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Studios and Soundstages
2013 Music & Sound Guide
By Cory Sekine-Pettite
It’s October, which means (in my world) that AMC’s The Walking Dead returns for another season of compelling programming. Specifically, the show returns October 13 for Season 4, which promises to be just as good as the last three seasons. This unexpectedly successful show about a zombie apocalypse has become a pop culture phenomenon, spawning a talk show (AMC’s Talking Dead), video games and board games, a web-only series, a fan-produced podcast, and a convention.
One need not be a fan of the zombie genre to enjoy this show. In fact, I was not a fan of zombie movies prior to this series. However, the appeal of this show lies in the living characters and their relationships with each other as they try to survive. The show’s visual effects and makeup artistry also are quite appealing and are a big draw for many viewers. In 2011, Markee spoke with KNB EFX and Stargate Studios about their work for the show. (You can read this article on our website at http://bit.ly/1gzdMnT.)
As we reported, Greg Nicotero, a KNB EFX founding partner and executive producer, director, and special effects makeup artist on the show, calls the interplay of digital VFX and practical effects “a delicate ballet” but says “when people understand how to use each to maximum effect, you get the best results – a perfect blend of the two art forms.”
To me, this show is a perfect blend of feature film-quality effects and dramatic storytelling that only a lengthy TV series with the full support of a network could provide. There’s nothing else like it on television – that is, until this team (including show creator Robert Kirkman) reveal The Walking Dead spin-off series, which is scheduled to air on AMC sometime in 2015. (Details are scarce right now.)
“The biggest challenge for us was bringing such an ambitious world view to the TV audience,” Stargate Studios’ Jason Sperling told us in 2011. “Frank [Darabont] did an incredible storyboard for the pilot. We were able to give him mock-ups of what his shots might look like; that gained his trust and built our artistic relationship. Tonally and image-wise, the pilot really set the look and feel for the rest of the [first] season and, we hope, the rest of the series.”
Are you a fan of The Walking Dead? Let me know why you tune in each week and what you expect from Season 4.
In the beginning, there was film. Images captured on light-sensitive material that could be shared among many viewers. Later came magnetic material called “videotape” and it was good for many things. Then a revolution! The computer and digital charged onto the field.Read more...
The western states, as a whole, are filled with more scenery than people. There are, of course, pockets of population that skew that logic – Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego, Las Vegas, and a few other cities – and they tend to be very urban areas, filled with views that can be found in cities east or west, But the grandeur of the land away from the cities is what attracts film makers from all over the world.Read more...
In the western United States, studios and soundstages often come with a distinguished Hollywood heritage. In Santa Fe, N.M., Garson Studios was founded by an Academy Award-winning actress. In Hollywood, Fox Studios carries the cachet of one of the legendary major studios. Moving north, the stages of San Rafael, Calif.’s 32TEN Studios once hosted Lucasfilm blockbusters, while the new Reno Tahoe Studios in Nevada seeks to establish its own heritage as production incentives promise to attract film and TV business to the state.Read more...
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FirstCom Music 2013 Credit Reel
A blue sky sprawls between ridges frosted in deep evergreen, framing Alder Gulch much as when Native American tribes traversed this landscape 800 years ago. The town of Virginia City sprang up virtually overnight in the summer of 1863; within one year, it was the largest city in the Inland Northwest, with an estimated 10,000 residents. These days, few people continue seeking gold in Alder Gulch. But for filmmakers seeking ready-made Old West locations, the towns of Virginia City and Nevada City offer one more chance to strike it rich.
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