Washington, DC --Trailblazing animation director Hal Hickel and visual effects supervisor John Knoll, both with Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), and production designer Crash McCreery will take audiences on a wild ride through the new frontier of animation and visual effects at the 2011 NAB Show in a session titled "Rango: The Next Step in CG Animation."
"Rango" centers on a contemporary pet chameleon who finds himself appointed sheriff when he stumbles to the Wild West town of Dirt. The panel will showcase how the ILM crew brought the surreal southwestern setting and richly detailed characters to life by applying live-action techniques to the dialogue recording, lighting, costuming and animation pipeline.
Variety's associate editor of features, David Cohen, will moderate the discussion, which will be held in the Content Theater on Tuesday, April 12 at 11:30am. The 2011 NAB Show takes place April 9-14 in Las Vegas.
After spending nearly four decades creating visual effects, George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic made its animated feature debut with "Rango" earlier this month. Critics quickly dubbed the CGI artwork as "extraordinary" and "groundbreaking" due to the dense and textured photographic look, which brought to life Crash McCreery's designs of animal-like townsmen and desert settings. The movie was directed by Gore Verbinski and featured Johnny Depp as the voice of Rango.
Hal Hickel joined Industrial Light & Magic in 1996 as an animator for "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" and was promoted to lead animator for "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace." In 2000, Hickel moved up to animation supervisor and joined multi-Academy Award winning visual effects supervisor Dennis Muren on Steven Spielberg's "A.I. Artificial Intelligence." Hickel has since supervised the animation work on "Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones," Lawrence Kasdan's "Dreamcatcher" and the "Pirates of the Caribbean" trilogy. In 2007, his work on "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" was recognized with both an Academy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Effects and the BAFTA for Best Achievement in Visual Effects.
John Knoll joined Industrial Light & Magic as a technical assistant in 1986, and worked on projects such as "Captain EO" and "The Abyss" before he was promoted to visual effects supervisor and helmed the visual effects on more than 20 feature films and commercials, including all three "Star Wars'' prequels and the "Pirates of the Caribbean" trilogy. Knoll's resume also includes "Mission to Mars," "Deep Blue Sea," "Star Trek: First Contact" and "Mission: Impossible," among others. He received both a BAFTA and an Academy Award for his work in the 2006 feature film, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest." John, along with his brother Thomas, also wrote Photoshop, the revolutionary and ubiquitous photo editing software. Recently, Knoll was the ILM visual effects supervisor on James Cameron's science fiction epic "Avatar" and Gore Verbinski's "Rango," ILMs first animated feature.
Crash McCreery has been involved with the creation of such iconic characters as the dinosaurs in all three "Jurassic Park" films, "Edward Scissorhands," and Davy Jones and his crew from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" trilogy. He continued to work with "Pirates" director Gore Verbinski on "Rango" as art director, where he defined the look of over 80 characters, more than 30 sets and even voiced one of the characters for the feature.
About the 2011 NAB Show
The NAB Show, held annually in Las Vegas, is the world's largest electronic media show covering filmed entertainment and the development, management and delivery of content across all mediums. With nearly 90,000 attendees from 151 countries and more than 1,500 exhibitors, the NAB Show is the ultimate marketplace for digital media and entertainment. From creation to consumption, across multiple platforms and countless nationalities, the NAB Show is home to the solutions that transcend traditional broadcasting and embrace content delivery to new screens in new ways. Complete details are available at www.nabshow.com.
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The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at www.nab.org.