I've never been too impressed with the job of an "actor." I guess I've always thought that most people are capable of acting (pretending), they've just never tried it. I just ran across Benedict Cumberbatch's motion capture performance for the Hobbit and I have to say I was impressed.
If you're into video effects (and are half the Calvin and Hobbes fan that I am) then you're really going to dig this fun, lighthearted, imagination fueled video created by Dreamworks animator Daniel Hashimoto. As part of Daniel's absolutely amazing personal project, "Action Movie Kid", son James repels the vicious advances of a great white shark, in an effort to save younger sister Sophia. Daniel promises us a proper behind-the-scenes video in the future but in the mean time offers up a great side-by-side video showing the before-and-after.
"The San Diego Studies", a series of short videos that collapse time to reveal otherwise unobservable rhythms and movement in the city is the product of filmmaker/photographer Cy Kuckenbaker. Shot in Tijuana Slough, San Diego County, this series showcases some impressive imagery/effects that Cy has been gracious enough to share with us. To see how this was done be sure to check out his "Making of Notes" video.
I "met" Dan Dawley on craiglist over 5 years ago when Patrick and I were looking for an animator for our brand new website idea (Fstoppers). At the time, he was just getting into animation and none of us knew that Dan would become one of the top motion graphics animators in the country. Now, he's getting into video.
I'm a big fan of sci-fi and action movies but cheesy looking special effects have been destroying scenes more and more these days. Tom Cruise has become known for his incredible, self performed stunts; especially in the Mission Impossible series. This video covers all of Tom's most impressive and dangerous scenes in each of the MI movies.
"What the heck just happened?" I remember saying to a friend as we finished Season 5, Episode 8, "Hardhome" of Game of Thrones a few weeks ago. I was in a crowded bar with many other GoT fans as we all just sat in silence as the credits rolled. This was no "Red Wedding" but I still had that "Oh S***" feeling you get when everything hits the fan.
In the growing wake of low-budget, special effect action minis whose audience has become larger and larger on YouTube, Sam and Niko's "Real GTA" steps the game up once more with a perfect assimilation of the popular "Grand Theft Auto" video game into real, Los Angeles life. Complete with sound effects recreated as similarly as possible within the actual game, the same Los Angeles street scenes, and smashing special effects (like the famous wads of cash exploding out of recently killed bystanders), "Real GTA" reminds us both how ridiculous and subsequently fun it is.
The era of 360-degree filmmaking is upon us. Google, in collaboration with The Mill and production company Bullitt, has released the 360-degree short film "HELP" for free on Google's mobile storytelling platform Spotlight Stories. The film is full of explosions, aliens, and action all within a beautiful 360-degree world.
Flare has become a huge part of modern photography for how it can add both depth and excitement to an image. Many of us have resorted to manually creating lighting effects using Photoshop or by layering pre-made textures above our photos. Red Giant, however, looks to replace and augment this rather tedious process with Knoll Light Factory.
South Carolina-based Taylor Engel's short, "The Pavement" — which got him into the top 10 for HBO's Project Greenlight — had me enthralled the moment it began. Through its rhythmic delivery, simple visual nature, and dark aesthetic, it pulls us through a sinister human story that gets at our primal nature. Its simplicity is partly attributed to the needs of the story, and partly to the time frame in which it was created. Engel and his team planned and finished the film in just one month, all while working around their day jobs.
Hollywood's latest A.I. thriller, "Ex Machina," promised to take viewers on a fascinating and thrilling philosophical, ethical, and human journey. The Turing test, man's domination over machine, artifically intelligent machines' potential and perhaps inevitable self-awareness and domination over man, and an eccentric Silicon Valley-like billionaire-type leading the helm... how could this not be a great film? More on that later, but to make all of this happen, director Alex Garland and VFX supervisor Andrew Whitehurst had to create a robot that would connect so well with audiences that we would treat it as any other human character.