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Posts Tagged ‘Douglas Trumbull’

Tuesday September 2nd, 2014

Future of Film: VFX Legend Douglas Trumbull’s Plan to Save the Movies

By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

A version of this story appeared in the Sept. 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter.

On a sunny August day in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, Douglas Trumbull, the 72-year-old visual effects legend, welcomes me to Little Brook Farm, the sprawling 50-acre property on which he lives and works with his wife of 13 years, Julia Trumbull, as well as an assortment of free-range donkeys, goats, chickens, roosters, cats and dogs. In addition to their home and animals, the compound also houses Trumbull Studios, a 10-building, state-of-the-art filmmaking facility that was financed with his proceeds from the IPO of IMAX Corp., where he once worked. “We’re not a movie lab in the sense that we process chemicals,” says Trumbull of the operation. “We’re a movie lab in the sense that we’re looking for the future of movies.”

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Wednesday December 25th, 2013

High Frame Rate and Why The Hobbit Films Matter

By Søren Hough

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As the prequel films to the estimable The Lord of the Rings franchise, Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit films already carry with them a heightened expectation of narrative quality. However, there was more to The Lord of the Rings than its epic story. Every part of the production was groundbreaking; filming all three movies at once in New Zealand alone was an unprecedented move. But perhaps most notable about The Lord of the Rings was Jackson’s and Weta Workshop’s prodigious use of the latest in special effects technology. With The Hobbit movies, Jackson is endeavoring to change the cinematic landscape again. And this time, he’s doing it by embracing High Frame Rate (HFR) filmmaking.

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Thursday January 12th, 2012

Meryl Streep, “War Horse” and “The Descendants” in Today’s Oscar News

By Sean O’Connell

The awards race has kicked into high gear. The National Board of Review kicked things off. The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards extends the madness tonight. And we still have the Golden Globes (with host Ricky Gervais) and, of course, the Oscars on the horizon.

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Monday January 9th, 2012

Visual Effects Society Nominates “Harry Potter,” “Hugo” and More

By Sean O’Connell

Over the weekend, the Visual Effects Society announced the nominees for its 10th Annual VES Awards ceremony, recognizing summer tentpoles (“Harry Potter,” “Captain America”) and surprise hits (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “Hugo”) for their outstanding visual effects artistry in 23 categories of film, animation, television, commercials, special venues and video games.

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Monday December 19th, 2011

“Drive,” “Descendants” Top Satellite Awards Sunday Night

By Sean O’Connell

“The Descendants” and “Drive” sped away with the most wins at the Satellite Awards Sunday night, including Best Picture for Alexander Payne’s bittersweet drama and Best Director for Nicolas Winding Refn.

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Friday July 23rd, 2010


One of this year’s most anticipated films — which was also one of last year’s most anticipated films and may well be one of next year’s most anticipated films, since nobody seems to know when it will be released — is “The Tree of Life” (Apparition, TBD), the fifth feature film from director Terrence Malick, who is both one of the most revered auteurs and one of the biggest recluses in film history.

Malick makes Garbo look like a publicity whore. Over the past 37 years, he has directed only four feature films, and probably made even fewer public appearances. His first two films, “Badlands” (1973) and “Days of Heaven” (1978), were ambitious, low-key, visually beautiful stories about young couples on the run from the law, and were particularly adored by critics and intellectuals. Just when it seemed like Malick was hitting his stride, though, he dropped out of sight — for 20 years. We now know that he spent much of that time living in France; how he survived, however, remains a mystery, since there’s no record of him doing anything else for a living, and he certainly wasn’t living off of blockbuster earnings for his first two films. (“Days of Heaven” barely made back its $3 million budget.)

In the late nineties, Malick returned with “The Thin Red Line” (1998), an epic movie set against the backdrop of the World War II Battle of Guadalcanal that was completely unlike his earlier efforts. The film was celebrated by critics; wound up with 7 Oscar nods (including best picture, best director, and best adapted screenplay); but returned only $36 million of the $52 million that 20th Century Fox had given him to spend on it. He then took off another 7 years before unveiling his fourth film, “The New World” (2005), which was more in the vein of his earlier, intimate, nature-celebrating period pieces — and which also tanked at the box office, making back less than $13 million of the $30 million budget that New Line, of all studios, had afforded it.

Now, five years later, we are apparently on the verge of seeing Malick’s fifth film: according to several reports, “The Tree of Life” was recently screened for and given a PG-13 rating by the MPAA, which would seem to indicate that a 2010 release date is likely, although distributor Apparition hasn’t yet announced one. So, what is the film all about and why has it taken more than two years to complete? Here’s what we know…

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