Future is now for SPI's '2012' effects


Sony Pictures Imageworks has been awarded a substantial amount of work on Roland Emmerich's "2012," SPI president Tim Sarnoff said Tuesday at Siggraph.

Sony's apocalyptic thriller recently started production in Vancouver and will include a large number of visual effects. A July 10 release is planned. The production has a contingency plan in case of an actors walkout or strike.

Sarnoff also said that SPI and Sony Pictures Animation's IPAX education program is launching an online mentoring program through a partnership with Animation Mentor.

The program, beginning in the winter, will pair students from 18 IPAX member schools worldwide with leading SPI and SPA artists. The program will use Animator Mentor's model and interactive online technology.

"The idea is to improve collaboration — not school-to-school or business-to-business but one on one," Sarnoff said.

SPI's Barry Weiss, senior vp animation and artistic development, chairs the IPAX initiative, which was formed in 2004 to connect faculty from academic institutions with industry professionals. (partialdiff)