10,000 B.C.
The First Hero
Article by Jody Duncan
Director Roland Emmerich resurrects the prehistoric world — populated with mammoths, saber-tooth tigers and giant terror birds — in 10,000 B.C. Visual effects supervisor Karen Goulekas engaged Tatopoulos Studios to supply early creature designs, which were later refined and translated into photoreal CG beasts by The Moving Picture Company and Double Negative. Additional contributors included The Senate, Machine FX and a production-side visual effects team. An expansive miniature environment for the film's climax was provided by Magicon.
The Spiderwick Chronicles
Fierce Creatures
Article by Joe Fordham
A young girl and her twin brothers tangle with magical fairy folk who invade their rural New England home in The Spiderwick Chronicles, adapted from the popular childrens' fantasy books by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. Director Mark Waters called upon Tippett Studio to develop creature concepts, ranging from goblins, trolls and ogres to a tiny brownie guardian of the Spiderwick Estate. The extensive creature animation assignment was shared by Tippett and Industrial Light & Magic.
Ground Zero
Article by Joe Fordham
In Cloverfield, New Yorkers flee for their lives as a colossal beast of unknown origin destroys the city. Conceived by J.J. Abrams and directed by Matt Reeves, the film put a new spin on the rampaging-monster genre by having all of the action filtered through the shaky lens of a bystander's handheld camcorder. Visual effects supervisors Kevin Blank, Eric Leven and Michael Ellis teamed with special effects coordinator David Waine to oversee the guerrilla-style shoot, while Tippett Studio and Double Negative handled environmental and creature effects.
Charlie Wilson's War
Mike Nichols' War
Article by Jody Duncan
Based on a true story, Charlie Wilson's War recounts the remarkable tale of how a playboy congressman, aided by a wealthy socialite and a renegade CIA agent, waged a secret war against the Soviet Union, leading to its defeat in Afghanistan, and ultimately to its collapse. Working under director Mike Nichols, veteran visual effects supervisor Richard Edlund and a team at Whodoo EFX contributed shots designed to establish the time period, extend location settings and simulate combat action.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Overview: Chas Jarrett on Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Article by Estelle Shay
Tim Burton adapts the popular Steven Sondheim stage musical to the big screen in a moodier and more intimate retelling of the macabre tale, enlisting the aid of visual effects supervisor Chas Jarrett and a team at The Moving Picture Company to re-create a squalid Victorian England.
Overview: Joel Hynek and Kevin Elam on Jumper
Article by Joe Fordham
In the science fiction adventure Jumper, a teenager discovers the ability to teleport himself instantly to any locale. Jump effects and action sequences spanning the globe necessitated a major visual effects effort involving more than a dozen vendors led by visual effects supervisors Joel Hynek and Kevin Elam.
Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem
Overview: Q&A with Greg & Colin Strause
Interview by Jody Duncan
Brothers Colin and Greg Strause, founders of the visual effects company Hydraulx, discuss the highlights of their career in visual effects, culminating in their recent gig as directors of their first full-length feature film, Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem.
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