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Wednesday - March 28, 2001
- Criticism Continues Over Best Visual Effects Oscar Choice
- Zeros & Ones Studios Opens Digital Animation Division
- Disney Layoffs Could Hit Animation Division
- News Link of the Day - Special FX Spell Success

Gladiator: Best Visual Effects WinnerCriticism Continues Over Best Visual Effects Oscar Choice
(by digitalmediafx.com) The Academy Awards are over, but criticism over Gladiator winning the Best Visual Effects category continues to grow. Yesterday, Digital Media FX reported on Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper's criticism of Gladiator's nomination. Now Daily Variety is reporting on the industry shock surrounding Gladiator overtaking both The Perfect Storm and Hollow Man for the award.

Gladiator: Best Visual Effects Oscar for 2000Daily Variety states that Gladiator, "featured a scant 90 f/x shots, compared to Storm's 350 and Hollow Man's 572. Storm had been considered a shoo-in by f/x industryites to win the Oscar, thanks to its hard-to-create water visuals."

Industrial Light and Magic was responsible for the visual effects in The Perfect Storm. Sony Pictures Imageworks created most of the effects for Hollow Man. The effects for Gladiator were accomplished by a lesser known overseas FX company called The Mill. The Mill is quickly becoming a major player in the industry, however, recently nabbing work on some high profile projects including Tomb Raider and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The Best Visual Effects Oscar is also increasing awareness of The Mill's work, even amongst the criticism of the Academy's choice.

The Mill was founded by Robin Shenfield and Pat Joseph in 1990 and is based in London. Prior to the Academy Awards, The Mill had won dozens of FX awards overseas for its commercial and movie work. The Mill has operated an all digital visual effects facility since opening over a decade ago.

Digital Media FX congratulates The Mill and all the other visual artists who worked on Gladiator for their award.

Click here to see The Mill's Showreel.

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Zeros & Ones Studios Opens Digital Animation Division
(by digitalmediafx.com) Zeros & Ones Studios has announced that it has opened a new operating division focused on digital animation production. The division appears to be aimed more at the Internet than mass theatrical distribution and will be almost entirely based upon Flash technology.

According to Tim Rummel, Vice President-Managing Director of Zeros & Ones Studios, "We're building a cutting-edge digital animation production company that will maximize the potential of Flash and other in-house 2-D animation tools to create media that plays across all platforms. The same animation can be broadcast quality and optimized for viewing on the Internet."

Zeros & Ones Studio has not announced the initial projects that the digital division will be working on. Some of Zeros & Ones Studio's past work, like "Julius & Friends," has been distributed on both the Internet and TV.

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Disney Layoffs Could Hit Animation Division
(by digitalmediafx.com) Disney announced yesterday that it will be laying of 4,000 employees and that the cuts will hit nearly every division within the Disney empire. The 4,000 layoffs represents nearly 4% of Disney's entire employee base. Disney is first asking for volunteers before it begins further mass layoffs that will be concluded by July. Disney says the move will save it up to $400 million a year. According to CNET News, Disney is claiming that the job cuts are a "positive step."

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News Link of the Day - Special FX Spell Success

According to The Hindu:

"We know Oscar winner Gladiator used them. So did Crouching Tiger, Matrix, Hollowman, M:I-2. But did you know that about 10 per cent of our own desi films use special effects?

Consider this: Media Dream's trilingual Little John releasing next month, has over 30 minutes of special effects..."

Click here for the full story.

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