Sunday, 24 June 2018

Steve in the Media

Over the years Steve has worked on many interesting and innovative projects as well as developed new digital technology for the entertainment industry that has captured the attention of the print media. Here are some articles that have appeared in major magazines ranging from the Hollywood Reporter to Fangoria magazine.

LA Siggraph Greenscreen Event
"An Evening with Steve Wright and Jon Erland"
February 12th, 2008

LA Siggraph Greenscreen Compositing Event A Huge SuccessClose to 250 people showed up for the monthly LA Siggraph meeting on February 12th appropriately held on a greenscreen stage at Gnomon to learn about greenscreen visual effects compositing from Steve Wright and Jonathan Earland. Steve Wright, VFX instructor and author of “Digital Compositing for Film and Video” and “Compositing Visual Effects: Essentials for the Aspiring Artist” along with Jonathan Earland, the owner of Composite Components Company and the creator of greenscreen and bluescreen filming technology put on a fabulous show that was chock full of excellent information. Click here to download a PDF of this article.



Retro Gamer Magazine
"An Interview with Steve Wright"
March, 2007

Steve is interviewed about his 'Classic Video Gaming' days at Atari for Retro Gamer Magazine in the UKWriter Paul Drury tracked Steve down through the Internet and requested a one hour phone interview from sunny Nottingham, England to reminisce about the early days of video gaming when Steve worked at Atari. Of particular interest to the writer was the rough and ready early days of video game development when the game programmers were starting to become "rock stars". Ribald stories abound. Some of the highlights are Steve's innovation of the video game "Easter egg" and promoting the video game manual from a dreary instruction set to a fun and interesting storyline. There is also an interesting tale about how Steve and his staff produce the video game footage used in the Superman III movie, Steve's actual first film credit.


VIPGala Magazine
"Hollywood Visual Effects Comes to Macedonia"
June, 2006

VIPGala Magazine is the 'Variety' of Eastern Europe. Steve visited Macedonia to teach visual effects compositing sponsored by USAIDVIPGala is a top glitz magazine about the exciting world of filmmaking in Macedonia - sort of a Slavic version of Variety. The story is about how the big Hollywood visual effects expert, Steve Wright, came all the way from America to work with Macedonian filmmakers and visual effects artists to train them on how to do visual effects American style. The story featured Blanko, one of the top Macedonian live action directors in all of Macedonia. Sponsored by USAID, the project was designed to upgrade the visual effects talent base in Macedonia to help make them more competitive in the global market.


"Confessions of The Game Doctor"
by Bill Kunkel
Rolenta Press, November, 2005

Electronic Games Magazine - Bill Kunkel & Arnie KatzBill Kunkel and Arnie Katz were the pioneers of the gaming industry when they created a magazine back in 1981 called Electronic Games. In his recent book, "Confessions of The Game Doctor", Bill reminisces about meeting Steve at Atari and his impressions from that day.

"I only met Steve in person that once, but I never forgot the lesson I learned that day -- decide what you want and find a way to do it rather than work around a set of old rules based on what you can't accomplish. For something to stay fixed in my slippery grey matter all this time means that it was probably among the most important things I ever learned in over a quarter century in the game business".  - Bill Kunkel

Link to excerpt from "Confessions of The Game Doctor" and more!


Below the Line
"HD and DI"
March, 2005

Below the Line MagazineThis is an interview that appeared in Diana Weynand's column "HD on the Rise" that explores the increasing role that Hi-Def video plays in the Digital Intermediate process. While the Director and Cinematographer are now routinely viewing their "dailies" as color timed HD video dailies, the 24P master is now a standard deliverable for all Digital Intermediates. In addition, more and more theatrical releases are being captured on HD and transferred to film during the DI process with impressive results.


MIT's Technology Review
"Digital Cinema Take 2"
by Michael A Hiltzik
September, 2002

MIT's Technology Review Article MIT's Technology Review magazine article covers the digital innovations going on in Hollywood. A large part of the article covers Cinesite's digital effects, digital intermediate and digital restoration work. From scanning the negative of an entire feature film, to seamlessly integrating the visual effects shots, color timing the feature and putting it all back out to film again is the process known as Digital Intermediate which was born at Kodak's Cinesite Los Angeles facility back in the late 90's.

The first feature to take advantage of this process was "O'Brother Where Art Thou" shot by Roger Deakins and directed by Joel Coen and written by his brother Ethan. Steve is featured in the back of the article at a computer workstation working a digital imaging problem for the restoration department that only the Cineon compositing system could solve. Click here to download a PDF of this article.


Kodak In Camera Magazine
"Soderbergh Creates Look for 'Traffic' in DI Suite at Cinesite"
April, 2001

Kodak's In Camera Magazine - This article about Steve Soderbergh's powerful film "Traffic" describes the unique creative look he achieved when he color timed his film at Cinesite. Steve is mentioned for his role of digitally applying all of the subtitling for the film. What is not mentioned is that Mr. Soderbergh had it done three times over until he got just the look he wanted in the release prints! Click here to read the "Traffic" article.
A Shake module inspired by Steve's book

Highend is a clearinghouse for new modules and plugins for major production software like Maya and Shake. An enterprising fellow named Andras Szocs has implemented several of the concepts and algorithms described in Steve's book (kindly giving Steve credit) and made them available as shareware for compositors. You can scroll down and look for the following modules: BumpMap v1.0 CleanScreen v1.1 Despill v1.2 MatteMonitor v1.0 ScreenCorrect v1.0 SliceTool v1.5


Millimeter Magazine
"Pushing the [Big] Envelope: Large-format CGI"
by Ellen Wolf
April, 2000

Millimeter Magazine - In this extensive article about experimental large format films seen at the "Big Shorts" presentations one of the featured examples is Ron Fricke's spectacular "Infinity" piece with computer graphics produced by Steve at Kodak's Cinesite. Coverage of "Infinity" starts about halfway down the article with the paragraph that starts with "While Big Shorts has introduced new filmmakers"."

"Infinity" is a 2 minute 70mm IMAX piece directed by Ron Fricke and featuring Arthur C. Clarke as the host of a mind boggling trip through the Mandelbrot set of fractals as a visualization of the concept of mathematical infinity. Stunning colors and a dizzying plunge into the psychedelic depths of the fractal landscape zooming in by literally a factor of billions was accompanied by a pulsing musical score that left the mind reeling. The 2 minute trailer played at Siggraph's 2001 Electronic Theatre. Click here to read the article online & click here to play trailer.


The Hollywood Reporter
"Crunching Cels: Digital Animation Tools are Becoming More than Just High-tech Toys"
by Debra Kaufman
June 26, 1996

The Hollywood ReporterDebra Kaufman wrote a sweeping article with an overview of the then emerging digital cel animation production process. The art of digital ink and paint was just coming into its own and Steve had designed one of the first digital ink and paint systems outside of Disney which he used it to do commercial work and his first animated feature - "FernGully: The Last Rainforest." When released it was the highest grossing non-Disney animated film at that time and has quite the cult following today!


Markee Magzine
Mattel "Polly Pockets"
May 1996

Markee Magazine - Mattel Animated by Dave Spafford (Roger Rabbit fame), this series of three television commercials featured a cel animated character (Polly Pockets) composited over live action. The main creative challenge was to give the flat 2D cel animation a more 3D dimensional look which was achieved in the computer during digital compositing by adding highlight and shadow tone layers.



"Brainscan: A Virtual Reality Shocker with Guts and Franchise Potential"
Anthony P. Montesano
June, 1994

Cinefantastique - The article discusses director John Flynn's psychological thriller that explores a young boy's (Edward Furlong) obsession with video gaming. Producer Michael Roy was intrigued by doing a film that included a virtual reality, namely the world of the demonic "Trickster" (T. Ryder Smith), the video game's nemesis.




"Brainscan: Shock Effects Made Easy with the Power of CGI"
Anthony P. Montesano
June, 1994

Cinefantastique - "Brainscan" was one of the first early horror movies to utilize computer graphics. This article explores the digital effects produced by Steve at his Hollywood digital effects company Sidley Wright & Associates using the Pixar computer. The main technical effects were warps and morphs to produce many of the shocking visuals. In this article, the ever popular character "Trickster" is seen eating Edward Furlong's character "Michael Bower." Yummy!

Click here to download a PDF of the article.


"Brainscan: Say Hello to Trickster and Goodbye to Reality"
May 1994

Fangoria - Brainscan articleFangoria explores the more psychotic aspects (not surprisingly) of the "Brainscan's" virtual reality and digital effects. A description of the advanced digital effects for that day produced by Steve at his Hollywood digital effects studio, Sidley Wright & Associates, and how they integrated into the storytelling. Director John Flynn, producer Michael Roy and visual effects supervisor, Art Durinski, let Steve have a free reign in the design and execution of The effects were used to dirve the story.



"Rocket Science Taps H'wood Talent for CD Games"
Matt Rothman
Jul 22, 1993

Variety - 'Rocket Scient Taps H'Wood Talent for CD Games"This article takes a look at several some interesting new investments in video gaming and digital effects studios, including Sidley Wright & Associates. It notes that National Video Center in New York has invested in Sidley-Wright and describes some of the digital ink and paint software technology developed by Steve Wright. Click here to read article.


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