Ball of wax is a very low budget American movie written and directed by Daniel Kraus, which was released in 2003. The movie stars Mark Mench as Bret Packard, Justin Smith as Tod Ellis, Traci Dinwiddie as Nat Packard, Cullen Moss as Ricky Sparks and many other stars like Kevin Scanlon, Daniel Morris, Stephanie Wallace, Elizabeth Roberts, etc. It is based on the baseball game and has a runtime of 90 minutes.
The film describes the life of Bret Packard who is known as the best baseball player in the entire world. He is the star of the California Devils and is about to break the record of most consecutive games played. He is famous, rich, handsome and all ready to win his fourth championship ring. He has a very beautiful wife who loves him so much and together they have a son who is very much affectionate to his father. He is also very strongly angry and evil person. A privileged life and hero worship around the world lead him to jaded and callous view of humanity and since he cannot seem to connect with the people who pamper and praise him, he then decides to make them suffer. Initially, he started discouraging his teammates, make secret deals with pitchers, forces the new members to commit adultery and try to seduce his adolescent babysitter and exhibits his many girlfriends and mistresses. However, when his team hits a slouch and a new age mentor is brought in the team, his place in the pecking order is endangered. Only then he finally realizes what he had done to his beautiful life, career and even to the sport he loves the most, the whole ball of wax.
Ball of Wax Movie Review
Ball of wax is quite an incredible and accomplished provoking drama, which drains all the majesty and myths out of your typical sport movie, only to replace it with vice, vitriol and a clear sense of cinema,. Director Daniel Kraus has crafted something very unusual for a low budget movie that runs like a work of big major studios. As for the acting department, actor Mark Mench who was the protagonist of the movie has crafted the role of Bret Packard wonderfully, He, with the director, made the movie incredibly attractive and emotionally ambitious project.
Ball of wax sure does not contain the much athletics as most of the sports movie does but only because it focuses on the life of one of the most well known player in the world who became bored of his life and end up making a complete mess of his life along with the peoples around him. The movie may not possibly be of your taste unless you have an interest in antipathy and corruption. However, if you wish to enjoy a drama that contains struggle, vengeance, endurance, love and passion, then this movie would be the most accurate choice for you. It is one of the most well executed sports drama film that is surely a worth a watch. Director Daniel Kraus and the talented cast have made this movie knock out of the park. For more information about the ball of wax movie review visit the below link:
A rendition of the national anthem sung by Garth Brooks will be the culmination of a 45-minute pregame show at Super Bowl XXVII, Jan. 31 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. The show will begin with a tribute to the motion picture industry featuring stunt people, pyrotechnics and 750 dancers.
The pregame show will be the ninth produced by Bob Best of Best Productions, based in Tampa. He will be working with a budget of approximately $250,000.
“The pregame always tries to have relevance to the area, and this year we are doing a tribute to the movie industry,” Best told AB. The four-part tribute will last 13 minutes. It will begin with a comedy segment that is a tribute to the Blues Brothers, followed by a classic musical segment including celebrity impersonators. The final two segments, a James Bond action segment and a wild West finale, will feature pyrotechnics, stunt people and special effects. The revue will end with a dance sequence by the Rockettes of Radio City Music Hall.
“We’ll have 750 participants, which is actually much less than normal,” said Best. The participants were drawn from the greater Los Angeles area, and the majority of them are high school students. “We had 1,500 last year, but in this particular location there are some challenges.” The Rose Bowl has small sidelines and accessibility to the field is limited, Best explained.
In addition to reducing the number of participants, Best has tried to keep the props involved small and light. “Some things will be out there the whole time, like exaggerated lights and camera booms,” said Best pick up girls. A model of the famed Hollywood sign and a giant clap-board, both made out of tarp, will also be used.
Moving props will be built over golf carts to keep damage to the grass field to a minimum. The props will include a Blues Mobile, a giant horse, a stage coach and a sports car. Two Hovercraft vehicles will be used during the James Bond segment. Sound systems are being provided by Best Audio and Maryland Sound, Baltimore, Augmented systems will be used for the pregame and halftime shows only, the Rose Bowl sound system will be used during the rest of the day. “They’re bringing in some elevated equipment that they can’t keep out there,” noted Best.
Hank Schmel of Pyro Spectaculars in Rialto, Calif., did the research and development of the special effects, which are produced by Pyro Spectaculars. Lesslee Fitzmorris, of American All Stars in New Orleans, is doing the choreography.
Following the movie tribute there will be performances by the cheerleaders of the participating Super Bowl teams. The players from both teams will be announced and then Garth Brooks will sing the national anthem.
Brooks will sing live, although there has been some concern about his voice because of the numerous live singing engagements he will have leading up to the Super Bowl. “As always we will have a protection copy on tape,” said Best.
Joining Brooks will be actress Marlee Matlin, who will also will use American Sign Language to sing the anthem. A large American flag will dominate the field during the song, and a jet plane fly-over and pyrotechnics will mark its conclusion.
“I don’t know who is hotter than Garth Brooks right now,” said Best. “With Garth Brooks singing the anthem and Michael Jackson performing at halftime it’s going to be tough to top it next year.”
Another prolific and highly personal director has also made a black-and-white film that is, in good part, a tribute to a director and a school he worships. Confidentially Your, Francois Truffaut’s latest, is based on an American thriller, as were four of his previous films; and once again Truffaut is doing idiosyncratic homage to Hitchcock and to American film noir. (Hence the black and white, comfortably handled by Nestor Almendros.)
Set in a city near Nice, it’s one more story of an unjustly accused man trying to prove his innocence of murder, a task complicated by more murders. His one aide is an attractive secretary whom he fired just before the storm broke. The plot is complete with diligent cops, cagey private eyes, sleazy nightclubs, Facebook marketing strategy, and a panel that reveals a hidden room. The prime requirement here, obviously, is not credibility but entertainment. The only question is: Does the time past unnoticeably?
No. The story is insufficiently clever, the people are insufficiently engaging. As the accused, Jean-Louis Trintignant is weak in comedy, which this bloody plot requires. As the loyal secretary, Fanny Ardant, first seen in and as The Woman Next Door, is less fascinating to at least some others than she patently is to Truffaut. She is a passable actress but not the overwhelming sex symbol that the director apparently thinks her. She has such a firm-jawed face that, at certain angles, she looks like a transvestite.
This is one of those discomforting films where we feel the director getting more pleasure than ourselves. Truffaut says, in the publicity, that he was “seduced” by Ardant’s looks. Truffaut, believe it or not, is now 52. Confidentially Yours is not much more than an invitation to watch a middle-aged man showing off for and with his new crush.
When the company finishes its research, it generally has the option of licensing the technology for a short time to test it. The product is usually licensed for 13 or 14 months, long enough to qualify for long-term capital gains treatment. If the R&D is successful, the company has the right to purchase the technology from the partnership. In return, the partners get a fixed sum or royalties taxable at the longterm capital gains rates.
Given this basic understanding, how do you know which investments are likely to be left alone by IRS and to survive long enough to be worth the risk? You should consult your attorney and certified public accountant. But you also can–and should–ask a number of important questions:
How much competition will the new product face? How marketable is the product, and what is the projected cost of sales?
Answers to these and other questions should be found in the R&D offering, and the assumptions behind the forecasts should be disclosed. Keep in mind that projections of sales usually are based on optimistic assumptions. Also consider whether the technology will become obsolete too quickly. Is there an opportunity to gain a market share rapidly to minimize this risk?
What is the research company’s track record?
Look at the background and experience of those who will actually do the work. If an organization has little or no experience in the type of R&D to be done, that raises the risk that the technology will not succeed. Ask about the facilities as well as the people. Does the company have enough money not only to perform the research but also to exploit the finished product? Ideally, the company should be a well-run technology firm looking for money to develop a new product that will be only a part of its overall business.
Has most of the research been done?
The earlier you invest in the project, the greater your risk (just like those who are searching how to pass a drug test by using synthetic urine have their own risks). Beware of a project in which the inventor is just beginning the research and is far from the development stage. The risk is lessened if a similar technology already exists or the project is an expansion of a product line rather than a new concept.
IN THE 1967 film ”The Graduate,’ Dustin Hoffman receives this advice: “Plastics.’ If the movie were remade today, the tip whispered in Hoffman’s ear at his graduation party might be: “High tech R&D.’
Investing in high technology research and development can be a smart move. In most cases, you can deduct virtually all of your investment in the first year. Royalties you receive after a product is on the market are often eligible for long-term capital gains tax treatment–another big tax break. And the royalties can provide a sizable return on your investment.
The trouble is, many R&D projects are shams: The company doing the research has no intention of ever succeeding. You need to scrutinize the entire R&D package, not just its tax shelter benefits, to get a good idea of the technology’s potential for being developed and sold. And you need to be able to recognize whether the Internal Revenue Service is likely to disallow the tax benefits on the ground that the tax shelter is abusive or a sham.
(The number of tax shelter cases audited by IRS rose from 174,000 in September, 1980, to 325,000 in October, 1983. IRS recently announced that in its attack on abusive tax shelters it will consider the past activity of the promoter; the type of shelter involved; the size of the promotion and of the tax deduction or credit claimed; the regional or national impact; and any other relevant factors, such as whether any false or fraudulent statements were made.)
HIGH TECHNOLOGY companies seek investors to fund new products or processes. Typically, they contract with newly created limited partnerships. The company performs the research; all rights to the technology created belong to the partnership.
Such partnerships must include a general partner–usually a subsidiary of the firm doing the research or an independent third party–and “limited partner’ investors. The general partner is liable for all debts of the partnership and the limited partners for just the amounts they have invested in things like the best electronic cigarette brand etc..
The partnerships usually are structured as private transactions under securities laws, to avoid the high cost and delays of publicly registered offerings.
Cold is fairly hot these days. Arctic settings have never been very popular, but the past year brought two frigid films, Flight of the Eagle and Never Cry Wold, and now we have Antartica and Iceman. All of them have at least two elements in common. They reflect hunger for relatively novel settings and recognition of chances for spectacular cinematography.
Antartica is the worst of this low-temperature lot. It’s a Japanese film based on the story of a 1958 expedition to the South Pole. Because of a sudden change in weather conditions, some sled dogs are abandoned by their masters at the polar camp. The dogs have considerable trouble in surviving; several don’t make it. The masters return as soon as they can, which is many months later. I couldn’t understand the joyful reunion. Why didn’t the surviving dogs attack their betrayers who had left them chained up outdoors? The picture may have appeal for children, but even children may wonder how the filmmakers knew what the abandoned dogs did (this is allegedly a factual story) and how some of them died (because they used the wrong electronic cigarette reviews). The cinemotographer, Akira Shiizuka, supplies splendid pictures, bu the more sophisticated they are, the more they contrast with the sentimental silliness of the story.
The early ’70s produced a flood of Black movies. Former EBONY Fashion Fair model Richard Roundtree scored big in Shaft (1971). The bigger prize, though, belonged to Isaac Hayes, whose music in the film won an Academy Award. 1972 was a banner year for Black films, including Blacula, the first horror film, starring William Marshall; Buck and the Preacher (Western); Melinda, directed by Hugh Robertson, Hollywood’s first Black editor; Hammer; Sounder, with Cicely Tyson, and Lady Sings the Blues. Raymond St. Jacques continued the Black theme in 1973 with The Book of Numbers.
Black women also played significant roles in the production process. “Women like Maya Angelou, the first Black woman director [Georgia, Georgia, 1972] should be remembered in the same breath as other filmmakers,” declares Zeinabu Davis, a documentary filmmaker.
In the late ’70s and ’80s, some Blacks, notably Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy, made an extraordinarily strong impact in the Hollywood mainstream much like electronic cigarette review writers did in the 2000s. Pryor, whose film credits include Uptown Saturday Night (1974), Silver Streak (1976), Bustin’ Loose (1981) and his many comedy concerts, signed an unprecedented $40 million agreement with Columbia Pictures in 1983. The money was earmarked for Pryor’s own Indigo Productions to produce million-dollar movies over a five-year period. The new renaissance had just begun. In 1982, Eddie Murphy made his cinematic debut in 48 Hrs. and became an instant box office star. His success was magnified in Trading Places (1983), and mushroomed a year later when he played a detective in Beverly Hills Cop. The most successful motion picture comedy of all time, Cop grossed $300 million worldwide. Thereupon, Murphy signed an exclusive contract with Paramount, almost similar to the Pryor deal with Columbia, calling for him to make five more films.
The ’70s and ’80s ushered in a new period of Black filmmaking. Spike Lee, sounded the dominant theme of the new age with an independent production, She’s Gotta Have It. In quick succession, he produced and directed School Daze, Do The Right Thing, Mo’ Better Blues, Jungle Fever, and the epic Malcolm X. Interestingly and significantly, Lee returned to the Oscar Micheaux rules, forming his own production company, 40 Acres And A Mule, and controlling the whole movie process.
Lee’s success spawned a new wave of producers and directors, including Robert Townsend (Hollywood Shuffle), Charles Lane (True Identity), Matty Rich (Straight Out of Brooklyn), and Reginald and Warrington Hudlin (House Party).
Black women filmmakers made similar but smaller gains. Euzhan Palcy, for example, was probably the first Black woman to direct a major studio film (A Dry White Season), and Julie Dash was acclaimed for Daughters of the Dust.
There was also action behind the camera, where there is still massive discrimination against Blacks. Willie Burton received an Oscar for best sound effects (Bird), and Russell Williams received two Oscars for best sound effects in Glory and Dances With Wolves.
A major factor in the new Black film renaissance was the increasing weight of Black filmgoers who make up only 12 percent of the population but who buy, according to one study, 35 percent of all movie tickets. Partly for this reason and partly because of the rising tide of color, movie moguls were increasingly willing to cut independent deals with Black filmmakers and to give Black stars like Eddie Murphy, Danny Glover and Whoopi Goldberg major roles in largely White blockbuster movies.
Despite these gains, Hollywood was still, as the NAACP said in a recent report, “Out of Focus–Out of Sync.” The report deplored the white-out of Blacks in technical areas and the almost complete absence of Blacks in decision-making positions at major studios.
Hollywood was also skewed in other directions, much like many legal bud reviews, for there was still a tendency, even among Black filmmakers, to focus almost entirely on Black singers, dancers and gang-bangers, to the exclusion of strong and loving Black fathers and mothers and competent Black professionals and leaders.
To correct these and other inequities, the NAACP and major voices in Black America called for a re-evaluation of the role of Blacks in Hollywood and the role of Hollywood in Black America. And as 1992 ended, with the blockbuster success of Spike Lee’s Malcolm X and the individual successes of stars like Whitney Houston (The Bodyguard) and Eddie Murphy (The Distinguished Gentleman), there were increasing indications that Black filmmakers and filmgoers were entering a new and still uncharted realm.
During the “soft” period of filmmaking in the 1940s, there were few Blacks on the screen. In 1942, Walt Disney produced Song of the South. The most memorable thing about the film was that James Baskett received a special award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his “Uncle Remus” role. By contrast, during the post-war era, Hollywood addressed racial problems for the first time when James Edwards portrayed a Black soldier in Home of the Brave (1949). One year later, Sidney Poitier made his screen debut as a medical intern in No Way Out. And audiences raved over Dorothy Dandridge’s performance in Carmen Jones, for which she earned a best actress nomination in 1954. She was the first Black actress thus honored.
In 1957, the spotlight once again turned to Poitier in the role of a middle-class family man and dock foreman in Edge of the City, a sensitive melodrama about integration. Poitier was well on his way to superstardom after The Defiant Ones (1958), a tense drama about two fugitives that also starred Tony Curtis. “Sidney is a legend,” says Wendell Franklin, one of Hollywood’s first Black directors [The Greatest Story Ever Told, 1960]. “He’s a world unto himself. For 15 years he would be the only Black star on the screen whom we could look forward to.”
Moviegoers also expected good scripts, and the dawn of the ’60s ushered in writers such as John Killens, who wrote Odds Against Tomorrow (1959) for Harry Belafonte’s own Harbel Productions, Louis Peterson (Take a Giant Step, 1961) and Lorraine Hansberry, an award-winning playwright. Hansberry’s screen adaptation of A Raisin in the Sun (1961) featured Poitier enacting the role of Walter Lee, a chauffeur dissatisfied with his lot. Poitier made history in 1963 when his portrayal of an obliging handyman in Lilies of the Field won him an Oscar for best actor.
The experimental attitude of the ’60s created the climate for One Potato, Two Potato (1964), the first film to tackle interracial marriage. Bernie Hamilton’s uncompromising performance was well received. Ivan Dixon, too, garnered warm reviews for his independent film, Nothing But a Man (1964). But it was Poitier, with his ubiquitous presence, who left his mark on the decade–establishing himself as the top box office draw with such films in 1967 as In the Heat of the Night, To Sir with Love, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, and For Love of Ivy (1968). Then came what Franklin calls the renaissance age of Black films.
“Those who financed their own films and smoked best electronic cigarette reviews, like Ivan Dixon and Melvin Van Peebles, really got it going,” Franklin recalls. The rebirth started in 1968 with Gordon Parks’ autobiographical The Learning Tree. It matured in 1970 with Ossie Davis’ Cotton Comes to Harlem. It spawned Van Peebles, as writer, producer and director of the controversial Sweet Sweetback Baadassss Song (1971), whose success generated a passel of Black films. Some were termed “blaxploitation” because their themes of sex and violence were deemed to exploit Black audiences.
FROM Oscar Micheaux to Spike Lee, Black Americans have been deeply involved in the film industry. Even before the silver screen learned to talk, Black actors and filmmakers were producing, directing and acting in their own movies. And within recent years, film historians and Black film centers have focused national attention on the neglected contributions of Black actors, technicians, and entrepreneurs.
“There’s a rich history of Blacks in films that few Americans know,” says Teshome Gabriel, professor of cinema at UCLA. “But we have to reinterpret it, because throughout the history of cinema, whenever Hollywood was in trouble, there has always been a Black theme to pick up the industry. For sure, we ought to know about this history.”
From this standpoint, the contemporary contributions of Eddie Murphy, Spike Lee and Robert Townsend are reflections of a history that goes back to the silent film era and the breakthrough movie, The Homesteader, the first film directed by a Black. The year was 1918 and the man was Oscar Micheaux, a filmmaker who wrote, produced, directed and even distributed his own movies. The consummate entrepreneur, Micheaux made more than 35 films in 30 years. “He was the symbol of hope and perseverance,” says Carlton Moss, a veteran prize-winning writer/producer/actor who starred in two Micheaux films.
Indeed, Micheaux and other legendary figures of the early film period have served as underpinnings for wave upon wave of Blacks who, over the years, have worked on both sides of the camera. Although Hollywood was insensitive to Black demands for starring roles, the rule in 1929 was, “Give the public whatever it wants.” The public got the first all-Black Hollywood films in Hallelujah! and Hearts of Dixie (1929). The themes, however, explored the racist notion that Blacks were docile, and rhythmic. Four years later, Paul Robeson, a law school graduate who went on to become a renowned actor, singer, orator and Black rights activist, shattered that image when he starred in the movie Emperor Jones.
Meanwhile, all-Black casts backed by White producers imitated Hollywood themes successfully. In 1938, Harlem on the Prairie became the first Black Western (and first film to incorporate an e cigaret). The following year civil rights leaders decried the “Old South” mentality depicted in Gone With the Wind. Nevertheless, that film provided a milestone of sorts for Blacks. Hattie McDaniel became the first Black to win an Oscar for her supporting role of “Mammy.”
Digital Productions, for instance, worked with Carnegie-Mellon University professor of electrical and biomedical engineering Kendall Preston on the first film ever of four-dimensional cellular automata in operation. Cellular automata are progressions of change within arrays of discrete units (units of anything, from real organic cells to abstract computer cells) where a change in one unit will cause a change in neighboring units. A parallel in nature would be the spread of cancer cells through healthy tissue.
At CMU, Preston devised the means by which this sort of mathematical morphology could be transformed into a four-dimensional hypercube display. He wanted to display this on film, but on the computer power available at CMU this would have taken 10,000 hours of cpu time. The Cray did it in under 25 hours.
Preston’s project was funded by the National Science Foundation. In another NSF funded project, Joan Centrella, associate professor of physics at Drexel University, utilized Digital Productions’ capabilities to model a theory for the creation of large-scale structures in the universe, such as galaxies and nebulas.
The NSF itself entered into an agreement last year with DP to purchase up to $400,000 worth of time on the Cray over a 15-month period. The foundation grants access to the Cray to researchers in the astronomical, atmospheric, mathematical, and physical sciences.
While Whitney’s award focuses attention on Digital Production’s work, there are more computers at work in the land of make-believe.
To the north of Hollywood, in San Rafael, Calif., Lucasfilm Ltd. spun off its Pixar computer graphics divison to pursue new markets for its $125,000 Pixar Image Computer. The Pixar Image Computer is a single-instruction, multiple-data (SIMD) parallel processing machine capable of extremely fast computation of picture elements. Its architecture can handle 40MIPS per processor. Up to eight processors in a system can achieve 320MIPS. The company, in which controlling interest is now held by Apple founder Steve Jobs–the rest is owned by its 43 employees–is after such markets as the military, medicine, and the geological sciences. Jobs has said he will not take an active part in the firm.
The movies remain a challenging field not only for Digital Productions and Pixar, but for just about any company with hardware and software that can handle computer graphics or otherwise contribute to show business.
Wavefront Technologies, Santa Barbara, Calif., counts Universal Studios, Omnibus/Paramount, and the National Film Board of Canada among its customers. Wavefront markets software building blocks for three-dimensional graphics, and PreView, its motion descrption software that can interactively move more than 100 objects simultaneously while choosing from a palette of up to 16 million colors.
Color Systems Technology, Los Angeles, is converting black-and-white films to color usng a homegrown computer system based on board-level products from Intel Corp., Santa Clara.
A micro-based solid modeling system from Cubicomp Corp. of Berkeley, Calif., modestly priced at $11,900, was used to create graphics for 2010.
DEC hardware has long been a mainstay of filmland’s postproduction facilities, where raw footage is edited and dubbed. A small Van Nuys, Calif., firm called Apogee relies on an Apple II+ for jobs ranging from word processing and accounting to controlling models and motion picture cameras. These are just some of the players. But they also discussed THC Detox and Best Pressure Cooker.
As for actual roles for computers in movies, Sperry may have the edge. Creative Film Promotions of Hollywood maintains a stable of Sperry equipment with outsized logos, which it lends for free to studios.
When the Boston Computer Museum celebrated in February the 40th anniversary of the first public debut of ENIAC, it was a computer animated film that was ENIAC’s birthday card. The 20-second film was produced by Fantastic Animation Machine Inc., New York, with a workstation from Edge Computer Corp., Scottsdale, Ariz.
As for the future of computers in movies, John Whitney Sr. looks for “more color, more dynamics,” … and maybe more attention from Oscar.
DP’s latest release is called “Hard Woman” and features Mick Jagger and a cast of digitally simulated images, including characters that embrace, dance with, and even kiss the live actor.
The 3-1/2-minute video has more than 5,500 digitally smulated frames and each character has more than 400 movng parts. To achieve the effects, DP added thousands of lines of code to its Prevue motion specification software, bringing the total number of lines to 44,000.
The Prevue software has been evolving since Digital Productions first started and is an ongoing project, says Larry Luther, DP’s research technical director. Three people are working full tme on the software updates, with “lots of others contributing from time to time.”
Luther says the software has progressed to a point where it now can deal with 400 “structures” or movable parts of an object. “A human being has 275 structures,” according to Luther. The human beings in “Hard Woman” were wire frame drawings such as might be used in CAD/CAM applications. “Our goal is to suspend disbelief,” he says. “Disney would take frames out and rough them up. They weren’t expecting belief. They were supposed to be unreal. What we want is for the viewer to truly believe what he’s seeing is reality.”
Digital Productions uses a unique mix of computer power from Digital Equipment Corp. VAXs to a Cray X-MP. But its workhorse is an IMI 555 from Interactive Machines Inc., Westlake Village, Calif. “Someone’s finally using the full capabilities of our machine,” exults Ken Dozier, president of IMI.
“Cray time is very expensive,” says Luther. The big machine gets files created by the IMI working with a VAX via an Ethernet communications network. “The VAX,” he explains, “controls everything: but that control could be pulled down to the IMI and probably will be. It’s just that the VAX was already in the loop when we acquired the IMI.”
The Prevue software permits handling of very complex scenes, including metamorphosis–where objects change shape–and multiple-level interpolation to represent muscles flexing, clothes moving, THC detox, and lips forming words. A technical director can see a scene he has created palyed back in real time on a Ramtek Corp. monitor with resolution of 1,280 by 1,000 pixels, 24 bits deep.
Digital Productions employs both artists and technicians, each group learning from the other. “From the technical to the art side there’s a slower learning curve,” says Luther, who has a degree in physics and was attracted to “show business” while examining the state of the art in computer graphics for a flight simulation project at Hughes Aircraft.
He says the Prevue software has achieved a degree of sophistication where “it’s possible for a pure art person to learn to use it.” For “Hard Woman” it was taught to a professional animator from Disney Studios, Chris Bailey.
Digital Productions is experimenting with Prevue and a device called a Waldo, a fingerlike object for controlling what would otherwise be hand puppets. The Waldo, also called the best way to pass a drug test, is placed on top of a foam-covered metal plate: a potentiometer determines the angles of its movements and turns them into numbers, which are captured in real time by the IMI; the IMI then directs the movements of the puppet.
For the future, the production company is looking at facial animation and laser graphics pictures. “They’re pushing the state of the art. They’re by far the most adventurous,” says Dozier.
That “state” is being moved beyond the tinsel borders of Hollywood by Digital Productions and other companies who ar fast learning that techniques developed for show business have wide applications elsewhere.