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January 23, 2006 - February 01, 2006

News for Feb. 01, 2006

King Kong's Tale of Two Islands

2/01/06, 6:49 pm EST - Xoanon

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND — The Balrog, the Ents, the Orc armies, the Oscars. All the hard lessons learned in Weta Digital’s effects work for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy helped Weta deal with an 8,000-pound gorilla and other fantastic creatures that interact with (and kill) human characters in Jackson’s new King Kong remake. And there were new lessons, too. Academy eyes will surely be trained this season on the seamless visual effects for Kong — especially given its dramatic portrayal of two craggy islands teeming with primitive life forms: Skull Island and Manhattan. Much of Kong’s compositing work involves innovations Weta developed in-house after LOTR wrapped. “Our biggest compositing innovation on Kong was probably incorporating 3D tools directly into the mainstream of our compositing pipeline,” says Weta Digital FX supervisor Dan Lemmon. He says Weta uses a variety of off-the-shelf software, both third-party and proprietary plug-ins, and a few stand-alone programs written at Weta Digital. “We use Nuke from D2 Software as well as an Apple Shake plug-in called Cyco, developed at Weta by 3D sequence lead Nick McKenzie,” Lemmon says. [More]

Cowboys muscle out King Kong

2/01/06, 6:48 pm EST - Xoanon

Oscar statueTwo gay cowboys and a pre-operative transsexual muscled aside an enormous gorilla on Tuesday as Hollywood’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its Oscar nominees. The big winner was Brokeback Mountain, the ill-fated love story of two Wyoming ranch hands, which led all films with eight nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. Other films with reason to celebrate were Crash, which took six nominations including Best Picture, and Trans-america, the offbeat story of a transsexual woman confronting her parents, which was nominated for Best Actress. [More]

Jackson deserved nomination for Kong, says Weta chief

2/01/06, 6:46 pm EST - Xoanon

The Weta Digital team made such a perfect job of creating digital doubles and realistic settings for King Kong that they nearly cheated themselves out of their Oscar nomination for visual effects. The monster movie, by Wellington director Peter Jackson, received four nominations in the technical categories of art direction, sound mixing, sound editing and visual effects, it was announced last night. Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, which was shot in New Zealand, directed by Andrew Adamson, was nominated for sound mixing, make-up and visual effects. Weta Digital chief Joe Letteri, whose team brought the great ape to life and created a virtual New York of 90,358 buildings, and an entire island ecosystem, said he was "pretty excited and relieved" with the nominations. [More]

News for Jan. 31, 2006

Peter Jackson: Epic director

1/31/06, 6:40 pm EST - Xoanon

Director Peter Jackson, whose remake of King Kong was released at the end of 2005, is best known for his epic Lord of the Rings fantasy trilogy. The ground-breaking and hugely popular trilogy - released between 2001 and 2003 - elevated him to A-list status in Hollywood. The final instalment, The Return of the King, swept the board at the 2004 Academy Awards, netting 11 gold Oscar statuettes, and ensuring that his name went down in history as one of the most successful directors. [More]

King Kong Oscar Nominations!

1/31/06, 9:17 am EST - Xoanon

King Kong has nabbed 4 Oscar nominations in a presentation early this morning in Los Angeles. The film was nominated for; ACHIEVEMENT IN ART DIRECTION, ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING, ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING & ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS. Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2005 will be presented on Sunday, March 5, 2006, at the Kodak Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network beginning at 5 p.m. PST. A one-hour red carpet arrivals show will precede the telecast at 4 p.m. Click here for a full list of nominees! [More]

News for Jan. 30, 2006

Oscar Noms Announced Tomorrow

1/30/06, 7:36 pm EST - Xoanon

The Oscar Nominations will be announced live early tomorrow morning, will Peter Jackson's King Kong get nominated for Best Picture? Best Director? Will any of the actors be nominated? This year is an amazing year for films and the competition is tight! Watch this space tomorrow morning for the results!

Kong R4 DVD: April 12th?

1/30/06, 7:18 pm EST - Xoanon

Earlier this month we heard a rumor that Kong may hit store shelves on DVD March 28th, it now seems likely to be April 11th, two weeks later. ezydvd.com.au lists King Kong (2005) as arriving on April 12th (the 11th for those of us in North America), this seems to jive with recent reports about King Kong NOT being listed on any late March release lists. Amazon.com does not have Kong listed yet, but rest assured, as soon as we know, we'll post about it! [ezydvd.com.au]

Andy Serkis Boards Nolan's Prestige

1/30/06, 7:10 pm EST - Xoanon

Andy Serkis has signed on to Touchstone Pictures' The Prestige, directed by Christopher Nolan. He joins Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie and Piper Perabo. Bale and Jackman will play rival magicians in turn-of-the-century London who battle each other for trade secrets. The title refers to the residue left after a magician's successful trick. Serkis plays the assistant of Bowie's character. [More]

Loch Ness monster could be headed for Wellington

1/30/06, 7:04 pm EST - Xoanon

Wellington could be about to land another big film, with the makers of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and the producer of Lord of the Rings preparing to bring the Loch Ness monster to the big screen. Lord of the Rings' American producer Barrie Osborne is believed to be behind the upcoming production dubbed The Waterhorse. It is understood to be in the final stage of securing finance from Walden Media. The US media company – reportedly "delighted" with the success of Andrew Adamson's The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – is already shooting The Bridge to Terabithia in Auckland with Walt Disney Pictures. [More]

Kong's 11 International Online Cinema Association Nominations

1/30/06, 7:00 pm EST - Xoanon


News for Jan. 28, 2006

Kong Font Available

1/28/06, 10:39 am EST - Xoanon

Kevin writes: I just thought I'd let you know that after recieving dozens and dozens of requests I have just finished work on the King Kong font. If you are interested it can be downloaded at my site here. [More]

Kong Nabs 10 Smart-Popcorn Noms

1/28/06, 10:04 am EST - Xoanon

Ray writes: Just thought you might be interested in knowing King Kong is up for 10 awards at our Annual Smart-Popcorn Awards, including Best Lead Actress for Naomi Watts, Best Collaborative Pair/Team for Watts and Serkis, Best Action, Horror, Romance, and Drama Scenes as well as some technical awards. The full list of nominees can be seen here. The voting for these awards is open at our forums, registration is required, but we think it's fun for everyone and maybe Kong can take home a few wins. [More]

Despite deserving it, some won't get the honor

1/28/06, 9:43 am EST - Xoanon

Picking potential winners is a happy business compared to picking who is sure to be overlooked. Here are some of the names you won't be hearing Tuesday morning: Naomi Watts won't get a best actress nomination for "King Kong" and neither will Laura Linney for "The Squid and the Whale." They're being robbed. Watts turned in an amazing performance, especially since she was mostly interacting with green screens, and Linney's selfless portrait of a woman finding her own life was priceless. [More]

Weekend Kong Chat

1/28/06, 9:39 am EST - Xoanon

It is time to come together and talk Kong! The chatroom has been a great success, however some people have been popping in at odd hours when there is no one to chat with. To that end we've devised 2 KONG Chat times, a set time and day of the week for all Kong chatters to meet and have fun! Tonight's chat will be at 5:30PM Eastern Standard Time (click here for more info). World times are below, if you need more help click here.

5:30PM (Saturday) EST in New York, Montreal
2:30PM (Saturday) PST in Los Angeles, Seattle
11:30PM (Saturday) (Central European Time)
7:30AM (Sunday) in Sydney
9:30AM (Sunday) in Auckland, Wellington

News for Jan. 26, 2006

Moviefone Moviegoer Award Noms

1/26/06, 7:54 pm EST - Xoanon

It's movie award season again, and while we all know what the critics and industry groups think are the best films and performances of the year, Moviefone wants to hear the opinions of the real moviegoers who spend their $10 for a ticket. Voting is now open for the 11th Annual Moviefone Moviegoer Awards. Real movie fans on Moviefone.com selected the five nominees in each category below, and now millions of movie fans across the country will cast their votes for the winners, to be announced Feb. 28. Don't miss your chance to make your voice and heard and help your favorite film, actor or actress take home the award. [More]

Kong sized film tax benefits defended

1/26/06, 1:52 pm EST - Xoanon

If New Zealand wants to attract international film productions it has to offer incentives, Screen Council executive director Tim Thorpe says. Peter's Jackson's King Kong has benefited from the Government's Large Budget Screen Production Grant Scheme to the tune of $25 million. The 12.5 percent tax scheme was introduced in 2003 and aimed to attract international productions which spent more than $15 million in New Zealand. "It is a reasonable scheme," Mr Thorpe told NZPA. [More]

Kong Chat Tonight

1/26/06, 1:50 pm EST - Xoanon

It is time to come together and talk Kong! The chatroom has been a great success, however some people have been popping in at odd hours when there is no one to chat with. To that end I've devised a KONG Chat time, a set time and day of the week for all Kong chatters to meet and have fun! The bi-weekly Kong Chats will be Thursday nights at 8:30PM Eastern Standard Time (a new Saturday chat has been added click here for more info). World times are below, if you need more help click here. [Kong Java Chat Room] [irc chat settings: SERVER www.theonering.net ROOM: #kongisking.net]

8:30pm (Thursday) EST in New York, Montreal
5:30pm (Thursday) PST in Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco
1:30am (Friday) in GMT (UK)
2:30am (Friday) CET in Berlin, Barcelona, Amsterdam
12:30pm (Friday) in Sydney
2:30pm (Friday) in Auckland and Wellington

News for Jan. 24, 2006

Films Vie for 'Best Visual Effects'

1/24/06, 7:47 pm EST - Xoanon

AP writers are covering the scene as Hollywood gets ready for its big night on March 5. They'll be filing periodic reports on the goings-on as the perfect outfits are selected, the red carpet is readied and the gold statuettes are polished for the annual awards show. Imagine being Steven Spielberg if your remake of the mother-of-all-war-of-the-worlds epics fails to get an Oscar nomination for visual effects. Ditto for Peter Jackson if the giant monkey boy you and your pixel pixies birthed misses out on an effects nomination. Or, gasp, think of George Lucas and the Skywalker clan sitting this one out on Oscar night. There are only three slots to be had for the visual-effects category when nominations come out next Tuesday. My gut feeling is that Spielberg's "War of the Worlds," Jackson's "King Kong" and Lucas' "Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith" will end up the three finalists for Hollywood's pyrotechnics beauty pageant. [More]

News for Jan. 23, 2006

Kong Nabs 2 Noms from Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) Awards!

1/23/06, 7:54 pm EST - Xoanon

nessa sends along word that King Kong has been nominated for 2 MPSE awards. Best Sound Editing in Feature Film & Best Sound Editing in Feature Film Music. Congrats!

Now I've Seen It All: Kong Valentines

1/23/06, 7:42 pm EST - Xoanon

King Kong Valentines KingKongBarnette writes: I thought you might be interested in posting news about King Kong Valentine's Day cards being out in stores now. Here are photos of the front and back of both boxes of Kong Valentine cards. [More]

Voting is open in our fantasy DVD cover art contest

1/23/06, 5:39 am EST - JPB

As has been reported here before, the KongisKing.net message boards have been hosting a fantasy DVD cover art contest. While Peter Jackson and his creative team is developing the actual artwork, many of the message board contributors have been having fun creating their own fantasy designs of the packaging.

From among the more than thirty entries, six finalists have been chosen, with difficulty as every entry was fantastic. It is now time for all the fans to vote for their favorite DVD art from among this set. Please go to the KongIsKing.net message boards and vote for your favorite. The voting period ends at the end of this week - so don’t put off your voting!

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