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May 29, 2009

Drag Me To Hell is Released!

in the USA 29 May 2009

visit Drag Me To Hell @ imdb.com

Box Office Results May 29-31, 2009
Number: 3
Weekend Gross: $16,628,000
Theatres: 2,508
Theatre Average: $6,630
Weeks in Release: 1
Total Gross: $28,534,000 (Domestic Total as of Jun. 7, 2009)
Budget: low
Running Time: 1 hrs. 39 min.
Distributor: Universal
MPAA Rating: PG-13

UP floated to the top with 68.2 million this opening weekend, despite all the positive reviews (93% Fresh / 83 on Metacritic) Drag Me To Hell only dragged $16.6 million worth of souls into the theaters, we'll see if word of mouth keeps or breaks DMTH's box office curse...

BoxOfficeMojo.com's "Drag Me To Hell" Statistics

Posted by dschnee at 8:22 AM

New Moon Trailer will Debut at the MTV Movie Awards

Why is this exciting? Well we put together a shot for the trailer... We hope the MTV/Twilight kids will dig it.

So the premiere of the 'New Moon' trailer will air on the MTV Movie Awards, sometime around 9:00 pm ET on Sunday. Then at 10:45 p.m., the high-definition video will debut online.

MySpace Movies announced they’ll be premiering the trailer on Sunday, May 31st at 7:45pm PT / 10:45 ET. bleh, get it on apple.com/trailers

Posted by dschnee at 7:37 AM

May 26, 2009

Drag Me To Hell Screening

Who said being cursed and punished, gummed and punched multiple times by an old mysterious gypsy women isn't a great time? Mrs. Ganush made Drag Me To Hell for me one hell of a time!

I won a couple of tickets to an advanced screening of Drag Me To Hell from HorrorYearbook.com. It was a fan and press event at the Metreon in San Francisco. Pretty much packed full and the crowd was really into it, lots of energy with lots of people jumping, shrieking and laughing.

I had a blast, plenty of 'ohhly shit' and great 'haha, no way' moments when that feeling of fright and startlement rushes over you, even if you tried to look away, the sound elevates with so much intensity, your heart can't help but race until the pay off hits!

Drag Me To Hell is a simple fun thrill ride that takes us along this 3 day curse set against a young women working as a loan officer at a local bank. Her choice to make the tough decision denying another extension for an elderly women's mortgage, (in hopes to gain a promotion) as a result a dark curse is brought forth brutally by the old 'gypsy' women. Alison Lohman who plays the loan officer Christine Brown, did a good job, she was fun to watch. It's pretty much non stop awesome once she enters the parking lot to leave for the night... the gypsy women is there waiting for her and all hell breaks loose!

Our work held up pretty well (low budget style), we book ended the movie with the visuals in the very first scene with the boy being 'enter movie title here', and the final sequence at the train station. We also did a handful of shots with the pesky fly, it all looked great. I don't want to ruin anything from the movie, so I won't talk about any of the shots I worked on, but at some point I will...

fantastic thrill ride, loved it, and proud to have been able to work on it!

Drag Me To Hell opens this Friday, May 29th, definitely check it out!

Ohh BTW, curently Dragged has a 94% Fresh Tomatometer Reading, nice.

Posted by dschnee at 11:57 AM

May 20, 2009

Economy hits high-end VFX, Studios Concerned

VFX cuts may affect upcoming films...
Visual effects now vie with stars as box office draws in summer tentpoles. But a possible shortage of visual effects shops could be a brutal blow to the next wave of f/x-heavy tentpoles.

Studios depend on outside vfx shops to deliver ever-larger amounts of first-class work on ever-shorter schedules. Some leaders of the visual effects business, both at vfx shops and at studios, are warning there could be a shortage of vfx capacity within a year -- a shortage that could drive up costs and even threaten release dates.

The combination of Hollywood's production slowdown and the recession have already driven some California vfx shops out of business, with more threatening to shutter.

Warner Bros. exec VP of digital production, animation and visual effects Chris de Faria says his studio is taking the threat so seriously, "We're looking at advancing R&D and development work on projects, and the corresponding cash flow, to make sure that some of our valued vendors can get through this time," he says.

Here's the dire scenario: As pics now in production wrap, vfx work slumps, killing off more midsized and small vfx companies. Then a new wave of tentpoles arrive, wanting more and bigger vfx, only to find insufficient capacity to complete them at the breakneck pace -- and with the sometimes huge last-minute additions and changes -- the majors now favor.

When this scenario may play out is the subject of some debate. Some expect the crunch to come late this year. Recently, though, tentpoles including Warner's "Green Lantern" and Marvel's "Thor" have been pushed back. That could push the potential crisis back to 2010 but may actually make things worse, as it means the lull would last longer.

"The studios need to be concerned about this," says Industrial Light & Magic exec producer for marketing Gretchen Libby. "Their options could start to run out for finishing their projects. There could be fewer companies that can help out at the 11th hour."

Underlying this warning is the fact that vfx shops are under financial pressure from several directions.

They were hurt by the prolonged slowdown after the WGA strike and prolonged SAG talks, then hurt more when production financing dried up, exacerbating the slowdown.

Even in the best of times, feature vfx aren't lucrative for the companies that make them despite their importance and the typical tentpole's huge f/x budget. As de Faria notes, "The feature film business, for most vendors, can be a boom or bust business. It's glamorous, and it's work done at the highest level, but it's hard to survive just on that."

Many shops rely on commercials to provide an extra revenue stream. The recession, however, sent commercials production off a cliff.

Jeff Barnes, co-founder and executive producer of CafeFX, has been warning of a crunch for some time, as he sees some of his competitors, such as the Orphanage, shutter for good.

His own company dropped benefits and cut costs to stay afloat, and he warns that other vfx shops will need to restructure as well. In the short term, says de Faria, "The question I have is not where am I going to get the work done; it's where am I going to get the high-level work done -- the ground-breaking work that can be the center of a marketing campaign."

Many companies can do low-end work, with more springing up all the time worldwide. There is also no shortage of companies that the studios trust to do a modest amount of high-end work. French shop Buf and Germany's Pixmondo fall in that category.

There are only about a dozen companies in the world that can handle the large number of shots with digital characters and other complex effects in today's tentpole pics -- the kind of work that concerns de Faria.

London, which has become a world center of vfx due to favorable exchange rates and tax incentives, is booked solid for at least a year, according to multiple sources. Projects looking to save money on vfx no longer have that option.

Universal, for example, is looking for cost savings on the vidgame-based actioner "Bioshock." It might have gone to London but the project is now on hold.

Marvel has "Iron Man 2" in production now and three big vfx tentpoles on its slate for the next few years: "Thor," "Captain America" and "The Avengers." They could be affected should capacity get tight, but Victoria Alonso, exec VP of visual effects for Marvel Studios, is confident that, even after a contraction, the vfx industry can bounce back to meet the challenge.

"If you have a company that's shrunk, that means they will find it internally to grow again," she says. "I've seen that happen at every facility I've worked with."

Barnes agrees that shops have no choice now but to expand and contract, but he and others counter that rapid expansion can lead to quality control problems, as people who have never work together adjust to a new company while trying to meet tight deadlines.

Alonso says another solution lies in finding smaller companies anywhere in the world that have a specific skill set, then putting them to work on a contained sequence that uses those skills. The Embassy, she says, had done robots on a short film, so it got the job of doing the "Mark I" suit for Iron Man.

Ironically, when the next big wave of work arrives, vfx companies that are still standing stand to do well. There will be lots of work, and simple supply and demand could lead to higher-than-usual margins for long-suffering feature vfx companies.

"We might get a fair rate for the work for a change," says Barnes.

By DAVID S. COHEN (variety.com)

Posted by dschnee at 3:55 PM

May 19, 2009

New Moon Teaser Poster + USM?

So this is the teaser poster for New Moon aka Untitled Sports Movie or as the kids on the street like to call it 'USM', this was the title they were using during the shooting of principal photography, and now that's a wrap. The cat was out of the bag back in February. Were still calling it USM at work, but were working on New Moon. I'll be the lead compositor on the project, and I officially start work on it June 1rst, all though I've been on the project since April. (I've been on paternity leave playing Mr. Mom with my new son!) At this point, I'm ready and excited to really get going on it, there's going to be some great wolf work ahead... in the meantime here are some New Moon tid bits.

See Also: First New Moon Footage @ the MTV Movie Awards

Footage from the Twilight sequel will be shown for the first time during the upcoming MTV Movie Awards.

An action-packed, minutelong clip from Twilight showing Edward battling bad-boy bloodsucker James (Cam Gigandet) made its debut at last year's awards. It was also the first time Pattinson and Stewart walked the red carpet together in support of the movie.

"Fans can tune in to the show to see sneak peeks from three of the most highly anticipated movies of the year," Burnett tells me. "These clips have never been seen before, and we're very excited that The Twilight Saga: New Moon is one of them." (eonline.com)

See Also, Also: First Official 'New Moon' Movie Trailer Releases on Aug 14
Sounds like it's set to be shown in theaters during the previews before this new family, musical, movie, thing "Bandslam" (trailer) which is due out on August 14,2009.

Summit Entertainment has announced that the studio will present The Twilight Saga: New Moon at the San Diego Comic-Con:

On Thursday, July 23, Summit Entertainment will hold a panel for THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON at Comic-Con International in San Diego, California. Come see our stars and exclusive new footage for THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON — there may be even be a surprise or two in store!

Posted by dschnee at 7:14 AM

May 13, 2009

Drag Me To Hell Updates

Drag Me To Hell is featured in FANGORIA #283 May 2009 - (Out Now!)

Sam Raimi Interview, Drag Me To Hell (moviesonline.ca)

New Clip: Sam Raimi's 'Drag Me To Hell' (cinematical.com)

Finally, a handful of gents from the studio (Tippett) were invited to the Drag Me To Hell Premier last night in Hollywood (Grauman's Chinese Theatre)

"Oh yeah! The movie was great. Our stuff, although very quick, looked great and fit into the story really well. Our work both set up the story from the first minute and closed the movie in the last, which was awesome." -jKnight

Nice one, I'm looking forward to it!

See Also: dragmetohell.net has been updated!

Posted by dschnee at 6:53 PM

May 5, 2009

Even Nice People, Can Go To Hell

dragmetohell.net is live
Not much to it yet,
Story | Trailer | Gallery
and some links to facebook/myspace, still though, ~enjoy



Posted by dschnee at 9:54 AM

May 3, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine Reviewed

So I went out to breakfast with some good friends of mine, and after some discussion, we decided to up and go see Wolverine this afternoon... I read the script many months ago and my feeling was that of a good solid action piece, something fun and entertaining, but no real depth, not much origin focus, no true Logan character development. They say a movie is made 3 times... once when it's written, once when it's filmed, and once again when it's all edited together. So I let the script slip away from memory and kept a little hope along with me as we worked on the post production.

I watched the leaked copy last month, and I wasn't impressed, I didn't hate it, but I didn't like it at all. I was very interested in seeing how that end cooling tower sequence ended up though, and to be fair, even your favorite movies looked rough at a work print stage, so seeing the finished product vs the work print is something that should to be done.

Now as far as a finished piece is concerned vs the work print, they pretty much pulled it off, sure there were a handful of really bad VFX work, but the rest of it was pretty tight and came together nicely. In particular was the that cooling tower sequence at the end... what can I say, considering I know what they had to work with, with those horrible plates, with the time constraints, again, they pulled it off, and in that respect I was impressed. At least I think this was the case, now that I think about it I found myself looking at the tower itself 90% of the time... :) So I'd have to watch it again to see how it all really looked and felt, how did you all feel about the look of that sequence?

I was excited to see they 'did' indeed use the 5 shots I was able to complete when young Scott Summers is beside Diamond Girl. Summers removes his eye cover and blasts the soldiers behind the windows with his laser beamage right before the end battle vs Deadpool. I worked pretty hard on those, so it's nice for use to have something in there despite how things ended up. I think they also used another of our shots when young Scott Summers is being chased by Creed in the high school, he jumps and spins with his beam tearing through the hall. So by my count, they used 6 Tippett shots in the film but no credit to this shall to be found.

As for the story, I really wished they would have focused more on developing Logan's character, rather than a sequence of events to shallowly tell the tale, take some time and reveal the true nature of who Logan is and how he becomes the Wolverine. I don't know, in an origin story you just might want to tell the us about his mutant healing factor and how it works, maybe touch upon his acute sense of smell, sight, and sound... ohh yeah, and those bone claws of his?

All and all, It in now way comes close to 'The Dark Knight' territory, not nearly as effective as 'Iron Man', but it's not 'Daredevil' either.

Maybe someday a great director will take on 'Wolverine' leaving behind any crappy 'X-Men Origins' setup the next film / slash spin-off angle of the bangle...

Posted by dschnee at 9:18 PM

May 1, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is not a Wolverine film

This pretty much sums up my sentiment as well, nicely done Elisabeth.

by Elisabeth Rappe May 1st 2009 // 8:02PM

I don't care what's in the title. I don't care that the hero sports muttonchops and adamantium claws. He isn't Wolverine. Any resemblance he has to the Marvel character or the snarling beast Hugh Jackman played in X-Men 1, 2, and 3 is entirely coincidental.

It really hurts to say that. I love this character, and I know Jackman loves the character. I know he loves the fans, and he wants us to be happy with his work. He has gone on record as saying this is the Wolverine film he always saw in his head. But did he really see something so clunky and milquetoast as this?

Logan is a man constantly at war with himself. His gruff exterior hides a man who can be gentle, who enjoys the beauty of the Canadian Rockies and the simplicity of a Japanese tea ceremony. But he also possesses the animal senses and brute force that makes him willing to kill if threatened. He doesn't enjoy killing, he's often haunted by the blood he's shed, but it's his grim destiny.

He's also a guy who has been truly dealt a crappy hand. Everything he loves is taken from him. He's been betrayed and tortured, and he's lost his mind on more than one occasion. But he deals with it by fighting the good fight, and indulging in a cold beer if he's got a chance. None of this makes him particularly complicated for adapting to the big screen. If anything, he's been done a million times before. He's Charles Bronson, he's the Man with No Name, he's Martin Riggs, Harry Callahan, and Bud White.

With a million comic books, three films, and a ton of inspiration before him, this should have been easy. Instead, this is a film that treats a motorcycle jacket as a Tremendous Moment, one that's bigger than a child's discovery that he's packing a pair of bone claws. This is a hero who is more daunted by air travel than the adamantium bonding process. When you prick him (or in this case, slash him) he doesn't even bleed. Our hero looks around with anguished eyes, he suffers nightmares, he assures us that he's "been through worse," and he probably has somewhere in his long life, but it certainly isn't in this film.

Now, I tried to remove myself from the comics and see this through fresh eyes. I tried to pretend the rapid pacing was a homage to comic panels. I told myself that whatever moment Gavin Hood was racing the film towards might actually be worth it. But there's no master plan here. Instead, they just filmed whatever they wanted, crammed it together, and called it a film. There's no point to any of it. It's like looking through a Viewmaster. Click, Wade Wilson. Click, Team X. Click, Gambit. Now you're at the end of the disk. There's not even mindless spectacle. It's just random and useless to establishing anything except a Deadpool spinoff. (Seriously, this isn't Wolverine's origin story, it's Deadpool's.)

You'd think they could have at least rewatched the X-Men films they were making an "origin" story for. Wolverine was pretty well established in the X-Men films, especially in X2. There we see the gory Weapon X scene and it was gorgeously done. In five minutes, we know that Wolverine has been traumatized, and that those claws are alien to him. He's in pain, he's bleeding, and he's desperate to get away from whoever has done this to him. Origins ignores that. Now, he's just angry and cold, but he is fully aware of the procedure he just underwent (after all, he volunteered for it) and he knows he has adamantium claws. In fact, he thinks they're pretty terrific. I refuse to call that nitpicking, or the complaint of a "difficult" fan. If you're going to mess with the comic mythology, fine, but at least honor what was already established onscreen, if only so you don't have to invent the stupidest memory-loss MacGuffin ever to rectify it. (Oh and for those who remember my Weapon X piece, the way they handle the "volunteering" is worse than I feared. But that I'll freely admit is fannish nitpicking.)

There's so much potential here – and anyone with a faint interest in the material could have exploited it. Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool was a stroke of genius, and the few minutes he's on screen convince you this film will be worth your time. Liev Schreiber is a fantastic Sabretooth despite his lousy motivation. When the sloppy story actually allows Jackman to be Wolverine, he's as good as he's always been, especially when onscreen with Schreiber. I long to see these two actually go head to head as Sabretooth and Wolverine. There are flashes of true cutthroat savagery between them, but it's purely accidental. They're like outtakes.

Whew. I apologize for writing such a rant, believe me, it was so much more poetic when I started writing. But you know, I could have forgiven a lot if it had just done right by the Old Canucklehead. I went in with very low expectations. As someone who reads anything with Wolverine in it, I'm already fairly easy to please when it comes to the character. He just has to show up most of the time, and I enjoy it as the pulpy stuff it is. So, I could forgive goofy dialogue, I could forgive the sloppy action, I could forgive an awkward story and pointless cameos. Just give me the guy who tries to forget his animal side, and carves his and his girlfriend's name on a tree. When that is taken away show me the man who, when taunted by an adversary, sticks his claws under the guy's chin and pops them. Give me the hero whose claws hurt every time they pop out through his skin, but who grimly unsheathes them anyway. That is the mutant they call Wolverine ... and he's not anywhere to be found in this movie. (cinematical)

For more punishment, See Also: /Film's What Did You Think?

Posted by dschnee at 7:45 PM

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is Released!

in the USA 1 May 2009

visit X-Men Origins: Wolverine @ imdb.com

Box Office Results May 1-3, 2009
Number: 1
Weekend Gross: $85,058,003
Theatres: 4,099
Theatre Average: $21,225
Weeks in Release: 1
Total Gross: $160 Million
Budget: $150 Million
Running Time: 1 hrs. 47 min.
Distributor: FOX
MPAA Rating: PG-13

$35 Million on Friday night alone...

BoxOfficeMojo.com's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" Statistics

Posted by dschnee at 7:03 AM