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The President and CEO of LAIKA, the Oregon stop-motion studio which this month claimed its sixth Oscar nomination, Travis Knight was excited by the prospect of taking the company in new directions with its latest film, Missing Link.
Directed by Chris Butler ParaNorman, the epic adventure film centers on Sir Lionel Frost Hugh Jackman, an investigator of mythic creatures who comes across the sentient Sasquatch, Mr. Link Zach Galifianakis, in the Pacific Northwest. Befriending the lonely Bigfoot, Frost then accompanies him on a journey to Shangri-La, in hopes of reuniting him with his long-lost relatives.
From Knight's perspective, what was so compelling about Missing Link was that it retained the visual grandeur and thematic richness of the studio's past films, while bringing to the table a brand-new aesthetic and tone, with which to play. “A lot of the films that we’ve done have been darker, have lurked in the shadows, to a degree, exploring murkier aspects of what it means to be human,” says Knight, who produced LAIKA's latest. “Missing Link was interesting for us because it was a big, bright, kaleidoscopic, colorful adventure.”Laika Studios/United Artists Releasing
In essence, the film reflected the core values, with which the studio was created some 15 years ago. “When we started LAIKA, the essential idea was to create wholly unique, original, bold, distinctive and enduring animated films,” Knight says. “So, with each movie that we develop, it has to basically tick those boxes.”
As the producer explains, part of the challenge inherent to Missing Link was that it aimed to bring the visual scale of a live-action epic into the medium of stop-motion. “To try to make something that was on a tabletop look like a huge, epic world is incredibly challenging,” Knight reflects. “But that’s what this story was. It was a big swashbuckling, whip-cracking adventure film.”
A related challenge had to do with the film's basic structure. Like Kubo and the Two Strings before it, Missing Link was a road picture, moving swiftly from one ambitious, hand-crafted environment to the next. “From a producer’s point of view, you want to be able to reuse locations, because every location is a unique design, a unique build,” he says. “When you’re building all these things by hand, it becomes an extraordinary challenge, [particularly given] the fact that a lot of these places are these big, wide, panoramic vistas.”Laika Studios/United Artists Releasing
For Knight, there was no one screening or moment on set when the film seemed to click into place. “I think with each phase, there is that thrill and that...
The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, see how the storyboards for a Toy Story 4 sequence with Ducky and Bunny compare to the final cut in the movie. Plus, check out some Easter eggs, hints and more you might have missed in the third season premiere of HBO’s series Westworld, and listen to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker co-star and Oscar nominee Richard E. Grant break down his career.
First up, watch one of the funniest sequences from Toy Story 4 featuring several plans proposed by stuffed animals Ducky and Bunny side-by-side with the storyboards used to plan the scenes in question. You’ll see that not many changes were made from the storyboards, with the exception of some shot angle adjustments and characters placements, which shows how carefully planned the production was.
Next up, the third season of Westworld is essentially hitting the reset button on the series after the second season turned off the fans who fell in love with season one. But there are still plenty of details to pick up on, references you might have missed, Easter eggs that may hold hints, and much more. Watch as ScreenCrush runs through 73 different things you might have missed.
Finally, the delightful Richard E. Grant who can be seen in AMC’s new series Dispatches from Elsewhere takes Vanity Fair through a career retrospective, starting with early performances in Withnail & I, Warlock and L.A. Story, moving through Spice World and Gosford Park, and arriving up to recent turns in Can You Ever Forgive Me? and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Voice actress Rachel Matthews said she decided to get tested after coming in contact with 'a confirmed case,' but doing so was difficult because tests are 'INSANELY hard to come by.'
Frozen 2 voice actress Rachel Matthews is the latest figure in Hollywood to test positive for the coronavirus.
The 26-year-old star — who voiced the character Honeymaren in Disney's animated feature — revealed the news via Instagram late Monday, saying that she has quarantined herself for the past week. "Unsure of what the next step is been getting mixed info so will keep you posted but obviously will remain in quarantine until told to do otherwise," she wrote.
Continued Matthews: "I'm feeling better, but I will be posting some info that I hope will be helpful to some."
The actress, who lives in the U.S., said that she decided to get tested after coming in contact with "a confirmed case." However, she mentioned that getting tested was difficult because tests are "INSANELY hard to come by."
"Our country is very behind, and we don't have much of a system in place," she said, adding that her symptoms included body chills, fatigue, headache, sore throat, dry cough, pain in her lungs, shortness of breath and loss of appetite.
She urged her followers to get tested if they are experiencing anything similar. "Treat yourself as if you're positive you most likely are," she wrote. "Rest, drink lots of liquids and SELF QUARANTINE."
Matthews' post comes just days after Disney+ released Frozen 2 three months early to "surprise families with some fun and joy during this challenging period."
Matthews joins stars Idris Elba, Olga Kurylenko, Game of Thrones star
Source: Hollywood Reporter
Ladj Ly's Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize laureate Les Misérables was the big winner at Friday night's 45th annual César Awards, France's equivalent to the Oscars, including taking the top honor of Best Film. The night unfolded, however, under tumultuous conditions owing to controversy surrounding Roman Polanski, whose An Officer and a Spy was the leading nominee going in with 12 mentions.
The filmmaker was not in attendance, but his film won three prizes including Best Director — an occurrence that caused walkouts from the Salle Pleyel, which earlier in the evening had been the site of protests by feminist organizations.
Polanski on Thursday said he would not attend the local industry's biggest night. “Activists are threatening me with a public lynching. Some have called for demonstrations, others are planning to make it a platform,” he said. “This promises to look more like a symposium than a celebration of cinema designed to reward its greatest talents,” the Oscar winner told AFP.
Earlier today, Officer and a Spy producer Alain Goldman told AFP he and the film's team had decided not to attend amid “an escalation of inappropriate and violent language and behavior.” Star Jean Dujardin on Instagram posted a photo from the film whose French title is J'Accuse, a term adopted by protesters against Polanski and wrote, “I'd just like to remind that J'Accuse is the title of a very famous article by Emile Zola, I hope that doesn't bother anyone? Have a good night!”
The Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma is itself in upheaval with the board of its management, the Association for the Promotion of Cinema, having recently announced its intention to resign en masse. That follows upset within the voting membership which has complained of an “elitist and closed” system in which they have “no voice.” A revamp of the Académie is due to begin soon with Amour producer Margaret Menegoz recently named its interim president.
The rest of the evenings nominees included such titles as Ly's Oscar-nominated Les Misérables, Nicolas Bedos' La Belle Epoque and Céline Sciamma's Portrait of a Lady on Fire. The latter included a Best Actress mention for Adèle Haenel, who has made headlines for accusing French director Christophe Ruggia of sexually harassing her from the age of 12, and has been outspoken with regard to the nominations for Polanski.
Here is tonight's full list of winners:
BEST FILMLes Misérables, dir: Ladj Ly
BEST DIRECTORRoman Polanski — An Officer And A Spy
BEST ACTRESSAnais Demoustier — Alice Et Le Maire
BEST ACTORRoschdy Zem — Roubaix, Une Lumière
BEST SUPPORTING ACTORSwann Arlaud — Grace A Dieu