Kong is King, Again
Issue: Volume: 29 Issue: 1 (January 2006)

Kong is King, Again

Academy Award-winner Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated remake of the 1933 cult classic King Kong is set to take us, once again, into the mind of a visionary filmmaker whose penchant for great storytelling and eye for outstanding CG and visual effects brings back the Kong-mania moviegoers must have experienced more than 70 years ago.

The merchandising for Kong is definitely feeding the frenzy. Now, not only can you carry Kong in your pocket in the form of a credit card, you also can download Jackson’s official behind-the-scenes postproduction diaries or buy them on DVD, and purchase stop-motion armature prop replicas, in case you want to make your own Kong-based creation someday. Game publisher Ubisoft is fueling the gorilla madness, encouraging gamers on every platform imaginable to “Play as Man. Play as Kong,” in Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie.

This month, CGW does its share to spotlight Kong, as contributing editor Barbara Robertson details the making and grooming of this magnificent CG creature in “Long Live the King” on pg. 16.

Kong is but one of the many CG effects-laden films debuting this holiday season. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which is being heralded in the media as the best movie yet in the popular J.K. Rowling series is also featured on pg. 26 with a technology Q&A with Tim Alexander, visual effects supervisor at Industrial Light and Magic, discussing the creation of water and cloth simulation for the movie (pg. 40).

As CG continues to proliferate at the box office, the desire for artists and animators to break into the business of delivering visual effects for film, games, and entertainment continues to grow. Some may even be considering launching a small studio. Undoubtedly, business ownership can be extremely rewarding, or heartbreakingly defeating. This month, in the first of a two-part series, William “Proton” Vaughan offers advice to those interested in making the leap. See “Starting a Small Studio,” pg. 28.

As we move through 2006, Computer Graphics World will continue to deliver the award-winning behind-the-scenes coverage of Hollywood CG that we’re famous for. We will feature stories designed to help you get ahead in the business, technology articles and product reviews, so you can make informed hardware and software choices, and hands-on tutorials and how-to articles designed to inspire and guide you through the creative process. And, if you haven’t been to CGW.com lately, you really should visit. Each month, you’ll find Web exclusive stories that you won’t find anywhere else, along with daily news and reviews that will help keep you current on the latest CG happenings. CGW.com also features the Animation Mentors, where top animators who paid their dues at high-profile visual effects studios answer your questions about making it in the CG business.

Drop in and visit us online, quiz the Animation Mentors, send us your artwork, or just get in touch with us. In fact, you can reach me directly at kdove@pennwell.com. And don’t forget to let me know what you think about Kong.

Kelly Dove