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SYDNEY — After making Australia’s first 3D animated feature last year, Legends Of The Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole, vfx and production house Animal Logic is to lead the animation and visual effects work on BBC Worldwide’s AUS$65 million ($64 million) 3D feature Walking With Dinosaurs.
Walking With Dinosaurs 3D is based on the hit BBC TV series and live theater production of the same name, and is a co-production between Alaska-based 3D studio Evergreen Films and BBC Earth. It is being directed by Pierre De Lespinois from Evergreen and Neil Nightingale from BBC Earth, from a script by John Collee. It is to be released in 2013 and will use live-action footage of scenery and CGI creatures to create an “intimate and engaging” 3D adventure that’s set in the cretaceous period.
Animal Logic’s involvement will create 140 local jobs as well as some location filming in New South Wales, NSW premier Kristina Kenneally said Friday.
Walking With Dinosaurs 3D is one of a package of eight film and TV projects being backed by the NSW government’s $20 million Film Fund and the Industries Assistance Fund. They will create over 800 jobs and tip $80 million into NSW, according to Kenneally.
The $20 million Film Fund for international production also includes incentives to counter Australia’s rising exchange rate, Kenneally said, a factor responsible for a recent drying up of large budget offshore productions being made here.
Dinosaur’s co-director De Lespinois said that “coming here was actually more expensive for us to do it than in the United States, but we were determined to work with Animal Logic and New South Wales made the difference in us coming here.”
Animal Logic will also convert the final Happy Potter feature, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 into 3D and is also doing photo-real 3D animation and visual effects for a theatrical short feature, which will be used as a pilot for a large budget digital animation.
Elsewhere NSW funding has helped Fuel FX secure visual affects work on Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and two Marvel productions, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger.
NSW arts minister Virginia Judge said that “Sydney has developed a reputation as a world centre of excellence for visual effects and computer generated imagery animation.
“Winning these major visual effects projects will keep NSW on the cusp of the latest film technology developments in areas such as digital animation, special effects and 3D,” Judge said.
Two major new Australian TV series will shoot in NSW as well. The fourth series of the top rating Underbelly franchise, Razor, will shoot in Sydney from the end of March, while the Australian Broadcasting Corp’s new 22-part legal drama, Crownies began production last week.
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