Disney & Fox Would Be the Avatar of Movie Studios

And speaking of Avatar, guess which studio released it?

If your guess is ‘20th Century Fox,’ now picture one studio releasing Avatar, the Alien and Predator movies, Star Wars and Marvel superhero movies.

Those are a few of the movies that would come under the aegis of a combined Disney and Fox, which would likely cause even more consolidation among studios because who can effectively compete with that lineup?

As awesome as the idea is of the X-Men finally coming back to Marvel Studios is, I’m not at sure Disney buying Fox’s film and television production and distribution businesses is such a great idea.

Sure, Simon Kinberg would likely no longer be given free rein to ruin the X-Men, and the fate of the Fantastic Four would finall be resolved in the most awesomest manner possible but it would make Disney even more massive, more powerful than it already is.

And I’m not entirely sure a 21st Century Fox as a division of The Walt Disney Company (it would likely require way too much effort–and money–to get rid of  Fox branding, which is why it’s likely to exist alongside Disney as a stand-along shingle) is a really good idea for anyone that’s not a shareholder in either company.

And to emphasize my last point, Disney earned $2.9 billion in 2016 (and that’s not including the millions generated by Thor: Ragnarök).  

Combining the titles they already control with those of Fox sounds like Ragnarök for all the other studios, which certainly wouldn’t have the seer market power of a combined Disney/Fox.

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Hollywood Ain’t All Glamour (Featuring Studio ADI)

Anyone who thinks being an actor is all glamor and copious consumption–which isn’t to say that that isn’t there, but that’s hardly the case for everyone that makes the movies many of us love–needs to spend some time with the actors that bring characters like the Predator and Pred-Alien to life.

As evidence, take a look at this clip from Studio ADI, from the making of the 2007 movie Alien vs. Predator: Requiem.  The video shows how they shot a scene toward the end of the movie, when the Pred-Alien squares off against a Predator sent to hunt it down on the roof of a hospital.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but the people playing the Pred-Alien and Predator must have had a particularly difficult experience, despite the efforts of the people working to keep the actors comfortable.  After all, they’re stuck in constricting suits–in the case of the former, probably barely able to breathe, hear or see–in an almost torrential downpour.

Which isn’t to imply that there was any other way to do it, because to go the CGI route would have probably made things like like a middling video game.

Though to make matters worse, to have to discover after the fact that all the hours of hard work you just went through could barely be seen in many instances because the movie was so badly lit…

Why studioADI Is Awesome

Bob Woodruff, Jr. and Alec Gillis of studioADI, the practical special effects house behind a lot of your favorite movies, including the Predator and Alien films, as well as the upcoming Kickstarter-funded practical horror film, Harbinger Down) are two men that clearly enjoy their work.

You can see the devotion and craftsmanship that their effects shop brings to every creature they make, even when their creations don’t appear in great movies, such as X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the effects they designed for fan-favorite anti-hero, Deadpool.

This disdain occasionally spills over to the creator of the effects.

In the above clip Gillis and Woodruff are explaining why Deadpool looked as he did.

And Gillis makes a great point, which is that special effects houses, aren’t necessarily in control over how a character looks, when all is said and done.

The thing is, I knew that already and while I also hated how Deadpool ended up, the effects-works itself (which is the only thing that studioADI is actually in control of), was spot-on.

‘Dark Space’ Trailer

The trailer for Dark Space actually looks pretty good, especially for an independent film (made without the backing of a major studio).  There’s a dash of Predator here, a hint of Outland there, and a whole lot of Pitch Black, that really works.  That being said, if I could mention one thing to the producers:  If you’re looking to create a unique look to your trailer, don’t use the same font as the Transformers movies.

It not only doesn’t help, it’s really, really distracting from what matters most, which is (or at least should be) your trailer.

Why You Need To See ‘Harbinger Down’

Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, of Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc. (ADI) aren’t names that most people are familiar with, though if you have seen AlienPredator, The Thing (2011), Monster Squad, Mortal Combat, The Fly, The Fly II among many, many others, then you are more familiar with their work than you think.

Despite such a pedigree, the film industry have for quite a few years been moving toward computer-generated images (CGI) instead of practical effects, like animatronics and models.  A problem that accompanies CGI is that they are put into images after the film is shot.  This means that the actors, when working with computer-generated images, are often performing against a stand-in (which is sometimes a tennis ball on a pole) because the actors need to have something to focus their attention on.

So, if you’re watching a movie like Transformers or The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and wonder what the actors are acting against when Smaug makes an appearance, it’s often not much at all.

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