Monday, March 15, 2010

Blog, Blog and more Blog.

I have finally got round to updating the site with something that I’ve been wanting to add for ages now. I’ve added a Blog. With this I can now report on anything new Akira related pretty much as soon as I hear about it. I have started to add past news to the blog and will keep updating it as I go.

I will be keeping the blog updated with the latest on the Live Action film. Oh yeah, please support this site by following the adverts. Thanks

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Why Akira Matters

www.artofakira.com - www.youtube.com/user/joethepeacock



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBAJdtPVnZc

About this project

The ToonSeum is proud to present an exhibition featuring original art from the groundbreaking anime classic Akira.

Katsuhiro Otomo’s anime masterpiece Akira is widely regarded as one of the most groundbreaking and influential films of all time. Based on the artist’s own landmark manga series of the same name, the film not only shattered box office records around the world but has retained a fiercely dedicated audience of animators and aficionados for more than twenty years – and for good reason. Akira revolutionized animation and arguably saved the Japanese film industry, paving the way for a new generation of artists and spawning a worldwide acceptance of animation as high art.

Akira was an epic collaboration and full of animation firsts. Adapted from thousands of pages of manga and pooling resources from several of Japan’s largest entertainment companies, the production cost over $10 million, which in 1988 made it the most expensive animated feature ever made. Akira was the first animated film in Japan to record its voice actor’s performances before principle animation began so that character’s facial expressions and lip movements could be synchronized. An elaborate symphonic score was written and conducted by composer Shoji Yamashiro, a then unheard of indulgence that has become one of the most definable and enduring features of the film.

No other film had ever looked like Akira, it’s stunningly fluid and detailed animation often requiring as many as nine separate cel layers. The 125 minute feature was comprised of over 160,000 cels and almost as many backgrounds, each one completely hand–drawn and hand-painted. Purists recognize Akira as the last completely hand-created animated feature, as cel animation quickly gave way to cheaper digital production and CGI technology.

In 2010, the historical and artistic significance of Akira cannot be understated. As the popularity and influence of animation continues to expand, the Akira Exhibit gives audiences the unique opportunity to take a deeper look into this unparalleled achievement in filmmaking. Each item in the exhibit has been hand selected by Akira expert Joe Peacock from his unrivaled collection of more than 10, 000 authenticated pieces.

Visitors will be given access to never-before-seen aspects of the film, from fully-displayed backgrounds, sketches and production development layouts, to the layers of cels that made up some of the most astounding scenes in the film.

The Akira Exhibit promises to be an enthralling experience, sure to captivate any fan of animation and graphic storytelling, from anime enthusiast to those witnessing Otomo’s grand vision for the fist time.

We are seeking public support to help present this remarkable exhibition. Your pledge helps pay for the cost of framing, marketing, and educational programing.
Thank you.

Project location: Pittsburgh, PA

ToonSeum Takes Fundraising to the Fans with the Art of Akira

Press Release www.artofakira.com

ToonSeum Takes Fundraising to the Fans with the Art of Akira

Pittsburgh–In spring of 2010, the ToonSeum will present an exhibition of original art from the anime masterpiece Akira, a groundbreaking and widely influential work that revolutionized animation. Katsuhiro Otomo’s epic film revitalized the Japanese film industry and inspired a new generation of international artists and fervent fandom.

In a unique approach to increasing the scope of the Akira exhibition, the ToonSeum is reaching out directly to this devout fan-base for assistance. In an attempt to raise the funds needed to ensure the exhibit’s success, the ToonSeum is asking Akira enthusiasts to pledge sponsorship through Kickstarter.com, a new website that raises funding for unique projects.

“The comic and cartoon arts are a unique pop art form with extremely dedicated and knowledgable fans,” said ToonSeum Executive Director Joe Wos. “There are entire clubs and conventions built around Anime, comics, and more. Akira is revered within this community as a true masterpiece.”

“This is a rare opportunity for that fanbase to directly be a part of what will be one of the largest exhibitions of the art of Akira. We’re very excited about what an organization like Kickstarter can do for a small museum like the ToonSeum.”

Akira was an epic collaboration and full of animation firsts. Upon its release in 1988, Akira was the most expensive animated feature ever made, pooling resources from several of Japan’s largest entertainment companies to complete the production. An elaborate symphonic score was written for the film and all voice actors where recorded before principle animation began for authentic lip syncing. The stunningly fluid and detailed animation required up to nine separate cel layers, demanding over 160,000 hand-produced cels and almost as many backgrounds.

“There is a lot about Akira that reinforces the egalitarian appeal of cartoons,” said John Mattie, ToonSeum gallery manager. “Over 15 Japanese companies contributed to the making of the film employing hundreds of artists, each insisting that Otomo’s vision be realized. Our thinking in utilizing Kickstarter.com for this project is that all of these fans can show their love and support of the film and help spread the awareness of the cartoon arts. Cartoon fan or cineast, this film is essential.”

In 2010, the historical and artistic significance of Akira cannot be understated. As the popularity and influence of animation continues to expand, the Akira Exhibit gives audiences the unique opportunity to take a deeper look into this achievement in filmmaking. Each item in the exhibit has been hand selected by Akira expert Joe Peacock from his unrivaled collection of more than 10,000 authenticated pieces. Visitors will be given access to never-before-seen aspects of the film, from fully-displayed backgrounds, sketches and production development layouts, to the layers of cels that made up some of the most astounding scenes in the film.

The Akira Exhibit promises to captivate any fan of animation and graphic storytelling, from anime enthusiast to those witnessing Otomo’s grand vision for the fist time.

For information on sponsorships and other opportunities
Please visit: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/toonseum/toonseum-presents-the-akira-exhibit

or

Contact: Joe Wos, executive director
Tel: 412-232-0199
Email: joe@toonseum.com
Website: theartofakira.com and www.toonseum.org

The Art of Akira
When: April through June, 2010
Where: The ToonSeum,
945 Liberty Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Report: Book of Eli’s Hughes Brothers in Akira Talks

Originally posted on 2010-02-10 13:54 EST @ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2010-02-10/report/book-of-eli-hughes-brothers-in-akira-talks

Menace II Society directors in reported talks over Katsuhiro Otomo’s manga

New York Magazine’s Vulture blog reports that the Hughes brothers — the directors behind Menace II Society, Dead Presidents, From Hell, and The Book of Eli — are negotiating with the Warner Brothers movie studio to direct the planned live-action film adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira manga. ComingSoon.net reported in December that Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, the writers of the first Iron Man film, wrote the most recent script drafts for the two proposed films. According to the Vulture blog, “an official release from the studio is expected later this week” regarding Albert and Allen Hughes’ involvement.

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, The Aviator) is producing the planned live-action film adaptation through his Appian Way production company. Mad Chance producer Andrew Lazar (Jonah Hex, Space Cowboys) said at Comic-Con International in August that the live-action project “is a real priority project for Warner Brothers” but is not likely to go into production before the third quarter of 2010 for a 2011 release. Otomo is an executive producer and consultant on the project.

According to The Hollywood Reporter and Variety in 2008, Warner and Appian Way will adapt the Akira manga into two live-action films. Each film would cover three volumes of the renowned science-fiction manga about a governmental genetic project and a teenager’s attempt to save a fellow biker gang member. Otomo directed his own animated film adaptation that premiered on July 16, 1988 — the same day that the story has the fictional Tokyo being destroyed.

Update: More background information added.

Vulture Exclusive: The Hughes Brothers to Direct the Akira Remake

Originally Posted 2/10/10 at 12:00 PM @ http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2010/02/akira_remake_hughes_bros.html

Vulture Exclusive: The Hughes Brothers to Direct the Akira Remake


Photo: Toho Company

Vulture has learned that Warner Bros. is negotiating to reteam with The Book of Eli’s Hughes brothers to have them direct a live-action remake of the cult favorite Akira, from a script by Iron Man scribes Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby. (Akira is being produced by Leonardo DiCaprio’s company, Appian Way, along with Andrew Lazar, who’s also currently producing an adaptation of DC Comics’ Jonah Hex for Warners.)

Even if you had read all of Katsuhiro Otomo’s epic 1982 manga and/or seen his own 1988 anime adaptation, summarizing the plot to Akira would still prove a bit of a challenge. As near as we can figure, Akira is about the leader of a biker gang who tries to save his kidnapped pal from a powerful supernatural experiment. (It might also be a psycho-philosophical exploration of corruption, the will to power, and the maturation of man and mankind, but we were actually pretty high when we first saw it in college, so please don’t hold us to that.)

Respecting the source’s complexity (or perhaps acquiescing to it), Warners won’t proceed with a single, live-action remake of the film, which trimmed away the last half of the 2,182-page graphic novel in order to weigh in at just over two hours. Instead, we hear that the studio is planning to make Akira in two parts, with the first three volumes of the six-volume manga making up the first film, due out next year.

An official release from the studio is expected later this week.

Read more: Vulture Exclusive: The Hughes Brothers to Direct the Akira Remake — Vulture http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2010/02/akira_remake_hughes_bros.html#ixzz0iFtd57ue