Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Earnings Hasbro toy increase in third quarter for products linked to the film Transformers

Hasbro Inc., the second largest toy manufacturer in the world, announced Monday an increase in its profits for the third quarter, thanks to sales of its Playskool toys and the continued demand for products linked to the film "Transformers."

The producer of Nerf balls and the board game Monopoly reported that its quarterly earnings rose to $ 161.6 million, or 95 cents per share, compared with $ 99.6 million, or 58 cents per title, in the same period last year.

Tags Perublogs : , , , .
Tags Blogalaxia : , , , .
Tech Tags: ,

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Optimus Prime Peterbilt replica hits eBay

Focusing on the untransformed Optimus Prime is this $50k replica that has hit eBay's Canada store. The seller converted a 1994 Peterbilt into Hollywood's version of Optimus, complete with blue and red flame paint job, dozens of chrome switches, and a 17-inch entertainment system floating above the bunk in the back (and yes, the bunk has those Transformer sheets you had when you were 10 years old.)
Source: Engadget

Tags Perublogs : , , , .
Tags Blogalaxia : , , , .

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Transformers Special Edition Extras Review

The DVD has arrived and the question isn't to buy or not to buy but which to buy, the 1 disc standard edition or the 2-disc Special Collector's Edition. Then its if buy the 2-disc edition, what exclusive to go for. I went with the steel case. I can't afford to buy all the exclusives so instead will just review the extras on the DVDs (not the HD-DVD).

The first disc for both versions are identical with commentary from Michael Bay. The second disc is the extra disc that gets into the details on how the movie was made and is what costs the extra $8-9 you may have to spend to get it. The question is one of worth. Is it worth that extra bit of money? That's subjective but it depends on how much you like about the process of filmmaker and the behind the scenes stuff. If you don't care then probably not worth the extra money. If you do though, it becomes a question of how good is the extras. After all, most of the time the extras are just recycled press material that was already but out on HBO, Extra, and so forth with everyone breaking an arm patting themselves and each other on the back for making such a great move with some deleted scenes thrown in. That's the normal scenario. The best behind the scenes material ever assembled was for the Lord of the Rings Trilogy but that sadly didn't become the model for extras that is should have been. So the question is where does Transformers fall in this scale?

Disc One
Michael Bay Commentary
Informative commentary that covers some ground the disc two covers but most of it is new stories and behind the scenes information. Tells stories on the animators and how their styles helped with the Transformers, stories about the actors and working with ILM and Digital Domain to pull off the effects. There are silences during the commentary that had me wondering if it had cut off but they where mostly brief. Mostly didn't like the silences because get feeling their was gobs of information that could have been conveyed about the scene or what have you during that silence. Overall good director commentary.

Disc Two
Our World (49:20)
The Story Sparks (8:33)
Covers the origins of the storyline idea of the film with interviews from those involved in the movies production. Some of the information is repeat of the usual press stories told during the movie promotion such as why Bay decided to do the movie. This section is interspersed with Transformers images, input from Hasbro, and fantastic concept artwork for the film and from Hasbro. Lots of interviews, lots of set footage. The term "Bay-hem" gets coined. Bit about the intensity of Bay but apparently it effects the set in a good way not bad.

Human Allies (13:11)
Covers the actors in the human roles of the movies with interviews, set footage, and so forth. Also gets into the details of why some people where cast in various roles with audition footage. Don't know why but Megan Fox in the audition looked much better then post movie Megan Fox. Love Rachael Taylor's accent. Also shows some bits of the Air Force training that Josh Dumahel did to prepare for the role. Back patting occurred (contractually obligated I think when involves actors), but the deleted scenes, outtakes, and so forth work so not to bad.

I Fight Giant Robots (14:00)
The military's involvement in the film is covered here. Shows some of the military training the actors went through, equipment, and behind scenes footage when filming the military related scenes. Could call this the "Boys and their Toys" section of the extras. Also covers some of the practical shooting done for the Los Angeles sequence with the actors and things going boom from to be inserted later Transformers. Pretty informative and lots of booms and toys are on display.

Battleground (13:36)
Covers the locations chosen for the film, the logistics involved in on location shooting, and the work involved in prepping the sites for filming. Some of the set construction and use is also covered in this section. An element of danger is involved, especially when it comes to "man-piss". Another good section, dry at times, but to be expected.

Their War (65:11)
Rise of the Robots (13:40)
This section covers a lot of territory. Its a Transformers history 101, bit about the Transfans, screen tests for the Transformers, explanations on why changes where made from G1 to the movie design including voice casting decisions with Optimus and Megatron. The argument for why not Frank Welker is covered here (comes down the voice didn't fit with the design and tone). As a Transfan, this was a little walk down nostalgia lane, but this section can be appreciated by both new and old fans.

Autobots Roll Out (20:00)
The whys, whats, and hows of the Autobots for the movie. A profile on each car used for each character and the customizations (some extreme) that was done to each. This is the section that explains why the changes where made from the G1 model to the movie model, many of which made since from a technical perspective. Also get to see other vehicles built (and destroyed) for the film and the various vehicle related stunts that were performed. One of the better sections on this disc.

Decepticons Strike (14:33)
Like the previous section, this one covers all the Decepticons. Goes over each of the military vehicles used for the film, be it as Transformers or for other scenes. Also covers the filming of them and the technical details of shooting with the military. Nothing about shooting on the USS Shoup though (the navel vessel at the end). Decent but not as much information as would have liked.

Inside The Allspark (16:58)
This section is about inserting the Transformers in the film from the filming of them with pole place holders to building them in the computer, animating them and inserting them into the film photo-realistically. All this is covered with interviews, test footage and CGI work. This was my geek out section. I find it fascinating to see how the imagination is made real.

More Than Meets The Eye
From Script To Sand: The Skorponok Desert Attack (8:52)
The title says it all. Takes the attack sequence and covers all aspects of the sequence from Skorponoks design, to locations, filming, CGI, and so forth. Its a good breakdown of a scene from concept to finished product.

Concepts (2:12)
A montage of images, concept designs, artwork, and ideas that where created for the film put together with the score for the film. This section is frankly genius. Most of the time this section is the picture section where you have to keep pumping the next button on your controller. Usually, because its such a pain, its a section I skip over. Here though, especially with nice edition of the score, makes for a short but enjoyable viewing of some excellent artwork. Other DVD creators need to copy this and make it a standard.

Its the three theatrical trailers for the film, not the TV trailers.

The sections all do have a "Play All" option, something you don't appreciate until watch a DVD extras that don't have it. Why its not an automatic standard on all DVDs is beyond me. Also should mention that the menu animations are excellent.

Overall, the extra are entertaining and provide some decent information. The editing is good, the information conveyed clearly and well. Its a pretty much a by the books behind the scenes guide like most others seen on DVDs over the years. I would only spin the extra money if you are genuinely curious about the behind the scenes stuff. If you are looking for a film school detailed "how they do that" knowledge, your not going to find that here as just a surface skim on how Transformers was made. If it hadn't been Transformers I would have passed as rarely the extras provided worth the extra $10 or so the studios are now demanding (but use not to). As a Transfan though, the two hours of Transformers goodness made it worth the extra cost.
Source: Transformerslive.blogspot.com
Tags Perublogs : , , , .
Tags Blogalaxia : , , , .
Tech Tags: ,

Labels: , , ,

Monday, October 15, 2007

And the Oscar Goes to ...Transformers!!!

Industrial Light & Magic animators push the limits of computer animation technology to create lifelike shape-shifters in the Transformers movie
By Larry Greenemeier

It is unlikely that this year's Oscar ceremony will include an award for best animated actor in a film. But that has not stopped movie companies from pushing the boundaries of animation to make their synthetic characters seem as real as possible—even if those characters happen to be shape-shifting megaton robots, as in last summer's Transformers special effects extravaganza.

The prospect of turning a lineup of toy action figures into a live-action film that kids would want to see (and their parents would want to take them to) was daunting, admits Industrial Light & Magic's (ILM) Scott Benza, the animation supervisor for Transformers. He adds, "We all scratched our heads," when we first heard about the project.

In November 2005 Transformers director Michael Bay and a team of designers provided Benza with 3-D computer images of the animated characters that Benza and more than 30 animators would eventually bring to life. These "animatics," or rough animations for the film, tell the movie's story, but they do not have any clearly defined style of movement.

"My job was to bring character to these computer animations," says Benza, who previously worked with Bay on 2005's The Island and Pearl Harbor in 2001. Indeed, animators are tasked with bringing computer-animated characters to life, particularly those with key "acting" roles. Lead animators work closely with directors to ensure they get the best performances out of their animated characters.

Even though he has more than a dozen films to his credit, including work on the 2003 film version of The Hulk that garnered him nominations for two awards from the Visual Effects Society, Benza says it was a challenge to create highly athletic performances from bulky, animated characters that appeared to be the size of small buildings and weigh several tons. "In some moments you have to sell the weight of the Transformers, in other moments you have to sell their athleticism," Benza says.

The key to making the Transformer characters interact well with the human actors and the sets was giving these mammoth machines a sense of weight and a fluidity of motion. "Most of what we had to achieve was possible, but not easily possible," Benza says. "A lot of the technology we used was in the early stages and had to be dramatically developed for us to use it in the film."

ILM animators employed a technique they refer to as "virtual background pipeline" to make sure that the animated characters had plenty of room to move in any given scene, whether they were flying, fighting or racing through an intersection. Virtual background pipeline starts by taking a large number of digital photographs of a scene or location using a tripod with a robotic head. ILM then used its custom-created Zeno software, as well as other different pieces of third-party software, to stitch the images together and re-create a seamless digital background. "These photos can also be used to create textured 3-D geometry, with a process called photomodeling—again, inside Zeno," Benza says.

Using the new seamless background combined with the textured 3-D geometry, artists at ILM, a subsidiary of Lucasfilm, Ltd., had the flexibility to alter camera moves that were filmed on location, or to create new ones. "Think of it as a projected image," Benza says. If Bay shot footage of an intersection, the animators would integrate computer imagery into Bay's background plate so they could better control the action of the animated characters moving through the scene. Virtual background pipeline was developed for The Island and was also utilized on Mission Impossible: 3, he says.

View original article SCIAM
Tags Perublogs : , , , .
Tags Blogalaxia : , , , .
Tech Tags: ,

Labels: , , ,

Peter Cullen Talks Transformers

Source: Heather Newgen
Peter Cullen needs no introduction here. Superhero Hype! got a chance to sit down with the voice of Optimus Prime at a special presentation Paramount Home Entertainment held on Friday to show journalists the special features on the HD DVD of Michael Bay's Transformers that hits stores on Tuesday, October 16. Cullen met us at the studio and answered some questions about again voicing the icon:

Superhero Hype!: How often do you have people come up to you on the street and know you from Transformers?
Peter Cullen: Seldom, if ever. I'm not recognizable. That's one of the perks about being in voiceover because nobody sees your face and unless I purposely do the voice would I get a reaction with children… I like that anonymity. I've always kind of felt when I was a kid, I remember being disappointed at seeing the physical look of the person behind the voice because I always had my own imaginative in my brain of what that person looked like. When I met that person, it did even come close so I'm afraid that some child will have that same reaction to me. I don't push it.

SHH!: You only got to see the parts of the script you were in so what was it like to see the entire movie for the first time?
Cullen: I was at the premiere. I've never been to one really before. I'd been to "Winnie the Pooh" premiere once. We walked down the pink carpet. This was a blue carpet. I was kind of sucked into the energy and the nervousness. Finally when the movie came on, I wasn't I a relaxed state at al by any means surrounded by other major well known celebrities. I was never really comfortable through the whole thing. I made a point to see it again. I got a whole lot more out of it by being in a relaxed state and I had a better objective. So, my second time around I thought it was fantastic. I can't remember ever having been through a movie and seeing it again saying, ‘I don't remember seeing that.' It was overwhelming and loud.

SHH!: Did they do anything to your voice to enhance it?
Cullen: Yes, I think they did. I had a question about that early on with Michael Bay. I was just curious. I wasn't going to object in any way. It was their film, but I just wanted to know if they were going to make my voice as recognizable as it was on the original series. And he said, "don't worry about it. Don't worry about it. We're going to do something to justify it's size relative to the actors on screen." If he's a 40 foot high mechanical robot and Shia LaBeouf is less than his knee cap or whatever it is, he had to justify the sound without losing the character and without losing the original nuances that we had developed back in '84.

SHH!: What was Michael Bay like as a director?
Cullen: He was wonderful. He's an exciting man to work for and even if you didn't know anything about him, he has a presence. It's a strong presence and that presence alone is enough to energize you. Having known a little more about him than some other directors that you've never worked with before, he was generous, he was helpful, he was production in the sense that he could find a way to get things out of me that I appreciated, he made me extremely relaxed. I was very privileged because I can't imagine accomplishing the things that he's accomplished by just in scope alone in size. I would look at that and say, "that's insurmountable." I have to admire him for that because I'm in awe of that. "How does he do that?" Then you see him in action and you understand why. That brain is going all the time like the Energizer. It was a privilege and it was a pleasure. It was always a joy.

SHH!: What were you initial thoughts when Optimus Prime died in the "Transformers" movie and did anyone ask you to come back and play the character in the other shows over the years?
Cullen: Well the first part of that question, I was stunned. I was really disappointed more than anything else and I've said this before. I'm a day labor and I do my chores, as many jobs as I can. To see you're getting killed off, all you see is car payments going off. You don't think about it. You go off to the next job. When they did bring me back on two separate occasions it was because of fan base and parental uproar. I heard a story that some kid was not coming out of his closet, his room. He was so devastated, he wasn't coming out. There was a few. I wasn't aware and when I went in to do those shows, I wasn't aware as to why they were bringing me back. We never got fan mail. We didn't have a barometer to judge this thing on. It was just a job.

SHH!: Did they ever ask you to join the series that took place before the movie?
Cullen: No. It's funny. I wasn't aware of any of that popularity the Transformers had created until I went to my first convention back in Rochester, New York in '98 maybe or '99. That's when I found out. My daughter is the one who said, "dad you've got to go. You have to go." I said, "why Claire why?" She said "the kids in my class said, 'your dad is Optimus Prime' and they go nuts." I said, "you're kidding?" She said, "no, you've got to go." So I went. I was really surprised. I was sitting down in front of 3-400 people and they started applauding. It startled me. It really did.

SHH!: I understand you based the character on a family member?
Cullen: It was my brother Larry. We're very close. He's like my best friend. We're 13 months apart. It's quite a serious story how I came about. I was impersonating my brother Larry. He served in the Marine Corps and was in Vietnam. [He was] a purple heart recipient, a bronze star recipient. When he came home there was a significant change in him and that's where I got the qualities that I have applied to Optimus. His voice being the first thing. (in his Optimus Prime voice) "Peter cut it out." So we always laugh.

SHH!: Do you feel a sense of possessiveness with your characters like Optimus?
Cullen: I would say that if you do a character long enough, you do develop a sense of possession to it because it does become a part of you and you have an awareness of the popularity and how it's affected people. In this general case with Optimus, I am personally attached that way, but I will never allow myself to get so personally attached to something that I'll be injured the way I was hurt when I was replaced. It's hard enough to justify your day laborer attitude without being stomped on all the time. But that's life and I just avoid those areas where I can be terribly disappointed and that's part of it. I just move on. As far as some of the other characters I've done, I hope to never have to go back to them again. Some of them.

SHH!: You've said before you had to audition for the role. What did that audition consist of?
Cullen: Reading the character. Letting him hear it. He's directing a major motion picture, there's a lot at stake. I admire and respect that this guy is doing his job. He wasn't about to risk anybody's money so we played by the rules.

SHH!: Do you know when production for the second film is supposed to start?
Cullen: No, I have no idea. I hope the writer's strike doesn't affect the ongoing plans. It affects everyone.

We learned a few interesting things about the HD DVD that you can look forward to. The first disc will not only have the feature film, but a funny commentary by Michael Bay which includes him talking about not liking Shia LaBeouf's "nappy hair" and how he couldn't cut it because LaBeouf was still filming "Disturbia" There's funny factoids about the production and Transformers themselves. Viewers can watch picture-in picture b-roll and video with Bay, Steven Spielberg and other filmmakers. On disc two, fans can zoom in and get a 360 degree view of the robots. Using the HD DVD player, viewers will be able to update information and material on the film and the actors when new details are available.
Via Superherohype
Tags Perublogs : , , , .
Tags Blogalaxia : , , , .

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Writers for Transformers 2 Confirms!

Last week it was revealed that writers Alex Kurtzman, Robert Orci and Ehren Kruger were in negotiations for the sequel to the Transformers: The Movie. The Los Angeles Times now confirms that all three have signed on in a deal that may end up paying $8 million! The article also mentions that Michael Bay has already begun to pull together digital pre-visualizations for Transformer designs not used in the first film.
DreamWorks' willingness to agree to a combined team of A-listers, especially at such lofty rates, speaks to the studio's faith in the writers' ability to deliver (it also, one insider notes, effectively discourages the studio from spending more money to hire someone to rewrite their work).
Source: LA Times
Tags Perublogs : , , , .
Tags Blogalaxia : , , , .

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Look at the screen menus for the Transformers movie DVD

The ComicsContinuum has obtained a first look at the screen menus for the Transformers movie DVD, which will be in stores on Oct. 16.

The screens are from the two-disc Special Edition. The movie will also be available on a single disc.

Tags Perublogs : , , , .
Tags Blogalaxia : , , , .

Labels: , , ,

Deleted scenes Not from IMAX VERSION!

Thought I'd give you a glimpse of some of the scenes that were deleted from the film

Source TFW2005
Tags Perublogs : , , , .
Tags Blogalaxia : , , , .
Tech Tags: ,

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Transformers Movie candidate to Hollywood Movie of the Year Award

Hollywood Movie Awards has nominated ten movies, of which one be declared "Movie of the Year" at a gala ceremony on October 22nd. One of the movies nominated was Transformers: The Movie. So how can you help get "Transformers" that award? Click here and cast your vote! You can also vote for Best Male and Best Female Star of the Year.
And Hollywood Movie Awards Honorees in Visual Effects Supervisor of the Year Award to Scott Farrar Visual Effects Supervisor ILM.

Tags Perublogs : , , , .
Tags Blogalaxia : , , , .

Labels: , ,

 Subscribe in a reader

Last posts

eXTReMe Tracker