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Chris Evans wished Robert Downey Jr. a happy birthday with a classic line from Avengers: Endgame. Downey Jr. is more than likely celebrating his 55th birthday indoors and practicing social distancing with a few family members. There will not be a huge party with dozens of people, though he could do so digitally through the use of social media. Regardless, the former Captain America actor is making sure Downey Jr.'s birthday does not go unnoticed.
Robert Downey Jr. started the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the first Iron Man movie in 2008. Chris Evans later followed in 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger and the two had instant chemistry together on the big screen when it came time for 2012's The Avengers. Now, Chris Evans is wishing Downey Jr. a very happy birthday. He posted an image of the two in character at Avengers HQ and captioned it with, 'Happy birthday to one of my absolute favorites! Love you 3000,' which is now a classic line from Avengers: Endgame.
Happy birthday to one of my absolute favorites! Love you 3000, @RobertDowneyJrpic.twitter.com/xkJmOivAdw— Chris Evans @ChrisEvans April 4, 2020
'I love you 3000' is what Tony Stark tells his daughter early on in Avengers: Endgame. Stark has seemingly given up on the idea of returning to the superhero world after the events of Infinity War and Captain America: Civil War. So, he starts the movie out as a somewhat content family man out in the country. However, when Earth's Mightiest Heroes try to get the band together, Stark, begins to get pulled back into the world, despite denying it early on. Before we know it, he's looking for ways to work with the Pym Particles to get the time heist plan going.
From there, MCU finally see Steve Rogers and Tony Stark bury the hatchet after years of strife. It was the closure that many felt the characters needed and it was inevitable. In real-life, Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. also needed some closure with the superhero world. Both actor frontloaded fans by teasing that Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame could be the end of the line for their days within the MCU, which wasn't exactly what everybody wanted to hear. After years of training and intense shooting days, Evans and Downey Jr. were ready for a much-needed breather.
So, Avengers: Endgame gave Steve Rogers and Tony Stark proper send offs. Stark went from the billionaire, self-involved brat to the hero who makes the ultimate sacrifice to save the universe from Thanos. Rogers, who has always done what he thought was best for others, finally did what was best for himself as he went back in time to spend his remaining years with Peggy Carter. While Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. may not share scenes on the big screen again together, they, along with the rest of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, remain friends off the screen. You can check out Chris Evans' Twitter birthday message to Robert Downey Jr. below....
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...
Actress Honor Blackman has passed away. She was 94 years old. Blackman is arguably best-known for portraying Bond girl Pussy Galore in Goldfinger, along with the judo chopping Cathy Gale on TV's The Avengers. She passed away peacefully on April 5th at her home in Lewes, Sussex, of natural causes, according to her family. Blackman's family released a statement, which you can read below.'She was much loved and will be greatly missed by her two children Barnaby and Lottie, and grandchildren Daisy, Oscar, Olive, and Toby. As well as being a much-adored mother and grandmother. Honor was an actor of hugely prolific creative talent. With an extraordinary combination of beauty, brains and physical prowess, along with her unique voice and a dedicated work ethic, she achieved an unparalleled iconic status in the world of film and entertainment and with absolute commitment to her craft and total professionalism in all her endeavors she contributed to some of the great films and theater productions of our times.'
Honor Blackman's acting career spans six decades after starting off in the late 1940s. Her early movie roles included Diamond City and Come Die My Love, while early television shows include Probation Officer, The Vise, and Danger Man. However, it wasn't until she portrayed Elizabeth Taylor's friend in MGM's Conspirator that she started to get some real recognition. From there, her big break came in 1962 when she joined the cast of the British TV series The Avengers as Cathy Gale. This is not to be confused with the Marvel Comics characters. It's here where she learned judo and helped to bring women's self-defense to the entertainment industry.
Honor Blackman's martial arts proficiency was evident from the start, though she says she regretted doing some of her own stunts later in life due to some back issues. After two seasons on The Avengers TV series, Blackman made the controversial decision to leave and become a Bond Girl in Goldfinger. 'Everybody was quite startled when I decided to leave, especially since the program was about to go onto film and into color,' she reflected later. The actress portrayed the iconic villainous femme fatale Pussy Galore in the third Bond installment, which went on to become a global hit. It's during this time that she also scored a hit pop single titled 'Kinky Boots,' inspired by the knee-high boots she wore at the time.
Honor Blackman received acting lessons for her 15th birthday. Later that year, she began her training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Following graduation, she was an understudy in the West End play The Guinea Pig and In 1947 she appeared in the Patrick Hastings play The Blind Goddess at the Apollo Theatre. When her career finally took off, Blackman was considered to be a real-life goddess by fans.
More recently, Honor Blackman appeared in Bridget Jones's Diary, Color Me Kubrick, I, Anna, By Any Means, and You, Me, and Them. Blackman starred as...
The Third Floor, the industry's busiest visualization company in tackling superhero movies “Black Widow,” “Avengers: Endgame”, already had an advantage working remotely with real-time tools and virtual workflows when the coronavirus pandemic struck early this year. Turns out, though, that the COVID-19 epicenter was too close for comfort.
“When this crisis began, we initially faced the challenge of protecting our staff in Beijing, who were in the midst of launching our first permanent office in China,” said CEO and co-founder Chris Edwards. “When the virus started spreading beyond Wuhan, the first thing we did was send everyone home and connect them virtually...we learned a lot about the procedures for mitigating the risk of spreading the virus that we began to apply to our other offices in London, Atlanta, and LA [headquarters].
“Time was of the essence to put a highly secure, remote-working infrastructure in place,” he said, “and we needed to leverage the company infrastructure to bolster communication and function as a support group for all of our employees and their families.”
Back in LA, The Third Floor TTF found the resilience of its Beijing crew instructive. The company, which has become the go-to visualization specialist for the MCU performing rough previs of scenes, more elaborate techvis breakdowns of camera lenses, set construction, and stunts, and postvis enhancements during crunch time, used video conferencing and other methods of digital collaboration to significantly advance preparations and stay on schedule. Despite the physical isolation, however, everyone started relying on the video calls for more than just work-related advice.
“At our [LA] hub, we didn't want to take the risk of being unprepared, so we authorized our IT team to increase our internet band tenfold, and build an advanced remote login system that could enable our artists to work fluidly and securely from home,” said Edwards, who worked with IT chiefs at major studios such as Disney for advising and approving their comprehensive work-from-home solution.
But the two-week transition to a completely virtual studio only became possible with the help of industry colleagues and suppliers when California Governor Gavin Newsom and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti issued the stay-at-home order. And, as part of its mobilization effort, the company launched a TTFaid program as a resource for more than 100 employees and their families with supplies, aid, and emotional support.
“With this early foresight in February, we were prepared to roll out a set of guidelines, which I called the TTF Health Vigilance Plan, across our other studios in LA, Atlanta, and...