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07 AUGUST 2012

PIXELS: invasion of New York by 8-bit video game pixels

New York invasion by 8–bits creatures ! PIXELS is Patrick Jean' latest short film, shot on location in New York. Written, directed by : Patrick Jean Director of Photograhy : Matias Boucard SFX by Patrick Jean and guests Produced by One More Production



8-bit • 8-bits creatures • animationAtari • Brooklyn Bridge • cloudCommodorecreaturecultural literacy • cultural reference • digital culture • Donkey Kong • formal conceit • Frogger • invasionKing Kong • Matias Boucard • New York • NYC Subway • One More Production (agency) • Pac-Manparodypastiche • Patrick Jean • pixelpixelartpixelationpixellation • PIXELS (film) • Pongself-referentialSFXshort filmSpace InvadersTetrisvideo gamevideogamesvisual conventionsvisual vernacular


Simon Perkins
18 MARCH 2011

The Art of the Title Sequence: a compendium

"A compendium and leading web resource of film and television title design from around the world. We honor the artists who design excellent title sequences. We discuss and display their work with a desire to foster more of it, via stills and video links, interviews, creator notes, and user comments."

(Ian Albinson)

Fig.1 Ian Albinson, David Horridge, M. Keegan Uhl, Bill Simmon (2011). 'A Brief History of Title Design', Music: RJD2 "Ghostwriter"



Alien (film) • Anatomy of a Murder • animation • Barbarella • Brazil (1985) • Bullitt • Buried (film) • Cape Fear • Carnivale (film) • Casino Royale • Catch Me If You Can • cinemaCitizen Kane • compendium • compilationcredit sequence • Dawn of the Dead • Delicatessen (film) • design formalism • Dexter • Do The Right Thing • Donnie BrascoDr Strangelove (1964) • Dr. No • Enter the Void (2009) • Fallen Angel • Fight Club (1999) • film • Forrest Gump • Freaked • Goldfinger • Grand Prix • Gun CrazyHollywood • Intolerance (film) • Iron Man (film) • Juno • King KongLady in the Lake (1947) • Lemony Snickets A Series of Unfortunate Events • Machete • Mad Men • Make Way For Tomorrow • Mean Streets • Mimic (film) • Mission Impossible • Modern Times (1936) • motion designmotion graphicsmotion graphics timeline • My Man Godfrey • Natural Born Killers • North by Northwest • Phantom of the Opera • Psycho • Raging Bull • Reservoir Dogs (1992) • RJD2 • Robin Hood • Saturday Night Fever • Scott Pilgrim vs the World • Se7ensequence design • Sherlock Holmes • Singing in the Rain • Six Feet Under • Soylent Green • Star WarssupermanTexas • The Fall (film) • The Island of Dr. Moreau • The Kingdom • The Maltese Falcon • The Man With the Golden Arm • The Naked Gun • The Pink Panther • The Social Network • The Terminator • The Thing • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre • The Untouchables • title sequenceTo Kill a Mockingbird • Up In The Air • Vertigo (1958)visual communicationvisual designvisual identityvisual spectacle • Wall-E • Zombieland


Simon Perkins
29 DECEMBER 2009

'Avatar': James Cameron and Weta Digital

"As he sought collaborators to help him realize his ambitious vision for 'Avatar,' director James Cameron found kindred spirits at Weta Digital, the effects company co–founded by Peter Jackson.

The partnership goes back years, to when Cameron and Jackson met to talk shop after the latter's 'Lord of the Rings' wrapped. Senior visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri was also at that meeting, and told Cameron about the computer–animation techniques Weta was developing for Jackson's 'King Kong.'

'Jim was interested in what we were doing with 'Kong,' says Letteri, via phone from Weta headquarters in Wellington, New Zealand. 'He knew we were about to embark on something where we had a lead actor who was a digital creation. Plus we were getting into building these big jungles. I think Jim, in the back of his mind, that's the kind of thing he had in his head for 'Avatar.' '

Based upon an original idea that Cameron dreamed up more than a decade ago, 'Avatar,' which opens Friday [December 2009], is set 4.4 light–years away on a moon called Pandora. The moon is home to an alien species known as Na'vi, blue humanoids towering 10 feet. Colonists from Earth can only explore the hostile habitat as avatars –– remote–controlled replicants modelled after the Na'vi.

'The idea is that you're seeing this whole world through new eyes,' explains Letteri, a three–time Oscar–winner. 'It's unfolding before you, the idea that you get to this planet and you think it's this hellhole but as you gradually start to learn what it's all about, you realize that there's this amazing and beautiful but still quite harsh world out there. It seemed like it had all kinds of possibilities.'

Weta was responsible for turning Cameron's sketches of Pandora into 3–D panoramas and also transforming stars Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana into alien figures convincing enough to carry a love story"

(Lisa Rose/The Star–Ledger, 17 December 2009,



20093DAotearoa New ZealandavatarAvatar filmCGIcomputer-animationdigital • ILM • Industrial Light & Magic • innovationJames Cameron • Joe Letteri • King Kong • Lightstorm Entertainment • Lord of the Rings • Na'vi • Pandora • Peter JacksonRealDRealD 3Dscience-fictionSFXstereoscopictechnologyvisual effectsvisualisationWellington • Weta • Weta Digital


Simon Perkins
21 NOVEMBER 2009

Remaking Film: Hollywood seeks to duplicate past successes and minimise risk by emphasising the familiar

"As in some approaches to film genre, remakes can be located in 'the material conditions of commercial film–making, where plots are copied and formulas forever reiterated'.(14) For film producers, remakes are consistently thought to provide suitable models, and something of a financial guarantee, for the development of studio based projects. In a commercial context, remakes are 'pre–sold' to their audience because viewers are assumed to have some prior experience, or at least possess a 'narrative image',(15) of the original story–an earlier film or literary property–before engaging in its particular re–telling.(16) In the case of cross–cultural remakings, such as The Ring (Gore Verbinski, 2002)/Ringu (Hideo Nakata, 1998) or Vanilla Sky (Cameron Crowe, 2001)/Abre Los Ojos (Alejandro Amenábar, 1997) foreign films are dispossessed of local detail to exploit new (English–language) markets. A number of commentators(17) have observed that the remake, along with the sequel and series, has become typical of the defensive production and marketing strategies of a 'post–Jaws'(18) Hollywood. For instance, Jim Hoberman says that 'the trickle of remakes that began . . . with Farewell, My Lovely in 1975 became a flood of recycled Jazz Singing Scarfaced King Kong 'landmarks,' Roman numeral'd replays of old and recent mega–hits, and retired mixed media figures [Flash Gordon, Popeye, Superman, and the like] pressed back into service '.(19)

This 'great downpour' of sequels and remakes, perhaps more perceived than real,(20) is often taken as a sign of Hollywood film having exhausted its creative potential, leading into 'conservative plot structures'(21) and 'automatic self–cannibalisation'.(22) Equally, film remaking is seen as a trend that is encouraged by the commercial orientation of the conglomerate ownership of Hollywood, one which seeks to duplicate past successes and minimise risk by emphasising the familiar–'recreating with slight changes films that have proved successful in the past'–even if this leads to 'aesthetically inferior films'.(23) As instantly recognisable properties, remakes (along with sequels and series) satisfy the requirement that Hollywood deliver reliability (repetition) and novelty (innovation) in the same production package.(24) Understood in this way, the remake becomes a particular instance not only of the 'repetition effects'(25) which characterise the narrative structure of Hollywood film but also of a more general repetition–of exclusive stars, proprietary characters, patented processes, narrative patterns, and generic elements–through which Hollywood develops its 'pre–sold' audience.(26)"

(Constantine Verevis, p.88)

[14] Altman, Film/Genre: 86.

[15] John Ellis, Visible Fictions: Cinema, Television, Video, rev. ed., Routledge, 1992: 30.

[16] Altman, Film/Genre:112.

[17] Tino Balio, 'Introduction to Part II', in Tino Balio, ed, Hollywood in the Age of Television, Unwin Hyman, 1990; J. Hoberman, 'Ten Years That Shook the World', American Film, June 1985: 34–59; Stephen M. Silverman, 'Hollywood Cloning: Sequels, Prequels, Remakes, and Spin–Offs', American Film, July–August, 1978: 24–30.

[18] Thomas Schatz, 'The New Hollywood', in Jim Collins, Hilary Radner and Ava Preacher Collins, eds., Film Theory Goes to the Movies, Routledge: 1993.

[19] J. Hoberman, 'Facing the Nineties', in Vulgar Modernism: Writing on Movies and Other Media, Temple, 1991: 1–2.

[20] Reviewing a sample of 3,490 films from between 1940 and 1979 Thomas Simonet argues that far more 'recycled script' films appeared before the conglomerate takeovers, and perceptions that remaking has increased in the 'new Hollywood' may be governed by comparisons with the previous decade only. See 'Conglomerates and Content: Remakes, Sequels, and Series in The New Hollywood', in Bruce A. Austin, ed, Current Research in Film: Audiences, Economics, and Law, Vol. 3, Ablex, 1987.

[21] Stephen Harvey, 'Can't Stop the Remakes', Film Comment, September–October 1980: 50–53.

[22] Mark Crispin Miller, 'Hollywood: The Ad', Atlantic Monthly, April 1990: 59–62.

[23] Simonet, 'Conglomerates and Content':154.

[24] Ibid., p. 155.

[25] Raymond Bellour, The Analysis of Film, ed. Constance Penley, Indiana University Press, 2000.

[26] See Robert P. Kolker, 'Algebraic Figures: Recalculating the Hitchcock Formula', in Horton and McDougal: 36; Steve Neale, 'Questions of Genre', Screen vol. 31, no. 1, 1990: 56; Altman, Film/Genre: 115.

Constantine Verevis, 2004. 'Remaking Film', Film Studies, Issue 4, Summer 2004



2004 • Abre Los Ojos • audiencecinema • Constantine Verevis • cross-cultural • downpour • familiar • Farewell • filmfilm genrefilm-making • Flash Gordon • Hollywoodinnovation • Jaws • Jazz Singer • King Kong • My Lovely • narrative image • noveltypatternplot structures • Popeye • pre-sold • re-telling • reliabilityremakeremakesremaking filmrepetition • Ringu • risk • Scarface • self-cannibalisation • sequel • sequels • supermantelevision series • The Ring • Vanilla Sky (2001)


Simon Perkins

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