Board Members Steven-Charles Jaffe (GHOST, K19), David Marconi (Screenwriter, ENEMY OF THE STATE), and Ambassador Erlan Idrissov.
Tickets cost $10 (including free parking) can be purchased from the festivals website. "Kazakhstan Montage of Cinemas: Film & Cultural Festival 2012" will be held Aug. 3 - 9 at the Directors Guild of America on 7920 Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles, California
For more information, please see www.kazakhfestival.com - KazakhFilmFestLA@gmail.com
Source : HelixFilmsInc.com
Sunday, May 27, 2012
The 65th Festival de Cannes drew to a close tonight with the closing awards ceremony hosted by Academy Award nominated actress Berenice Bejo.
The top prize was captured yet again by Michael Haneke for his portrait of an elderly couple Amour. This is the second time he has bested Jacques Audiard who was also in competition with De rouille et d'os (Rust and Bone). Haneke becomes one of the few two-time Palme d'Or winners alongside Alf Sjoberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Bille August, Emir Kusturica, Shohei Imamura, and Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne and only the second after August to win with consecutive films his previous Palme d'Or was for his 2009 film Das weiße Band (The White Ribbon).
Matteo Garrone picked up his second Grand Prix for his film Reality. Previously, he had won in 2008 for Gomorrah.
The surprise winner for the Jury Prize was Ken Loach with The Angels' Share. He previously won the Palme d'Or in 2006 with The Wind That Shakes the Barley.
Another previous Palme d'Or winner won Best Screenplay. Cristian Mungiu who made 4 luni, 3 săptămâni ?i 2 zile (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) returned with După dealuri (Beyond the Hills), and it also shared the Best Actress for its stars Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur.
In spite of the heavy American representation in the selection, the only American film to win a prize was Benh Zeitlin's Un Certain Regard entry Beasts of the Southern Wild which won the Camera d'Or for first film. Last night, it had won the FIPRESCI international critics' prize.
Complete list of winners for the 65th Festival de Cannes
Amour, Michael Haneke (France-Germany-Austria)
Reality, Matteo Garrone (Italy-France)
The Angels' Share, Ken Loach (U.K.-France-Belgium-Italy)
Carlos Reygadas, Post tenebras lux (Light After Darkness) (Mexico-France-Germany-Netherlands)
Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur, După dealuri (Beyond the Hills) (Romania-France-Belgium)
Mads Mikkelsen, Jagten (The Hunt) (Denmark-Sweden)
Cristian Mungiu, După dealuri (Beyond the Hills) (Romania-France-Belgium)
Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin (U.S.)
PALME D'OR FOR BEST SHORT FILM
SESSYZ-BE DENG (SILENCE), REZAN YE?YLBA?
Source : www.ensonhaber.com