CULVER CITY, Calif., July 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Pictures Imageworks,
the award-winning digital production studio and innovator, is in
development on three new projects to use its patented proprietary
Imagemotion(TM) performance capture technologies, it was announced today by
Yair Landau, President of Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment. They include
two projects from Sony Pictures Animation, Neanderthals and an untitled
feature from Jerome Chen, the Academy Award(R)-nominated visual effects
supervisor on The Polar Express and Beowulf.
Additionally, Imageworks is presently in discussion with Avi Arad, Ari
Arad and Seaside Productions with Steven Paul to participate in the
production of a movie based on the bestselling author James Patterson's
Maximum Ride. Arad, a producer of the Spider-Man(TM) movies for which
Imageworks has created the visual effects and animation, recently optioned
the science-fiction thriller Maximum Ride to be developed as a performance
capture feature. In this bestselling series, six children with altered DNA,
98% human and 2% bird, have wings and extraordinary powers.
The new projects will be developed using Imageworks' proprietary
Imagemotion(TM) performance capture system. In keeping with Imageworks'
philosophy and history of providing technological ingenuity and creative
solutions to the movie industry, Imagemotion performance capture enables
filmmakers and performers to fully explore their creative vision. "Each of
these projects is unique in their approach to moviemaking and Imagemotion
affords the filmmakers tremendous creative freedom," says Landau.
Since its first application on The Polar Express, Imageworks has
continued to refine the capabilities of Imagemotion performance capture
technologies, increasing its power and flexibility. Imagemotion has been
the basis for all-CG productions such as Monster House, photo-realistic
digital characters in movies such as Spider-Man(TM) 3, and highly stylized
films such as Beowulf. By utilizing Imagemotion, directors are given the
flexibility to fully explore their creative imagination, which may reach
beyond the physical limitations of human beings.
"The core of our business is Imagination," said Tim Sarnoff, President
of Sony Pictures Imageworks. "Developing Imagemotion was a lengthy and
complex process, and we couldn't be happier with the results of our efforts
as filmmakers embrace its possibilities."
"Imagemotion is extremely liberating," said Debbie Denise, Sony
Pictures Imageworks' Executive Vice President of Production Infrastructure
and Executive Producer. "Each filmmaker finds their own unique way to apply
the technology. Imagemotion allows filmmakers to capture the magic and
spontaneity of performances, with the subtle nuances and movements that
bring characters to life. All of this can now be accurately recorded and
applied to these digital creations."
Sarnoff said Imagemotion performance capture continues the Imageworks
heritage of project inspired innovation, developing tools, techniques and
technology to help filmmakers bring their visions to the screen. "Our
business is predicated on our ability to produce what has not been done
before, from our earliest performance capture work on Hollow Man, and the
lifelike fur and cloth that we created for Stuart Little, to more recent
breakthroughs such as our proprietary lighting tools and the 'Sandstorm'
software that helped to create the Sandman character in Spider-Man 3.
Devising ways to turn the impossible into something believable that can
emotionally connect with the audience is what we enjoy doing, and we do it
Neanderthals, previously announced on the slate of Sony Pictures
Animation, is an original project from Jon Favreau, currently being
developed by Favream and Jay Redd. Favreau, now in production on Ironman,
rose to fame as screenwriter of Swingers, starring Vince Vaughan and
Favreau. Jay Redd was the visual effects supervisor on this year's Academy
Award-nominated animated feature Monster House. Redd came to Imageworks to
be a sequence supervisor on Contact, and since has worked on Stuart Little,
Stuart Little 2 and The Haunted Mansion.
Jerome Chen, one of Imageworks' original employees, is currently the
senior visual effects supervisor on Beowulf, for director Robert Zemeckis.
Following Beowulf, Chen will be developing an untitled thriller to mark his
feature directorial debut. Chen has been a pioneering visual effects artist
throughout his career. Among his other achievements are the effects and
animation for Contact, Stuart Little, Stuart Little 2 and The Polar
Express. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Stuart Little.
About Sony Pictures Imageworks
Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc. is an Academy Award(R)-winning, state-of-
the-art visual effects and character animation company dedicated to the art
and artistry of digital production and character creation. The company has
been recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with
Oscars(R) for its work on Spider-Man(TM) 2 and the CG animated short film
The ChubbChubbs!, as well as nominations for Superman Returns, Monster
House, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,
Spider-Man(TM), Hollow Man, Stuart Little and Starship Troopers. Imageworks
continues to raise the level in the visual effects and character animation
industry, becoming a major force by providing leading edge technology to
its world-class artists.
Having recently completed Spider-Man(TM) 3 and Sony Pictures
Animation's Surf's Up, current Imageworks projects include Beowulf, I Am
Legend and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
Imageworks is a division of Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment, which
oversees the digital production and online entertainment assets of Sony
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SOURCE Sony Pictures Imageworks