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THE OFFICIAL COMMUNITY FOR DIGITAL MEDIA ACADEMY

“Dark Knight Rises” Sequel

Okay, so it’s not actually a sequel. In fact, it’s not even a movie yet, but that hasn’t stopped Hollywood voices from discussing the next Batman movie—three or four years ahead of time.


If you’re a video gamer the next Batman movie may look very familiar.

While “The Dark Knight Rises” continues to climb at the box-office (with total global earnings now officially above $1 billion), there is already lots of industry talk about what will happen next to the Caped Crusader. Christopher Nolan has already stated “DKR” will be the last film in the trilogy the director started with 2005’s “Batman Begins.” So, as massively successful as this franchise reboot has been, it’s time to start re-imagining the next series of Batman films.

Unfortunately fans eager to see a new Batman movies will have to wait – a new Batman movie isn’t expected to hit theaters until 2016.

Lunatics in the Asylum 
That main rumor circulating the fan sites is the newly rebooted franchise will be based on the “Batman: Arkham Asylum” video game produced by Eidos Interactive/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (and developed by Rocksteady Studios on the Epic Games Unreal engine). Reportedly, Warner Bros. movie executives have been wowed by the mammoth popularity of the “Arkham Asylum” game, which spawned a sequel.

Both games received raves from game sites and top game magazines. The original dynamic, third-person action/adventure found our old friend, The Joker, running a demented asylum full of Gotham’s most diabolical and dangerous criminals.

A League of Their Own
The Batman 2016 project looks to be just one in an entire new series of blockbusters featuring the stalwart superheroes of the DC Universe. According to rumors, the Batman movie will be preceded by a Justice League film due for release in 2015, not to mention the next Superman movie—“Man of Steel,” now scheduled for 2013 release. (Also in the pipeline: films featuring Wonder Woman and The Flash.)

Guest Scars
The Joker figures prominently in “Arkham Asylum,” which has comics fans wondering if Batman’s greatest villain will return in the 2016 reboot. This could prove tricky for any actor bold enough to take on the role, which was made unforgettable by Heath Ledger in his final (and Oscar-winning) film performance in “The Dark Knight.”


Batman’s main nemesis, The Joker, is the head madman in charge of “Arkham Asylum.”

Fans are also wondering if arch-criminal Bane—who’s still battling it out with Batman in theaters, by the way—might show up in the next Batman project. Bane (played in “DKR” by Tom Hardy) appears in “Arkham Asylum,” so there could be some basis for bringing back the grate-faced villain in the next Batman blockbuster.   

Never Can Say Goodbye
Even though director Christopher Nolan has now finished his Batman trilogy, he is still being consulted by Warner Bros. concerning where and how the franchise should move forward from here. Industry people in the know expect Nolan to serve as an Executive Producer on the next Batman films. If the mortals who run the DC Universe have their way, the next few years will see an explosion of movies starring DC characters.

Reportedly, producers instructed the digital filmmakers who will bring The Justice League to the big screen that this new film should have a unique visual look…and look nothing like 2012′s “The Avengers.”

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

Making Immortals: Special Effects Techniques & Pre-Production

This weekend, the 3D sword-and-sandal epic Immortals is set to make its bid as one of the year’s biggest blockbusters. In the film, Greek mythology receives the big-screen treatment with amazing special effects that help make the story larger than life.


Henry Cavill (who will star as Superman in the upcoming Man of Steel) plays Theseus in the sword-and-sandal epic, Immortals.

The Road to Immortality
Immortals was brought to the screen by the same production team that made 300, that movie earned $456 million internationally. For this blockbuster, no expense was spared to create the stunning visions necessary to tell the tale. The supervising producer of VFX estimated that more than 100 shots within Immortals required special effects. And because the producers did not want their movie to look as though it was composed solely through CGI effects, some twenty enormous and intricate sets were actually designed and built.


In addition to amazingly complex battle sequences, there are stupendous visions of mountains falling, tidal waves being created and more.

Immortals’ Cameron Connection
All of the massive production was housed under one roof at film studios in Montreal. And if Immortals looks like no other adventure flick ever filmed, there are several technical reasons why. For starters, during pre-production, the filmmakers relied upon a green screen method called InterSense, which James Cameron used when making Avatar.

The technical system called Moses was used during production for similar purposes. For example, when composing a shot set in a monastery, the director was able to use Moses to look down from that monastery onto an enemy encampment and see exactly where CGI creations would be placed within the actual shot.


Another unique technique used in Immortals involves action speed; the gods featured in the films will be able to move and fight at speeds considerably faster than mere mortals.

Immortals will showcase its amazing visuals in 3D. However, unlike many 3D movies, Immortals was built from the ground up to be a 3D film. Foregrounds and backgrounds were designed specifically so the 3D effects could be shown for maximum visual impact. The filmmakers sought help from Prime Focus, a 3D effects house that had worked magic on blockbusters like Star Wars: Episode One –The Phantom Menace and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2.

All in all, more than 4,000 artists and technicians helped to create the 3D world shown in Immortals. And this figure doesn’t count the number of visual artists who contributed to the making of the film through their mastery of Maya, the software program now driving how characters are generated for films of all types.

Take a look for yourself with the official trailer for Immortals:

Immortals in 3D opens 11/11/11.

The Next Great Action Star
There’s another special effect in the film, in the form of actor Henry Cavill, who will soon be appearing as another larger-than-life character: Superman.

In Immortals, Cavill portrays a fatherless child (Theseus) raised in shame and ridicule who eventually meets a wise old man who counsels Theseus and trains him in combat and philosophy (kind of like the training Bruce Wayne received in 2005’s Batman Begins). Theseus’ mother is murdered and he is put into chains by the evil King Hyperion (played by Mickey Rourke). This all leads to Hyperion facing off against rebel forces led by Theseus in an earth-shaking battle royal.

Cavill will next appear in the action blockbuster Superman: Man of Steel. Warner Brothers is hoping to use the film to rebrand the Superman film franchise and set it onto a fresh and new path, much in the same way that Christopher Nolan’s series of neo-Batman films has accomplished so successfully. There’s been a lot of excitement by fans who want a first look at Henry Cavill as the new Superman.


Look, up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…Henry Cavill in 2013′s Superman: Man of Steel.

The Future of Special Effects
Today technology allows filmmakers to make films they couldn’t have even imagined twenty years ago. Tools like After Effects and Final Cut Pro make filmmaking accessible for everyone. Film production is an amazing process that requires the time and expertise of hundreds of creative professionals who pool their collective talents in the service of a major project, such as Immortals.

Becoming a part of the film industry has never been easier for driven and talented professionals who’ve received the right training with the latest tools. You can start a career in special effects by spending your summer at a film camp that teaches visual effects. Summer camps like Digital Media Academy use cutting-edge software like Autodesk Maya to teach character creation and Final Cut Pro to teach film editing. With hands-on training from DMA, creating the gods on Mount Olympus is just a few keystrokes away.

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