Table of Contents
This issue takes a look at the stunning visual effects from Life of Pi. Also featured are stories on ASC Honoree, Rodney Charters; music libraries featured in video games; and Taylor Hackford, producer-director of the recent hit, Parker. Finally, we visit the Southeast in Spotlight and see what's happening in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
When Rodney Charters, ASC, was growing up in New Zealand “Hollywood was so far away it was unimaginable.” But Charters, the latest recipient of the ASC Career Achievement in Television Award, eventually made his way to the production capital of the world where he earned Emmy nominations for his cinematography for the innovative series, 24; brought his talents to The Pretender, Roswell, Shameless and now Dallas; and shot a roster of telefilms, including Sounder, A Ring of Endless Light and An American Girl on the Home Front
If watching Ang Lee’s Life of Pi was an extraordinary experience for moviegoers, imagine the challenge of creating many of the film’s amazing visual effects. “Ang blew W.C. Fields’ ‘never work with children or animals’ quote out of the water and stuck [stereo] 3D on it,” laughs Bill Westenhofer, VFX supervisor at Rhythm & Hues Studios (R&H), Los Angeles (www.rhythm.com).
Fortunately for moviegoers, director Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentleman, Against All Odds, White Nights, Dolores Claiborne, The Devil’s Advocate, Ray) only lasted two weeks in law school.
It would be a chicken-and-egg argument to determine which came first, Hollywood taking up residence in the Southeast or the Southeast sending enticing invitations with its growing infrastructure of studios, post facilities and rental houses. Either way, the evolution has been wondrous, profitable and entertaining. Thus, taking a different approach to our Spotlight coverage, Markee 2.0 is highlighting some of those studios, post facilities and rental businesses that help to create an endless array of television, film, commercial and marketing projects for clients all across the United States and around the world. There’s no doubt that the creativity and success of these companies will ensure the evolution continues.
As a Georgia native and proud Southerner, I am thrilled at the thriving film, television and music production industry that has developed in the Southeast. As I have stated before in these pages, this region is many things to many people. To some, it is the heart of religious and political conservatism; to others, it is a growing economic force and the headquarters for many of the world’s largest companies. But to filmmakers, the Southeastern United States is a painterly landscape of white-sand beaches, majestic mountains, dense forests and foreboding swamplands that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
Most car commercials put viewers to sleep. A car drives down the road, first in this direction, then in that direction. When viewers have seen the car from every angle, cut to the logo.
Marshall Adams shoots Wesen monsters. But he is not a Grimm. Working with visual effects experts, Grimm Cinematographer Marshall Adams, ASC, lensed eight of 15 episodes shot so far in the second season of NBC’s hit police drama with a monstrous twist. Cinematographer Eliot Rockett alternates with Adams and handled the other seven episodes. Rocket also shot four of the last nine episodes in season one, alternating with Cort Fey.
Markee: What is the focus of Icontent?
Mr. Sloan: “My forte as a director is in the documentary realm, and our core strength as a company is storytelling. We were early pioneers of digital content and longer-form pieces and launched Icontent in 2001 to leverage our strength in that area and merge it with our TV commercial business. Icontent operates in parallel with the passion work I direct for Icontent Films.”