A big swath of my Wednesday occurred in Culver City, where I ambled through the ImageWorks facility, saying howdy to the staff of Sony Picture Animation ...
The place is relatively quiet just now, with production winding down on Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, development work happening on Hotel Transylvania and artists awaiting the script on the animation/live-action combo feature that revives the Smurfs' franchise.
The Smurf feature is allegedly set for December, 2010, so production will have to move forward briskly. As an artist told me:
"They just wrapped up an\c.g.i. animation test on some of the little blue people, and management was happy with the way it looked. Now it's got to be figured out how photo-realistic the Smurfs will be, or how cartoony.
An informal polling of the animation staff points to a preference for cartoony, but various Sony power players might have other ideas.
If schedules hold, we'll know by late 2010 who wins that particular battle.