Spotlight : April 1998

April Effects Briefs
Edited by Todd Vaziri

Intel and SGI Announce Partnerships
APRIL 19, 1998

On the heels of Intel's investment in Discreet Logic, the chipmaker announced a new partnership with Silicon Graphics (SGI).

In a move that has been anticipated for months, SGI announced its plans to make hardware that will run the Windows NT operating system, in addition to its UNIX boxes. This news further illustrates the industry's movement toward NT as a viable platform for producing high-end digital graphics.

In the wake of its recent financial difficulties, SGI also has refocused their company vision, in an attempt to rebuild confidence in the computer maker whose systems fill the computer rooms of nearly every effects house around the world.

For more information on SGI's focus and the Intel relationship, check out the SGI web site at

APRIL 19, 1998

In a surprising show of restraint, Warner Bros. has officially announced the delay of production of its newest SUPERMAN feature film.

Tentatively titled SUPERMAN LIVES, the film was to begin production in July, but has been pushed due to 'budgetary' and 'script' problems. Still connected to the production is director Tim Burton and producer Jon Peters, the same team who produced the BATMAN series for Warner Bros. Also still committed is Oscar-winner Nicolas Cage, slated to star as the superhero.

With the expected budget hovering around $100 million, the film will undoubtedly feature a great deal of visual effects. But for now, everything is on hold.

Warner Bros., while frequently pushing its franchise films through production without regard to scripts or budgets (BATMAN & ROBIN, LETHAL WEAPON 4), also delayed Jan De Bont's GHOST RIDERS IN THE SKY and Ridley Scott's I AM LEGEND.

New Visual Effects Resource to Debut
APRIL 19, 1998

A new, comprehensive directory for visual effects professionals will debut this June. The Little Black Book of Visual Effects is the first of its kind, and will contain an extensive list of visual effects companies, personnel and resources.

The Little Black Book will have numerous categories such as miniatures, mechanical and physical, and digital visual effects. The book will be sold at ShowBiz Expo in Los Angeles in June, and then again at SIGGRAPH in Orlando in July.

For more information, call the 24-hour hotline at 213-860-6552.

THE AVENGERS To Hit Late Summer
APRIL 10, 1998

Weekly Variety reports that Warner Bros. big effects feature, THE AVENGERS has had its release date pushed back to August, from an original release date of July.

The Jeremiah Chechik film has been pushed partially due to the massive amounts of visual effects that have yet to be completed. Along the same vein, WHAT DREAMS MAY COME, the new Vincent Ward picture, has been officially pushed to a fall release date.

For more information on how to subscribe to Weekly Variety, visit

Electric Image Merges with Play
APRIL 6, 1998

Among the announcements made at this year's NAB Convention in Las Vegas to affect the visual effects industry, one of the most powerful was made yesterday. Electric Image, makers of the powerful and popular Macintosh animation system, announced the company has merged with Play Incorporated.

EI is used extensively both for film and television graphics, and has provided significant support to the effects of the STAR WARS SPECIAL EDITION trilogy, THE MASK, as well as countless television commercials and logo treatments. The many users of EI, including Industrial Light & Magic, Banned From The Ranch Entertainment, and plenty of others, now wonder about the future of the product, mainly concerning product updates and support. EI maintains that the product will continue to be developed, and support will remain consistent.

Play Incorporated is the maker of Snappy, the hugely popular consumer item that allows PC users to easily capture video.

To read the full press release on this issue, go to

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