Archive for the ‘Industry’ Category

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by Zack Sharf via IndieWire

The future of the DC Extended Universe might be a question mark, but Henry Cavill says in a new interview with Men’s Health he will not being giving up the role of Superman so easily. Cavill appeared as the Man of Steel in three DCEU films directed by Zack Snyder: “Man of Steel,” “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” and “Justice League.” Cavill suggests what many fans believe when he says his movies in the DCEU got progressively worse.

According to Cavill, his Superman origin story “Man of Steel” was “a great starting point. If I were to go back, I don’t think I’d change anything.” The actor believes “Batman v Superman” is “very much a Batman movie. And I think that realm of darkness is great for a Batman movie.” As for “Justice League,” Cavill’s thoughts are blunt: “It didn’t work.” “Justice League” was overhauled by Joss Whedon after Snyder left the project due to a family tragedy.

Cavill has not played Superman since “Justice League” and Warner Bros. has not announced any plans for a new Superman movie. The studio has taken different routes with Cavill’s “Justice League” co-stars. Gal Gadot is returning as Wonder Woman in Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman 1984” (June 5, 2020), while Jason Momoa will follow last year’s one billion dollar grosser “Aquaman” with a sequel (December 16, 2022). Ezra Miller’s standalone Flash movie has gone through several different iterations but is currently on track to be directed by “It” filmmaker Andy Muschietti. Affleck exited his role as Batman, but Warner Bros. is rebooting the Caped Crusader with Robert Pattinson and director Matt Reeves for “The Batman” (June 25, 2021). Superman is the only “Justice League” character without a movie in development.

“I’m not just going to sit quietly in the dark as all this stuff is going on,” Cavill told Men’s Health of the rumor his time as Superman has ended. “I’ve not given up the role. There’s a lot I have to give for Superman yet. A lot of storytelling to do. A lot of real, true depths to the honesty of the character I want to get into. I want to reflect the comic books. That’s important to me. There’s a lot of justice to be done for Superman. The status is: You’ll see.”

Next up for Cavill is the Netflix fantasy series “The Witcher,” which debuts December 20. The streaming giant has already picked up the show for a second season.

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by Gregory Wakeman via Yahoo Movies UK

The death of Carrie Fisher at the age of just 60 in December, 2016, was a tragedy that rocked the world of cinema.

It was especially tragic for Star Wars fans because, while Fisher returned as Leia Organa in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, it has long been rumoured that the beloved character would feature much more prominently in the ninth installment, which we now know is called The Rise Of Skywalker. 

Leia will still be in The Rise Of Skywalker, though, as J.J. Abrams is going to incorporate deleted scenes from The Force Awakens, which he also co-wrote and directed, into the blockbuster.

Abrams has now opened up about this process, saying Leia’s involvement is uncanny, while insisting that they still got to tell her story in the way that they’d originally envisioned.

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“There are scenes where she’s interacting with other characters in a way that is uncanny,” Abrams told Total Film. “Hopefully, if it works, it will be an invisible thing and if you didn’t know, you would never know.”

“But we got to tell the story with Leia that we would have told had Carrie lived. And that’s kind of incredible.”

Of course, we now don’t have that long to see what Abrams does with both Leia Organa and Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, as the ninth and concluding part of the Skywalker saga is going to be released on December 20th.

The Rise Of Skywalker will revolve around Daisy Ridley’s Rey, John Boyega’s Finn and Oscar Isaac’s Poe Cameron coming together to take on Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren and the remaining First Order.

It’ll also be the last big-screen Star Wars story we see for a while as Disney have already revealed that the franchise is going to go on hiatus after its release.

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Sonic

by Connor Sheridan via Total Film Magazine

The Sonic the Hedgehog movie’s redesigned protagonist appears to have been revealed.

His new look seems to be a heck of a lot closer to the speedy blue mammal you know from the games, after an early trailer promoted a vocal backlash from fans. Physical advertisements for the movie that show Sonic with a much less frighteningly human head have been spotted by eagle-eyed Twitter users. In fact, if you didn’t look too close, you might think it was just an extra-furry version of Modern Sonic.

Tails’ Channel | Sonic the Hedgehog News & Updates@TailsChannel

Here’s a wider picture of the allegedly leaked redesigned standee image. Source is also unconfirmed.

View image on Twitter
The original movie design for Sonic the Hedgehog gave him an upsettingly human-looking face (and teeth), giving him the overall effect of being a muscular child in a furry blue onesie. The redesign restores his skinny limbs, his white gloves, and his trademark lopsided smirk. It almost gives him back his old connected goggle eyes, though it doesn’t go quite that far into cartoon territory. The biggest remaining difference from the game version now, aside from having individually rendered fur/quills, is that his arms are still blue.

No official announcements have been made about Sonic’s new look so far, aside from the movie’s producer saying that “the fans have a voice in this too”, but the appearance in that leak lines up with another one spotted in October.

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at this point its going to spread like wildfire, i posted the image to the public first and i didn’t take a photo.

View image on Twitter
The Sonic the Hedgehog movie was originally due to hit theaters this week, but it was delayed because of the overwhelmingly negative response fans had for the original design. It looks like fans are much more pleased with the new version, so hopefully the movie as a whole will be similarly well received when it hits theaters on February 14, 2020.

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by Cameron LeBlanc via Fatherly

If you’re a Netflix subscriber who relies on an older Samsung TV or Roku streaming device, your days of watching Stranger Things could be numbered if you don’t invest in some new equipment.

On December 1, certain older Samsung TV’s and Roku streaming devices will lose access to the streamer due to “technical limitations.” If your device is affected, you’ve likely seen this error message and/or received an email from Netflix warning you of the impending loss of compatibility.

Unfortunately for those of us trying to understand the situation, no one seems to understand what, exactly, those “technical limitations” are. It could be that they don’t want to dedicate developer time and effort to writing software for devices that are no longer widely used. It could be a conspiracy to sell new equipment. It could be something entirely different. But the fact that none of the three companies is eager to provide exonerating details suggests that something less than consumer-friendly is afoot.

Clues are, unfortunately, scant. Engadget says that if your Roku can’t autoplay the next episode in a series—a key feature that keeps people watching passively—it will no longer be supported.

A Roku spokesperson told Digital Trends that the Roku 2050X, Roku 2100X, Roku 2000C, Roku HD Player, Roku SD Player, Roku XR Player, Roku XD Player are among the devices affected. It’s unclear if this is a complete list.

Samsung has been even less specific, stating on its website just that “Some older Samsung smart TV’s are affected by this change.”

If you lose access to the streamer, you can check out Netflix’s list of supported devices. Because unfair as it may be, dropping some cash on a new streaming device is probably worth it if you’re already invested in the latest season of The Great British Baking Show or any other the thousands of other Netflix titles.

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by Janko Roettgers via Variety

Microsoft has teamed up with Warner Bros. to store a copy of the 1978 movie “Superman” on a small glass disc about the size of a coaster. The collaboration, which will be officially unveiled at Microsoft’s Ignite 2019 conference in Orlando, Florida Monday, is a first test case for a new storage technology that could eventually help safeguard Hollywood’s movies and TV shows, as well as many other forms of data, for centuries to come.

“Glass has a very, very long lifetime,” said Microsoft Research principal researcher Ant Rowstron in a recent conversation with Variety. “Thousands of years.”

The piece of silica glass storing the 1978 “Superman” movie, measuring 7.5 cm x 7.5 cm x 2 mm. The glass contains 75.6 GB of data plus error redundancy codes.

Microsoft began to investigate glass as a storage medium in 2016 in partnership with the University of Southampton Optoelectonics Research Centre. The goal of these efforts, dubbed “Project Silica,” is to find a new storage medium optimized for what industry insiders like to call cold data — the type of data you likely won’t need to access for months, years, or even decades. It’s data that doesn’t need to sit on a server, ready to be used 24/7, but that is kept in a vault, away from anything that could corrupt it.

Turns out that Warner Bros. has quite a bit of this kind of cold data. Founded in the 1920s, the studio has been safekeeping original celluloid film reels, audio from 1940s radio shows and much more, for decades. Think classics like “Casablanca,” “The Wizard of Oz” or “Looney Tunes” cartoons.

Warner Bros. stores film in cold storage vaults, where temperature and humidity are tightly controlled and air sniffers look for signs of chemical decomposition that could signal problems

“Our mission is to preserve those original assets in perpetuity,” said Brad Collar, who is leading these efforts at Warner Bros. as the studio’s senior vice president of global archives and media engineering. And while the studio is deeply invested in these classics, it also keeps adding an ever-increasing number of modern assets to its archives, ranging from digitally-shot films and television episodes to newer forms of entertainment, including video games.

To date, the Warner Bros. archive contains some 20 million assets, with tens of thousands of new items being added every year. Each of them is being stored in multiple locations, explained Collar. “We want to have more than one copy.”

And to this date, Warner Bros. is storing every single movie and TV show on film, even if they’re being shot digitally. For archival purposes, the studio splits a film into its CYMK color components, resulting in three distinct copies that are then written on black-and-white film. The results are being stored away in a cold vault, which is kept between 35 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hollywood studios have been storing films like this for decades, explained Collar. “This process is tried and true.” And it works: When Warner Bros. recently decided to reissue “The Wizard of Oz” in 4K, employees just had to go back into the studio’s vault, retrieve those 3 color-isolated copies, digitize each, and reassemble them to the color master copy. “It is an evolved process,” said Collar.

However, the process doesn’t work for all kinds of assets. Video games, for instance, need to be stored digitally. Light field video captures, holograms, or whatever else the future may hold for next-generation entertainment, will likely also require different solutions. And with recent visual improvements like 4K and HDR, there is an ever-increasing need for petabytes of storage, said Warner Bros. chief technology officer Vicky Colf. “It’s the quality of the content that we are dealing with.”

The studio has been researching novel storage solutions for some time. When Collar first heard about Microsoft’s Project Silica, he was instantly intrigued. After all, the idea to store media on glass sounded awfully familiar: Collar had stumbled across old audio recordings in Warner’s archives a while back, which were being stored on glass discs slightly larger than regular vinyl records.

His team had to first find special players to access the recordings, but was then able to digitize them, unlocking a “Superman” radio play from the 1940s. So when the Warner started talking to Microsoft about collaborating on Project Silica, it was immediately clear that “Superman” was the right film to store on glass. Said Collar: “It’s a beautiful full circle.”

Warner Bros. has been storing all of its films and TV shows, even those shot in digital formats, on 35mm film.

But Microsoft’s approach is based on very different technology than what was used by 1940s-era archivists. Project Silica relies on lasers similar to those used for Lasik eye surgeries to burn small geometrical shapes, also known as voxels, into the glass. “We can encode multiple bits in each voxel,” explained Rowstron. And unlike traditional optical media like CDs or DVDs, Project Silica actually encodes data in multiple layers. Microsoft used 74 such layers to capture “Superman” in glass, but has since advanced the technology to add many more layers.

Once data is stored this way, it can be accessed by shining light through the glass disc, and capturing it with microscope-like readers. In fact, in Project Silica’s early days, the company simply bought off-the-shelf microscopes for this process, which also benefits from machine learning to make sense of the captured light.

The process of storing and accessing data with Project Silica is still in early stages, but it works: After burning the copy of “Superman,” Collar’s team checked to make sure the data was not corrupted. “We did a bit-by-bit check,” he said. The result: The movie was there, safe for future generations. “We have that glass now here in our vaults,” he said.

Microsoft also did extensive tests to make sure that Project Silica storage media didn’t easily damage. “We baked it in very, very hot ovens,” said Rowstron. His team submerged the glass in boiling water, microwaved it, and even scratched it with steel wool — all without any damage to the stored data. Sure, it is breakable if you try hard enough, admitted Rowstron. “If you take a hammer to it, you can smash glass.” But absent of such brute force, the medium promises to be very, very safe, he argued: “I feel very confident in it.”

And while Microsoft partnered with Warner Bros. for this first proof-of-concept, the use cases for Project Silica may ultimately extend far beyond Hollywood. Other known examples for cold data include medical data and banking information, explained Rowstron, adding that many other applications may not even be known yet.

To illustrate the potential, Rowstron referenced the way consumers used to treat photos taken on their phones. A few years ago, before cloud storage became ubiquitous, a consumer may have taken a burst of photos of one motive, and then deleted all but one of those pictures. Fast forward a few years, and machine learning algorithms have gotten really good at combining these burst photo sequences, and turning them into better-looking composite images. “There is a lot of value to keep data around,” Rowstron said.

This also explains why Microsoft is interested in storage solutions like Project Silica to begin with. The company’s own Azure cloud business already safekeeps vast amounts of data for its customers, including both “hot,” frequently accessed data, as well as “cold” data. For some of its long-term storage needs, Azure still uses tape, which frequently has to be checked, and even re-copied, to maintain data integrity. Glass could one day be a more secure solution to safekeep data for the company and its customers.

Warner Bros. isn’t expected to replace its existing archival strategy entirely with glass any time soon, said Colf. “It’s just another arrow in our quiver,” she said. “We hope that film is an option for us for many years to come.”

There is also still a lot of work to be done before Project Silica can become a real product. Read- and write-operations need to be unified in a single device, and the amount of data stored on one piece of glass needs to increase. Microsoft isn’t revealing how much it has been able to squeeze onto the latest generations of the medium, but it is apparently not in the terabyte range just yet. Still, Rowstron is confident that Project Silica will lead to a break-through in storage technology. “I believe the future is glass,” he said.

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