Movie Fact #31 – January 31st, 2013:

Whatever your opinion of the 2009 science fiction epic “AVATAR” is none can deny the film was a visual spectacle even if the story was basically “Dances with Wolves” on an alien planet. The effects were groundbreaking and it wasn’t created overnight. Development of Avatar began all the way back in 1994, when Cameron wrote an 80-page treatment for the film. Filming was supposed to take place after the completion of Cameron’s 1997 film “Titanic,” for a planned release in 1999, but Cameron felt the necessary technology was not yet available to achieve his desired vision of the film.
He finally began developing the film as early as the summer of 2005 when he began work on the language and various species of the alien world. He decided to finally move forward due to technological advancements in the creation of the computer-generated characters Gollum, King Kong, and Davy Jones from “The Lord of the Rings” series, “King Kong”, and “Pirates of the Caribbean” series respectively. He created several new motion-capture animation technologies that he had been developing in the 14 months leading up to December 2006.
Several of the innovations he created included a new system for lighting massive areas like Pandora’s jungle, a motion-capture stage or “volume” six times larger than any previously used, and an improved method of capturing facial expressions, enabling full performance capture. Facial capture had for years been impossible to do properly up until this point, especially eye movement which had been lifeless-looking before. Plus, originally, you had to capture the facial expressions of an actor later on separately from the body movements. Cameron found a way to do both facial and body movement captures at the same time. His methods involved actors wearing individually made skull caps fitted with a tiny camera positioned in front of the actors’ faces. the information collected about their facial expressions and eyes is then transmitted to computers.
According to Cameron, the method allowed the filmmakers to transfer 100% of the actors’ physical performances to their digital counterparts. At the same time, numerous reference cameras gave the digital artists multiple angles of each performance. So love it or hate it, a lot of energy and ingenuity was put into making this, hard to argue, visually stunning film.

Published in: on January 31, 2013 at 8:34 PM  Leave a Comment  

Quote #31 – January 31st, 2013

“A gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you’re not enough without one, you’ll never be enough with one.”

– John Candy, “Cool Runnings”

Published in: on January 31, 2013 at 10:10 AM  Leave a Comment  

Movie Fact #30 – January 30th, 2013:

Francis Ford Coppola has made some amazing films. “The Godfather” Trilogy, Apocalypse Now, and “The Outsiders” adaptation are only a few to mention. Still more interesting his his incredibly famous family members. His sister is Talia Shire, known as both Connie Corleone in “The Godfather” and Adrian Balboa in the “Rocky” saga. His nephew is Nicolas Cage, known for “Raising Arizona”, “Leaving Las Vegas”, and “Con Air” among many. His daughter, Sophia Coppola, has become quite a famous director herself including her Oscar-nominated work on the 2004 film “Lost in Translation”. So paraphrasing what Michael Corleone once said in the first “Godfather”, “Never take sides against the Coppolas.” On a side note, he epitomized the group of filmmakers known as the “New Hollywood”. This group includes Martin Scorsese, Terrence Malick, Robert Altman, Woody Allen, William Friedkin, Philip Kaufman and George Lucas, who emerged in the early 1970s with unconventional ideas that challenged contemporary film-making. So…I think we can all agree he has accomplished a lot.

Published in: on January 30, 2013 at 9:09 PM  Leave a Comment  

Quote #30 – January 30th, 2013:

“I think one day you’ll find that you’re the hero you’ve been looking for.”

– James Stewart, “An American Tail: Fievel Goes West”

Published in: on January 30, 2013 at 8:27 AM  Leave a Comment  

Movie Fact #29 – January 29th, 2013:

Sometimes one movie can be so good that it universally inspires other films years later, possibly more than once. “Superman: The Movie” of 1978 was quoted by Christopher Nolan as an inspiration for his “Dark Knight” Trilogy, particularly it’s first installment “Batman Begins” in 2005. In fact, Nolan felt the previous Batman films were exercises in style rather than drama, and used instead “Superman: The Movie” as a template as it focused on depicting the character’s growth. Also similar to “Superman”, Nolan wanted an all-star supporting cast for “Batman Begins” to lend a more epic feel and credibility to the story. As Gene Hackman and Marlon Brando filled the roles of the cast of “Superman”, veteran actors like Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, and Morgan Freeman filled the roles of the cast of “Batman Begins.” However, Nolan wasn’t the only one who took notice of the Man of Steel as inspiration.
One year previous Sam Raimi openly stated how “Superman II” was a major inspiration on the screenplay for “Spider-Man 2” in it’s depiction of the main character’s doubt in sacrificing his own personal happiness for the greater good and willing to give up the responsibility of the hero to be with the one he loved. I say they both succeeded as both series are considered landmarks in the superhero genre, Nolan with his realistic take on them and Raimi with his epic and more classic take on them.
Lesson of the day, some classics never go out of style or cease to resonate in the hearts and minds of people today.

Published in: on January 29, 2013 at 9:01 PM  Leave a Comment  

Quote #29 – January 29th, 2013:

“Constantly talking isn’t necessarily communicating.”

– Jim Carrey, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”

Published in: on January 29, 2013 at 11:35 AM  Leave a Comment  

My Story Begins Now…

To all who are kind enough to read my words I give you much thanks. This blog is an epitome of all I stand for and all I enjoy in life. I am an aspiring filmmaker and have been my entire life. I love everything cinema stands for and what it does for the world. Don’t get me wrong. It has its flaws like any media. But overall with the right story and the right passion it has the ability to change the way we view the world. Every since I was 3 and my father introduced me to such classics as “Rocky” and “Superman: The Movie” I have never stopped believing that film can make us believe in anything. They teach us things, they inform us about tales and situations we don’t yet know of, and more than anything they expand our minds in the ideas of what is considered possible. As the late Christopher Reeve once said, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon became inevitable.” Nothing is impossible as long as good people believe in those possibilities existing in the real world. And through the greatest form of wide media the ideal is held highest and reaches the masses in a way that would give anyone hope. For as long as people continue to write those stories of heroes and underdogs, the idea of anything being impossible, in itself, becomes the one thing impossible to believe. So read the quotes that I put up from films that inspire and encourage. Read the facts I put up of how much passion is put into films and the challenges they face. Enjoy a fine analysis whenever I get around to writing one. No matter what though, if you read any of those, I hope you take them to heart and that they encourage you to step out of your fears and make the impossible…inevitable.

Published in: on January 28, 2013 at 10:30 PM  Leave a Comment