Imageworks in Motion on Three New Imagemotion(TM) Projects

Pioneering technologies advance performance capture, facial animation and

virtual camera control

Jul 27, 2007, 01:00 ET from Sony Pictures Imageworks

    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
 Pictures Entertainment.
     ACADEMY AWARD and OSCAR are the registered trademarks and service marks
 of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. MARVEL, and all Marvel
 characters including the Spider-Man, Sandman and Venom characters (TM) &
 (C) 2007 Marvel Characters, Inc. All rights reserved.

SOURCE Sony Pictures Imageworks