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Digital Media FX News Archives

Tuesday - March 6, 2001
- Press View 20 Minutes of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
- Miramax Films Nabs Avalon
- More Insights into Live Action Scooby-Doo Movie
- News Link of the Day - Novels With Interactive Animation

Press View 20 Minutes of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
(by Columbia Pictures screened 20 minutes of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within for media last Friday. It's not all good news for the complete 3D epic fantasy adventure created by Square Pictures. General media reaction was that the photorealism of the human characters were outstanding, but the animation left a lot to be desired.

Roger Yim of the San Francisco Chronicle was lucky enough to catch a preview. In an article titled "'Fantasy' Photorealism Impresses, but animation falls short on facial expressions"
he wrote, "The real challenges, though, were movement and facial expressions, and in both cases there's room for improvement. Characters have a slight puppetlike quality -- their measured movements brought to mind TV's 'Thunderbirds' at times. Facial expressions appear limited to the extremes, missing the emotional gradations a real actor would convey.

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within will be released in theaters on July 13, 2001.

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Miramax Films Nabs Avalon
(by Japanese director Mamoru Oshii's live action Avalon movie is coming to U.S. shores after Miramax Films acquired the North American rights to the cyber-suspense film. Mr. Oshii is well known for his Japanese productions, including the popular 1995 anime hit, Ghost in the Shell.

Avalon centers on a beautiful woman who is unrivaled as champ of a computer-simulated battle/fantasy game but suffers nonetheless from conflicting emotions in a disturbed near future. When a former romantic interest's body is found catatonic after his spirit "gets lost" in the game, she takes it upon herself to find him by re-tracing the steps he took, and makes the dangerous decision to follow him to a secret level of the game from which no player has ever returned.

"Avalon is a highly engaging film which carves stylistic new ground in the world of technology while simultaneously achieving a beautiful artistry," said Mentre. "It is a great example of our focus on acquiring original material from bold, inventive directors."

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More Insights on Live Action Scooby Doo Movie Emerge
(by Animated films continue to be prime targets for live action movies. More information emerged today on the live action Scooby Doo. Distirbuted by Warner Bros., Scooby-Doo is set to hit theaters on June 14, 2002. Filming is currently underway at the Warner Roadshow Studios in Queensland, Australia. The entire film will be shot in Queensland, Australia.

"The production team couldn't have picked a better place to shoot this feature," says Queensland's Minister for the Arts, Mr. Matt Foley. "The Gold Coast region of Queensland is vibrant, friendly and full of colorful characters, just like the original `Scooby Doo' series. Our talented local crew and state of the art facilities will ensure that filming will be hassle free for the `Scooby Doo' production, just as it has been for the countless international crews that have shot here in the past."

According to Warner Bros, "Scooby Doo and the Mystery Inc. gang meddle their way into a bona fide mystery that leads them into murky and possibly supernatural waters." Outside of that blurb, most of the storyline remains underwraps. It is known that the script underwent some rewrites when Mike Myers was no longer involved with the production.

All the characters in the movie are live action except for Scooby, which will be 3D animated. The role of Daphne is being played by Sarah Michelle Gellar. When watching the movie, you may find yourself thinking that you've heard Sarah Michelle Gellar's voice in a Disney animated movie. That would be correct. She was the voice of Andromeda in Disney's Hercules.

Comedy fans are in for a treat as international comedy star Rowan Atkinson ("Mr. Bean") plays a role in Scooby-Doo as Mondavarious, the mysterious owner of Spooky Island and procurer of the Mystery Inc. group's services.

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News Link of the Day - Novels With Interactive Animation

According to The New York Times:

"...Mr. Loyer is engaged in serious storytelling, not computer game design. Like a number of digital artists, he is using the interactive elements of motion graphics (as online animations are called) to heighten the impact of his tale. Characters and objects may move on the screen, but what matters more is that they also respond to the reader's mouse click. The story will progress without any help, yet a click can change what the reader sees and feels..."

Click here for the full story. (may require free registration to view)

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These news articles and all content are ©copyright 2001 by Joe Tracy and may not be reused for any purpose without expressed written consent of the author and Digital Media FX. All rights reserved.