Disney, Zemeckis Form Company to Produce 3-D Performance-Capture Films

Feb. 5, 2007 — -- The award-winning team of Robert Zemeckis, Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey joins forces with the Walt Disney Studios to set up a new performance-capture film company, said Dick Cook, chairman of the Walt Disney Studios, and producer/director Zemeckis in a joint statement today.

The company will create films using performance-capture technology, digitally recording actors' movements and then feeding them into a computer, allowing for the development of state-of-the-art 3-D 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.

"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 said.

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 3-D 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 3-D 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, "Monster House," with Rapke and Starkey producing. The film was nominated for the Oscar for best animated film. 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.