Friday, February 22, 2013

New '300 Heads' sketchbook drawings: Rocket Jump

Freddie Wong, Brandon Laatsch, and Brian Firenzi.

More drawings for my “300 Heads” sketchbook. This week it’s the Rocket Jump guys: Freddie Wong, Brandon Laatsch, and Brian Firenzi. Their web series Video Game High School is a must-see.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Jack the Giant Slayer press screening

I finally saw Jack the Giant Slayer this week! Reviews are not out yet, so I'll keep my impressions brief and vague, but I was very happy with how the film came together. I had forgotten just how many previs shots I had worked on for it, but it seemed like dozens. Seeing the final versions of the shots that I worked on is still akin to an out-of-body experience, but I'm getting a bit more used to it with this being my second screening.

The performances were terrific, and the costumes and score impressed me a lot. Overall, it's a gorgeous movie to look at, and paced very well, in my opinion. Now that I've seen it, I can wholeheartedly (and honestly) recommend it, especially to those who were already curious about it. It opens in theaters this Friday, the 1st of March. Look for my name in the credits under the 'Previsualization by The Third Floor' section, on the left-hand side (as Joshua Lange). If you're quick enough to take a picture of it with your cameraphone, email it to joshlange at gmail dot com.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Celine Dion on China Central Television for Spring Festival 2013

(starting at 11:22)

This was something I briefly worked on at The Third Floor, inc. the last couple weeks. It was a new concept to work with, and the way the final came out on their LCD stage was impressive.

Back when the Titanic song came out, I remember working in a music store and selling album after album of the soundtrack. At this point, I think I've heard "My Heart Will Go On" over three hundred times. She puts on a great show, though.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

'Jack the Giant Slayer' interviews, images, and videos

The press embargo was lifted for media reporting website Collider and their site features a "slew" of  blog posts covering the upcoming movie Jack the Giant Slayer. I recommend listening to the audio interviews with Bryan Singer and Ewan MacGregor in particular. Both include mentions of how The Third Floor's previs was utilized throughout the production, such as this excerpt from Singer's interview:

[Collider]: Can you talk about the previz, is there a team that does this?  Are you sitting there designing this in the editing room?  Can you take us through how the previz comes together?
SINGER:  It begins with the story board artist, I’ve worked with a couple of artists, Doug Lefler this one guy Doug’s worked with Sam Raimi for years, he’s a really good guy.  We sit down and talk through story points, talk through the scene and he draws pictures and from those pictures, the team at Third Floor which is this previz company, it’s a whole company, I had been working on this and X-Men: First Class at the same time, they do tons of movies, they’re probably one of the top in their field, I’ve known the guy who runs it since the company only had three people so I always go to them.  They take the storyboards and they embellish them to some degree and they craft it into a sequence and I look at the sequence animated and I go, “Ok, that’s too slow, that’s too fast, or can you speed up this?  Lose that shot, give me a better composition.”  And they do performance capture too, when they do their previz, they put on Moven suits, which are basically suits with a very high-grade sophisticated oscillator that you have in your iPhone, like a military grade version, and then they act out the scene.  Do you have another previz you want to show?  Show that.  [Previz clip plays]  So these are all people in Moven suits, that are acting out the scenes, that’s not a cat, the cat is animated, f----g cat.  You have no idea.  The bane of our existence, the cat’s in water and rain, you’re like come on, come on.  Don’t listen to that.  Stick with the action.
Jack comes out March 1st. I'm looking forward to seeing how the previs I worked on comes together in the final movie.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem wins a VES Award

The theme park ride I worked on two years ago, Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, won a Visual Effects Society Award last night for 'Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project.' Congratulations to the 'Despicable Me' team at The Third Floor, inc. and to the team at Illumination Entertainment, including award recipients Heather Drummons, Joel Friesch, Troy Griffin, and Chris Hummel. One of these days I'd love to see the ride in person...

Click here for earlier Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem posts.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

2013 Annie Awards

The Annie Awards were held here in town tonight at UCLA. Wreck-It Ralph received Best Animated Feature, and two projects I worked on at The Third Floor also won: The Avengers, for Visual Effects in a Live Action Production (awarded to ILM); and the Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem theme park ride won for Animated Special Production (awarded to Illumination). Congratulations to the people at those companies who saw those projects through to a successful end! It was a lot of fun to be involved with each of them.

Now I've got to start seeing all those great films! Deadline has the full list of Annie winners here.