6 Point Media is back with a new “As Told by Emoji”: Guardians of the Galaxy

The fantabulous animators at 6 Point Media have once again teamed up with Disney for the latest in the “As Told by Emoji” series. This time they take on Guardians of the Galaxy and bring you Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon and Groot like you’ve never seen them before: as out-of-this-world emoji.

Elliot Blanchard + Prism bring Future Portrait back to The Lab at NYC’s Panorama music festival

Director/designer/founder Elliot Blanchard at NYC’s PRISM is once again directing an interactive installation, Future Portrait, at HP’s “The Lab”, an experiential digital art show combining technology, artistry + design created exclusively by NYC artists at the Panorama music festival on Randall’s Island in late July.  Panorama is produced by Goldenvoice, the folks behind Coachella.

Future Portrait as Elliot describes, “Captures people’s motion through Kinects and transforms the movement into abstract animation. People can also remix the animation at touchscreens at the venue.”

Congratulations to the Bodega family for their 20 PromaxBDA nominations !

CD/Partner/Editor David Gioella proudly announced that the Bodega family of companies – Bodega, Northern Lights, Mr Wonderful + SuperExploder – has garnered a “personal best” 20 PromaxBDA nominations across a range of categories.

You can see all the nominations for this year’s awards here:

The winners will be announced at the PromaxBDA Conference June 8th in Los Angeles.  Good luck everybody !

 

Shine delivers main titles for HBO’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”

Creative director Michael Riley + his team at SHINE designed, edited and produced the main title sequence for “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” which premiered this Sunday April 23 on HBO.

Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne star in this adaptation of Rebecca Skloot’s critically acclaimed, bestselling nonfiction book of the same name. Told through the eyes of Henrietta Lacks’ daughter, Deborah Lacks, the film chronicles her search, along with journalist Rebecca Skloot (Byrne), to learn about the mother she never knew and understand how the unauthorized harvesting of Lacks’ cancerous cells in 1951 led to unprecedented medical breakthroughs, changing countless lives and the face of medicine forever.

Co-written and directed by George C. Wolfe for HBO, the film follows Skloot (Rose Byrne) and Deborah Lacks (Winfrey) on a journey to understand more about Henrietta, who died of cervical cancer at age 31 in 1951, leaving behind five small children and a legacy that would change modern medicine.

Unbeknown to Henrietta (played in flashbacks by Renee Elise Goldsberry), a doctor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore had removed cancer cells from her cervix. These cells were able to reproduce outside the body at astonishing rates, making them ideal for medical research.

The mass-produced HeLa cells, as they became known, have contributed to major breakthroughs, including the polio vaccine and in-vitro fertilization — all thanks to an African American woman who died in obscurity.

From the very beginning there was something uncanny about the cancer cells on Henrietta Lacks’s cervix. Even before killing Lacks herself in 1951, they took on a life of their own. Removed during a biopsy and cultured without her permission, the HeLa cells (named from the first two letters of her first and last names) reproduced boisterously in a lab at Johns Hopkins — the first human cells ever to do so.

HeLa became an instant biological celebrity, traveling to research labs all over the world. Meanwhile Lacks, a vivacious 31-year-old African-American who had once been a tobacco farmer, tended her five children and endured scarring radiation treatments in the hospital.After Henrietta Lacks’s death, HeLa went viral, so to speak, becoming the godmother of virology and then biotech, benefiting practically anyone who’s ever taken a pill stronger than aspirin.

Scientists have grown some 50 million metric tons of her cells, and you can get some for yourself simply by calling an 800 number. HeLa has helped build thousands of careers, not to mention more than 60,000 scientific studies, with nearly 10 more being published every day, revealing the secrets of everything from aging and cancer to mosquito mating and the cellular effects of the environment.

ReelChicago chats with SEED director Kristina Perreault

What’s up with SEED director Kristina Perrault ?

Chicago director Kristina Perreault is not afraid of things going wrong on the set, especially if they happen overseas.

“When traveling, sometimes stuff happens and you have to make it work,” she explains. “I like that challenge of constantly being on your toes.”

Besides being an accomplished travel documentarian, the latest addition to SEED’s roster also wields bona fide credentials as a show host and chef instructor. The experiences help her bring calm to non-actors dealing with on-camera jitters.

“I’m good at training people on location and getting them comfortable,” she explains. “A lot of time, it’s just their mental focus. We clear the room. We do breathing and we do voice exercises. Or I’ll just talk to them. I shift their focus to be more motivated and confident with the camera.”

Perreault says that her unique skillset began with an intense singular focus when she was in grade school.

Perreault (center) and crew in Dubai

Perreault (center) and crew in Dubai

“My parents were throwing away a video camera and I just started filming my friends and making films” she remembers. “I became obsessed with it.”

Although she grew up to become a world-savvy director, recently completed a project in Dubai and lists the Cyclades among her favorite locations, she says that SEED founder and executive producer Roy Skillicorn offers something that she has not found anywhere else.

“I feel that he genuinely has my back and my well being in my professional career,” she explains. “He’s a good guide. I’ve done business with other people. He goes that extra mile. That alone was kind of a big thing for me, to be able to have that kind of a relationship.”

Perreault also notes that she “gets along with Roy’s family well.” This hints at another driving force in her career. Born and raised in Minnesota, she chose to settle in Chicago partly because “it’s a little closer to home.”

So far, there’s at least one celebrity who’s happy she’s here.

“I was asked to come on to a set because a rapper was having a breakdown,” she explains. “Apparently he partied too hard the day before and didn’t want to be on camera.”

HU_SH @BODEGA animation director Kirk Hendry draws up “Kensuke’s Kingdom”

Our very own Kirk Hendry, represented for spots + branded content at BODEGA Animation via HU_SHis co-directing (with Neil Boyle) a very cool new mixed media + 2D animation feature film Kensuke’s Kingdom.   Cartoon Brew has the scoop and a new concept trailer below.

 

At last week’s Cartoon Movie market, one of the most attended presentations was Kensuke’s Kingdom, a 2D and mixed-media feature film from industry veterans Neil Boyle and Kirk Hendry.

Go here to check out the KENSUKE’S KINGDOM TRAILER

Based on the bestselling novel by War Horse author Michael Morpurgo and adapted for the screen by screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce (Hilary and Jackie, Welcome to Sarajevo, The Railway Man), Kensuke’s Kingdom follows the story of a young boy who washes up on a tropical island overseen by a mysterious Japanese soldier named Kensuke, who lives there with a family of orangutans as his companions.

When we first previewed the project in 2015, it was still early in development. At Cartoon Movie it was announced that several high-profile production companies have boarded the feature: London’s Lupus Films, which most recently produced Ethel & Ernest, and Luxembourg’s Melusine Productions, whose credits Ethel & Ernest, Song of the Sea, and Ernest and Celestine.

The producing team behind Kensuke’s Kingdom is now comprised of Camilla Deakin and Ruth Fielding of Lupus Films, Sarah Radclyffe (co-founder of Working Title Films and producer of over 30 live-action films), Barnaby Spurrier (Deadtime Stories for Big Folk, Somers Town), and Stephan Roelants of Melusine Productions.

Kensuke’s Kingdom has strong themes of ecological conservation and respect for the environment, including a climactic showdown with poachers who are trying to overtake the island, and directors Boyle and Hendry have spent time investigating the best approach for visualizing the natural world onscreen. They’ve come up with a solution that balances organic elements with digital compositing, and which is both unique and visually striking.

“The natural world is an essential character in this story and one thing we were keen to achieve was an organic feel to the environment,” said Boyle, whose animation credits include The Thief and the Cobbler and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. “We wanted to use reality, rather than model builds. We wanted it to look damp. With our test sequence, we filled it with many objects we found on the forest floor or rocks we pulled out of the Thames. They all had their own wonderful slime, cobwebs or dead bugs that you could never production design. We were curious to see what we could just find in nature and use.”

Added Hendry: “Something that we have been focusing on in the last few years is the creative blend of mixed media. We like to see how the things we love can inhabit the same space — the charm of 2D hand drawn characters, the depth of photoreal worlds, the character of miniature environments, matte paintings and the random nature of filmed effects footage.”

The filmmakers aim to book-end the animated portions of the film with live-action. They are still developing the final look of the film, but the goal is “to do as much of the film as possible as partial miniature sets with found objects, then extended with matte paintings” Hendry explained to Cartoon Brew. “We just like the look. It’s random, organic and connects with the theme of the piece. It’s different — and its more fun to work this way.”

While the producers continue to build a team of production partners, Boyle and Hendry are moving forward with the development of the animatic and further production design for characters and environment.

Boyle notes that the process is more organic on this film than many projects he’s worked on in the past. “On many productions you sign off on a written script and then pass the project over to artists to visualize in storyboard form, almost like they’re two separate processes,” he said. “ForKensuke’s Kingdom, we’re planning to continue working really closely with [screenwriter] Frank Cottrell Boyce, brewing up the most exciting and visual way we can tell this story, batting back and forth dialogue and imagery until we’ve found the best way to translate Michael Morpurgo’s classic book into cinematic form. It’s a tremendously exciting process.”