Don’t Panic, But This Is Not a Drill: Recapping a Brutal Week

As a whirlwind of headlines came crashing in this week, each one seemingly worse than the last, we woke up to a scary new normal. Even if COVID-19 doesn’t affect you directly, the economic fallout of the disease is about to reach out and touch everyone. After a week that gave us the new euphemism “social distancing,” there is no more “business as usual,” at least for the foreseeable future. […]

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For Your Consideration – The Oscar-Nominated Visual Effects Artists

The best compliment you can pay to visual effects artists is to not even notice their work. Of course, we all know that the Millennium Falcon isn’t real, but the vicious bear in The Revenant just might be. That’s the reason the Visual Effects Society makes the distinction between “outstanding visual effects” and “outstanding visual effects in a supporting role.” One is somewhat obvious, while the other blends seamlessly into the film. This year, Star Wars: The Force Awakens earned the former VES award, while The Revenant took home the later. […]

Contender Portfolios

Contenders – VFX Artists Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

When Star Wars exploded onto the scene in 1977, it mesmerized a generation that had never seen anything like it before. Sure there had been plenty of space movies, and even space battles shot with miniature models, but nothing came close to the realism of the epic attack on the Death Star by a small group of rebel X-wing fighters. Long before computer graphics became a reality, the original film relied on models and miniatures as well as puppets for practical special effects, but the VFX artists at newly-founded ILM took it to a new level with an attention to detail that earned the fledgling studio the first of many visual effects Oscars to come. […]

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Academy President Speaks Out on Diversity

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) president Cheryl Boone Isaacs released a statement yesterday saying that she was “heartbroken and frustrated” by the lack of diversity in this year’s Oscar nominations, and indicating that “In the coming days and weeks we will conduct a review of our membership recruitment in order to bring about much-needed diversity in our 2016 class and beyond.” […]


Contender – VFX Supervisor Andrew Jackson, Mad Max

While much has been said about the stunning practical special effects of George Miller’s post-apocalyptic action film Mad Max: Fury Road, shot largely in South Africa and the Namibian desert, for visual effects supervisor Andrew Jackson, one of the best compliments is when people don’t even realize that what they are watching is, in fact, computer generated imagery. […]

Emmy Watch

Benjamin Cook Captures the Sounds of the Sea for Black Sails

As supervising sound editor/sound designer on the Starz period drama Black Sails, Ben Cook of Culver City-based 424 Post oversees an international sound production team that spans the globe, from South Africa, to London, Los Angeles and even Australia. The show is an epic pirate drama designed as a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, combining classic characters from the book with real historical figures. […]

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ACLU Launches Petition Against Gender Discrimination in Film and TV

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) launched an online petition yesterday addressed to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, urging these agencies to investigate gender disparities in the hiring of film and television directors. […]


DreamWorks Animation Cutting 500 Jobs

DreamWorks Animation announced that it will cut 500 jobs across all locations and all divisions of the studio as part of a major restructuring designed to “maximize its creative talent and resources, reduce costs and drive profitability.” As part of the plan, the company will reduce its production slate from three features to two features per year, including one original film and one sequel. In addition, vice chairman Lew Coleman, COO Mark Zoradi and marketing chief Dawn Taubin will leave the company. […]


Shahs of Sunset Editors End Strike Against Ryan Seacrest Productions, Bravo Media

Editors on Bravo’s Shahs of Sunset have reached a deal with Ryan Seacrest Productions, ending a month-long strike. Union supporters had staged more than half a dozen demonstrations in Los Angeles and New York, but the union called off its picketing Friday afternoon, indicating that a deal was imminent. […]

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Bravo Takes Control of Shahs Of Sunset

On Friday, NBCUniversal-owned cable network Bravo took over production of Shahs Of Sunset from Ryan Seacrest Productions in a move designed to replace striking editors who walked off the job Sept. 10 demanding an IATSE union contract. The show was originally scheduled to premiere Oct. 13, but the strike forced Bravo to delay the launch. […]