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King Kong Arrives at Universal Studios Hollywood!

Universal City, CA — “King Kong 360 3-D” created by Peter Jackson, the world’s largest most intense 3D experience, made its debut today on the famed Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Tour, combining a ground-breaking use of Surround Digital 3D film and thrilling visceral effects to create a next-generation theme park experience.

The world premiere of the attraction featured a star-studded guest list and an innovative “3D press briefing” by the attraction’s creator, Peter Jackson. “King Kong 360 3-D” is the first theme park attraction to be directed by the three-time Oscar®-winning storyteller and filmmaker.
In the new attraction, guests aboard Studio Tour trams are given special 3-D glasses as they enter an enormous soundstage larger than a football field. Once inside, the trams are enveloped within enormous screens, their size equaling an area equivalent to 16 conventional movie screens and rest atop steel platens that provide a powerful motion base. Via the magic of Surround Digital 3D projection, guests are transported deep into a tangled jungle location. There, they survive a close encounter with a swarm of hungry raptors, only to be confronted by the terrifying presence of 35′ tall dinosaurs. Suddenly, the 25′ tall Kong gorilla appears. The trams roll and shudder as the guests find themselves caught in the middle of a titanic struggle between the great ape and carnivorous reptiles.

The enormous scale and the cutting edge technology employed by the designers elevate the powerful, iconic storyline to a new level. The vivid realism of the 3D immersion and the synchronized motion of the tram combine to produce a sense of immersion without precedent in a theme park attraction.

Peter Jackson, director of the Oscar®-winning 2005 Universal Pictures film upon which the attraction is based, said: “As a filmmaker, you’re hoping to have the audience step inside your movie and become part of the experience…to create the illusion of reality in a way that is much more tactile and profound than can be done in the cinema environment of a normal theatre. The new `King Kong 360 3D’ at Universal Studios Hollywood provided us with a unique opportunity to really push film and theme park technology to create that illusion. Our intention was to create a spectacular and immersive 3D experience and we’re confident that we’ve achieved that. King Kong 360 3D is the largest most intense 3D experience on the planet.”

Larry Kurzweil, President, Universal Studios Hollywood, said: “After a two-year absence, King Kong has returned with a vengeance never before seen. Guests from around the world will feel as if they are completely immersed in Peter Jackson’s 3D storytelling. King Kong 360-3D is the fight of the century and a highly repeatable breakthrough thrill ride, taking theme park and movie making experiences to an entirely new level.”

King Kong, known as “the eighth wonder of the world,” has been called “the experience for which movies were invented.” Since first appearing on the screen in the 1933 original classic, “King Kong” has been re-made twice, each time on a tremendous scale, earning a total of seven Oscar® and three Golden Globe® nominations. Most recently, Peter Jackson’s 2005 version took classic elements of the original “King Kong” story and adrenalized them with up-to-the-minute effects magic and the alchemic talents of a superlative group of filmmakers, cast and crew. Released to critical acclaim in late 2005, “King Kong” was a worldwide hit.

The arrival of the new “King Kong 360 3-D” experience coincides with major enhancements to the iconic Studio Tour. The most extensive backlot construction ever in the history of Universal Studios, which includes re-creations of legendary Hollywood sets and the introduction of brand-new shooting locations, was recently completed and the renowned studio will soon buzz with star-studded film and television production as never before

Universal Studios Hollywood is a unit of Universal Parks & Resorts, a division of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.

Peter Jackson & Joe Letteri on King Kong 3D | 360

On July 1st King Kong 360 3-D will open at Universal Studios Hollywood! In anticipation of opening weekend, check out this footage of Joe Letteri (2010 Oscar winner for Achievement in Visual Effects for Avatar), Senior VFX Supervisor, WETA Digital, talking about the project.

First Look at the new Special Effects Stages

Forum member JDK was nice enough to take some photos of The Special Effects Stages during its employee preview.

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King Kong Spotted at Santa Monica Pier?

Surfers, tourists, and local Los Angelenos alike were stunned yesterday morning by a rather HUGE mystery: the discovery of 15 foot long footprints in the sand at Santa Monica Pier!

A local fisherman was perhaps the only person who caught a glimpse of the creature responsible. “Everything started shaking,” he said. “Then I saw this thing. Bigger than any whale…eyes dark and menacing, teeth as big as the poles under the pier here.” Police are cautioning people not to panic, and to be careful not to fall into the deep footprints on the beach. Residents and tourists are wondering what kind of monster could be responsible for footprints so massive.

Some people are suggesting that the footprints belong to none other than King Kong, who has been making his way through Los Angeles en route to his new home at Universal Studios Hollywood. Last week, Kong wreaked havoc at Dodgers Stadium by marking up the baseball field with his gigantic footprints, similar to the ones found at Santa Monica Pier. King Kong will be headlining King Kong 360 3-D, the brand new, revolutionarily interactive attraction designed by esteemed director Peter Jackson, and it’s possible that Santa Monica Pier was just his latest stop on his journey to Universal Studios Hollywood.

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International Café brings healthy food choices to Universal Studios Hollywood

Part of NBC Universal’s Company-wide Health Initiative

Universal City CA, June 16, 2010 — Universal Studios Hollywood has opened the new International Café to provide theme park guests with healthy food choices in a casual, unhurried European bistro-style atmosphere. The new café is part of NBC Universal’s “Healthy At NBCU” initiative, which aims to connect consumers, marketers and employees with the company’s health and wellness content.

The menu of food choices includes creative salads, cheese plates, and healthy artisanal sandwiches, along with juices, mineral waters and many other food options suitable for a relaxed, sit-down meal or an on-the-go meal for hungry theme park guests.

Located just adjacent to the theme park’s “Streets of the World” film locations, which re-create European streets and plazas, The International Café offers indoor and outdoor seating.

Sample menu choices at the International Café include a shrimp cobb and Greek salads, a grilled vegetable sandwich with gorgonzola cheese, a turkey with muenster cheese and arugula sandwich and a “caprese-style” plate featuring heirloom tomatoes with mozzarella and basil.

Consistent with Universal Studios Hollywood policies for all of the theme park’s restaurants, all foods at the International Café are trans-fat free.

Universal Studios Hollywood is a unit of Universal Parks & Resorts, a division of NBC Universal. NBC Universal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May of 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric, with 20% controlled by Vivendi Universal.

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Universal Studios Hollywood Announces Expanded Halloween Horror Nights 2010 Schedule!

Universal City, California, June 17, 2010—The Halloween Horror Nights event at Universal Studios Hollywood SM will expand in 2010, growing to a 17-night schedule, offering spine-chilling new mazes based upon the horror genre’s most compelling characters, all created in collaboration with top filmmakers and artists. This year’s event will also include a tram ride through the world’s largest and most intense 3D experience, King Kong 360 3D, created by Peter Jackson.

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