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July 30, 2008

Beverly Hills Chihuahua the Trailer


There has been nothing but love, praise, and anticipation around the interwebs for Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Just check out some of the quotes:

"It looks to be an endless migraine composed of forced cuteness and bad effects" -Scott Weinberg

"I have never been a fan of "children" films. It reaffirmed my claim when I saw the trailer Beverly Hills Chihuahua in front of Wall-E. My heart sunk to think this is what Disney has become, a shell of its former self since the mid 90s." -Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatan

"It was borderline offensive with the worst rap I've heard since Gerardo's "Rico Suave". Sometimes you see stuff that looks so bad it could be good, but this wasn't that. This film looks so bad it shouldn't be seen by members of human race. Hell, I wouldn't let a Chihuahua watch it.

It's from Walt Disney and it might just be the worst trailer I've ever seen. Walt must be spinning in his cryonic chamber full of liquid nitrogen." Toronto Mike

Posted by dschnee at 6:48 AM

July 28, 2008

Wolverine Comic-Con 08 Teaser Footage!

~enough said? I think they did a pretty good job with this teaser, people sound pretty pumped for it. (even if it was made up of fan geekdom) I'm happy to see they used the bits that we did for it, get it Diamond Girl, go Diamond Girl, go. (Emma Frost) You see a brief flash of her changing into diamond form and deflecting some bullets, that was the shot we did, that I comped a couple of weeks ago. Hopefully we'll get to do the shot for real, since we rushed it out Comic-Con.

Posted by dschnee at 6:44 AM

July 24, 2008

Wolverine at Comic-Con 08

From the 20th Century Fox Panel via firstshowing.net - Fanboys g33k out @ Comic-Con, here are some bits on the up coming X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie...

1:03PM - Hugh Jackman has just stepped off the plane and makes an appearance! He's waited years and he said there's "no way" he would miss out on coming here! He just had to be here. Without "you guys" he wouldn't have a career. Saying "thank you" for making this phase of comic book movies what it is. Okay, Hugh Jackman just tried to walk into the audience and the Twilight fans SWAMPED him. This is CRAZY!

1:06PM - One of the best comic book characters ever created and as an actor it's a challenge to play. I still feel there's more to find out and thanking the original creator Len… Two words that he knows we want to hear. If he can describe the Wolverine movie, it's: badass. A long time he's wanted to make it and he's wanted to hear and we're going to see a lot of Bezerker rage. He says they "literally" just wrapped filming. He grabbed a whole lot of footage and "glued it together" and not what we'll really see. He's showing us a lot but there's no way he was not coming here showing us something. Fox has finally delivered!!

1:11PM - Full trailer! Scenes with Gambit throwing cards. Stryker comes and asks to put together a "special team" of superheroes. Shows the relationship with Wolverine and Sabertooth together and the development of the team and the adamantium program that Strkyer puts together. Really AWESOME footage! Looks incredible - some good fight scenes, but it still needs a lot of polishing. It almost looked too glossy and too colorful, but this is very early footage. Either way it looked awesome.

Confirmed team members: Blob, Deadpool, Gambit, Wolverine, Sabretooth, and Emma Frost. Lots of action scenes including a moment where Wolverine jumps from a truck to a helicopter and grabs on and attacks it. Younger cast, but very flashy and colorful and great scenes of action. A lot of cool scenes where Wolverine was fighting in the adamantium lab. Fight scenes of Wolverine and Sabretooth where he shoves his claws into Sabretooth's chest. All-in-all it looked amazing - and I'm not the only one who thought so!

1:13PM - The panel has finished up today and we've shut down so far. Great presentation from Fox - lots of awesome footage!!


"I know what you're thinking," Jackman started, doing nothing to silence the hooting. "This guy is way to too tall to play Wolverine."

"I've waited years to bring Wolverine here to Comic-Con," said Jackman. "Years."

He added, "Without you guys, I wouldn't have a career. Without you guys there wouldn't be X-Men 2 and 3. There wouldn't be Wolverine."

As if the crowd wasn’t loud, Jackman raised additional pulses by heading into the cheap seats to greet Len Wein, creator of the Wolverine character.

"I have to shake your hand, because from that hand came the character who gave me a career," he said.

Jackman whet more than a few appetites by promising, "All I'll say is the movie is big, it is action packed and two words I know you want to hear, if I could describe Wolverine movie, is 'bad ass.'"

He added, "You're going to see a lot of berserker rage. Let me tell you."

With the Gavin Hood directed feature hitting theaters next May, this was Jackman's only chance to tease the movie for Comic-Con audiences and he didn't disappoint.

"I grabbed a whole lot of footage threw it in a big and literally glued it together," he announced.

Jackman was obviously being disingenuous, because the footage screened was fairly tight and, not to indulge my inner fanboy, fairly awesome. As the title indicates, it's an origin story and the clips showcased the young Logan (Jackman) and Victor Creed (Liev Schreiber), best known to fans as Wolverine and Sabretooth. We also got lots of Danny Huston as William Stryker and, to the great joy of the crowd, several shots of Taylor Kitsch, whose arrival as Gambit already seems to be yielding salivation.

It's too early to know if the X-Men Origins: Wolverine footage will join the Comic-Con blockbuster-making pantheon of clips from 300 or Iron Man, but for a movie that hadn't been generating the best of buzz, this was an obvious shot in the arm.


Posted by dschnee at 1:55 PM

July 15, 2008

Compositors Likely To Become Obsolete? VES says

"In "The State of Visual Effects in the Entertainment Industry," the VES's first-ever white paper, the org warned that the effects industry's talk of "magic" has turned vfx into a "black box" that few outsiders understand -- a situation that drives up production costs and undermines working conditions for digital artists."

Regarding Compositors, Matchmovers, and Rotoscopers becoming obsolete in 5-10 years... it's based on a artists taking on more and more duties or artists moving toward "Hybrid" tasks... The VES's prediction is that in the coming years many positions will be eliminated due to one artist performing the work of many. While some of this may be true, I don't think they are saying these jobs will go away all together, but the need for hundreds of these artists on a show will diminish. But...

I think the bigger issue here is with OUTSOURCING. The VES has failed to put an outlook and what impact outsourcing tasks will do to our industry. It happened with animation in the mid 60's when Hanna-Barbara started sending its ink-and-paint work to Manila, this kept costs way down to avoid production spending spiraling out of control and making cartoons impossible to manage. The result? big studios shut down, artists lost their jobs.

Who will be the first to go? Roto and Paint artists, then matchmovers. I hope to hell not Compers! I can see SOME basic A over B or combo roto/paintwork/comp going overseas, but with the amount of artistry, problem solving, and craftsmensip that goes into Compositing these days I find it hard to imagine comp will becoming a low paying, grunt work skillset, performed overseas sort of task. I can say the same for Matchmove. Roto is already being performed heavily overseas... India anyone? Just take a look at R+H.

You can check out VES's white paper below, and I'll say it again, I really feel they have failed to include the impact outsourcing will have on our industry. It happened with the animation/cartoon industry, it can happen in VFX. For a solid historical summary regarding all of this, check out The Animated Scene: Animation's Repatriation - and I'll post up in the Extended Entry the bits that support what I've mentioned above.

The Visual Effects Society released its white paper on the state of visual effects in the entertainment industry. Click here to read "The State of Visual Effects In the Entertainment Industry" White Paper Released

VES challenges effects industry
Org says 'magic' talk confusing for outsiders

The movie industry's effects wizards would do well to let everyone see the man behind the curtain, according to the Visual Effects Society.

In "The State of Visual Effects in the Entertainment Industry," the VES's first-ever white paper, the org warned that the effects industry's talk of "magic" has turned vfx into a "black box" that few outsiders understand -- a situation that drives up production costs and undermines working conditions for digital artists.

The paper, written by Renee Dunlop, Paul Malcolm and VES prexy Eric Roth, challenged vfx industry to get involved in production earlier and educate others about what they do.

"The need to clarify the digital visual effects process has never been greater," said the paper, noting that the misconception that simply adding more computers will solve vfx problems is helping create "what is approaching a digital sweatshop environment."

"We have never sufficiently explained that the 'magic' of visual effects has never resided in technology; it resides in the people using the technology."

The VES noted that about 20 of the top 25 all-time grossers are vfx films, and that vfx take up anywhere from 25% to 50% of a movie's budget.

If vfx pros are brought into the process sooner, said the paper, production costs should fall as effects pros can point the way to "better creative and production decisions and, therefore, a more efficient production schedule."

The white paper also had some ominous predictions for production jobs overall.

Entire job categories, even entire production departments, are likely to disappear over the next 5-10 years as digital artists take over more and more production tasks. Computer graphics techniques are likely to make matchmovers, compositors and rotoscopers obsolete and visual effects are usurping functions of other departments, especially the art direction, camera and costume departments.

"The situation we see today, when the technology of one department so directly impacts the potential future of another, is relatively rare," said the white paper. (Variety.com)

"But in the mid-’60s, with unions pushing for higher wages and better benefits, the animation machine came under a great deal of strain, and costs soon became too unmanageable for the studios to bear. Hanna-Barbara, rather than bowing under the pressure, started sending its ink-and-paint work to Manila, where costs could be kept way down. Many animation artists at that time were furious, seeing it as a cheap money grab, designed to put them out of work, so that a few top executives at the studio could strike it rich. But the studio heads had a much different story, of production costs spinning out of control, and the business of making cartoons simply becoming impossible to manage successfully.

Either way, it was a gut-wrenching episode in animation history, and all the studios and animation artists felt the crunch. Several of the big studios shut right down, and productions were reduced drastically at others. And so began the mass layoffs, particularly of ink-and-paint departments, as studios either downsized, shut down, or started sending their ink-and-paint work overseas.

The first thing to go was the ink-and-paint departments, the lowest paid of all the animation slaves, (largely made up of women, working in a still relatively male-dominated industry) but it was only a matter of time before the studios started sending their in-betweens to be done overseas, and not long after that they started sending animation. By the early to mid-’70s, the outsourcing of Saturday morning cartoon productions was the norm. Studios that used to employ hundreds of animation artists, now employed handfuls of artists in comparison. Storyboards, location, character and effects design packs, scripts, sound recording, dialogue breakdown and layouts were often kept in-house, depending on the production. More and more, as little work as possible was done in-house, and the more that could be sent overseas to Asia or India, the better for cost control." (awn.com)

Posted by dschnee at 9:08 PM

July 14, 2008

Chihuahuas in Headdresses? I Cringe, You Cringe

Effervescent canine dancers in a “Beverly Hills Chihuahuas” trailer excited some, repulsed others.

Here's an article from the NY Times online...

The so-called reaction video — in which people record themselves watching something with the goal of capturing a visceral reaction — has turned into a YouTube staple. The genre took off last year with people reacting to a gross-out pornography clip. More recently, people have taped themselves reacting to something called the “pain Olympics” (it involves self-mutilation; perhaps best not to ask).

Now comes “Beverly Hills Chihuahua.”

Walt Disney Pictures over the last two weeks has been running a trailer for the live-action family comedy in conjunction with “Wall-E,” the Pixar film about a lovable robot. The trailer depicts several dozen computer-generated chihuahuas performing a Las Vegas-style showstopper, dancing in formation and wearing elaborate headdresses.

“We’re the real hot dogs,” they sing. “Yo! Hold the bun.”

A small but growing number of YouTube videos depict people reacting in horror to the jubilant trailer. One woman, sitting with her Yorkshire terrier on her lap, pretends to gag, then protectively covers her dog’s eyes. In another video, two men look at each other in disgust and then one slips a noose over his head.

“You hear that sound?” asks a man in a tank top after watching the trailer. “That’s the sound of Walt Disney spinning in his grave.”

Most people seem to be responding to the over-the-top silliness of it all: the trailer starts with an ominous tableau that channels Mel Gibson’s “Apocalypto,” then morphs into a song-and-dance routine featuring dressed-up dogs. But others have complained that it revives stereotypes of Mexicans. (Presumably these are the same people who took offense at the Taco Bell chihuahua, an advertising mascot that was retired by the company several years ago after shouting “Viva Gorditas!” one too many times.)

Most of the “Chihuahua” videos are staged attempts at humor — not that Disney is laughing — and not all of them are negative. Several videos show children smiling and laughing at the dancing dogs. “Oh my gosh, I’m, like, totally seeing this movie,” squeals one young girl.

A Disney studio executive said the trailer was resonating more favorably among the movie’s target audience, families with young children. The initial trailer, he said, was meant only as a teaser; a longer preview that reveals bits of the story line will be released closer to the Sept. 28 premiere.

This is not Disney’s first encounter with reaction videos. Last fall, a woman made a video of herself watching a “Wall-E” trailer to demonstrate how its message brought her to tears (the good kind). Pixar saw it and invited her to a screening of the film in San Francisco. (NYtimes.com)

Posted by dschnee at 6:22 AM

July 8, 2008

Viva Chihuahuas! Round 2

I didn't personally work on this spot, but some of the other guys at the shop did, nice work gents. So here's another straight to the you tubes propaganda video for Beverly Hills Chihuahua. (official site)

Watch In High Quality (you need to click on it near the rating stars just under the number of views)

Posted by dschnee at 6:57 AM

July 7, 2008

Of Hellboys and Dark Knights

I am in great anticipation.

This Friday (7/11), Guillermo del Toro treats us with Hellboy II: The Golden Army - trailer | Next week (7/18) Christopher Nolan unleashes The Dark Knight - trailer | after that, I declare summer officially over! (for movies that is, go outside, get some sun dammit!)

Posted by dschnee at 10:50 AM

July 6, 2008

Wall-e was great!

I caught a VES screening of Wall-e today @ Pixar, and I thought it was great!
retro artwork by Eric Tan

See Also: The Little Robot That Could

Posted by dschnee at 1:00 PM

July 3, 2008

On Wolverine 4/2 Weeks

As of today, I'm onto Wolverine for a couple of weeks helping get something out for this years Comic-Con 2008... and that's all I can say about that :)

Leading up to the events of X-Men, X-Men Origins: Wolverine tells the story of Wolverine's epically violent and romantic past, his complex relationship with Victor Creed, and the ominous Weapon X program. Along the way, Wolverine encounters many mutants, both familiar and new, including surprise appearances by several legends of the X-Men universe.

Posted by dschnee at 7:29 AM

Beverly Hills Chihuahua Teaser Trailer Spot 2, Maybe.

It's the No Mas, Viva Chihuahuas! spot made into a teaser trailer of sorts... check it out over at cineplex.com

Watch the Beverly Hills Chihuahua Teaser Trailer Spot 2, Maybe.

As for the post below... TRUE, sad but true. :)

Posted by dschnee at 7:12 AM

July 1, 2008

True or False: 'Beverly Hills Chihuahua' is an actual movie

[EW.com Popwatch Blog]

Great Question.

Heading to the theater to see Disney's WALL-E this weekend, I knew I'd be subjected to previews for a few of the Mouse House's other illustrious confections. But I had no idea of the heinous atrocity the movie gods were going to put before me: the trailer for Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Have you seen this doggone mess?

The clip opens with voice-over from a ferocious-sounding guy who calls himself "Papi," paired with lush images of mist-filled jungles, waterfalls, and ancient ruins that denote some sort of historical-type pic. "Who am I?" Papi (voiced, apparently, by George Lopez) asks. "The question is: What am I?" Natch, he's a chihuahua! Cue dancing hordes of tiny dogs. Lots of 'em. Synchronized stepping. All around the Aztec structures. Wearing funny little feathered sombreros. And then we're subjected to a rap track that sounds a little like Will Smith album filler, circa 1998. (I'm not crazy—it has that "Miami" vibe, right??)

Now I love Chihuahuas as much as the next person (who didn't get a little attached during the Yo Quiero Taco Bell and Paris Hilton-Tinkerbell crazes?), but a schlocky flick all about the little rascals, with a tagline of "50% warrior. 50% lover. 100% chihuahua."? Seriously? Check out the embedded preview for yourselves, PopWatchers, and then tell me: How did this film get made? Or is it possible the trailer is all part of an elaborate practical joke by those mischievous suits at Disney? What say you? (by Tanner Stransky EW.com)

Posted by dschnee at 9:09 PM


Or lack there of... all though many things have been on my mind and there has been much to post about, I have been a bit busy the last 2 months. My wife and I bought and moved into a new home, went on a short vacation, was home sick for a bit, other family related things have left me with not much energy to update my blog, but I plan to shortly, and a lot of it will be dated back to some events missed in recent weeks. (RIP Stan Winston)

In short, I have been working on a number of different projects at work, bouncing between them back and forth and back again... still working on Disney's Beverly Hills Chihuahua at times and that project is nearly completed.

I was also working on a project for Texas Instruments DLP. We have been creating a 3D spot for DLP that will run in front of the 3D projection movies in the near future, much like the well known THX sound spots that run before the movies. If you are curious how DLP works then find out here. It's a pretty cool piece and it should look pretty neat in 3D.

Wolverine is coming up shortly and there are a couple of other projects going on I'm not at liberty to state just yet, but I hope to have more about that later.

anyhow... updates will start to show up soon'ish :)

Posted by dschnee at 8:22 AM