Monday, July 18, 2016

Emoji Audition

"In celebration of World Emoji Day (editor's note: which was actually yesterday), Sony Pictures Animation tweeted today T.J. Miller's casting audition video for the lead part of Gene in EMOJIMOVIE: EXPRESS YOURSELF coming to theaters in August 2017:"

"EMOJIMOVIE: EXPRESS YOURSELF reveals the Secret World inside your phone. It’s a world where Emojis come alive (when they’re not being texted) and journey through Apps, each one its own wild and fun world, to get to their ultimate destination: The Cloud. It’s the App-venture of a lifetime!"

"The animated comedy is directed by Anthony Leondis and produced by Michelle Raimo Kouyate."

Friday, June 24, 2016

Beauty and the Beast Signature Blu-Ray


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Disney’s Beloved Animated Classic

Relive the magic and the music with four versions of the film plus all-new bonus features!

With the Release of the Walt Disney Signature Collection Edition on Digital HD Sept. 6 and Blu-ray™ Sept. 20

BURBANK, Calif., June 24, 2016 — Twenty-five years ago, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” broke ground as the first animated feature film to receive an Academy Award® nomination for best picture, and now this tale as old as time joins the Walt Disney Signature Collection on Sept. 6 on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere, and on Sept. 20 on Blu-ray™ and DVD. 

The beloved animated classic has truly stood the test of time and now a whole new generation of viewers are invited to be our guest and fall in love with this enchanting tale, its captivating characters and unforgettable, award-winning music score and original song, “Beauty and the Beast.”

The Walt Disney Signature Collection edition features four versions of “Beauty and the Beast.”  The Blu-ray release will include the original theatrical film; an extended version with the “Human Again” song sequence and a never-before-released on home entertainment sing-along version.  The original work-in-progress version will be available digitally and on Disney Movies Anywhere.

There is also a host of all-new bonus extras including a rare opportunity to gather around the piano with some of Disney’s greatest composers, including Alan Menken (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin”), Stephen Schwartz (“The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Pocahontas”), Kristen Anderson-Lopez (“Frozen,” Disney’s upcoming “Gigantic”), Robert Lopez (“Frozen,” Disney’s upcoming “Gigantic”) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Disney’s upcoming “Moana”) as they sing and share how they’ve personally been inspired by the film’s award-winning music; a look at how Walt Disney himself sought to adapt this famous fairytale; a nostalgic look back with Paige O’Hara, the voice of Belle; behind-the-scenes access into the recording booth with the cast; and a sneak peek at Disney’s upcoming live-action re-telling of “Beauty and the Beast,” arriving in theaters in 2017.

Film Versions:
BLU-RAY, DIGITAL HD* & DISNEY MOVIES ANYWHERE:
•    Original theatrical version
•    New advanced sing-along version
•    Extended version with “Human Again” song sequence
DIGITAL HD* & DISNEY MOVIES ANYWHERE:
•    Work-in-progress version


Bonus Features:

BLU-RAY, DIGITAL HD* & DISNEY MOVIES ANYWHERE:

•    Menken & Friends: 25 Years of Musical Inspiration – Get a front-row seat for an intimate discussion between legendary music composers from classic and future Disney films, including Alan Menken (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin”), Stephen Schwartz (“The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Pocahontas”), Kristen Anderson-Lopez (“Frozen,” Disney’s upcoming “Gigantic”), Robert Lopez (“Frozen,” Disney’s upcoming “Gigantic”) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Disney’s upcoming “Moana”). Discover how the composers are personally connected, how they first experienced “Beauty and the Beast” and how they find  inspiration for their own films. And watch as they pay tribute to the film’s award-winning music score and the man who has inspired them all—Alan Menken. 

•    #1074: Walt, Fairy Tales & Beauty and the Beast – Long before “Beauty and the Beast” became the instant classic we know and love, Walt Disney made two attempts—between the 1930s and 1950s—to adapt the famous fairy tale into an animated film. Discover what Walt and his team was dreaming up through Walt’s actual voice recordings, archived artwork, story notes, and learn why the project was sidelined for decades.

•    Always Belle – The original voice of Belle, Paige O’Hara, reminisces about earning the role of the beautiful bookworm in “Beauty and the Beast” and recalls how the iconic character changed her life and continues to inspire fans both young and old.

•    The Recording Sessions – Go in the recording booth with the cast of Beauty and the Beast and see what went into adding voices to the characters and the lines we know and love.

•    25 Fun Facts About Beauty and the Beast – Disney Channel’s Gus Kamp and Kayla Maisonet host this entertaining countdown featuring little-known fun facts, anecdotes and hidden Easter Eggs (references to Disney animated films and characters) from one of the most cherished animated films of all time.

•    “Beauty and The Beast” Sneak Peek – An exciting first look into the live-action re-telling of “Beauty and the Beast,” which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs.

DIGITAL HD* & DISNEY MOVIES ANYWHERE:

•    Classic Bonus Features – These offerings from prior home entertainment releases include over five hours of bonus material, such as an alternate version of “Be Our Guest” and the “Beauty and the Beast” music video performed by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson, and deleted scenes.

*     Bonus features may vary by retailer

Walt Disney Pictures’ magical animated classic “Beauty and the Beast” captures the magical journey of Belle (voice of Paige O’Hara), an independent and intelligent, modern-day heroine who’s taken prisoner by a hideous beast (voice of Robby Benson) in his castle. Despite her precarious situation, Belle befriends the castle’s enchanted staff—a teapot, a candelabra and a mantel clock, among others—and ultimately learns to see beneath the Beast’s exterior to discover the heart and soul of a prince.

“Beauty and the Beast” was nominated for six Academy Awards® and was the first animated feature to receive an Academy Award® nomination for best picture. It won two Oscars®, including best song, by the renowned Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, and best original score (Menken), as well as a Golden Globe Award® for best comedy/musical.
“Beauty and the Beast” was Disney’s first animated film adapted into a Broadway musical, which ran for 5,464 performances from 1994-2007 and has delighted more than 35 million people worldwide. On March 17, 2017, audiences will experience the thrilling retelling of the original tale through Disney’s live-action film, “Beauty and the Beast,” in which Emma Watson (“Harry Potter” films) plays Belle and eight-time Oscar® winner Alan Menken returns to recreate his Academy Award®-winning music score.

DISC SPECIFICATIONS:

Product SKUs:    Blu-ray Combo Pack, Digital HD/SD, Disney Movies Anywhere
Feature Run Time:            Approximately 85 minutes
Rating:                        G in U.S. and Canada
                            Bonus material not rated
Aspect Ratio:                Blu-ray Feature Film = 1080p High Definition / 1.78:1
                            DVD Feature Film = 1.78:1
Audio:                                Blu-ray = English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks
DVD = English, Spanish, and French 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks
Subtitles:                    English SDH, French & Spanish

SOCIAL MEDIA:
Facebook:                     Facebook.com/DisneyBeautyAndTheBeast
Website:                     BeOurGuest.com

ABOUT THE WALT DISNEY SIGNATURE COLLECTION:
The Walt Disney Signature Collection includes groundbreaking films created or inspired by the imagination and legacy of Walt Disney, featuring timeless stories and characters that have touched generations. Each release will offer special features for every member of your family plus a unique digital experience.

ABOUT DISNEY MOVIES ANYWHERE (DMA):
Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) is an engaging and family-friendly cloud-based digital movie service that makes it simple to buy your favorite Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars movies once and watch them anywhere.  With DMA you can explore Disney’s library of over 450 eligible digital movies, discover hours of new and exclusive short-form content, and watch your digital movies from the comfort of the living room or across multiple mobile devices.   You can add the free DMA app to a multitude of devices including iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android mobile phones and tablets, Android TV, Amazon’s Fire tablets, Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Roku, and Xbox 360. Then, connect your DMA account with participating providers including iTunes, Amazon Video, VUDU, Google Play, and Microsoft Movies & TV and your eligible movies will be shared across all your connected platforms.  In addition, you can redeem Digital Copy codes found in Disney, Pixar and Marvel Blu-rays and DVDs, as well as earn Disney Movie Rewards points with every digital purchase.

ABOUT THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS:
For over 90 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. Feature films are released under the following banners: Disney, including Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios; Disneynature; Marvel Studios; Lucasfilm; and Touchstone Pictures, the banner under which live-action films from DreamWorks Studios are distributed. The Disney Music Group encompasses the Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records labels, as well as Disney Music Publishing. The Disney Theatrical Group produces and licenses live events, including Disney on Broadway, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!
# # #

©2016 Disney

Monday, June 20, 2016

Sony Pictures Animation 2017/18 Slate


Sony Pictures Animation Announces 2017 & 2018 Slate

Projects Include EMOJIMOVIE: EXPRESS YOURSELF, Faith-Based Film
THE STAR, HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3, Animated SPIDER-MAN
and GHOSTBUSTERS Animated TV Series

Culver City, CA, June 20, 2016 – In a move signaling an expansion of its output and increased year-round production across multiple platforms, Sony Pictures Animation announced today its slate through 2018 which includes five theatrical features, three television series and one direct-to-video movie.

Kristine Belson, President of Sony Pictures Animation, says, “We are meaningfully stepping up our level of production, while creating an environment that fosters the best talent. Our goal is to enlarge our presence in the animation landscape with a uniquely diverse slate, and our strategy to get there is to let artists drive the movies creatively.”

Tom Rothman, Chairman of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, adds, “I could not be more proud of the way Kristine Belson has rebuilt Sony Pictures Animation into the boldest home for animation in the industry.”

Sony Pictures Animation’s slate includes a diverse mix of originals and franchises, some previously announced, each with its own unique style and tone, underscoring the Studio’s pledge to develop projects aimed both inside and outside of the Sony Pictures Animation family brand intended for traditional, as well as online, distribution platforms.

THEATRICAL FEATURES

·        SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE—a fully-animated comedy that delivers a fresh new take on the famous blue creatures and marks a return to the tone and style of the beloved comic book creations of Peyo—hits theaters April 7, 2017. The feature is directed by Kelly Asbury (SHREK 2, GNOMEO & JULIET), produced by Jordan Kerner (THE SMURFS 1 & 2, CHARLOTTE’S WEB), co-produced by Mary Ellen Bauder Andrews (HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA) and written by Stacey Harman and Pamela Ribon, based on the characters and works of Peyo. The voice cast includes Demi Lovato as Smurfette, Jack McBrayer as Clumsy, Joe Manganiello as Hefty, Danny Pudi as Brainy, and Rainn Wilson as Gargamel, with Mandy Patinkin as Papa.

·        EMOJIMOVIE: EXPRESS YOURSELF will offer a surprising and comic take on the secret world of our phones and the beloved characters that have become daily necessities in global interpersonal communication. The feature, targeting an August 2017 theatrical release, is directed by Anthony Leondis, produced by Michelle Raimo Kouyate, and written by Anthony Leondis & Eric Siegel.

·        THE STAR (working title) is scheduled for a December 8, 2017 theatrical release. The computer-animated feature is directed by Oscar nominee Timothy Reckart (HEAD OVER HEELS); executive produced by DeVon Franklin, Lisa Henson, and Brian Henson; co-produced by Jenni Magee Cook; and written by Carlos Kotkin and Simon Moore. In The Star, a small but brave donkey and his animal friends become the unsung heroes of the greatest story ever told, the first Christmas. Sony Pictures Animation produces in association with The Jim Henson Company.

·        HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3—the follow-up to Sony Pictures Animation’s highest grossing film in the U.S. and the biggest opening ever for a domestic September release —is scheduled to hit theaters September 21, 2018. Director Genndy Tartakovsky (DEXTER’S LABORATORY, STAR WARS: CLONE WARS), who returns to helm this brand new adventure, says, “I thought I was done exploring the world of HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA after the first two films, but while I was away from the franchise finishing my TV show SAMURAI JACK, an idea sparked that I got really excited about and made it irresistible to return and helm myself this third adventure.” Michelle Murdocca is back producing, with Adam Sandler executive producing, and Michael McCullers (AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME, BOSS BABY) writing the screenplay. Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez and Andy Samberg will be returning as the voices of Dracula, his vampire daughter Mavis, and her human husband Johnny.

·        From Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, the geniuses behind THE LEGO MOVIE, comes an animated SPIDER-MAN feature slated for theatrical release December 21, 2018. The film is being written by Phil Lord. Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller are producing; Craig Sost is co-producing. Bob Persichetti (head of story on PUSS IN BOOTS and THE LITTLE PRINCE) is directing.

ANIMATED SERIES

·        A brand new animated television series, GHOSTBUSTERS: ECTO FORCE, will further expand the Ghostbusters cinematic universe and focus on a new generation of Ghostbusters in the year 2050 who capture ghosts around the world with help from local teams—and some very cool gear! The younger-skewing Sony Pictures Animation project is being creatively spearheaded by Ivan Reitman and his production company Ghost Corps. GHOSTBUSTERS: ECTO FORCE is eyeing an early 2018 debut.

·        HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA: THE TELEVISION SERIES is targeted for a 2017 airdate. The animated television series, produced in partnership with Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana, will focus on the teenage years of Mavis, Dracula’s daughter, and her friends. It will be airing on the Disney Channel worldwide.

·        CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS is slated for its television series incarnation airdate in 2017. The 2D animated small-screen series, produced in partnership with DHX Media and commissioned by TELETOON in Canada, will expand on the adventures of the computer-animated feature films and will air on Cartoon Network in the U.S. and Turner channels across EMEA, APAC and Latin American markets.

DIRECT-TO-VIDEO

·        SURF’S UP 2: WAVEMANIA will debut on home entertainment in the Spring of 2017. Directed by Henry Yu and produced by Michelle Wong, the follow-up to the 2007 Oscar nominee will hit the shores in time for the 10-year anniversary of the franchise. The project is in partnership with WWE Studios (NYSE:WWE) and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The voice cast includes WWE Superstars John Cena®, The Undertaker®, Triple H®, Diva Paige™ and Mr. McMahon® as an an infamous big wave riding crew of penguins known as The Hang 5 which Cody Maverick convinces to let him join on their journey to a mysterious surf spot where legend has it they’ll find the biggest waves in the world.


Senior Vice Presidents of Development Michael Lachance (EMOJIMOVIE: EXPRESS YOURSELF, GHOSTBUSTERS: ECTO FORCE), Jenny Marchick (THE STAR, HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3) and Mike Moon (untitled animated SPIDER-MAN) are in charge of creatively spearheading the Sony Pictures Animation slate.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Data Materialities at Siggraph

HIGHLY INTERACTIVE ART GALLERY PRESENTATION

'DATA MATERIALITIES' 

TO BE SPECIAL FEATURE AT SIGGRAPH 2016 IN ANAHEIM


CHICAGO, May 4, 2016—Highly interactive art exhibits from around the world will be a special feature during SIGGRAPH 2016, the world's leading annual interdisciplinary educational experience showcasing the latest in computer graphics and interactive techniques. With the tagline "Render the Possibilities," SIGGRAPH 2016 will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center, 24–28 July 2016.

This year's Art Gallery, assembled under the banner "Data Materialities," represents a unique collection of 10 highly interactive installations created from 2003–2016.

SIGGRAPH 2016 Art Gallery Chair Jonah Brucker-Cohen said, "We have made a special effort to bring back large-scale, highly immersive displays for the Art Gallery. Our title, 'Data Materialities,' illustrates the fact that in 2016, we are all constantly surrounded by networks, information, and data. Whether these stimuli consist of electromagnetic frequencies or physical wired connections, networks are everywhere, consuming and permeating our offices, homes, schools, and public indoor and outdoor spaces. 'Data Materialities' exposes this plethora of data and transforms it to incarnations of tangibility that not only showcase their complexity, but also allow us to relate to them on a human scale. By injecting humor and kinetic energy to this year's exposition, the Art Gallery will make light of these data platforms and present them on a grand scale to reveal their ubiquity."

Artwork and artists for the SIGGRAPH 2016 Art Gallery are selected by the program chair and not by a jury. This year's Art Gallery will be open to attendees during the following dates and times:

Sun, 24 July | Noon – 5:30 pm 
Mon, 25 July | 10 am 5:30 pm 
Tue, 26 July | 10 am5:30 pm 
Wed, 27 July | 10 am5:30 pm 
Thu, 28 July | 10 am1 pm

"Data Materialities" Art Gallery highlights include:

Submergence | Chris Bennewith, Liam Birtles, Oliver Brown, Gaz Bushell, and Anthony Rowe, Squidsoup
"Submergence" is a large, immersive, walkthrough experience that uses up to 8,064 individual points of suspended light to create feelings of presence and movement within physical space. This video from YouTube user Nick Hunter shows the installation at the Geneva Mapping Festival.

Pixelbots | Paul Beardsley, Disney Research Zürich
Disney Research Zürich created a new kind of display in which pixels, called "Pixelbots," are represented as small colorful mobile robots which create cartoon-like images or animations. Pixelbots can be seen on the Disney Research YouTube channel, where they present a "Story of the Universe" animation, including a fish, a dinosaur, and a human.

The Kinetic Story Teller | Tine Bech, Independent Artist
"The Kinetic Story Teller" installation investigates how art, technology, and playfulness can create new systems of communication by materializing data through kinetic interaction - and offer people new ways of connecting with each other in public spaces. Two beautiful swings light up and display people's social media messages on screens, encouraging participants to connect while they play.

Plinko Poetry | Peiqui Su and Deqing Sun, New York University
A playful, interactive installation, "Plinko Poetry" has its roots in both the famous TV game show "The Price Is Right" and experimental blackout poetry. Every player can be both a winner and a poet. Drawing source text from current @nytimes and @FoxNews tweets, players can absurdly re-contextualize news headlines that are often overloaded with meaning.

For more information on the SIGGRAPH 2016 Art Gallery, please see: s2016.siggraph.org/content/art-gallery.

To register for SIGGRAPH 2016, visit s2016.siggraph.org/registration.

To follow conference news on social media, check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, or the ACM SIGGRAPH blog.

About SIGGRAPH 2016
The annual SIGGRAPH conference is a five-day interdisciplinary educational experience in the latest computer graphics and interactive techniques, including a three-day commercial exhibition that attracts hundreds of companies from around the world. The conference also hosts the international SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival, showcasing works from the world's most innovative and accomplished digital film and video creators. Juried and curated content includes outstanding achievements in time-based art, scientific visualization, visual effects, games, real-time graphics, virtual reality, and narrative shorts. SIGGRAPH 2016 will take place from 24-28 July 2016 in Anaheim, California. Visit the SIGGRAPH 2016 website or follow SIGGRAPH on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram for more detailed information.

About ACM SIGGRAPH
The ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques is an interdisciplinary community interested in research, technology, and applications in computer graphics and interactive techniques. Members include researchers, developers, and users from the technical, academic, business, and art communities. ACM SIGGRAPH enriches the computer graphics and interactive techniques community year-round through its conferences, global network of professional and student chapters, publications, and educational activities.

About ACM
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting educators, researchers, and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources, and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for lifelong learning, career development, and professional networking.

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