Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Visual Effects Supervisors of ILM

The visual effects supervisors of Industrial Light & Magic, 2011. Standing in the back row from left to right, Roger Guyett, Grady Cofer, Russell Earl, Ben Snow, Craig Hammack, Lindy DeQuattro, Dennis Muren. Seated from left to right: Bill George, Tim Alexander, Jeff White, John Knoll, Pablo Helman, Scott Farrar and Kim Libreri.

Photo is from the new book "Industrial Light & Magic: The Art of Innovation" coming soon. Read a review of the book here on FXGuide.

Photo credit: Brent Bowers.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Then and Now

Two very different techniques, two very different contexts. At the beginning and end a single epic narrative.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How Siri Could Work With AppleTV

click here for a larger image
I was inspired by the discussion on 5by5's excellent podcast Hypercritical (episode 38), hosted by Dan Benjamin and John Siracusa, to create this extremely quick and extremely dirty mockup of how Siri, the amazing new feature on Apple's iPhone 4S, could be implemented on the AppleTV. My idea is adding a dedicated Siri button on the AppleTV remote, as well as a microphone that sits at the top of the remote that transmits your voice commands to the AppleTV.

This solution bypasses the problems Dan and John discussed, such as shouting at the AppleTV from a distance. Plus, with the remote control/microphone only about a foot from the user's mouth, ambient noise is a much smaller issue than with a microphone attached to the set top box. Plus, it eliminates the need for an expensive iOS device (like an iPod touch or an iPhone) to be the sole input for voice commands. I suppose the entire remote would no longer be an IR remote, but a full-on Bluetooth remote. If I spent more than an hour on the mockup, I would have removed the little IR window at the top of the remote. With complete ignorance of how much power consumption Bluetooth requires in a remote control-sized unit, or what technical requirements might be necessary for this kind of functionality (not to mention the additional cost required, in order to hit that $99 sweet spot), I hacked together this quick mockup of what it might look like. I admit I rushed the on-screen interface - it's not very polished and is almost a direct lift from the iPhone Siri interface. My idea is that the regular interface would blur in the background, and a custom AppleTV Siri interface would appear. Anyway, there ya go.

Monday, October 10, 2011

"LaGuerta!" is The "Dexter" Spinoff No One Asked For

In the grand tradition of television spinoffs like AfterMASH, The Ropers, and Joey, we present Showtime's Dexter spinoff, LaGuerta!

Maria LaGuerta and Angel Batista from Dexter take their steamy romance and spectacular detective skills to the Windy City of Chicago, where the bad guys don't stand a chance.

Get ready, Chicago. Here comes LaGuerta!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Always Think Different

From the 'Think Different' 1997 Apple Computer commercial:

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. 

They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. 

And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Rest in peace, Steve Jobs.


As noted by this Hollywood Reporter article, a large chunk of Brad Bird's "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" was filmed with large-format IMAX cameras. 
IMAX is also to include around 30 minutes of scenes shot with its proprietary cameras when it rolls out the fourth installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise.  One featured IMAX sequence includes a stunt performed by Cruise as he scaled the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai.

I hope to talk more about this film in the future, especially in regards to the visual effects, produced by Industrial Light & Magic under the supervision of John Knoll.

Be sure to check out the film when it opens early in IMAX theaters on December 16, 2011.  Unlike most films exhibited in IMAX theaters, this one will be worth seeing on the big-big screen.
This video illustrates how far the fringe right wing has taken over the Republican party. Can you imagine any one of the GOP hopefuls for President saying something like this?


Here's a wonderful comic from 2009 that sums it all up.  Created by Barry Deutsch.