|THE MORNING WATCHTHE IRISHMANVFX ARTISTSIRISHMANVFX|
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, watch as stuntment recreate a fight scene from The Mandalorian with some low-rent props and visual effects in the middle of a dojo. Plus, Patrick H Willems, or rather some of his collaborators, put together a video essay on Labyrinth and the themes of capitalism in 1980s America, and you can get a lesson on how to draw a Walt Disney caricature.
First up, some professional stuntmen, with the help of some local cosplayers and propmakers, got together in Atlanta Judo Midtown to recreate a fight scene from The Mandalorian in a very low budget style. But the camera work and cheap digital effects make this video from Legend of Micah a little more stylish than your average sweded video elsewhere on the web.
Next up, since things are crazy right now with coronavirus, Patrick H Willems takes a backseat to video essays this week. Instead, his collaborators Jake and Matt took advantage of the situation to do a video essay about the 1980s cult favorite Labyrinth starring David Bowie and how it fights back against the idea of greed being good.
Finally, Walt Disney Animation Studios animation supervisor Michael Woodside sat down to teach you how to draw a Disney-Style caricature of Walt Disney himself. It’s all in honor of the annual caricature show curated by the studio, and it’ll help you pass the time while you’re stick at home with nothing to do. Maybe you can even try to draw a caricature of someone else like this too.
Meanwhile six-time nominee 'Little Women' only won one award, for costume design, in an awards ceremony that featured numerous onstage comments praising the work of female directors.
The 2020 Oscars marked another disappointing awards ceremony for the team behind Netflix's Martin Scorsese-directed mob drama, The Irishman. After being shut out at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards, the epic, decade-spanning and decade-in-the-making story starring Robert De Niro and Oscar nominees Al Pacino and Joe Pesci failed to win any of the 10 Oscars for which it was nominated.
Still, Scorsese got a few shout-outs from the stage, with Chris Rock and Steve Martin mentioning the film and the director in their monologue and best director winner Bong Joon Ho taking a minute to note how, as an aspiring director, he was particularly inspired by Scorsese, comments that prompted the Academy Awards audience to give Scorsese a standing ovation.
Meanwhile, other top nominees had a relatively disappointing night, with six-time nominees Jojo Rabbit, Marriage Story and Little Women only taking home one award each. Little Women's prize was arguably the lowest profile award of those one by Jojo Rabbit and Marriage Story, only taking home the prize for best costume design. It's poor showing was somewhat ironic given that a theme throughout the show was praising the work of female directors, like Little Women helmer Greta Gerwig, despite the fact that none were nominated for best director again this year. Jojo Rabbit won best adapted screenplay while Marriage Story's Laura Dern won the best supporting actress award she was expected to take home
While Once Upon A Time in Hollywood won two awards, for production design and best supporting actor Brad Pitt, writer-director-producer Quentin Tarantino didn't win any of the awards for which he was nominated including high-profile prizes best original screenplay, best director and best picture.
Similarly, 11-time nominee Joker only won two awards, for best score and best actor Joaquin Phoenix, high-profile victories but a significant drop, numbers-wise, from its leading spot among nominated films.
Also while Parasite was predicted to do well at the 2020 Oscars, with the best picture race shaping up as a battle between the Bong Joon Ho film and Sam Mendes' 1917, many pundits expected 1917 to win best picture or for Mendes to win best director, if not both, particularly after 1917 won the top prizes at the BAFTA Awards last week, in the middle of Oscar voting, after winning the top prizes at the DGA Awards and PGA Awards. And while 1917 won three awards, all were in technical categories.
Other multiple Oscar nominees that were shut out included Harriet and The Two Popes.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
While the VFX industry has shifted rapidly to remote access during the global pandemic to keep content pipelines churning, thousands of practitioners have been forced to remain in their offices, putting themselves at risk. That's because of pre-existing non-disclosure agreements NDAs designed to protect intellectual property. As of Monday, though, nearly 10,000 VFX artists have banded together in support of working remotely, signing an online petition to the Motion Picture Association of America MPAA, launched by Mario Rokicki, a color supervisor at Double Negative in Vancouver.
“The NDAs that are forced on VFX Studios put artists and [staff] at [their] peril,” wrote Rokicki. “What was [a] minor inconvenience before is the major life risk situation with Coronavirus outbreak. VFX houses have or can quickly deploy secure technology solutions to allow work from home on the projects that with the magnitude of the pandemic will probably be delayed. All I ask is to put aside often legal misguided IP protection measures and harsh NDAs and allow tens of thousands of dedicated artists to work from home and prevent total VFX studios shutdown and layoffs.”
In response, the Visual Effects Society VES lent its support through the following statement on Monday: “The Visual Effects Society wants to encourage all employers — large or small — to grant permission for their employees to work remotely during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. We understand the concerns around security to protect proprietary work product, but right now is the time for the utmost flexibility towards VFX artists and all practitioners as we try to figure our way through this crisis. Many companies are trying to take action, and we are optimistic that studios and vendors can find and enact workable solutions.”
Nicole Dove / © 2019 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Additionally, the VES Technology Committee issued a series of best practices guidelines for working from home, culled from studios, vendors, and facilities. These cover secure remote desktop solutions, band comparisons, cloud solutions, and, most important, secure file transfer solutions.
Indeed, security file transfer solutions remain the biggest concern for allowing employees to work at home, while the high cost of remote software makes it difficult for contract artists to do the same. However, some staffing is required at studios and smaller companies to keep the IT going and to move files. “Most of the studios have been amenable to it, in concept, but some companies have not been able to sort out how to let artists work from home because of the security aspects of it,” said Mike Chambers, visual effects producer Christopher Nolan's...
The much-discussed “butthole cut” of “Cats” has been confirmed by an anonymous VFX artist who worked on the Tom Hooper musical adaptation. The crew member spoke to The Daily Beast about working on the infamous musical film, which had an early cut where the feline characters appeared with buttholes. While the decision was anatomically correct for the cats, the look was too jarring for release. The VFX artist said, “When we were looking at the playbacks, we were like, 'What the hell? You guys see that?'”
“We paused it. We went to call our supervisor, and we're like, 'There's a fucking asshole in there! There's buttholes!' the VFX artist continued. “It wasn't prominent but you saw it. And you [were] just like, 'What the hell is that? There's a fucking butthole in there.' It wasn't in your face — but at the same time, too, if you're looking, you'll see it.”
The VFX artist was a part of the team tasked with removing the buttholes from an early cut of “Cats.” The crew member has harsh words for director Tom Hooper and calls the experience of working on the film “almost slavery.” Other crew members told The Daily Beast they would stay in the office for “two or three days at a time, sleeping under desks.” The VFX artist said Hooper would rudely criticize their work despite not having a background in animation himself.
As The Daily Beast reports: “Some aspects of the production, the source alleges, became simply absurd — like when Hooper would demand to see videos of actual cats performing the same actions the cats would do in the film. ‘And as you know,’ the source said, ‘cats don't dance.'”
The source went on to call Hooper “horrible,” “disrespectful,” and “demeaning,” adding, “When you go into a conference room, you're not allowed to speak. And he talks to you like you're garbage.”
Universal Pictures opened “Cats” in theaters over the Christmas holiday, where it bombed at the box office with just $27 million in the U.S. and $73 million worldwide. The musical carried a budget of over $80 million before marketing costs. The VFX in “Cats” became a punching bag, most notably because of the “digital fur” used to turn human actors like Idris Elba and Jennifer Hudson into felines. The Oscars featured a bit in which presenters and “Cats” actors James Corden and Rebel Wilson ripped the film’s VFX, but IndieWire’s Chris O’Falt slammed the joke because it’s Hooper’s artistic vision that is to blame for “Cats” being a disaster, not the VFX artists.
IndieWire has reached out to...