Archive for

March, 2012

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March 10, 2012 2:29 pm

The VFX Predictinator

In the wake of the 2012 Academy Award I found myself very surprised by the VFX result. Certainly Hugo is a magnificent film, and I have enormous respect for director Martin Scorsese and VFX Supervisor Rob Legato, but Hugo’s effects were not the best of the year. Transformers 3 and Rise of the Planet of the Apes both achieved stunning levels of photo-realism and wonderfully nuanced animation, but my personal pick for the statue was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2.

Not only is the Harry Potter franchise the highest grossing in cinema history, but it has overseen the maturation of the UK visual effects industry. All of the major UK film effects companies have worked on the Harry Potter films, and grown into world-class powerhouses in the process. It is possible that I would not have a job were it not for Harry Potter. Yet despite the success and importance of the franchise, not one of the 7 previous films had been awarded a single Oscar, and I was confident that this year the Academy would recognize the significance of the films.

And yet it didn’t. I wasn’t able to reconcile this result with my own perspective, until I discovered The VFX Predictinator. By analyzing 23 years of VFX Oscar results, effects professional Todd Vaziri has developed a formula for predicting the winner. The formula uses quantifiable (more or less) data from a number of different categories and for the last two years it has correctly predicted the outcome, this year tipping Hugo. When you look at the calculations, the result does seem very easy to understand.

VFX Predictinator 2012

Vaziri’s formula takes a calculating and surprisingly accurate approach to the awards, although as Vaziri points out it makes no recognition of the quality of the nominees, just Academy voting habits.
For a detailed breakdown of the formula and its history, visit Vaziri’s blog, or listen to the VFXshow pre-awards podcast.

March 8, 2012 8:50 pm

Guardian open journalism: Three Little Pigs advert

This exciting new commercial for The Guardian marks the start of their first brand positioning campaign in over 25 years. The campaign will run across various media platforms, launching the paper’s Open Journalism identity.

“Open is our operating system, a way of doing things that is based on a belief in the open exchange of information, ideas and opinions and its power to bring about change,” said Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of Guardian and MediaGuardian publisher Guardian News & Media. “The campaign is designed to bring that philosophy to life for new and existing readers.”

From The Guardian website

Developed by Bartle Bogle Hegarty and directed by Ringan Ledwidge, the TV ad presents mockumentary account of how the story of the Three Little Pigs might be covered by the Open Journalism of The Guardian.

A collection of behind-the-scene images from the shoot can be seen here.