Nerdist News : Batman’s Birthday: The Animated Series Turns 20

Five of the groundbreaking cartoon’s best Bat-ventures

On September 5, 1992, FOX debuted Batman: The Animated Series and a new breed of cartoon was born. From the distinctive “Dark Deco” design to the bombastic orchestral score to the now-iconic voice work of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill, seemingly every aspect of the show has lasted in the collective subconscious of kids and adults alike. And like in a therapy session with Hugo Strange a list of five of our favorite episodes bubbled up from ours.

On Leather Wings – It’s not hard to single-out the first episode as an important and indelible one. The villain was the lesser-known Man-Bat, and though it’s not mentioned, it’s likely Bruce suffered from some wing envy. He’d have to! Our hero got to show his versatility and do some detective work before the likes of the Joker showed up. It’s a terrific opening to the series and that it features such a gorgeously-designed monster is icing on the already awesome cake.

Beware the Gray Ghost – Even heroes have heroes. In what is a very lovely tribute to both the 1960s Batman show and the 1940s serials, here Batman must help his childhood idol, actor Simon Trent, who was famous for playing the heroic Gray Ghost. Wonderfully voiced by Adam West, star of the ’60s show, the Gray Ghost allowed the writers (and Batman) to geek out and tell a great story in the process. No one is called “Old Chum,” however, which is its only real shortcoming.

Perchance to Dream – Here, Batman gets incepted. This “What-If?” story sees Bruce waking up to find the Batcave gone and his parents alive and well. Not only that, but Batman exists and it isn’t him. This is one of a handful of episodes that deal with the psyche of Batman/Bruce Wayne and shows just how deeply his damage goes. We know from the beginning it was all a dream (the title – DUH), but it never feels like a cop-out and the resolution completely works.

Heart of Ice – Writer Paul Dini won an Emmy for this episode; no big deal. Mr. Freeze (voiced by the brilliant Michael Ansara) only appeared in two episodes of this series (granted he did get his own well done straight-to-video animated movie and one episode in the 1997 revamp) yet those became some of the best remembered in the entirety of the show. So much so, that Mr. Freeze is one of the few Batman villains to return in Batman Beyond. His story is one of the saddest and most heartfelt of the series and he strikes an imposing figure onscreen. Absolute Zero ice-related puns, also; so chill out.

Almost Got ‘Im – A portmanteau featuring a few short stories, this is another one written by Paul Dini, who we can all agree was pretty good. The Joker, Two-Face, The Penguin, Poison Ivy and Killer Croc all sit in a bar playing cards, discussing how they were the one who nearly offed the Dark Knight in the best way. It’s genuinely funny and the guest cast members (Hamill, Richard Moll, Paul Williams, Adrienne Barbeau) all turn in fantastic performances. All the best villains in one place; you couldn’t ask for a better 22 minutes.

The Walking Dead | Interview with Cinematographer Rohn Schmidt

September 10, 2012
Dispatches From the Set - Cinematographer Rohn Schmidt
Dispatches From the Set – Cinematographer Rohn Schmidt 
The Walking Dead‘s director of photography  Rohn Schmidt describes the difference between shooting the prison and Woodbury and explains why he’d rather be stuck in a prison with inmates instead of walkers.

Q: There are two main set-pieces this season: the prison and Woodbury. Which most excites you as a cinematographer?

A: I guess you could say the prison. As a cinematographer and just by nature, it means you’ve got very strong graphics there. Last year, we had Randall tied up in the shed, and it was just this very sharp, angular, graphic, black-and-white lighting, and I kind of saw what the prison was going to look like, so I was looking forward to it.

Q: Do you have any visual tricks for distinguishing the two locations?

A: Yes. I tried to create a contrast between the town of Woodbury, which is kind of like a fantasy world with a dark undercurrent to it. It’s kind of a little bit too pretty, so we’ve been using lower film stock to have less grain and look less gritty and raw. Then when we’re doing the final color for it, we’re adding a little bit more flesh to the skin-tones of the actors… And then that contrasts with the prison world, which is very monochromatic, and it’s still just a little dark and scary there. And the actor’s faces are a little less colorful.

Q: Most of Season 2 was shot on location and outdoors. What’s it like to finally be on a sound stage sometimes?

A: I love being on location. There’s a great kind of energy, and realism and there’s this authenticity there. That’s what I really try to recreate on the sound stage is to just find ways to make things a little bit reckless, to do things that are not so perfect because it feels more real… I might flare the lens or have it a little bit too light or a little bit too dark. But, I have to say, a couple times we’ve been rained out of our exterior locations and now we have a place to go to instead of just shutting down for the day. Or even if it’s just too hot, it’s nice to just have a little relief in the air conditioning.

Q: The barn-burning in the Season 2 Finale seems like it would be a cinematographer’s dream. What was it like to shoot that scene?

Continue reading “Dispatches From the Set – Cinematographer Rohn Schmidt” »

The Invasion spreads to Los Angeles

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The Invasion spreads to Los Angeles
Official War of the Worlds: Goliath US Premiere at the Los Angeles 3D Film Festival
(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – September 12th 2012):  Tripod Entertainment announced today that their 3D animated steampunk feature War of the Worlds: Goliath will have its official US premiere at
the 3D Film Festival in Los Angeles.  The festival is the premiere showcase for 3D media in North America and takes place from September 20-22, 2012.

War of the Worlds: Goliath will be one of the headliners closing the Festival.  Screening is on September 22 from 4:30-6pm at Regal Cinema #5, LA Live Stadium 14 (1000 West Olympic Blvd).

The premiere is open to the public and ticket details can be found here:http://3dfilmfest.eventbrite.com/.  The screening will be followed by a Closing Gala hosted and performed by Quincy Jones.

“Being part of the LA 3D Film Festival is HUGE,” explained Director-Producer Joe Pearson.  “The Festival brings together thousands of people from all over the globe – from filmmakers to manufacturers – the people who not only understand the cutting edge nature of 3D today, but its future.  This is THE place to introduce your 3D movie to the world.”

“It was an extraordinary challenge to build a compelling story about a Martian invasion set in an imagined history, featuring real characters like Teddy Roosevelt, Nikola Tesla and the Red Baron,” said Producer Leon Tan. “The real kicker however was the 3D – our movie is a hybrid of 2D cel character animation and CG vehicles, and we had to make both elements work together technically and aesthetically to create a cohesive and powerful cinematic stereoscopic experience.  I think the audience is going to be pleasantly surprised.”

Pearson and Tan will be representing Tripod, accompanied by writer-producer David Abramowitz, at the screening and Q&A session, and will be available for further enquiries.

The Story of War of the Worlds: Goliath
“War of the Worlds: Goliath” is a sci-fi steampunk action-adventure animated movie about a Martian invasion of Earth set in an alternate-history 1914.  At the heart of the story is the young multinational crew of the Goliath, a giant battle walker which forms the crucial vanguard of the human resistance fighting the Martians.

Directed by animation veteran Joe Pearson (Epoch Ink Animation), written by accomplished wordsmith, David Abramowitz (Highlander), and executive produced by Heavy Metal CEO Kevin Eastman.  Featuring the voice talents of Adrian Paul (Highlander), Peter Wingfield (Highlander, X-Men 2), Adam Baldwin (Serenity, Firefly, Chuck), Mark Sheppard (Battlestar Galactica, Supernatural), Elizabeth Gracen (Highlander), Jim Byrnes (Highlander), Beau Billingslea (Cowboy Bebop) and many others.

(ART ACTUAL STILL FROM MOVIE) 

For more information visit http://www.wotw-goliath.com/
YouTube HD Trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STnf9qPr97I
Production blog at http://wotw-goliath.com/productionblog/

Join us on Facebook at:
Page: http://www.facebook.com/WarOfTheWorldsGoliath
Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/wotwgoliath/
Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/WotWGoliath

About Tripod Group

Tripod Entertainment creates, owns and manages animation and live-action titles for audiences worldwide, in multiple formats including theatrical, television and new media.

Tripod Entertainment is part of the Tripod Group of companies, a diversified media group based in Kuala Lumpur and Los Angeles, with interests in animation and live-action production, audio post-production and 3D stereoscopic services, and intellectual property development and management.

Tripod’s stereoscopic 3D animated movie, “War of the Worlds: Goliath”, will be released worldwide in 2012-2013.  The Group is currently developing a slate of projects planned for production from 2013 onwards.

DARKSIDERS® II FOR Wii U™ CONFIRMED AS LAUNCH TITLE

DARKSIDERS® II FOR Wii U CONFIRMED AS LAUNCH TITLE

 Wii U Edition to Include Around Five Hours of Additional Content

AGOURA HILLS, Calif. September 13, 2012 – THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI) today confirmed that its upcoming action adventure title Darksiders® II will be released for the Wii U™ system at launch and will include additional content.

The Wii U edition of Darksiders II will feature additional bonus-content not included with other formats. Included on the disc will be the first DLC expansion, Argul’s Tomb, as well as all pre-order bonuses from other editions, adding around five hours of playable content and new legendary weapons and armor.

Darksiders II on Wii U will take advantage of the unique Wii U™ GamePad, utilizing the touch screen to display map and objectives as well as giving quick access to abilities and Death’s inventory. The Wii U system’s gyro functionality will also be utilized to allow players to evade enemy attacks, manipulate objects in the world and steer their character during swimming and riding sequences.

Ryan Stefanelli, Producer of Darksiders II commented: “We are delighted that Wii U owners will be able to experience the vast world of Darksiders II at launch. The unique Wii U GamePad adds a whole world of possibility that we will be taking advantage of in this title.”

Darksiders II follows the exploits of DEATH, one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, in an action-packed tale that runs parallel to the events in the original Darksiders game. This epic journey propels DEATH through various light and dark realms as he tries to redeem his brother WAR, the horseman blamed for prematurely starting the Apocalypse in Darksiders.

Darksiders II is scheduled to be available for Wii U at the console’s launch. For more information visit www.Darksiders.com.

About Darksiders II

Awakened by the End of Days, Death, the most feared of the legendary Four Horsemen embarks on a quest to redeem his brother’s name. Become the terrifying force which everything fears but nothing can escape.

The original Darksiders®, released in January 2010, received critical acclaim including the Best Fantasy Game 2010 award from IGN. Darksiders followed the story of WAR, wrongly accused of starting the apocalypse, on a quest to reclaim lost honor and take revenge on those who wronged him.

About THQ

THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI) is a leading worldwide developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software. The company develops its products for all popular game systems, personal computers and wireless devices. Headquartered in Los Angeles County, California, THQ sells product through its global network of offices located throughout North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. More information about THQ and its products may be found at www.thq.com. THQ, Darksiders and their respective logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of THQ Inc.

Nintendo trademarks and copyrights are properties of Nintendo.

All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

The statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts may be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about the business of THQ Inc. and its subsidiaries (collectively referred to as “THQ”), including, but not limited to, expectations and projections related to the Darksiders II video game and are based upon management’s current beliefs and certain assumptions made by management. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, business, competitive, economic, legal, political and technological factors affecting our industry, operations, markets, products or pricing. Readers should carefully review the risk factors and the information that could materially affect THQ’s financial results, described in other documents that THQ files from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal period ended March 31, 2012 and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and particularly the discussion of trends and risk factors set forth therein. Unless otherwise required by law, THQ disclaims any obligation to update its view on any such risks or uncertainties or to revise or publicly release the results of any revision to these forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release.  

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Nintendo and i.TV join forces to create Nintendo TVii

Big news.

For most of us here at i.TV, Nintendo played a huge role in our lives growing up and continues to do so today. After spending countless, fun-filled hours with Mario and Luigi, Bowser and Samus, Kirby, Pit and Yoshi, Nintendo holds a special place in our hearts. It is probably the same for many of you who make up the i.TV family.
Nintendo and i.TV join forces to create Nintendo TiiV
With this as a backdrop, we are beyond excited to share some news with you. Nintendo and i.TV have teamed up to create a new product that both companies feel will fundamentally make watching television better. The new experience is called Nintendo TVii and will be available with Nintendo’s new entertainment system Wii U, when it goes on sale in November. Click here to learn more.

Now what does this mean for you? If you are planning on buying a Wii U, the answer is obvious. You’ll love Nintendo TVii! But beyond that, i.TV partnering with Nintendo marks a major milestone and the beginning of a series of announcements we know you’re going to love. More partnerships, more feature updates to our mobile apps, and a brand new product that we can’t wait to tell you about.

Thank you for downloading i.TV and most of all for using it.

Keep watching!

BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE HOLLYWOOD FX WORLD The Monster Make-Up Manual Book 2 Available Via Kickstarte

(Los Angeles, CA- September 13, 2012)  Horror make up Industry legend, Mike Spatola gave the world a rare opportunity to peek behind the FX Hollywood curtain when he put out The Monstrous Make-Up Manual Book 1. The first book was a hands on, photo rich manual that covered everything from simple paint and powder make up to latex appliances is now being followed by a sequel….. The Monstrous Make-Up Manual Book 2. This manual lets readers take the next steps with more on paint and powder makeups, through 3D out of the kit techniques, and goes all the way through to advanced prosthetics and Oscar winning technology.  The new book is available via kickstarter at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mikespatola/the-monstrous-make-up-manual-book-2.

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Spatola’s work spans three decades and includes work on films including: Terminator 2, Tales From The Crypt and Iron Man 3 and his first book is the most well reviewed book on how to do monster make up there is. Opportunities to purchase both books are included in the kickstarter campaign.

“Everyone from hobbyists to award winning artists has been asking me when book 2 was coming out,” explained Spatola. “Not putting out another book was simply not an option. Book 1 lays the ground work where Book 2 takes the reader to new levels of scope and technique. In addition, the first book was a complete solo project, where all techniques were presented by me, book 2 will also include several guest artists that are specialists in their fields- makeup artists, sculptors, mold makers and animatronics designers to contribute beyond what I could offer on my own.”

Check out the numerous testimonials about Book 1 http://hauntingconsultant.com/hauntingconsultant/testimonials.html
Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Monstrousmakeupmanual
Want to learn more about The Monstrous Make Up Manual visit http://hauntingconsultant.com
Donate to Mike’s kickstarter at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mikespatola/the-monstrous-make-up-manual-book-2.

About Mike Spatola:

Aliens and monsters are a reoccurring theme in Mike Spatola’s career.   A 30 year veteran FX makeup artist, with multiple nominations for Best Makeup EMMY AWARDS and Cable ACE Awards. Mike’s worked on films including Terminator 2, Tales From The Crypt, and the upcoming Iron Man 3.

Frank Forte announces Goon Cartoons as a You Tube partner channel for original animated content

Sept. 13, 2012 (Los Angeles) Frank Forte announces the launch of You Tube partner channel Goon Cartoons original animation channel.  “I’m really excited to be part of the You Tube partner channnel family,” says Frank Forte, “we’ve got some really funny cartoon shorts that we’ve been working on and we can’t wait to show the world.”
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The Goon Cartoons channel will be home for such cartoons as The Cletus and Floyd Show, The Struggle, Chestaclese, Billy Boy: The Sick Little Fat Kid, as well as a launching point for a number of comedy shorts, new characters, experimental gag films and more.  Goon Cartoons will launch a new cartoon every Monday and subscribers to the channel will get notified before anyone else.

“We’ll be using traditional 2D on paper, Flash, After Effects, stop motion, claymation, cut paper, Super 8 and anything else we can get our hands on,” explains Forte, “we want to experiment with every medium.”

Some of the creators Goon Cartoons will be working with are Jim Smith (Ren and Stimpy, the Ripping Friends, Monsters Vs. Aliens), Gene McGuckin (Ren and Stimpy: Adult Party Cartoon, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, the Mr. Men Show), and Elizabeth J. Musgrave (Farmhouse, Hell Comes To Hollywood).

“It’s great to get back to ol’ fashioned slap-stick comedy,” says animator Gene McGuckin,”making cartoons do things that people can’t do in real life (instead of trying to copy it).”

“We’re really fired up to be working with such amazing talent”, says Frank Forte, “as well as other animators, designers and storyboard artists from the Los Angeles animation community and all over the world.”

The Goon Cartoons channel can be seen at:http://www.youtube.com/gooncartoons
Goon Cartoons twitter feed:http://www.twitter.com/gooncartoons

ABOUT GOON CARTOONS
Goon Cartoons is a You Tube partner channel for original cartoons, short films, and experimental animation.

ABOUT FRANK FORTE:
Frank Forte is an accomplished designer, storyboard artist and comic book artist. He has worked in animation for feature films, TV and gaming. Frank’s credits include: Bob’s Burgers, Despicable Me 2, Allen Gregory, The Super Hero Squad Show, Hero 108, Marvel Heroes 4D, Lego Hero Factory, Lego Bionicle:The Legend Reborn, HI HI PUFFY AMI YUMI, The Mr. Men Show, Bionicle: The Legend Reborn (DVD-2009), Lego Clutch Powers 4D ride at Legoland and Lego Atlantis. He co-created The Cletus and Floyd Show with Gene McGuckin, a tribute to animation directors Tex Avery, Bob Clampett and Chuck Jones. Robert S. Rhine and Frank Forte created the pilot episode of Sickcom the Animated Series which was sold to Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted Festival Of Animation. Frank is also the publisher at Asylum Press, an indy graphic novel and comic book publisher. Since its inception in 1999, Frank has written, illustrated and published such comics as, Zombie Terrors, The Vampire Verses, Warlash, Fearless Dawn, Billy Boy, and The Cletus and Floyd Show.###

The Adventures of Retrobot Debuts on the App Store

Retrobot

The Adventures of Retrobot Debuts on the App Store

REGINA, Canada – Sept. 14, 2012 – Endeavor Bros and Monkube today announced the launch of The Adventures of Retrobot,  an intense tank shooter with epic boss battles featuring animated graphic novel style storytelling. Available now on the App Store for $0.99, The Adventures of Retrobot follows the story of a DIY robot built as a gaming buddy who’s out to save his maker from the evil robots who’ve taken over the world.  Go to  http://bit.ly/retrobot to check it out!
Throughout his adventure, Retrobot acquires new weapons and power-ups to fight off the never ending onslaught of robot overlords. Tactical use of shield and powerful EMP blasts are needed to complete the mission. The Adventures of Retrobot takes the player through numerous worlds, tackles challenging level bosses and tells a full comic book worth of story though animated story sequences. Having lived in a bubble of constant video-game playing and with no prior experience of the world outside, Retrobot and sidekick Toto’s journey is filled with slapstick humor that makes gaming logic and real world rules collide. More often than not, with a wink towards gaming’s biggest classics.

A game for everyone
In order to cater to both the occasional and experienced iOS gamers, The Adventures of Retrobot is geared with several gameplay modes. The Story Mode offers a balanced learning curve, varied enough to keep hardened players interested, without preventing occasional gamers from seeing the story through. Seeing the credits roll is just the beginning for experienced gamers. As a Challenge Mode, with one life, no retries and faster enemy spawning and a Boss Challenge await. In those game modes, the majority of the Game Center points are awarded. Completing one of these game modes – which is far from an easy feat – earns players a spot in the separate high score charts.

“The Adventures of Retrobot takes two of the greatest entertainment categories – comics and games – and fuses them together for a hugely addictive and fun experience,” said Adam Heat, Co-
screenshot Founder of Endeavor Bros. “We’ve spent countless hours bringing together what we believe could be a game changer in the mobile gaming space.”

Sven Van de Perre, Creative Director at Monkube remarks, “For us, game development has always been about finding a game genre that is under-used in today’s tidal wave of mobile games. And then trying to create a game that raises the bar. Ever since being hooked on Popcap’s tank shooter Heavy Weapon, I wanted to have a go at this. With The Adventures of Retrobot, we bring amazing frantic shooter action, while also adding like-able characters, great story telling and – which is up to the consumer to judge – some funny video game related humor.”

To go beyond the call of duty, Endeavor Bros and Monkube brought together an all-star support cast, including:

* Comic book publisher Ape Entertainment, developers of the massively popular Pocket God Comics featuring work from artist Carlos Valenti and Cut the Rope Comics apps.
* Maurits ‘Mo’ Goossens, part of Monkube’s in-house music team, composed the massive classical score that drives both game and story. As 1st violin and former conductor of the Brussels Philharmonic orchestra, he worked on several motion pictures scores, including Golden Globe-winning picture “The Aviator” (Martin Scorcese) and 2012 Oscar winner “The Artist” (Michel Hazanavicius).

About Endeavor Bros
Endeavor Bros is an Entertainment Media company based in Canada that develops and publishes games for mobile devices. Our central platform is the iPhone and all iOS related devices. We also support other mobile platforms such as Android, the 3DS and the PSP as well as online platforms such as the Xbox and PSN networks. For more information, please visitwww.EndeavorBros.com.

About Monkube
Monkube is a mobile game developer with offices in Belgium, Romania and Hong Kong. Founded by ex gaming journalists, Monkube intentionally steers clear of over-used game concepts, instead fusing its games with complete comic book stories and über polished gameplay. For more information, visit www.monkube.com.