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NEWS
February 5, 2005
Rosette Gonzales As a veteran of special effects and the film industry, Thomas G. Smith knows how to captivate an audience. He has worked on such classics as "ET: The Extra Terrestrial," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Return of the Jedi," although his latest project isn't visually enhanced, Smith paints a picture with words. His novel "Massacre at Baxter Springs" tells the story of Smith's great-grandfather, William H. Clark and the Civil War events leading up to the tragic ambush at Baxter Springs, Kansas in 1863.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Joyce Rudolph, Joyce.Rudolph@latimes.com | February 1, 2011
Two Burbank special effects makeup artists survived an intense first elimination episode Wednesday night in Syfy’s new reality competition series “Face Off.” The show’s debut pitted 12 up-and-coming artists in challenges that tested their edgy creative skills, including turning a live model into a hybrid of a half-human/half-animal. Judging were renowned sci-fi makeup artists three-time Academy Award winner Ve Neill (“Pirates of the Caribbean”)
NEWS
May 10, 2003
Molly Shore Steve Johnson loves his job because, as he puts it, "All I do is make toys." It's actually a bit more complicated than that. Johnson owns Edge FX, a Burbank-based special-effects company that specializes in unusual makeup, prosthetics and robotic animatronics for movies, television, advertising and theme parks, including Disney's Epcot Center. If filming calls for a grotesque face, mangled limbs or any type of over-the-edge makeup, Edge FX can do the job. Making an actor look good is not what it's about at Johnson's 20,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility.
NEWS
January 17, 2001
Karen S. Kim SOUTH SAN FERNANDO DISTRICT -- Red-haired and fair-skinned with freckles, 24-year-old Rhea Brown sat on a stool and watched her partner sculpt, mold and smear gray clay across a cast of her own head. "I'm going to be a chubby black lady," Brown said, verifying her partner's plans for the clay. Brown is a part of the special-effects makeup course at the Make-Up Designory, a vocational school in Burbank providing training in fashion, hair styling and makeup artistry for television and film.
NEWS
January 1, 2005
Mark R. Madler Nicholas G. Vasu, owner of an award-winning animation photography studio, has died. He was 78. Vasu died Monday at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center. His animation photography company, Nick Vasu Inc., became a training ground for special effects creators and animators and for many years did work for "Charlie Brown" animated specials and Warner Bros. cartoons, said Chuck Martin, Vasu's stepson. "He had by far the biggest camera service in Hollywood at the time and the most prestigious," Martin said.
NEWS
December 17, 2003
Tyler Nyczaj, 17, of Burbank, is a senior at John Burroughs High School. I saw Walt Disney Picture's "The Haunted Mansion" at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. The film stars the ever-so-funny Eddie Murphy as Jim Evers, who is a Realtor, and Marsha Thomason as his wife, Sara. She gets a call from Edward Gracey (Nathaniel Parker), who wishes to sell his mansion. When the Everses arrive there, the thrills and chills begin. The movie had many breathtaking special effects.
NEWS
August 31, 2002
Laura Sturza If you need an ear torn off your face, the Motion Picture FX Company will happily oblige. Alien masks, removable limbs, blood-spewing knives, industry makeup and peel-off skin are just some of the of the props created and sold by the shop, which moved from its 600- square-foot digs to a 2,300- square-foot space this month. The company does not only build props and costumes. Co-owner Jeff Colbert, 37, goes on location as a special effects and makeup artist, recently returning from New York where he helped magician David Blaine rip his heart out on television.
NEWS
May 9, 2001
Gary Moskowitz MAGNOLIA PARK -- Max Wedner isn't like a lot of other 12-year-olds. For one, the fan of special effects and fantasy art spends a lot of his free time casting molds for latex masks at his home in Burbank. For another, his artwork was recently selected to be displayed at Park Labrea's Art in the Park Festival. Max was also the youngest artist to win. "I didn't know if the contest was just for adults, so I just didn't include his age with his submission," said Terry Wedner, Max's mother.
NEWS
July 19, 2000
True adaptation Stephen Saito is a graduate of Burbank High School and will attend the University of Texas at Austin in the fall. Bryan Singer, the man behind "X-Men," has made an extremely faithful and intelligent adaptation of one of the few comic books that has not received a big screen treatment. He uses his gifts for seamlessly mixing storylines and exploring intriguing characters to make this the very best film of this genre since 1989's Batman.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 21, 2007
"Bridge to Terabithia" is a spot-on adaptation of an excellent children's novel and a deeply powerful portrayal of love, loss and redemption through children's eyes and minds. The original novel by Katherine Patterson is brought lovingly and faithfully to film, thanks in part to the screenwriting participation of her son, David, for whom the story was written 30 years ago. Think it's only a kid's flick? Think again. The story artfully speaks to universal human topics ? oppression, ostracism, escapism, shocking loss and the healing powers of love, all told with great simplicity, subtlety and grace.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
August 31, 2013
Y ou may have noticed this past week that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared a state of local "emergency" due to Hollywood's production exodus out of California amid a flood of tax breaks from New York to New Zealand. It seems that film studios like to save money — who knew? — and have trouble resisting the 30% savings incentives offered seemingly everywhere but here. If you're making a $200-million movie and can shave $50 million to $60 million off of your budget by moving it to Michigan, it's a pretty powerful lure.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Joyce Rudolph, Joyce.Rudolph@latimes.com | February 1, 2011
Two Burbank special effects makeup artists survived an intense first elimination episode Wednesday night in Syfy’s new reality competition series “Face Off.” The show’s debut pitted 12 up-and-coming artists in challenges that tested their edgy creative skills, including turning a live model into a hybrid of a half-human/half-animal. Judging were renowned sci-fi makeup artists three-time Academy Award winner Ve Neill (“Pirates of the Caribbean”)
ENTERTAINMENT
March 7, 2007
A gripping story focused on the human need for companionship brought to life by an ensemble of highly talented actors makes "Tender" another must-see production from The Syzygy Theatre Group at the Grove Theater Center in Burbank. Set in London, this cast of seven maintains amazingly realistic British accents, with credit to dialect coach Nicolette Chaffey, while embodying characters whose lives collide. Real-life husband and wife Ryan and Amy Honey play Al and Hen, an unmarried couple expecting their first child.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 21, 2007
"Bridge to Terabithia" is a spot-on adaptation of an excellent children's novel and a deeply powerful portrayal of love, loss and redemption through children's eyes and minds. The original novel by Katherine Patterson is brought lovingly and faithfully to film, thanks in part to the screenwriting participation of her son, David, for whom the story was written 30 years ago. Think it's only a kid's flick? Think again. The story artfully speaks to universal human topics ? oppression, ostracism, escapism, shocking loss and the healing powers of love, all told with great simplicity, subtlety and grace.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 16, 2006
Documentaries are available on KCET and the History channel for free and at the push of a button. So why choose a doc on the big screen over say, special effects? "Who Killed the Electric Car" embodies all of the reasons we do make such choices. Documentaries like this one written and directed by Chris Paine are the silver screen's version of blogs. They don't play to the lowest common denominator. Mostly they don't spout the same old, same old. Documentaries aren't afraid of satire (read that, don't care if they upset someone)
NEWS
February 5, 2005
Rosette Gonzales As a veteran of special effects and the film industry, Thomas G. Smith knows how to captivate an audience. He has worked on such classics as "ET: The Extra Terrestrial," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Return of the Jedi," although his latest project isn't visually enhanced, Smith paints a picture with words. His novel "Massacre at Baxter Springs" tells the story of Smith's great-grandfather, William H. Clark and the Civil War events leading up to the tragic ambush at Baxter Springs, Kansas in 1863.
NEWS
January 1, 2005
Mark R. Madler Nicholas G. Vasu, owner of an award-winning animation photography studio, has died. He was 78. Vasu died Monday at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center. His animation photography company, Nick Vasu Inc., became a training ground for special effects creators and animators and for many years did work for "Charlie Brown" animated specials and Warner Bros. cartoons, said Chuck Martin, Vasu's stepson. "He had by far the biggest camera service in Hollywood at the time and the most prestigious," Martin said.
NEWS
December 17, 2003
Tyler Nyczaj, 17, of Burbank, is a senior at John Burroughs High School. I saw Walt Disney Picture's "The Haunted Mansion" at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. The film stars the ever-so-funny Eddie Murphy as Jim Evers, who is a Realtor, and Marsha Thomason as his wife, Sara. She gets a call from Edward Gracey (Nathaniel Parker), who wishes to sell his mansion. When the Everses arrive there, the thrills and chills begin. The movie had many breathtaking special effects.
NEWS
November 12, 2003
GLAD TRILOGY IS FINALLY OVER Gary Moskowitz is the education reporter for the News-Press, the Leader's sister publication. The tagline for the final movie in "The Matrix" series, "Everything that has a beginning must have an end," hits the nail on the head. Having now seen all three films in "The Matrix" trilogy, I couldn't be happier that the end is here, and the cinematic torture is now over. The third installment in the series, "The Matrix Revolutions," culminates a biblical tale of "The One" -- Neo, played by Keanu Reeves -- who must save the people of Zion from a ridiculously large population of octopus-shaped machines and bring salvation to humanity.
NEWS
May 10, 2003
Molly Shore Steve Johnson loves his job because, as he puts it, "All I do is make toys." It's actually a bit more complicated than that. Johnson owns Edge FX, a Burbank-based special-effects company that specializes in unusual makeup, prosthetics and robotic animatronics for movies, television, advertising and theme parks, including Disney's Epcot Center. If filming calls for a grotesque face, mangled limbs or any type of over-the-edge makeup, Edge FX can do the job. Making an actor look good is not what it's about at Johnson's 20,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility.
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