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Wednesday - June 20, 2001
- Final Fantasy Movie Emerges Right After Actors Deadline
- Congratulations PDI/DreamWorks - Shrek Over $200 Million
- Star Wars: The Phantom Menace DVD Details
- News Link of the Day - Lara Croft Buries Criticism

Final Fantasy Movie Emerges Right After Actors Deadline
(by In a rather unique timing situation, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within will hit theaters only 13 days after the end of the actors contract and a potential strike by actors if a new contract isn't agreed upon. The irony is that Final Fantasy, coming to theaters on July 13, shows that actors can be replaced, at least in looks. There still seems to be some kinks to work out in movement.

While visionaries George Lucas and Steven Spielberg claim actors have nothing to worry about, studios continue to show advancements in the realm of animation (through films like Final Fantasy and Shrek) that bring the mediums of live action and animation one step closer. Plus, realistic looking animated characters don't talk back, don't sue, don't demand outrageous residuals, and they can learn new techniques fairly fast.

In a recent Digital Media FX interview about the character Princess Fiona in Shrek, the Supervising Animator, Raman Hui, made following comment about Princess Fiona's Kung Fu segment:

"We do have animators in our group who know Kung Fu. With that, we could talk about different moves and how we could apply that to the animation," he says. "It was really fun to do and actually it might take less time to make a computer generated character to do really good Kung Fu than training a real person to do the same moves."

Even with continuous advances, actors need not fear for their jobs... that is unless their demands are outrageous. Technology can move like lightning at that point.

In tacking the subject of the actors negotiations with studios, the LA Times stated on Monday, "Although the two sides remain at odds over money issues, there still are no signs the talks are in danger of breaking off as they did during the earlier, often testy negotiations between studios and the Writers Guild of America."

The current contract with actor unions expires June 30, 2001.

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Congratulations PDI/DreamWorks - Shrek Surpasses $200 Million

Congratulations PDI/DreamWorks!

(by Digital Media FX magazine congratulates PDI/DreamWorks for Shrek achieving multi-blockbuster status. Few films ever surpass $200 million at the domestic box office. Yet Shrek did so in just five weeks. Congratulations to all the artists, crew, cast, and technicians involved in bringing Shrek to life.

Click here to visit the dFX Shrek Movie Site

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Star Wars: The Phantom Menace DVD Details
(by LucasFilm has announced that Star Wars: The Phantom Menace will be available October 16, 2001 on DVD. It is the first time that any Star Wars film has been made available in DVD format.

Special features on the disc include:

- a running commentary by George Lucas

- exclusive deleted scenes documentary featuring seven new sequences completed just for this DVD

- an hour-long documentary film culled from over 600 hours of behind-the-scenes footage.

- an interactive featurette with a glimpse into the process of creating scenes from storyboards to animatics to final film composites.

- original theatrical trailers, TV spots, cast and crew photos

- five featurettes that provide an insider's look at The Phantom Menace's storyline, design, costumes, visual effects and fight scenes.

Unfortunately there is not a feature to delete (or mute) Jar-Jar, the highly annoying digital character that received a major backlash from critics and Star Wars fans alike. Despite the backlash, Lucas announced he would bring back Jar-Jar in Episode 2.

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News Link of the Day - Lara Croft Buries Criticism

According to The Times:

"The British video game heroine Lara Croft has triumphed in her first Hollywood film, surviving attempts by American critics to bury her alive…"

Click here for the full story.

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