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December 21, 2007

All the Cloverfield TV Spots!

via the Cloverfield Myspace Page that is now up and live with the trailer, a couple of stills, one desktop and that contest widget.

For all the rest, click 'continue' below:

Cloverfield "Monster" TV Spot

Cloverfield "Robert" TV Spot

Cloverfield "Teaser" TV Spot

and TV SPOTs 4, 5, & 6 below:

Posted by dschnee at 7:32 AM

December 19, 2007

'The State of VFX' from the VES

Stepping up its efforts to educate the industry about the practice and business of visual effects, the Visual Effects Society is launching a white-paper program in 2008. Org plans to publish several papers on "topics crucial in the greater entertainment industry."

The first white paper in the series is "The State of VFX," slated for March 2008. The paper will look at how vfx have affected the entire entertainment industry and will drill down to three key issues: The eroding lines between pre-production, production and post-production; the new demands on creative pros as these phases merge; and industry misperceptions that vfx are fast, cheap and easy to do.

-source Papers aim to educate industry on 'crucial topics', Variety.com

"This will be the beginning of an important industry-wide dialog led by the practitioners who experience these changes on a daily basis," said Jeff Okun, chair of the VES. "Key issues need to be addressed now, not only within the visual effects industry, but as part of an industry-wide initiative to move the art and business of filmmaking forward."

"The State of VFX" will explore three key issues:

1. The eroding lines of production phases

2. The demands of new roles in the production process

3. Industry misperceptions that VFX is fast, cheap and easy to do

It will include information and opinions from the 2007 Visual Effects Society Think Tank, comprised of leaders from the visual effects and software industries, as well as many in-depth one-on-one interviews.

While research is still being gathered and compiled, initial analysis indicates:

* A majority of the entertainment industry does not have a working understanding of VFX

* Guilds and societies need to come together to address the key issues

* Educating key decision-makers at the studio level about the visual effects production process is crucial

The Visual Effects Society (VES) will launch a new white paper program beginning in 2008 to better service and educate the entertainment industry on the practice and business of VFX. The first paper, titled "The State of VFX," is due out in March and will cover the industry transition to a digital-dominated production paradigm and how it is being driven by rapid changes in technology. Other issues addressed are economic and creative and how they all affect each other. In today's rapidly changing tech environment, new ways of working can appear so quickly and with so many crisscrossing ramifications, that it can be difficult to get a sense of the bigger picture.

VES is a professional, honorary society, dedicated to advancing the arts, sciences, and applications of visual effects and to upholding the highest uniform standards and procedures for the visual effects profession. Now celebrating its 10th anniversary year, VES is the entertainment industry's only official trade organization representing the extended community of visual effects practitioners including supervisors, artists, producers, technology developers, educators and studio execs. Its 1,500 global members contribute to all areas of entertainment from film, television and commercials to music videos, games and new media. VES strives to enrich and educate its members and the entertainment community at large through many domestic and international events, screenings and programs. Visual effects professionals constitute a vital creative force in content creation and are literally shaping the future of entertainment.

Posted by dschnee at 2:25 PM

Cloverfield Exclusive TV Spot

Pretty cool...An exclusive never-before-seen TV spot for J.J. Abrams Cloverfield.

Posted by dschnee at 7:11 AM

December 16, 2007

Academy's 2007 VFX Oscar Long List

2007oscarsThumbsDown.jpgBoooOoOoOooo!!! Academy you get a Thumbs Down.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its long
list of 15 contenders.

WTF is Beowulf and Ratatouille doing in this category? Really. The Bourne Ultimatum? Evan Almighty, Really?

What's the biggest omission? Disney's ENCHANTED.

I'm rooting for Sunshine, that movie kicked a whole lot of ass in so many ways. MPC and their VFX were fantastic, go Sunshine!

The full list consists of:

* 300

The steering committee will next meet Jan. 3, 2008, to whittle the
list down to the magnificent seven. The entire branch will then meet
for the annual bakeoff on Jan. 16 to select the three nominees.

Hey so you see that Cloverfield 'Grab This' button in the post below, click on it, if I get enough grabs I could win a Cloverfield gift pack, what better way to celebrate the holidays? Ohh and check out the clip, very cool, but do the 'Grab This' first. :)

Posted by dschnee at 10:25 PM

December 13, 2007

Exclusive 5 Minute Clip of Cloverfield!

Paramount and producer J.J. Abrams have revealed an exclusive five minute clip from Cloverfield via the widget you see below. It starts with an introduction by Abrams who tells you how to score your own screening... this is going to be the best night ever!

"The guys at BadRobot have devised a new viral plan, and have decided to launch a contest urging fans to embed a new video clip on their blogs and myspace profiles. The top 20 people whose widget is grabbed the most will win a prize. If you think about it, this is actually a very genius plan by the guys at BadRobot. Without spending a dime on advertising, they will get their footage embedded on thousands upon thousands of web pages. Talk about free viral advertising." -Slashfilm.com

Posted by dschnee at 8:19 AM

Enchanted #1 Movie TV Spot

Have you been Enchanted? Yeah you have! keep it going through the holidays you crazy charming peoples!

Week of Dec. 7-9...
"Disney's "Enchanted," the No. 1 movie the previous two weekends, fell to second-place with $10.7 million, raising its total to $83.9 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. After a lack-luster opening of The Golden Compass which only pulled in $$26.1 million, a modest opening weekend compared to such recent December heavyweights as "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Chronicles of Narnia" flicks."

Posted by dschnee at 7:43 AM

December 12, 2007


We are actually in our final week on JJ Abrams (Lost) hush hush project 'Cheese' aka 'Slusho' aka 'Monstrous' aka 'Cloverfield'...

We have been working on it for months now, but haven't been able to say a damn thing about it, and the only thing we are allowed to say at this point is that yes, we, Tippett Studio are working on Cloverfield. I have updated my Filmography and Comp Dept page with the details and the latest trailer. Can I say the trailer has one of my shots in it?

Ever since the teaser trailer before Transformers this summer the interwebs have been all the buzz about this project, a ton of viral marketing and websites have been following it and trying to figure out just what the hell this movie is all about, it's been exciting working on a project with this much hype and buzz, I'm excited for it!

See Also:
Look closer at the billing image above... again, Visual Effects by Tippett Studio!?!

Posted by dschnee at 6:33 AM

December 11, 2007

Sweet Enchanted Satire


vmPigeonsCU.jpgCGSociety.com put together a spiffy article on Tippett's work on Enchanted. One of the shots I worked on in the "Happy Working Song" sequence is on there! (click on the pigeons heads)

There is a lot of good stuff in there about our animation, the vermin we created for the Happy Workign Song, for Pip, the beastly Dragon, and the compositors even get some love too! care of cMo!

Posted by dschnee at 7:53 AM

December 10, 2007

Beware, The Spiderwick Chronicles One Sheet

"Their World Is Closer Than You Think"

and check this out, our name, Tippett Studio is on the One Sheet!?!

Visual Effects by Tippett Studio

Posted by dschnee at 7:30 AM

December 8, 2007

Tippett thanks the Enchanted team in Cinefex #112

Posted by dschnee at 2:14 AM

December 3, 2007

2007 Golden Satellite Awards Nominations Announced

The nominees for the 12th Annual 2007 Satellite Awards have been announced by the International Press Academy... and look who made it below, Enchanted!?! With Transformers, 300, and The Golden Compass, I don't think we stand a chance, but to get noticed is just awesome.

See Also: Enchanted makes the First Cut for the VFX Oscar race?!?

Structured similarly to the Golden Globes, the Satellites honor both movies and television with the comedy and drama genres separate in many of the categories.

Scott Farrar, "Transformers" (Paramount Pictures)
Michael Fink, "The Golden Compass" (New Line Cinema)
Chris Watts, Grant Freckelton, Derek Wentworth, Daniel Leduc, "300″ (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Peter Chiang, Charlie Noble, David Vickery, Mattias Lindahl, "The Bourne Ultimatum" (Universal Pictures)
Thomas Schelesny, Matt Jacobs, Tom Gibbons, "Enchanted" (Walt Disney Pictures)
Jerome Chen, Sean Phillips, Kenn Mc Donald, Michael Lantieri, "Beowulf" (Paramount Pictures)

See Also, Also: Actress In A Motion Picture, Comedy Or Musical
Amy Adams Enchanted Walt Disney Pictures

See Also, Also, Also:
Dennis Muren

The complete list:

Posted by dschnee at 7:39 AM

December 2, 2007

'Enchanted's effects put a new wrinkle in the face of evil

The film's CG artists looked to animation for inspiration.

ONCE upon a time, golden age Disney films told magical stories via the art of cel animation -- but "Enchanted" director Kevin Lima wanted to create a 21st century tale with the film, which landed in theaters over the Thanksgiving holiday.

His saga about a virtuous maiden, a prince and a wicked queen mixes traditional animation with sequences in which live-action actors romp with photo-real digital characters (a chipmunk and a dragon, the queen's alter ego). Tippett Studio, the Oscar-winning visual effects house of "Jurassic Park," brought the characters to life and helped them channel the charm of Disney classics such as "Fantasia."

As an hommage to the Mouse House of old, "Enchanted's" first scenes are set in a cel-animated kingdom with cel-animated protagonists, supervised by master artist James Baxter. The maiden Giselle (Amy Adams) lives in this magical, musical world, where she is engaged to Prince Edward (Patrick Dempsey) -- until his evil stepmother, Narissa (Susan Sarandon), blasts her through a cosmic portal to the less-than-enchanted universe of Manhattan. In the Big Apple, the humans become live actors, the chipmunk morphs into a digital rodent and Sarandon's character transforms into a beast that conjures the spirit of the Maleficent dragon from "Sleeping Beauty."

"Kevin pulled his metaphors from 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,' 'Sleeping Beauty,' 'Cinderella' and more," says visual effects supervisor Tom Schelesny ("The Shaggy Dog"), whose unenviable task was overseeing animators using state of the art digital animation tools such as Maya software to render performers that looked real but acted like, well, characters in the great Disney cartoons.

To capture that aesthetic, Tippett Studio had to reinvent itself by following the classic Disney animation protocol, which gave the artists more responsibilities but entailed huge changes and greater risks. Tippett's animation supervisor, Tom Gibbons, and lead animator, James Brown, created back stories to deepen the artists' understanding of each protagonist beyond what was in the script, which gave every department -- the digital modelers, painters and especially the animators -- a sense of ownership of the characters. "I needed everyone in our entire animation department to interchangeably 'become' those characters," Schelesny says.

For decades, Tippett founder and puppet animation wizard Phil Tippett was the dragon master, having brought the mythical beasts to life in "Dragonslayer," "Willow" and 1996's "Dragonheart," whose dragon was one of the first talking CG characters (all done with Industrial Light & Magic). But Lima wanted something completely different for "Enchanted's" scaly behemoth: a talking dragon that didn't resemble a dinosaur. "He wanted the Narissa dragon to look like a living character and a classic Disney villain," Schelesny says.

The un-dino-like result -- designed by Crash McCreery and sculpted by Peter Konig -- was loosely based on a traditional Chinese dragon with elements of Sarandon's face and costume. As Narissa transforms into the beast, her crown mutates into horns and her gown's flowing fabric sleeves become wings. "We gave her surface an iridescent opal pearlescence, like a piece of jewelry, so it didn't just look like scales," Schelesny says.

Unlike other animated talking lizards, whose rigid lips merely open and close, Narissa was to communicate like a classic Disney cartoon character -- i.e., a lot like a human being. Sarandon's performance was conveyed via the dragon's eyes, while her vocals were lip-synced to the dragon's mouth movements. Tippett's lead rigger, David Nelson, created digital controls that enabled the ultra-natural-looking lip movement and nuanced facial expressions.

Rodent springs to life

WHILE the Narissa dragon is "Enchanted's" most flamboyant character, the chipmunk, Pip, was the hardest to animate. He has to communicate without actually talking (he turns mute once he is banished to New York and has to rely on miming). Tippett's animators studied video of real chipmunks and filmed one another gesturing to discover how Pip might move, then applied those lessons to their CG character.

Eventually, Schelesny showed director Lima a QuickTime movie of a chipmunk running, washing his face with his paws and spinning in a circle. "Kevin goes, 'That's exactly what we should do with the CG chipmunk.' What he didn't know was that was our CG chipmunk. We needed that response from him, because without it, we couldn't do Pip as a character."

To balance Pip's animal and anthropomorphic qualities, Tippett's animators had to weigh how much cartoon versus chipmunk to add. "In some sequences, he's straight chipmunk and in others, he's quite animated and even changes shape," Schelesny says. In one bravura pantomime, Pip has to convey to Prince Edward that someone is trying to murder Giselle: "When the Prince finally 'gets' what Pip is miming, the chipmunk makes a 'ta-da' gesture that has made whole theaters erupt into applause," Schelesny says.

The "Enchanted" process has clearly left its mark on Tippett's creative team. "I will not do another show without copying the Disney model because it's so empowering for the animators," Schelesny says. "We've captured magic in a bottle, and we don't want to lose it."

Posted by dschnee at 9:31 AM

December 1, 2007

Enchanted still has #1 charm

Disney film on top after posting $4.9 million Friday
-from Variety

Disney's "Enchanted" continued to serenade auds for the top spot at the Friday box office, grossing $4.9 million from 3,730 theaters.

Despite a 66% drop in its daily haul from last Friday, the PG-rated princess pic is expected to hold its crown over the weekend. In its first 10 days at the B.O., "Enchanted" has bewitched $58.5 million.

While the post-Thanksgiving frame is notorious for being slow, many previous weekend holdovers saw Friday-to-Friday drops that were steeper than 50%.

Posted by dschnee at 7:05 PM