Cartoon Movie 2018 Projects

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Di­rec­tors: Raoul de la Fuente, Damian Nenow Syn­op­sis: A Pol­ish reporter’s life is changed for­ever af­ter he is sent to An­gola to cover the coun­try’s civil war in 1975. Pro­duced by: Platige Im­age (Poland), Kanaki Films (Spain), Walk­ing The Dog (Bel­gium), Wuste Film (Ger­many) Di­rec­tor: Nora Twomey Syn­op­sis: Based on the award-win­ning book by Deb­o­rah El­lis, the Os­car-nom­i­nated, beau­ti­fully crafted 2D films tells the in­spir­ing story of Par­vana, an 11-year-old girl grow­ing up un­der the Tal­iban in Afghanistan in 2001, who has to save her fam­ily af­ter her father is taken away by the Tal­iban forces. Pro­duced by: Cartoon Saloon (Ire­land), Air­craft Pic­tures (Canada), Mélu­sine Pro­duc­tions (Lux­em­bourg) Di­rec­tor: Kas­par Jan­cis Syn­op­sis: A young boy is mag­i­cally shrunk and finds him­self aboard his toy boat with tiny in­sects as his crew in this charm­ing stop-mo­tion movie. Pro­duced by: Nuku­film (Es­to­nia), Tel­e­gael Te­o­ranta (Ire­land), GRID VFX (Bel­gium), Calon (U.K.) Di­rec­tor: Anja Kofmel Syn­op­sis: A Swiss jour­nal­ist in­ves­ti­gates the death of her cousin in Croa­tia dur­ing the 1990s in this thought-pro­vok­ing 2D film. Pro­duced by: MA.JA.DE Film­pro­duk­tion (Ger­many), Dschoint Ventschr Film­pro­duc­tion (Switzer­land), Nuk­leus Film (Croa­tia) Di­rec­tor: Karsten Ki­ilerich Syn­op­sis: The di­rec­tor of Ugly Duck­ling and Me and Lit­tle Vam­pire is back with his new CG-animated take on the 1,001 Nights tale fea­tur­ing a vil­lage boy and his goat, a street­wise city girl, a fly­ing car­pet, two hun­gry al­li­ga­tors and an un­scrupu­lous Di­rec­tors: Wolf­gang Lauen­stein, Christoph Lauen­stein & Sean McCor­mack Syn­op­sis: A young boy’s life is turned up­side down when three aliens crash-land in front of him in this 3D CG-animated com­edy ad­ven­ture. Pro­duced by: Ulysses Film­pro­duk­tion (Ger­many), Fabrique d’Images (Lux­em­bourg), A. Film Pro­duc­tion (Den­mark) Di­rec­tor: Alexan­dre Espi­gares ( Mr. Hublot) Syn­op­sis: Jack Lon­don’s beloved clas­sic comes to life in 3D CG an­i­ma­tion. Set in Yukon, Canada, dur­ing the late 19th cen­tury Gold Rush, the novel tracks a beau­ti­ful half-breed wolf’s jour­ney from life in the wild to do­mes­ti­ca­tion. Pro­duced by: Su­per­prod (France), Bidibul Pro­duc­tions (Lux­em­bourg), Big Beach (U.S.)

Di­rec­tor: Sal­vador Simó Syn­op­sis: Based on the true story of the shoot­ing of the movie Las Hur­des: Land with­out Bread, this unique project fol­low the real-life and sur­real ad­ven­tures of the beloved Span­ish di­rec­tor and his friend, the sculp­tor Ramón Acín. Pro­duced by: The Glow An­i­ma­tion Stu­dio (Spain), Sub­ma­rine (Nether­lands) Di­rec­tor: An­gel Alonso Syn­op­sis: This CG-animated fam­ily ad­ven­ture takes us back to the three-year-long cir­cu­lar trip that be­gan with fa­mous ex­plorer Mag­el­lan in com­mand and was con­cluded by El­cano to reach the Mol­lu­cas Is­lands, a par­adise full of spices and aro­matic plants. Pro­duced by: Di­rec­tor: Ed­munds Jan­sons Syn­op­sis: A young boy spends a mag­i­cal sum­mer in a city sub­urb, where he has amaz­ing ad­ven­tures with his cousin Mimmi, his sea­far­ing un­cle, and Boss, the leader of a pack of talk­ing dogs. Pro­duced by: Atom Art (Latvia), Letko (Poland) Di­rec­tor: Youn Cheol Jeong Syn­op­sis: A young princess, whose mother was trag­i­cally killed by a psy­chic no­mad, has led a shel­tered life in­side the walls of her cas­tle, but her life is changed when she meets a sen­si­tive street artist. Pro­duced by: Ani­toart (South Korea) Di­rec­tor: Lorenzo Mat­totti Syn­op­sis: The di­rec­tor of the ac­claimed 2007 fea­ture Fear(s) of the Dark is back with this com­pletely dif­fer­ent animated fea­ture, based on Dino Buz­zati’s novel about To­nio, the son of the King of bears, who is kid­napped by hunters in the Si­cil­ian moun­tains. King Leonce de­cides to in­vade the land of hu­mans to find his son. Pro­duced by: Prima Linea Pro­duc­tions (France), Indigo Film (Italy), France 3 Cinéma (France) Di­rec­tor: Anca Damian Syn­op­sis: Af­ter an ac­ci­dent, a small fe­male dog re­mem­bers her life and all the dif­fer­ent mas­ters that she has loved un­con­di­tion­ally through the years. Pro­duced by: Aparte Film (Ro­ma­nia), Sacre­bleu Pro­duc­tions (France), Minds Meet (Bel­gium) Louis-Jean Gore. La Luna Pro­duc­tions (France) Blue Elf King­dom 4 ½ Film (Nor­way) Chan­dasma David Restrepo. Ikki Films (France), Timbo Es­tu­dio (Colom­bia) Eu­gene Anais Caura. My Fan­tasy, 2P2L (France) Fleak An­ima Vi­tae (Fin­land), An­ima Vi­tae Point (Malaysia) Gabo: Memoirs of a Magic Life Sal­vador Simó. The Glow An­i­ma­tion Stu­dio (Spain), Rey Naranjo (Colom­bia) Hope Francesco Filip­pini. Mad En­ter­tain­ment (Italy) Hu­man Na­ture Sébastien Dupouey. Brother­films (France) The Im­pos­si­ble Jour­ney Abra­ham López Guer­rero. El Vi­aje Im­posi­ble (Spain), 3 Dou­bles Pro­duc­ciones (Spain), Vir­tual IT Projects (U.K.) In the Dark and Mys­te­ri­ous For­est Vin­cent Paron­naud & Alexis Du­cord. Je Suis Bien Con­tent (France) Ja­son and the Nu­cle­o­nauts Spin­top En­ter­tain­ment, stu­dioNICE (Ger­many) The Last Whale Singer Reza Me­mari, Tele­scope An­i­ma­tion (Ger­many) Miss Moksy Vin­cent Bal. BosBros (Nether­lands) My Friend Fin­nick De­nis Ch­er­nov, FunGameMe­dia (Ger­many), Riki Group (Rus­sia)

Hong Kong is ex­pect­ing another ban­ner year for the an­nual FILMART con­fab, which takes place March 18-22 at the Con­ven­tion and Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­ter in the Wan Chai dis­trict. The 22nd edi­tion of this well-at­tended event, which is or­ga­nized by the HK Trade De­vel­op­ment Coun­cil, will in­clude many del­e­ga­tions and pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies from all over the world, of­fer­ing nu­mer­ous op­por­tu­ni­ties for co-pro­duc­tion part­ner­ships and in­vest­ment.

Last year, the Chi­nese box of­fice showed a 13.45 per­cent in­crease in ticket sales, reach­ing a record 8.6 bil­lion dol­lars from do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional re­leases such as Wu Jing’s Wolf War­rior 2 ($874 mil­lion), The Fate of the Fu­ri­ous ($393 mil­lion) and Trans­form­ers: The Last Knight ($228 mil­lion). FILMART, which is the third-largest film mar­ket in the world af­ter Cannes and the Amer­i­can Film Mar­ket, ex­pects to draw more global tal­ent, dis­trib­u­tors, pro­duc­ers and an­i­ma­tion play­ers to the event as the fea­ture business con­tin­ues to grow in the re­gion.

At the 2017 edi­tion of the mar­ket, over 120 dig­i­tal en­ter­tain­ment and an­i­ma­tion com­pa­nies at­tended the event. A VR game de­vel­oper re­ceived over 50 se­ri­ous in­quiries and closed a deal with a ma­jor mo­bile phone man­u­fac­turer, ac­cord­ing to or­ga­niz­ers. Sev­eral an­i­ma­tion com­pa­nies re­ceived of­fers from Chi­nese en­ti­ties to in­vest in the pro­duc­tion of their project. Re­cent Chi­nese animated fea­tures that have fared well in the re­gion in­clude Ding Liang’s Boonie Bears: En­tan­gled Worlds (You Yang Dong Man, Pearl River, Yuyue Pic­tures Wuxi, Dong­hai Xuri Pic­tures) and Li Qing­fang’s Back­kom Bear: Agent 008 (Al­pha Pic­tures, Harbin Pinge Me­dia). U.S. Au­di­ences will also be able to en­joy the 2016 epic fan­tasy Big Fish & Begonia (di­rected by Liang Xuan and Zhang Chun) later this sea­son, thanks to a pick-up by Shout! Stu­dios.

Among the 22 pan­els and dis­cus­sions planned for this year’s edi­tion is a spe­cial fo­cus on VR/AR tech­nolo­gies and how they im­pact the an­i­ma­tion in­dus­try, sched­uled for March 21 at Hall 1’s Moon­light Theater. Co-or­ga­nized by the An­necy In­ter­na­tional An­i­ma­tion Fes­ti­val and Mar­ket, the panel will be mod­er­ated by Yann Marchet, del­e­gate gen­eral at Paris Images Dig­i­tal Sum­mit and di­rec­tor of mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions at Ile de France Film Com­mis­sion. Pro­ducer Corentin Lam­bot (Agat Films & Cie), Chuck Peil (VP of business de­vel­op­ment and strate­gic part­ner­ships at Reel FX) and Jan Pinkava (cre­ative di­rec­tor at Google Spot­light Sto­ries) will share their lat­est in­sights with at­ten­dees. For more info about this im­por­tant global mar­ket, visit­ hk­fil­mart-en.

t’s hat su- Keep­ing Up with Tech­nol­ogy

Qual­ity and craft are def­i­nitely on a resur­gence and we’re all fa­mil­iar with the way tele­vi­sion drama is chal­leng­ing fea­tures at their own game. To get no­ticed, this same high qual­ity is re­quired in all types of vis­ual com­mu­ni­ca­tion, re­gard­less of plat­form. There’s no point in great tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances in VR and AR if the ex­pe­ri­ences are ul­ti­mately un­ful­fill­ing. The tech in­dus­try has so much in­vested in these tech­nolo­gies now that they’re too big to fail. My pre­dic­tion is that they will keep push­ing to get through the bar­rier of the tech be­ing too ex­pen­sive for the masses to want to buy it, by investing in more com­pelling con­tent. At the end of the day, we want peo­ple to say, “Wow, wasn’t that amaz­ing,” rather than, “Wow, wasn’t that clever.” That “amaz­ing” re­ac­tion speaks to an emo­tional en­gage­ment whereas “clever” to­day is go­ing to be su­per­seded by another “clever” to­mor­row.

To pre­pare for these changes, we will just keep do­ing what we’re do­ing: in­vent­ing and plac­ing in­cred­i­ble char­ac­ters in sur­pris­ing and won­der­ful sto­ries first, then mak­ing sure that there’s an in­trin­sic link be­tween what the story is and what the tech does so that the fi­nal ex­pe­ri­ence be­comes some­thing seam­less. We need to be able to an­swer why this story works bet­ter in VR than in any other for­mat. There’ll al­ways be mul­ti­ple en­try points to a story — and here I mean that in the broad­est sense of en­com­pass­ing en­ter­tain­ment or brand fran­chises — so that whether some­one ex­pe­ri­ences it first through a book or a game, in VR or on TV, it should all feel like it’s part of a whole piece over­all. We need big ideas that can em­brace all the cur­rent and new tech to come. Big Im­pres­sions Heather Wright is ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer and head of part­ner con­tent at Aard­man An­i­ma­tions in Bris­tol, U.K.

re­ally want?

BCi­ne­site’s Aymeric Perce­val re­veals some of the in­tense vis­ual magic cre­ated in the lauded adap­ta­tion of Neil Gaiman’s By Trevor Hogg

ryan Fuller and Michael Green’s lav­ish adap­ta­tion of Neil Gaiman’s ac­claimed novel Amer­i­can Gods was one of the most un­usual new TV of­fer­ings of 2017. The show, which will kick off its se­cond sea­son on Starz later this year, also of­fered some mem­o­rable vis­ual ef­fects — a to­tal of 3,000 shots were cre­ated for the eight episodes of the se­ries’ first sea­son. The Emmy-nom­i­nated ef­fects were over­seen by Kevin Tod Haug, who worked with the team at Ci­ne­site Mon­treal, led by su­per­vi­sor Aymeric Perce­val, to cre­ate just un­der 200 shots of the over­all work.

To pro­duce the dig­i­tal im­agery, 12 weeks of post-pro­duc­tion was planned per episode with each one sep­a­rated by a week, and fin­ish­ing in the same or­der. How­ever, with all of the rewrit­ing in­volved, Ci­ne­site had a third of the al­lot­ted time to do the work.

“This show re­quired a more gen­er­al­ist ap­proach,” ex­plains Perce­val. “Our tex­ture artists were also do­ing mod­el­ling. A lot of the team mem­bers were happy to jump into do­ing other things. This flex­i­bil­ity helped us to de­liver the shots within the com­pressed time­frame.”

Since there was no time to de­velop new pro­pri­etary tools for this spe­cial project, the key soft­ware pro­grams in­cluded Maya and ZBrush for mod­el­ling, Mari and Pho­to­shop for tex­tur­ing, Hou­dini for ef­fects, plus Nuke and Arnold for com­posit­ing. An in-house tech­nol­ogy called Mesh­cache/par­ti­cleProxy ob­ject al­lowed artists to work with the in­for­ma­tion cre­ated by mil­lions of poly­gons for a scene in which the god­dess Easter (Kristin Chenoweth) steals spring — and still work with all that in­for­ma­tion in the view­port.

“In the fi­nal episode of Sea­son One, Easter steals spring and re­turns all of the lush veg­e­ta­tion back to a win­ter state,” notes Perce­val. “It was all about re­fin­ing the pipe­line. We used a vis­ual trick in the shot: The fur­ther away the trees were from the cam­era path, the more we de­creased the num­ber of leaves and scaled up the leaf in­stances.”

Scripts and plates were the points of ref­er­ence rather than ex­ten­sive con­cept art. “As soon as the client was ready for turnover we would sit down via cineSync, dis­cuss the brief­ing, and it was up to us to come up with so­lu­tions, sug­ges­tions and the look,” re­marks Perce­val. “Some of the se­quences were straight­for­ward, so we turned di­rectly to the work. When we go back into the Land of the Dead, when [the char­ac­ter] Laura Moon has passed away, it was com­pletely dif­fer­ent from the first se­quence. We see a darker and murk-

the for­est and go­ing back to her,” says Perce­val. The se­quence also in­volved a mas­sive shot cap­tured with a RED cam­era on a drone. “It was recre­at­ing the cam­era, re-pro­ject­ing, and be­cause of the par­al­lax we couldn’t just paint out the leaves on the trees and put a matte paint­ing. We had to go full CG for the trees. We recre­ated all of the flow­ers in a matte paint­ing and lay­er­ing with a few thou­sands of trees in Hou­dini. It was chal­leng­ing to get our tim­ing match­ing with Mr. X, who were also work­ing on the shot. We had to make sure that the trees looked as photo-real as pos­si­ble.”

Another chal­leng­ing task for fix­ing a scene in­volv­ing a dan­de­lion. “When they shot the dan­de­lion, it was not in the nat­u­ral state they wanted it to be,” re­marks Perce­val. “We re­placed that be­cause sto­ry­wise, Wed­nes­day blows on it and you get the ef­fect with the lit­tle seeds fly­ing up into the sky. The close-up was more com­pli­cated. We had five lay­ers of tex­ture that were bal­anced in com­posit­ing. We also in­tro­duced some rain­drops for more vis­ual in­ter­est. The scale of the dan­de­lion had to be changed be­cause it was too tiny.” Plates, scans and ren­ders were shared amongst the dif­fer­ent vis­ual ef­fects ven­dors which al­lowed for a sim­ple 2D so­lu­tion. “We didn’t have to share cam­eras or as­sets, which would have been much more com­pli­cated,” says the su­per­vi­sor. “I’m look­ing for­ward to more peo­ple dis­cov­er­ing the show as we had a lot of fun work­ing on it.” Amer­i­can Gods will be­gin its se­cond sea­son on Starz in mid-2018.

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