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  1. good eye! thanks for the link. it'll be interesting to see if their trend predictions for 2007 hold true.
  2. Thanks igorschmigor! We will definitely be adding visuals from now on. Who wants to read long text only?! That's no fun.
  3. Hi Everyone, Thanks for being so patient with us. We're sorry for the oversight regarding the project links. Here is the one for Mr. Wonderful's "Appraise My Car" show open. http://www.nlpedit.com/secure/ username: appraise password: mycar
  4. thanks guys! your patience is much appreciated. hope to shed the big newbie sign off our foreheads soon! and we promise not to annoy anymore. we totally hear you. thanks for the tips!
  5. Hi Everyone, So sorry!! Please don't be mad. We know we've been the source of your irritation As the Mograph moderator has explained, we were going back and forth about the best way for us to post news on cool projects for several weeks. The link to this particular project for !mpossible Pictures should have been included. Here it is for your viewing pleasure: www.impossiblepictures.com/login/ username: hype password: access! The QuickTimes are in the GMC_HometownGospel folder. Let us know what you think! And our apologies again. Hypester
  6. !mpossible Pictures, an award-winning creative digital studio, has just created a gorgeous show open and graphics package for “Hometown Gospel,” a new series on the Gospel Music Channel. The “Hometown Gospel” show is a travelogue featuring several cities across the US with a robust gospel music history and a thriving modern gospel music vibe. The world premiere of the show provided a peek into the music roots of Detroit. The visually vibrant show open for “Hometown Gospel” incorporates slick animation and reflective surfaces as the camera takes viewers through a 3D cityscape – complete with buildings, water tower, light poles, and birds -- and ends up in front of a church. !mpossible Pictures was tasked with designing a unique show open and graphics package for the new series that would also maintain consistency with the Gospel Music Channel brand. “I’ve been a big fan of !mpossible’s work, and was looking for the right opportunity to collaborate with them,” remarks Randy Martin, Executive Producer of Flying Saucer Films, the show’s production company. “The ‘Hometown Gospel’ package was the perfect project for them. Gospel Music Channel has a fantastic on-air identity so the bar had been set very high for us with this new show. !mpossible came up with a design that blew the roof off!” Jean Pichot, the designer for !mpossible Pictures, presented the concept of traveling in 3D space, as well as initial animations of the open to the client for review. Once the design was approved, Pichot worked on photographing various elements around a town and then re-creating and layering them in 3D. This also included accentuating the levels of reflections, light flares and color tweaks. “Jean’s work is spectacular,” comments Steve Urbano, !mpossible Pictures Creative Director. “We felt his design aesthetic was the perfect fit for this project. He created an open that is layered with natural and organic elements of a typical city, yet is graphically stunning.” Once the open was approved and built, it became the design theme for the rest of the graphics package for the show. !mpossible delivered a complete graphics package for “Hometown Gospel” including bumpers, lower thirds and backgrounds. “The Gospel Music Channel has a very open design sense regarding the look of their network,” concludes Urbano. “But since the network is so new, their only criteria was that we incorporate the network’s logo into the show graphics. !mpossible was really excited to help the network launch this series and we got a lot of freedom from them to turn the ideas we had into reality for the graphics package.” Airdate: December 2006 Client: Gospel Music Channel Director of Production & Operations: Rex Humbard Creative Director: Kevin MaGann Production Company: Flying Saucer Films Executive Producer: Randy Martin Creative Digital Studio: !mpossible Pictures Creative Director: Steve Urbano Designer: Jean Pichot Producer: Julie Morrandez Music Company: Soundbyte Composer: John Roberts Sound Design/Audio Post Company: Straight Shooter Sound Designer: Lee Rimmer ABOUT GOSPEL MUSIC CHANNEL: Launched in October 2004, Gospel Music Channel is the first 24-hour all-music television network devoted to the best of gospel/Christian music. Led by cable network veterans Charley Humbard, Discovery Channel’s former general manager of digital networks, and Brad Siegel, former president of Turner Entertainment Networks, Gospel Music Channel is currently available on cable systems in 90 markets and more than 3000 cities nationwide. From the soulful sounds of Yolanda Adams to the country roots of Randy Travis, to the contemporary stylings of Kirk Franklin, Mercy Me, and Amy Grant, the Gospel Music Channel celebrates a musical genre that crosses cultures and generations and delivers a fan base so large it deserves its own network. ABOUT !MPOSSIBLE PICTURES: Located in the heart of historic Lower Downtown Denver, creative digital studio™ !mpossible Pictures produces commercials, network promos and design for television and advertising clients. The company of directors and artists tirelessly guides their clients through a unique process to realize their most ambitious visions. Services include creative direction, live action production, broadcast design, animation/visual effects, editorial, and finishing utilizing industrial strength tools like Flame, Smoke, Softimage XSI, Maya as well as After Effects and Final Cut. !mpossible Pictures has produced award-winning work for clients such as Disney, Universal Studios, Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, DISH Network, and Ford. In addition to past Emmys, Clios, Addys and Art Directors awards, the artists of !mpossible Pictures recently won a 2006 Gold BDA Award in Total Package Design for the NRB Network, as well as regional Emmys for their graphics package for the Colorado Avalanche NHL team and a commercial for Ford Motor Company. !mpossible Pictures is located at 1617 Wazee Street, Denver, CO 80202. T: 303.893.0900. F: 303.893.1161. www.impossiblepictures.com # # #
  7. January ushers in the release of two critically acclaimed and highly anticipated projects for which Engine Room was the sole contributor of key visual effects – Universal’s Alpha Dog (dir. Nick Casavetes) and Paramount’s Freedom Writers (dir. Richard LaGravenese). On both Los Angeles urban tales Visual Effects Supervisor and Engine Room Founder Dan Schmit and his team collaborated with filmmakers to give them the visual look and feel sought for each project. Inspired by true events, Alpha Dog follows three fateful days when the lives of a group of Southern California teens suddenly dead-ended. The film features a powerful ensemble cast including Ben Foster, Shawn Hatosy, Emile Hirsch, Christopher Marquette, Sharon Stone, Justin Timberlake, Anton Yelchin and Bruce Willis. Johnny Truelove controls the drugs on the well-manicured streets of his neighborhood. Where Johnny goes, the party, the girls and his loyal gang follow. When he’s double-crossed over missing deal money by raging hothead Jake, Johnny and his gang impulsively kidnap Jake’s little brother holding him as a marker and heading to Palm Springs. Good times turn bad and bad turns worse as Johnny finds himself out of his league and with no idea how to fix it...leading all these players toward a shocking conclusion they never saw coming. “For Alpha Dog, we were originally brought in during preproduction to help solve some logistical challenges involved during filming. We did this by suggesting the incorporation a handful of green screen shots to add scope and a feeling of “magic surrealism” to the film’s climax,” says Schmit. The collaboration ultimately went far beyond the initial scope – as once principal photography ended the editorial team physically moved into the Engine Room studio. “We have found that inviting filmmakers to set up shop at our place creates a wonderful collaborative atmosphere that everyone can enjoy and benefit from,” continues Schmit. “It was especially helpful with Alpha Dog to have Nick Cassavetes and Alan Heim (the film’s editor) working day and night right upstairs from the effects team. As their vision for the film expanded during post, we were right there contributing to the creative dialogue, sparking new ideas and informing them of what was possible.” In the end, Engine Room delivered at total of 290 visual effects composite shots for Alpha Dog. Freedom Writers, starring Hilary Swank, is based on "The Freedom Writer's Diaries: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them," written by teacher Erin Gruwell and her students. Based on true events, Freedom Writers is the story of Gruwell who was a first-year high school teacher assigned to teach students considered to be at-risk or unteachable. Gruwell introduced the students to the works of Anne Frank and Zlata Filopvic to try and teach them tolerance. The students responded by keeping their own diaries about violence and other negative influences in their lives. “It is interesting that both of these projects are set in LA,” comments Schmit. “One is about White kids growing up in the suburbs of the Valley and the other is about Black and Latino kids in South Central. For Freedom Writers our involvement was much more subtle, yet very powerful, with the images we created invisibly interwoven deep into the film.” The main scene involving Engine Room, known to the filmmakers as the “diary sequence,” takes place when the teacher Erin Gruwell is reading the true-life writing assignments that her students have shared with her for the first time. It is the emotional launching point of the movie. “When shooting the scene, the director and DP did an excellent job of incorporating a variety of in-camera tricks and transition effects so we had a fantastic bed of material to work with,” says Schmit. “Working closely with editor David Moritz the visual effects team seamed the sequence together into one long composite, which fully succeeded in conveying the feeling and emotion that the director was looking for.” While neither of these films was what would normally be considered an “effects” movie, Engine Room’s role contributed greatly to their overall power. “We find that a larger and larger portion of the work we are doing is what we call “invisible effects”, that is the audience really has no way of seeing that the images they are looking at have been digitally manipulated.” Schmit adds, “As the tools we use become more and more a part of everyday modern filmmaking, we find that the work we are brought in to do are in fact as important to the overall process as anything else.” People used to think the words “we’ll fix it in post” were an indication that mistakes were made on the production but Schmit finds that is no longer true. “Smart directors, editors and producers know that reliance on invisible effects is hugely liberating to the filmmaking process, allowing them the freedom they need to bring a greater and more resonating vision to the screen.” About Engine Room: Engine Room defines the future of filmmaking, fusing the lines between production and postproduction until they disappear. How? By integrating the entire process into one streamlined effort, resulting in a powerful environment for imagination and experimentation. Discover the incredible benefits of working with a talented specialty shooting unit and digital effects team under one roof. The hybrid studio is known for its extraordinary work for clients in the feature film, teaser/trailers, commercials and broadcast arenas. www.engineroomvfx.com.
  8. Design shop Mr. Wonderful recently concepted, designed and produced an HD show open, identity and graphics package for “Appraise My Car,” a new series on the Discovery Channel. “Appraise My Car” is a traveling show, and focuses on muscle and sports cars that are appraised by experts. The stylized open uses a blend of car-inspired graphics and sweeping colors, which interact with beautifully shot cars such as a Camaro SS 396 and Oldsmobile 442, and then resolves into the shiny show logo. The client, Roger Williams of Roger Wilco Productions, called Mr. Wonderful after seeing its work for NHL telecasts on the sports channel Versus. "All aspects of high definition require the best possible production elements as there is no room for error,” says Williams. “This especially holds true for the design and creative process for HD graphics. Mr. Wonderful had the technical capability and had proven themselves with the creative aspect in their work for the NHL and others. With ‘Appraise My Car’ they demonstrated that they are indeed at the forefront of HD graphics." “With a title like ‘Appraise My Car,’ the logo needed to fit 10 pounds of type into a five-pound bag,” explains Lowry. “We came up with the idea of embedding the entire phrase within the length of a silhouetted car body. The look of the logo is chrome and shiny, just like a brand new – or in this case a mint condition –muscle car. It was a balancing act between finding the right style of car that had the recognized features of a popular car of the time, without giving too much away in terms of a specific model.” The hybrid car logo is a mix of a Mustang Fastback, a 442, and a Dodge Challenger. The logo material throughout the package is comprised of car textures, blinker lights, and chrome detailing. “The graphics had to get across a lot of information, whether it was the condition and value of the car or large pages of specs, while enhancing the experience of watching the show,” adds Henderson. “Creatively, the design of the project was pretty wide-open, which we love. And the tight turnaround made for a nice challenge. Good thing we’ve got a high-end coffee machine.” In addition, the show footage was shot before any consideration was given to a graphics package, and the time constraint kept Mr. Wonderful from having the opportunity do shoot any custom car shots. As such, there weren’t a lot of raw materials for the artists to work with. “Thankfully, we had some beautifully-lit HD footage of crane moves over some of the cars,” comments Lowry. “We were able to rotoscope these signature cars, but we did have to repaint portions of them that were out of frame or adjust our designs to hide the fact that we only had 70% of a particular car in a shot.” Henderson states it was also a challenge to find a unifying design style to accommodate the various cars in the open. “These cars have very disparate design aesthetics and came from different manufacturing eras. We had to make sure the ’85 Porsche scene was as appropriate and stylized as the ‘50s Mercury sequence.” The technology used included Maxon Cinema 4D for CG modeling, Autodesk Combustion for rotoscoping, Adobe After Effects for animation, Autodesk Flame for compositing and a bunch of Matchbox cars that the artists raced on the floor. Production Company: Roger Wilco Productions President/Chief Creative Officer: Roger Williams Executive Producer: John Coscia Design and VFX Company: Mr. Wonderful/New York, NY Creative Director: Beirne Lowry Executive Producer: Damien Henderson Designers/Animators: Matt Hanson & Frank Farella Compositor/Rotoscoping: Laurie Duke Postproduction Company: Palace Digital Studios/Norwalk, C Mr. Wonderful 135 West 27th Street, 7th floor, New York, NY 10001 212.457.6700 mrwonderful.tv # # #
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