Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pixar's Brave and Gale's Pirates

Our recent Pixar Animation Studios employee screening of These Amazing Shadows took place in their newest building, which they have named Brooklyn (many of the Pixar buildings are named after places in New York). I was snapping photos inside this beautiful building until our wonderful guide, Michelle Radcliff, told us that I wasn't supposed to because images of the structure has not yet been released to the media. A reasonable request. Much of the building was reportedly designed or at least inspired by John Lasseter. Our screening took place in the Presto Theater inside Brooklyn. We had a really great crowd that included Jonas Rivera, one of the producers of Up. On his way out of the theater after the screening he stopped and told us how much he loved TAS. Another interesting person we met was Susan Bradley, who designs opening title sequences. She asked us if the type face we used for our lower thirds (meaning the interview subjects name and title text that appears on the "lower third" of the screen) is called Trade Gothic. That was a pretty funny and shocking observation because right she was right - Trade Gothic it is! That experience is representative of the wonderfully nerdy world at Pixar.

In the lobby of the Brooklyn building is a very, very large image from Pixar's next big release, Brave. It's their first feature with a female lead. The story is about Merida, a skilled archer and daughter of a Scottish King and Queen, who is determined to carve out her own path in life. Please try to watch the above trailer for Brave in 1080p resolution full screen mode - makes a big difference.

Just prior to our Pixar employee screening Mimi and Suzanne walk past a very, very large image of, Merida, the heroine of Pixar's next big production, Brave.

For more photos of our visit to Pixar please go to our facebook page. Even if you don't belong to facebook you can still view our photos.

It's been a good week for Pixar as their latest release, Cars 2, exceeded expectations at the box office; their Chief Creative Officer, John Lasseter, was re-elected to the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and it was just decided that next year he will get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Speaking of the board of governors, The Hollywood Reporter says that Gale Anne Hurd was elected to join the board. That makes three of our These Amazing Shadows interview subjects on the board - Gale Anne Hurd, John Lasseter and Caleb Deschanel.

Gale is working on a very interesting project for the FX Network entitled, Port Royal, a one-hour weekly series that centers on pirates and Jamaica's rise as the "richest and wickedest city" in the new world and as a self-governing safe haven for cutthroat pirates, corrupt politicians and ruthless merchants. Evidently pirates and Port Royal have held a life long fascination for Gale. In a weird twist of six degrees of separation our producer Christine O'Malley has a daughter named Grace O'Malley. Grace O'Malley is the name of one of the most infamous female pirates of the Caribbean and frequent visitor of Port Royal.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

These Amazing Shadows Poster, People, Places and Things

Screen grab from the moviegoods.com website.
First it was Peter Golub's score available on itunes...now it's our Brian Oakes designed poster for sale on moviegoods.com...what could possibly be next? Dr. Billington and George Willeman lunchboxes, bobbleheads and mousepads? Gift giving becomes simple for Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah/Winter Solstice (for our pagan fans) 2011. Here comes the vast merchandising of These Amazing Shadows!
These Amazing Shadows Poster: http://www.moviegoods.com/these-amazing-shadows.asp
(in addition to standard sizes our poster is available in bus shelter poster size 43' x 62" for those of you that live in a warehouse size home)
These Amazing Shadows score on itunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/these-amazing-shadows-original/id435119696

In the fall the DVD (and hopefully Blu-ray) of These Amazing Shadows will be released by PBS Video. We spent the past week putting together our DVD bonus features. We're quite proud of the extensive DVD extras that will include:
- Lost Forever, a 25-minute short on film preservation and restoration. It's quite entertaining and educational. Seriously, we're not kidding.
- A behind the scenes look of our score being recorded in Prague, Czech Republic. It includes an interviews with composer, Peter Golub, and score mixer, Scott Johnson, that are inter-cut with actual footage of the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra performing/recording Peter's score.
- A behind the scenes look at our week at the Sundance Film Festival 2011.
- Outtakes from our interviews with John Waters, Christopher Nolan and Tim Roth.
- Deleted and alternate scenes. Example: one of our favorite people, Mick LaSalle, film critic and author describes what makes Gold Diggers of 1933 so great.
- And, a short fun piece on "My Favorite Movie" in which you will find out the answer to the burning question: Who does Christopher Nolan identify with - Han Solo or Luke Skywaker?

(l to r) Alex Calleros, Christine O'Malley, Paul Mariano and Doug Blush pose in front of the giant head of Leo.
Los Angeles is such a wonderfully interesting and challenging place. Paul and I live in different parts of the San Francisco Bay Area. Most of the people we worked with on TAS live in LA so we have spent a lot of time down in the Southland. Paul and I just returned from a short trip to LA to work on the above mentioned DVD extras. We began our meeting with editors Doug and Alex and producer Christine with our traditional lunch at Fred62 located in the Los Feliz section of town. Super hip place - very LA. Right across the street is a gigantic mural of film stars that include Leo DiCaprio, Uma Thurman and Johnny Depp. If you keep your ears pricked up you can hear conversations during lunch of actors complaining about casting calls, casting couches and demanding directors.

Panoramic of Fred62

Panorama of mural across the street from Fred62.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences recently asked us to send them a copy of our poster for their collection. Very cool request. That lead us to discover a couple of fun videos on their site:
1) How a Oscar statuette is made - http://www.oscars.org/video/watch/making_of_oscar.html
2) The conservation process for a giant poster - http://www.oscars.org/video/watch/mhl_poster_restoration.html

We recently had the good fortune to screen These Amazing Shadows for employees at Lucasfilm and next week will do the same for the employees at Pixar. Stay tuned for photos and info from those screenings.