Posts Tagged ‘lucasfilm’

Lucasfilm and Disney’s Strange Magic

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

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When I heard that a recently-released animated movie had just set the record for all-time worst-opening ever for an animated film in 3000+ theaters, as well as the 7th-worst opening for any film playing in 3000+ theaters, I decided I needed to see for myself why the film was being avoided like the plague. So, I went ahead and purchased a matinee ticket to see Strange Magic, a 3D animated adventure that had been included in the Lucasfilm deal to Disney. So, Disney released it in a notoriously bad month to release movies: January.

To be honest, the trailer was awful. Not only had it been released at the last possible second, it looked like someone had thrown together clips from the film in a way that made no logical sense to the actual plot. Most people who watched the trailer decided that the movie was full of terrible, clichéd jokes and felt completely disorganized. However, there have been plenty of movies with bad trailers that turned out to be decent films, which is why I wanted to give Strange Magic a chance.

The verdict: it was strange. I was cringing in embarrassment and impatience for probably the first 10 minutes of the movie while all of the characters sang seemingly endless love and heartbreak songs. Don’t get me wrong, I love musicals, but the movie went about it the wrong way. The songs were steering the plot, while it should have happened the other way around.

Once the song marathon ended and we entered the Bog King’s domain, the movie picked up a little bit and I found myself enjoying some parts. There was some good character development for Marianne, the main character, in the first part of the story. While she started off as a starry-gazed, lovesick princess, something happens and she changes into a sword-fighting, awesome, disillusioned warrior chick that is grossed out by the mushier things of life, which had me cheering. After some good scenes in Act II, however, the movie reverted to being cringe-worthy and mushy.

Overall, the message of the story was good (everyone deserves to be loved, no matter what they look like), but the kaleidoscope-like scene at the end threw me off and was really too weird to get over. So—it was strange, yet slightly magical in some places, but understandable why the movie had such a bad opening weekend. Despite this, the animation was really impressive, and I was impressed with the color design in many of the environments (not quite as green as Epic). Although the plot wasn’t up to par, visually the movie was more fun. High-five to all the artists involved in this one!

(And still a better love story than Twilight)

Sierra Gaston

Lucasfilm Recruiters Visit Cogswell

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Last Monday night Cogswell hosted a visit by Lucasfilm Recruiters. They showed some of the pioneering work the done by the various divisions of Lucasfilm, and even showed some work in production. They spoke about some of the changes in the industry and how graduating students can prepare for a career- in particular, the Jedi Academy Internship.

One of the most interesting points was that there are a few rare entry level positions with these companies. They are looking for strong Riggers at the moment, and they are always looking for entry level Technical Directors. The Recruiter from Lucasfilm Animation stressed that your chances of landing an entry level job increase exponentially if you are an animator but you have some programming and scripting under your belt.

This visit highlights the importance of always keeping a reel in progress. If you were prepared on Monday night, there was a good chance you could have picked up a rigging gig at LucasArts! Just another example of why it is better to prepare than to plan. Many times students hear about openings and start to prepare a reel, but by the time they are ready the opportunity has long passed. Be diligent and always have your best work ready to show to recruiters.

I want to mention that we are running Rigging 1 right now, and we will offer Rigging 2 next semester. You probably already know that we updated our Scripting for CG class that we are running now, and if there is interest, we can run again next term. One other course to note is the new Game Level Design 2 on the schedule next semester. The Spring 2010 class schedule will be released next week.

Keep your eyes open for the next industry visit, and keep that reel up to date!

-Michael Martin, Dean of the College