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Issue: Volume 37 Issue 4: (Jul/Aug 2014)

A New Look for a New Generation

By: Karen Moltenbrey

What’s old can certainly be new again. This year the box office has been filled with sequels, whether the second, third, or even fourth release of a property. Captain America, Spider-Man, and the X-Men superheroes all made repeat performances, as did the fabled fighters of 300, following up on earlier successes.

However, there were some properties that received a whole new makeover for today’s audiences. For instance, Maleficent featured a retelling of the popular tale that’s focused on the villain this time rather than the princess. Another property that was resurrected recently: Godzilla. The giant monster was a worldwide pop-culture icon in the 1970s but was recently awakened from its slumber. Hercules, the mythological hero, made a number of film debuts over the years, from animated character to television actor, to a camp classic. Now, he is ripping up the big screen backed by some VFX might. Also, the dynamic father and son duo Sherman and Mr. Peabody, re-stylized in 3D CGI, took new fans and old on adventures through the ages earlier this year.

It’s been some time since the anthropomorphic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have come out of their shells to battle criminals. After their comic-book debut in the 1980s, the crime fighters have been featured on television and even spawned a successful action-figure line, in addition to a slew of merchandising from Pez dispensers to breakfast cereal. Their animated television series may have been lighthearted, but their comic-book series and 1990 live-action feature film (with actors in partially animatronic suits by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop) retained the original darker tone. Now, thanks to the use of cutting-edge CGI and performance capture techniques, the characters have returned in a live-action movie with the turtles as CG characters. (See “Turtle Talk” on page 6.)

In 2011, new capture techniques gave rise to a new look for the 1960s/’70s Planet of the Apes. Gone were the makeup and costumes, and in their place were digital characters that raised the level of drama many times over. Yet, that was only the beginning. With a number of films in the franchise, and the continuing advances in computer graphics, audiences can expect a higher degree of realism from this large digital cast of characters. (See “Evolution” on page 16.)

Rising from the packaging of the toy aisles, Transformers have been dominating the box office since their 2007 film that featured live action with CG Transformers. With each subsequent movie, the level of complexity in terms of the robots and their interactions have grown immensely. In Transformers: Age of Extinction, they are back. And, there are more of these transforming robots on the screen. In fact, there’s just more of everything to wow audiences. (See “Bigger and Better” on page 52.)

On the small screen, characters from fairytales – enhanced with digital magic –  have been enchanting audiences. The various prime-time series have incorporated unique spins on these classic stories, and VFX artists are continually inventing new methods to keep audiences spellbound. (See “Fairy-tale Effects” on page 31.)

Lastly, you will also notice a new look for CGW. For nearly 40 years, CGW has continued to evolve with this inventive industry on a number of levels, from content focus to the methods of delivering that content. It has also sported a number of new looks and designs. A year ago, we implemented something different, and while we thought it gave the publication a much-needed face-lift, we began to feel it just didn’t reflect our vision as much as we would have liked.

So, during the past several weeks, our new art director, Michelle Villas, and the Moon Tide Media group, worked closely with the publication’s Publisher/President William R. Rittwage to deliver an exciting, cleaner, more modern look that integrates more closely with our vision. As you turn the pages, you will see that the new format is exciting and inviting, and more user-friendly. We’re using bolder, more modern fonts, combined with a cleaner, more linear design, resulting in a streamlined, cleaner page where the images work hand in hand with the text to deliver a complete, in-depth report of the latest industry happenings.

We hope you like it – let us know what you think by sending an email to Karen@cgw.com.

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