Disney and Zemeckis Form 3D Performance Company

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The multi award-winning team of Robert Zemeckis, Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey join forces with The Walt Disney Studios to set-up a new performance capture film company, it was jointly announced by Dick Cook, chairman, The Walt Disney Studios and producer/director Robert Zemeckis.

The company will create films using the performance capture technology, a technique of digitally recording actors’ movements that are fed into a computer allowing for the development of state-of-the-art 3D motion pictures.

Zemeckis, Rapke and Starkey will produce all of the films with Zemeckis expected to direct a number of the projects. The Walt Disney Studios will distribute and market the motion pictures worldwide.

In making the announcement Cook said, “The creation of this new company is yet another step in our leadership role in cutting edge technology as it relates to the movie industry.” Cook continued, “Bob is an amazing director who continues to push the envelope in creating the best in cinematic experiences. Along with his partners, Jack and Steve, they are one of the finest producing teams in the business. They have a real pulse on the future of motion pictures especially as it pertains to the creativity and technology of motion capture and 3D film experiences. They are true leaders in every sense of the word and we are proud to be partners with them in this new endeavor.”

Zemeckis added, “Jack, Steve and I are looking forward with great excitement to be working with Dick Cook and his team. In addition to being an enthusiastic champion of 3D movies, The Walt Disney Studios is committed to the advancement of digital cinema in all areas including performance capture.”

Zemeckis, along with executive producing partner Rapke and producer Starkey, first used this innovative film technology of performance capture when he directed the highly successful animated feature film The Polar Express.

Following up on the success of The Polar Express, Zemeckis was executive producer on his second performance capture film, the Academy Award-nominated Best Animated Film Monster House, with Rapke and Starkey producing. Additionally, Zemeckis is directing and producing the performance capture film, Beowulf, with Rapke and Starkey also producing. The film is due out in theaters in 2007.

Among some of their other credits are: Cast Away — Zemeckis director and producer and Rapke and Starkey producers; What Lies Beneath — Zemeckis director and producer and Rapke and Starkey producers; Contact — Zemeckis director and producer and Starkey producer; Forrest Gump — Zemeckis received an Academy Award for Best Director and Starkey was awarded the Best Picture Oscar for his role as producer; “Back to the Future” trilogy — Zemeckis directed and Starkey served as associate producer on part 2 and 3 and Who Framed Roger Rabbit — Zemeckis directed and Starkey was associate producer.

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