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This Month's Issue

Pursuit of Awesomeness / Kung-Fu Panda
Wednesday, September 17, 2008

SIGGRAPH are doing well to attract the kind of talent that Vancouver's CG community are very keen to listen to. Their last event with Sharon Calahan, the director of photography and lighting on Ratatouille, was inspiring and I'm sure many Vancity artists walked away with a new understanding of the heights CGI can soar to. Pixar are the best because they hire the best and hold the highest standards (which a lot of times also means the biggest budget). Well, Dreamworks do some great CG films too, and having seen Kung-Fu Panda already, I was a fan. The problem is the Pursuit of Awesomeness talk seemed to diminsh my enthusiasm, instead of vice versa. The directors were down to earth but at the same time seemed to make too much of elements that are common place in today's market. This was made more clear because I was with someone who had not seen the film and once they had, they felt the build up by the directors was directly correlated to her dissapointment. What's more, the points from the talk that stuck out most in my mind were that the Chinese were offended by how their majestic panda was portrayed, and also a lil' miffed they were beaten to the punch on a CG kung-fu film. Okay, to be fair, it was also enlightening to hear about how Dustin Hoffman and Jack Black each approach voice work. Sounds like Dustin takes it as seriously (if not more) as any other acting gig. Thick will always support and encourage others to get involved with SIGGRAPH but I'm wondering if we should have checked out the Horton Hears A Who talk instead.

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