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Creating Visual Effects with Tech-Savvy Artists

For today’s filmmakers, visual effects (or VFX) have become a fundamental component of the storytelling process. Productions are expected to push the envelope visually to create amazing yet realistic-looking scenarios that would be too dangerous, expensive, impractical or simply impossible to shoot in real environments. As a result, both the industry and the technology needed for top-quality VFX have quickly evolved.

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Behind American Hustle with David O. Russell and Bradley Cooper

P3’s coverage of the nine Oscar-nominated films of 2013 takes a look inside the critical and commercial favorite American Hustle, a period dramedy about reinventing one’s image while striving to reach the American dream. Shot in Massachusetts and loosely based on the FBI Abscam operations of the 1970s and ’80s, the film follows con man Irving Rosenfeld (played by Christian Bale) and his seductive partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) as they’re forced to work with overzealous FBI Agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) in a sting to take down corrupt politicians. 

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Matthew McConaughey on Being Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club

For the very few of you who haven’t heard, the independent film Dallas Buyers Club is gaining a ton of attention. And with the Academy Awards just around the corner, the film is the talk of the town as a frontrunner for Best Picture. Filmed in New Orleans, La. in an impressive 27 days by Director Jean-Marc Vallée, Dallas Buyers Club stars Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto. The true story follows Ron Woodroof, a rodeo wild-bull rider who gets grounded by an HIV-positive diagnosis during the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. 

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Calgary Film Studio Gets Green-Light for Production

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Studio space is critical in ensuring the continued success, viability and business attraction of Alberta's screen-based production sector. Southern Alberta will soon have a new film studio and its first permanent sound stage. The studio will be developed by Calgary Economic Development (CED). The projected opening date is set for Summer 2015, the total cost is approximately $22.8 million and will feature two purpose-built sound stages (20,000 sq ft and 30,000 sq ft) with the ability to subdivide the larger studio. The studio will also include 18,000 sq ft of warehouse space with an additional 10,000 – 15,000 sq ft) for workshop / production, props, sets, wardrobes, etc. 

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Directing The Monuments Men

The Monuments Men is not your average Nazi war movie. Shot all over Germany the action drama story is based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history focusing on an unlikely World War II platoon, tasked by FDR with going into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and returning them to their rightful, mostly Jewish owners. This group of seven museum directors, curators, and art historians risk their lives to stop the destruction of 1000 years of culture. 

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Showrunner’s Use Creativity to Tackle Issues

Creativity is part of the showrunners’ job description. That was the take-away from an interview panel with CBS drama showrunners during January 2014’s Television Critics Association press tour.

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Filming in the Island Region

When a film or television production calls for an island setting, there are plenty of places to choose from, as every island can offer incentives and unique scenery to filmmakers. For example, Hawaii is known for its majestic volcanoes and Dominica has miles of pristine rainforests, while the U.S. Virgin Islands offers charming European towns. Each island region also has a film office with numerous resources so productions are not left stranded. The following island hot spots are not only beautiful, they’re also a breeze to shoot.

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Utah Film Commission Shines at Sundance

Sundance UtahIt goes without saying that Sundance is one of the premiere film festivals around the world, with thousands of attendees, most of whom are key decision makers in the film and television industry. The Utah Film Commission prides themselves on being the host state every year and continues to be a key player in the festivities. Three years ago they set up on Main Street with a warm, inviting venue open to the public and fest-goers alike.

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Kumiko, Sean C. Porter and the Alexa

PorterSeattle-native and recent Los Angeles transplant via Brooklyn, DP Sean C. Porter had his fair share of challenges shooting The Zellner Brothers’ Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter.

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Discovering Her with Location Manager Rick Schuler

HER SM beachThe sci-fi romance film Her is anoriginal love story that explores the human need for intimacy and the risks it poses in a technological world. Set in a future Los Angeles, the movie is written and directed by Spike Jonze, and stars Joaquin Phoenix (The Master, Walk the Line), Amy Adams, Rooney Mara and the voice of Scarlett Johansson. The story follows Theodore (Phoenix), a complex, soulful man in self-imposed isolation after being heartbroken by the end of a long relationship. He soon meets Samantha (Johansson), the insightful, sensitive and surprisingly funny female voice of his computer’s new operating system. And as each of their emotional needs and desires grow, the friendship eventually deepens into true love.

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