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Guillermo del Toro at Comic-Con 2011: Digital-Age Renaissance Man

He may be the greatest director you’ve never heard of. But you should definitely make note of who he is, because you’re going to be hearing a lot about the “Digital-Age Renaissance man” known as Guillermo del Toro. Del Toro will be appearing this week at Comic-Con in San Diego, and while he may not be as well known as directors J.J. Abrams or Steven Spielberg, he’s just as influential – and is certainly someone to watch in the future.

“Boo!” For the Fantasy/Horror sleeper hit Pan’s Labyrinth, director Guillermo del Toro put his personal touch and imagination into every frame of the film, including the creation and visual design of this character, the Pale Man.

All Eyes on Del Toro
Guillermo del Toro – much like his contemporaries Peter Jackson and Robert Rodriguez - is one of a new breed of filmmakers that can’t be categorized. Del Toro dabbles in all sorts of media, including movies, games and comic books. As a gamer, del Toro reportedly enjoys playing Half-Life and BioShock. As a sketch artist, he keeps huge volumes of drawings; he even used these to help him design the creatures and environments for his 2006 masterpiece, Pan’s Labyrinth.

One-man production crew: del Toro.

This week, this Digital-Age Renaissance man will be addressing crowds of fans at Comic-Con 2011 in San Diego. What will he talk about? No one knows for sure, but he could speak about any of the following projects, since he’s involved with all of them:

    • Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (opening Aug. 26). Del Toro co-wrote and co-produced the film.
    • Peter Jackson’s much-anticipated film version of The Hobbit. Del Toro co-wrote the script .
    • Disney’s The Haunted Mansion 3D remake. Del Toro is co-writing, producing and directing it.
    • He’s the co-author of a trilogy of vampire novels (including the already published The Strain and The Fall).
    • He’s overseeing the creation of a new videogame called Insane, expected for 2013 release.


Exploring a Passion for Film
Guillermo del Toro has been seriously making movies since the 1980s (he started by helping out on film sets as an eight-year-old, back in Mexico). You can trace del Toro’s success back to the moment when he discovered his creative passion and then dedicated himself to mastering the craft of film.

When it was released, Pan’s Labyrinth was compared to some of the greatest fantasy films ever made – such as The Wizard of Oz and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Del Toro’s most critically acclaimed film combined fantasy and war into a powerful and unique modern fable. Pan’s Labyrinth topped many critics’ polls as the best film of 2006, and when the film played at the Cannes Film Festival, the crowd saluted it with a standing ovation that lasted 22 minutes. The film captured three Oscars (Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction and Best Makeup) and won the Best Picture award from the National Society of Film Critics. In addition to the great critical success of Pan’s Labyrinth, he’s also made a number of great action and horror films, such as Blade II, Hellboy (I & II) and The Devil’s Backbone.

Part fairy tale, part war film. Pan’s Labyrinth took a unique concept and blended it with amazing special effects.

Do you have a passion for filmmaking? Then follow your dream. There are plenty of ways: Take a course in movie making from professional filmmakers. Online courses can be good sources of information too, although the best training occurs when an industry veteran is at your side, passing along their real-world experience.

At Digital Media Academy’s Stanford Filmmaking Summer Camp, students learn how to make digital movies from the pros. The program is taught by professional filmmakers, and daytime activities include real production meetings (just like Hollywood studios have) and shooting a movie. Evening activities can include taking in a movie premiere like real Hollywood filmmakers do (such as the special pre-release screening of the new Harry Potter that DMA’s Stanford campers recently attended). So now, are you ready to make a movie?


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posted by DMA Jordan in Digital Filmmaking,News Blog and have No Comments

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