Steven Spielberg, Tintin Merchandise

Here’s  the new Tintin Video game trailer and a unique introduction from Spielberg and Jackson:

So far we have only seen images from the console version of the game, but it’s clear now that all versions of the game are to be platform games. But unlike my original impression of this idea, it turns out that may be the perfect way to make a Tintin game.

If the Tintin Teaser trailer largely revolved around showing us characters, this trailer shows us the world Tintin will be working in. And from the concept art shown to us during the introduction the result is a mix between Hergé’s style and all kinds of locations. Among the familiar locations would be Labrador Road, Morocco, or the Karaboudjan, but there are also pictures of a dark cave and Haddock walking in a large room full of ruins and old archways that don’t really match anything in the books. Jacskon himself tells us that a lot of what we’ll see in the game is not even from the movie. So don’t go grabbing every frame you see and coming up with a theory on how it could fit into the story of the movie just yet.

While maintaining Hergé’s style, the concept art and the game itself has its own cartoon style as well. Morocco reminds me of Prince of Persia (actually another popular platform game by Ubisoft). Some other parts remind me of Assassins Creed. The following wooden platforms for example:

assassins tintin

In the actual trailer, this section reminded me enormously of Spielberg’s ”Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”. It seems ironic that after Indy borrowed from Tintin without even knowing he existed, all these years later Tintin takes a little something back from Indy:

spielberg indy tintin

Of course this may all just be coincidence…Anyway, one certain coincidence is the bizarre resemblance between Tintin on the roof of a mansion and the opening of another animated film based off of a book starring a young adventurous boy: Disney’s Peter Pan.

peter pan tintin

Humor aside, now it’s time to talk about the info revealed that really interests us Tintin Movie fans. Actually, there is a lot of great stuff in this video. For starters, unlike the teaser trailer, I believe the background music in this video is really from the John Williams score. I love it. It fits perfectly with Tintin and Haddock. I will definitely be buying that when it comes out.

Many of us were surprised to find one of the Bird Brothers in the video. If he were somewhere else in a cameo appearance I might wonder if he was only in the video game, but they chose to put him right at the beginning of the video. Why would they do that if he’s not a real character in the film? It’s still odd because he’s not cast. But there he is. Interesting that the one place we see him is where we would not expect to see him. His line in the trailer traditionally belonged to Barnaby. The poor character with barely two lines in the album before he’s shot down gets one of his main scenes cut out? Maybe just for the game?:

bird bros

Even the man at the market stand is from the book.

Among other information that reveals stuff about the film, parts of the trailer reveal Haddock’s voice, more of Allan’s, and lots of the Karaboudjan. To the disgust of those of you who hate a ”violent” Tintin, he is seen gunning down at least one motorcycle driver with a massive pistol. There’s an interesting part where Tintin and Haddock are running away from the sinking Karaboudjan. I’m assuming that’s only for the game, because it seems to contradict what we know from the teaser trailer about people being mad that Tintin escaped from the ship. In this version, they may simply grab the seaplane and get out of there.

Focusing on the game itself, Jackson and Spielberg describe the game as being ”for the family” and not just one person sucked into a game, so it sounds like this kind of game will be perfect for those fortunate enough to have a good friend or brother to play with. Each character will have a special ability (a la Lego Star Wars) only he can do. A very interesting section of the intro is when Spielberg says ”the video game changes constantly depending on the choices you make”. If done right, that sounds like it could be a very cool feature. They also insist on the fact that this game will go beyond the Tintin film and let you explore throughout Tintin’s universe. I am already getting excited about this game. It will clearly be way better than any other Tintin game ever made. But then again, that wasn’t a very high bar to raise. My one worry is that the game may be very nice to look at and very fun to play, but may not be very difficult to complete. Whether the actual game play will appeal to us or not, we will just have to see.  But I have no real reason why they wouldn’t. After all, a family game is a family game. So far it looks incredible.

Here are a few shots from the game that weren’t in the trailer:

The Adventures of Tintin: The Game 3DS, screenshot 2

Now there’s Tintin’s classic pose we all know and love!

The Adventures of Tintin: The Game 3DS, screenshot 1

Marlinspike?

Finally, Spielberg added one interesting piece of information. He said ”I got to put on the glasses and play a level and that was REALLY thrilling!” Will this game be in 3D?  It wouldn’t mean much for me, since I don’t have a 3D television set yet and it’s not in my plans to get one in the near future…but if it were in 3D, that would still be pretty cool.

Source: http://tintinology.poosk.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2011/06/tintin-11.jpg http://www.n-europe.com/news.php?nid=15575

Steven Spielberg, Uncategorized

Which one would you give it?

In a very interesting article here we find how the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is forced to once again reconsider how they should treat films created using ”motion capture”. In 2010, AMPAS refused to recognize films created using this technique as eligible for the ”Best Animated Film” award, stating in their rules that “Motion capture by itself is not an animation technique.” But now Spielberg is calling his new movie an animated film. Whose going to say he’s wrong? And if it isn’t an animated film, what is it?

We’ve seen movies created using only motion-capture such as the Polar Express or A Christmas Carol. But people are quickly realizing that Tintin is about to outdo them, and any other motion-capture movie ever made. I’m not looking to offend any fans of those films. I myself enjoy several of them. But none of them have crashing airplanes or sailing pirate ships. None of them have Spielberg or Jackson working on them.  None of them have been based off of an original artistic source that thousands of people around the globe read and love. As the trailer put it, this is something we’ve ”never seen before”. And somebody’s going to want to give it an award.

It’s not fair to call it a live-action film. Sure, we must remember it was shot very similar to how you would shoot a live-action film. But it just isn’t one. The locations, the sets, the props, and even Snowy himself are all computer-generated. That’s animation. But according to some you can’t call it ”true” animation either. Companies like Pixar don’t think it’s fair for them to go through all the time and effort to animate their character’s movement from scratch just so that somebody else can scan a person to do the job for them. They made that clear in the credits for Ratatouille:  “Our Quality Assurance Guarantee: 100% Genuine Animation! No motion capture or any other performance shortcuts were used in the production of this film.” AMPAS officially has decided to share their view on the subject.

I see where Pixar is coming from. But Spielberg isn’t just scanning people in to make an animated film that’s easier to animate. He’s using motion-capture technology to stay true to Hergé’s artwork while still allowing himself to direct and shoot the movie like he would any other movie. For all you guys on YouTube complaining about how the film should have simply been done like a Pixar film, or even for you guys who think it should have been a live-action film, THAT is the reason Spielberg made this movie the way he did. It wasn’t because he was taking a ”shortcut”. Nor was it because he wanted to be able to control all the elements, put his real film cameras into storage and shoot the rest of his movies through a computer. It was because this was the only way that  it would still REALLY look like the Tintin Hergé drew that allowed Spielberg to still use real actors, and really take the shots himself,  and direct the film like he has always directed.

Will AMPAS take this into consideration when the Oscars are given out? I hope so. Personally, I don’t care what they call the award.  What matters for me is that they give it to them.

Sources: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/awards/2011/05/for-oscar-purposes-is-spielbergs-tintin-animated.html

http://www.digitalacting.com/2010/07/13/new-oscar-rules-deem-motion-capture-not-an-animation-technique/

3D, Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg, The Secret of the Unicorn

Empire just released not one but two incredibly awesome movie posters! They are so epic I hardly have to say anything about them. I will of course, but regardless they speak for themselves:

What’s worth mentioning?

  • Despite the lack of a subtitle, it is crystal clear that ”The Unicorn” is a ship, not a fantastical creature. The uninformed viewer will know the movie will be more like Pirates of The Caribbean in some scenes than ”My Little Pony”.
  • Snowy is not fat.
  • Tintin is not holding a gun. Spielberg made an epic movie poster without one.
  • The combination of dark shadows and blazing flames both on 16th century ships and 20th century seaplanes add the feel of mystery, action and adventure without any words needing to be said. In the first, the lighting is simply dark and mysterious, adding to the ”film noir”.
  • Tintin is obviously not really next to The Unicorn (unless the plot has been changed a lot…) in the first poster, so it may be too soon to assume that The Unicorn crashes in the desert. I think they just combined the sand and the water for dramatic effect and to add symmetry to the camels in the dessert on the left
  • Tintin himself looks incredible. If you look closely at his face I think you may actually recognize his expression and even his pose from a panel in the comics. I definitely think they made his face dark here only for dramatic effect, nothing more.
  • Hergé name is clearly mentioned before even the actor’s names. I’m sure he would appreciate that. I wonder if Moulinsart had anything to do with that…
  • The 3D format will be well worth a watch.
  • Finally, Spielberg and Jackson have done a magnificent job beginning their adverting campaign. I totally believe that even if I had never heard of Tintin I would gape in awe at these two posters. I just realized that Tintin is going to be that much more incredible and full scale than even I had imagined.

New trailer to come out tomorrow

At the end of empire’s post, they just threw in the info that the new Tintin trailer will not be released with Kung Fu Panda 2 but will actually in fact be on their site tomorrow morning! I am so excited! And after seeing these images, I am even more excited! These are definitely my favorite still images of Tintin released so far. I love every bit of them! I’m really hoping for another image of Haddock. I don’t know if I’m going to sleep tonight…

Daniel Craig, Nick Frost, Peter Jackson, Simon Pegg, Steven Spielberg, Thomson & Thompson, Uncategorized

With their huge roles in the new Sci-fi film ”Paul” and the media’s renewed interest in getting a few words from them, it was inevitable that Tintin come up in an interview once again sooner or later. They made some comments on what it was like to work on set with Spielberg. Ironically this fits in well with my last post on what Spielberg had to say about working with the motion-capture set (which I later realized was literally year old news).

The stars talked about working on set with Steven:

“Steven, he did a lot of his own camera work,” Frost said. “He’d get a movement he really liked, punch the air and do a little dance. It’s intoxicating. You want to perform for him. You want to be around that kind of enthusiasm.”

They also talked about Spielberg’s new experience with the digital technology:

It was like he had a new train set,” Pegg said.”There was a genuine sense of novelty to him.”

They had a bit to say about Peter Jackson as well. Even though he mainly watched from a monitor in New Zealand,he had his part in the now finished shooting stage of the movie:

“Peter would do a bunch of rewrites at night while we were asleep,” Frost said, “and then we’d come in in the morning and be given the script.”

The stars  both worked in Motion-capture suits, and told us about that experience as well:

“It was like rehearsing a play, like when you’re a kid and you’re pretending that thing over there could be the Millennium Falcon,” Frost said. “You have to concentrate. Peter Jackson is on the monitor, Kathy Kennedy is there producing. Daniel Craig who looks amazing in a motion capture suit, by the way — is there. It’s like a big idiot’s dream.”

I know little about Nick and Simon since I personally haven’t seen any of their work,but from what I do know I get the comforting feeling that they work very well together and both have a tremendous sense of humor.  I am looking forward to seeing them as ”Thomson and Thompson”.

Also,I don’t know if anybody else already knew this info,but I don’t remember hearing anything about Kathy Kennedy producing the film.

Source: http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2011/03/14/tintin-simon-pegg-and-nick-frost-tells-tales-from-steven-spielbergs-new-tech-set/

Steven Spielberg, Uncategorized

Collider.com has an interesting article with Steven Spielberg on the film and the decision to use motion capture.  Here are the highlights:

“It was based on my respect for the art of Hergé and wanting to get as close to that art as I could… Hergé wrote about fictional people in a real world, not in a fantasy universe. It was the real universe he was working with, and he used National Geographic to research his adventure stories. It just seemed that live action would be too stylized for an audience to relate to. You’d have to have costumes that are a little outrageous when you see actors wearing them. The costumes seem to fit better when the medium chosen is a digital one.”

Spielberg and his crew used the latest in motion capture technology, with over 100 cameras films taking each shot,picking up every last bit of movement. Spielberg had a bit to say about this:

“I just adored it. It made me more like a painter than ever before. I got a chance to do so many jobs that I don’t often do as a director. You get to paint with this device that puts you into a virtual world, and allows you to make your shots and block all the actors with a small hand-held device only three times as large as an Xbox game controller… When Captain Haddock runs across the volume, the cameras capture all the information of his physical and emotional moves. So as Andy Serkis runs across the stage, there’s Captain Haddock on the monitor, in full anime, running along the streets of Belgium. Not only are the actors represented in real time, they enter into a three-dimensional world.”

Spielberg than made a curious remark about the emotional side of the film. Spielberg is very experienced in bringing out the emotion in his films, and but I’m dying to see what that will mean for the Tintin Movie.  Here Spielberg praises Jamie Bell’s performance. After all,it’s not all directing but acting as well. Don’t let the futuristic outfits and computer generated final results fool you: there is a huge amount of work put into the acting in a motion capture film. On this subject Spielberg remarked:

“[The on-screen portrayal of Tintin] will be Jamie Bell’s complete physical and emotional performance.  If Tintin makes you feel something, it’s Jamie Bell’s soul you’re sensing.”

I literally cannot wait to see a trailer. I find myself screaming around the house saying ”I need to see a trailer NOW!” (well… OK, maybe I don’t, but I want to).  In my opinion,  it may very well be the most important movie trailer in the history of computer-generated movies,  and will certainly be the most important trailer for a motion capture film.

Special thanks to Mike Dutton for finding this information. There are some other articles at collider.com worth a visit you can find a link to at the end of their article. Hopefully there will be important news soon.

3D, Steven Spielberg, Tintin Movie Cast & Crew, Tintin Movie News

In a recent interview with Michael Kahn,the man in charge or editing ”Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn”, Michael informed us that the Tintin Movie will be edited ”just like any other film”. Michael has been editing for Spielberg since ”Close Encounters of the Third Kind” in 1976 and this year celebrates his 75th birthday. He has edited such action packed classics as Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park,and Saving Private Ryan.

The Tintin movie is the first movie Michael has ever edited for Spielberg using Avid (a digital way to edit movies) instead of the Moviola, an old fashion tool used to edit movies invented way back in 1924. But Michael assures us that the editing process of the movie is still the same. He said the videos still needed a few touch ups in the background and such since the shots themselves weren’t finished, but that would not affect the actual editing of the movie. The Tintin Movie will be put together just like any other film would.

Right now you might be asking yourself  ”So what? Why wouldn’t it be?” But actually this is important. Although there are now many more 3D movies then there were even just a few years back,it is still not uncommon to see movies where the directors constantly try to impress the audience by throwing things out of the screen…especially in films created by computer.  Granted the effect is a lot of fun,but not if it slows down the story of the movie. But when it comes to Tintin not only are the directors directing the movie like they would any other film, but even the editing process is the same as other Spielberg films. Not only can we have faith that Spielberg will not tie up the story of the Tintin Movie because he,for instance,keeps shooting the Unicorn’s cannonballs at the screen or something like that (that would be completely out of character for him). We can even have faith that Kahn will make decisions on what seconds of the movie to keep or get rid of based on what is best for the story and flow of the movie and what Spielberg has always expected from him, not on what ”looks cool in 3D”. Both men are professionals with many many years of experience. We could not have hoped for a better crew working on this movie.

I enjoy editing home videos and such things in my spare time and I know that editing is a very precise and time consuming job. I admit I had never heard of Michael Kahn before,but I now have a respect towards him and anybody else who has been editing such great work for so many years. He certainly deserves it. Special thanks to Proman for finding this information,and to all of you who find leads and videos. Keep up the good work!

Sources:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjdOG-w0Zz4

picture found on http://www.edgarwrighthere.com/2011/02/21/michael-kahns-ace-lifetime-achievement-award-tribute-reel/

Andy Serkis, Editorial, Herge, Peter Jackson, Snowy, Steven Spielberg, The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn, Thomson & Thompson

Its been a week since the Empire Tintin Issue came out and I’ve had time to digest the images in it.

Below are my thoughts on those images. Note, the images, not the film itself. There is a big difference between a handful of stills and a full length film. Not to mention there is still a year to go and a lot can change. When the film is released I will judge it on its own merits and not pre-judge it.

However, several stills have been released by Spielberg and Co. so they are fair game. It has always been my intention with this blog to write what I think about the film. When I like something, I say so. When I dislike something, I will also say so. You are free to disagree with me and voice your own opinions in the comments in a polite manner fitting of Tintin fans.

The Good

Thompson.jpg

Scanned from Empire Magazine

This shot is the cream of the crop.

The texture of Silk’s beard, the look of the Twins, the detailed background, the composition of the shot, the lighting – they are all perfect.

The Not As Good But Still Good

Barnby.jpg

Scanned from Empire Magazine

Dark and moody, full of portent and potential action. The low camera angle and heavy shadows gives the shot a nice feeling of tension.

Haddock.jpg

From Empire’s online gallery

I wrote earlier that I didn’t like “the harsh light behind Haddock”. Interestingly, the print version of this image is much, much darker. This is down to the technological and production differences between VDU displays that emit light and printed matter that reflect light. In the print version, the back lighting looks less out of place and I much prefer the image even though it is harder to make out the details.

The Worrying

TintinOnBoat.jpg

From Empire’s online gallery

TintinHaddock-CloseUp.jpg

A close up of a scanned image from Empire. Click the image for full size

These two images are the only ones from the film that show the full body lengths of our main characters plus Snowy. In both of them, something looks off-key. Haddock in particular look unnatural in his pose in both. Maybe this is just Andy Serkis’s acting of a drunk and it will look OK in context.

Snowy also doesn’t look right. This may be because he is the only true character animation in the film whilst everyone else is motion-capture.

Given the quality of everything else, I willing to bet that in the film everything will look right but it does leave me with a Polar Express type worry.

The Bad

EmpireCover.jpg

I really don’t like this cover. The detail is exquisite but both Tintin and Snowy look really unnatural but without any of Herge’s charm. It would of been much better if they had only used actual images from the film. I suspect that this image is influencing my opinions and unduly increasing my worries about the two previous images.

Am I Excited? You Bet!

Despite all the quibbles and doubts I have about the images, all the signs are that will Spielberg & Jackson capture the look and the spirit of the books. Roll on October 2011!

Captain Haddock, Steven Spielberg, The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn, Tintin, Tintin Movie News, Tintin Movie Trailers

The first two stills for Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, have been released.

TintinOnBoat.jpg

An iconic scene from The Crab with the Golden Claws


Haddock.jpg

Is this Tintin meeting Haddock for the first time?

Both images have been revealed by Empire Magazine and the December issue (available 4th November) will have more comments and news from the cast. Including this:

So what can we expect from the story? Here’s what Spielberg told us. “The first part of the film, which is the most mysterious part, certainly owes much to not only film noir but the whole German Brechtian theatre — some of our night scenes and our action scenes are very contrasty. But at the same time the movie is a hell of an adventure.”

The images follow a weekend-long teaser that slowly released close-ups of their cover. A full version of which is now available.

EmpireCover.jpg

This image was specially created for the magazine and is not from the film.

All images are copyright to someone, though who the hell knows because Empire doesn’t say. So please credit Empire magazine if you reproduce them.

Peter Jackson, Prisoners of the Sun, Steven Spielberg, The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn, The Seven Crystal Balls, Tintin Movie News

“There will be no cell phones, no TV sets, no modern cars. Just timeless Europe.” – Steven Spielberg

Le Monde magazine interviewed Steven Spielberg about his work on Tintin. The interview was presumably done in English and translated to French for publication and I’m translating it back into English via Google so the wording may not be spot on. However, the meaning is clear, the Tintin movie will not be some hideously re-imagining of Tintin. Spielberg goes on to say.

“Peter Jackson and I have the opportunity to honor the art of Hergé, his tone, his palette, his characters.” He denies [The translation is garbled here, possibly “to amend the famous Tintin tuft”?] He added: “The body language is very important. There is no question of touching it. We religiously respect the art of Hergé.”

From this interview, it certainly sounds like the Tintin movie will stick closely to the classic Tintin look-and-feel though they have previously described it as “film noir”. We may have a better idea in the new year as Peter Jackson has previously indicated that the first images of the CGI will be released in January.

Also due in January is an announcement on Peter Jackson’s choice of books for his film or films. The Seven Crystal Balls and Prisoners of the Sun are widely tipped as favourites.

Source: Steven Spielberg révèle ses secrets pour adapter Tintin au cinéma (via Spielberg, Jackson Talk More “Tintin”).