Blue Sky Studios – Horton Hears a Who!

In worldwide premiere at Future Film Festival will be presented the first images of the new film in 3D animation producedby Blue Sky: Horton Hears a Who!, from the well known novel written by Dr. Seuss.
Guests of the Festival are:
Chris Wedge, Blue Sky Studios Vice President, Creative Development;
Mike Thurmieir, Senior Supervising Animator on Horton Hears a Who!

The new film realized by Blue Sky, the company known for Ice Age and Ice Age: The Meltdown and specialized in computer 3D animation. The movie is directed by Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino, the latter a former art director on Blue Sky’s Robots. Audrey Geisel, Chris Wedge and Chris Meledandri are the executive producers of the film. While the style of the movie and the modelling of its characters were designed to be in keeping with original drawings in the book, the studio’s hallmarks is visible in the distinct colors and round shapes. The story tella sbout a strange elephant with a fervid imagination.

Industrial Light & Magic: past, present & future

Vicki Dobbs Beck, guest of Future Film Festival 2008, will take the audience on a journey through the past, present and future of one of the most pioneering visual effects companies in the industry: Industrial Light & Magic. Beck will highlight the technological breakthroughs that have cemented ILM into cinematic history, and will provide an insight look on how the visual effects power house plans to continue pioneering new techniques that continue to raise the bar for visual effects while expanding the creative horizons of filmmaking.

Pixar Animation Studios: Your Friend the Rat

Jim Capobianco, director of Your Friend the Rat, the new short from Pixar will be present at Future Film Festival to talk about the making of the first film in hand-made animation ever realized by Pixar Animation Studios. The concept of the short starts from a very simple story: the idea of better knowing the life of out little neighbor, the rat. In order to give an “educative” taste, Jim Capobianco, after scripting the film, evoked the hyper-stylized form of animation reminiscent of the animated educational films of the 50’s and the 60’s. Pixar had, then, to get the animators to think in a different way: to think less the illusion of life form of animation and more in a punctuated, graphic statement. Your Friend the Rat marks the biginning of a big revolution: in fact, it is the first time Pixar has done a film in hand-drawn animation, similar to Terry Gilliam’s animation for Monty Python, and it also includes a few shorts of stop motion. Jim Capobianco have been working at Disney Feature Animation since 1992, as a story artist on The Lion King, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Fantasia 2000. In 1997, Jim moved up to Pixar Animation Studios where he helped to develop the stories for A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, and Finding Nemo. Capobianco was also a story supervisor on Ratatouille.

Pixar Animation Studios: Lifted

Mark Holmes, production designer of the short Lifted, will present the making of the film, talking about the birth of a real animated microcosm.
Holmes himself declared: “Ever wandered what goes into designing an animated short at Pixar? From how a production designer works with a director, to how design decisions are made? How every single thing you see on the screen – and even things you don’t see – have to be designed over and over down to the smallest detail until they are just right? Unfortunately there’s not enough time in one day to cover the madness, chaos and immense challange of designing a feature. There’, however, a simpler way to demonstrate a process: the Short. A short is a microcosm of a feature. It’s a finitely self-conteined sequence of events that make the challange of design more manegeable and far easier to explain.”

Pixar Animation Studios: The Pixar Story

Guest of the Festival will be Leslie Iwerks, director of the documentary The Pixar Story. The film will be shown at Future Film Festival as an Italian premiere. For this work Leslie Iwerks was provided full access to the Pixar archives, and delved into the evolution and formation of traditional animation, computer science and computer animation. She travelled aruond the US interviewinearly seventy people, exploring in depth many of the untold stories in the making of Pixar Animation Studios. Leslie Iwerks, after graduating from the USC Cinema School in 1993, assisted several film directors on films including Liar, Liar and Mighty Ducks 2. In 1999, she wrote and directed the documentary The Hand Behind the Mouse – The Ub Iwerks Story on the life of her grandfather, the original designer and co-creator of Mickey Mouse. Her documetary Recycled Life was nominated for an Academy Award® in 2006.

Weta Digital: The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep

Matt Aitken, VFX Supervisor for Weta Digital Ltd will be present at Future Film Festival to introduce the making of del film The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep. For this movie Weta has developed the character of the creature, through different stages, and with great personality and vitality. After the experience of creating complex characters as Gollum and King Kong, for The Water Horse have been developed four versions of the creature with changes in the performance that matched the different changes of his life. There were also huge challanges in the visual FX work with water which involved the implementation of new technologies. Matt Aitken has worked at Weta Digital since the production of films as The Frighteners (1996), Contact (1997), and I, Robot (2004). Moreover, Matt was Digital Models Supervisor on The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Pre-Production and R&D Supervisor for King Kong (2005), and Visual Effects Supervisor on Bridge to Terabithia (2007).