Star Trek
A New Enterprise
Article by Joe Fordham
For Star Trek, the 11th entry in the feature-film canon based on Gene Roddenberry's long-running television series, director J. J. Abrams reboots the franchise by returning to the series' original characters, Captain James T. Kirk and Vulcan Science Officer Spock, as they meet and compete at Starfleet Academy, then commence their illustrious careers aboard the newly-minted starship Enterprise. Visual effects supervisor Roger Guyett led teams at Industrial Light & Magic, Digital Domain and a handful of supporting vendors, who joined forces with special effects supervisor Burt Dalton and teams of makeup artists to reinvigorate the Star Trek universe.
Terminator Salvation
Rage Against the Machines
Article by Jody Duncan
In Terminator Salvation, fourth in the saga launched in 1984 with James Cameron's The Terminator, director McG expands the Terminator mythology, exploring the post-apocalyptic years that gave rise to resistance leader John Connor and his efforts to save mankind from extermination by machines. McG and visual effects supervisor Charles Gibson called upon Industrial Light & Magic, veterans of Terminator 2 and 3, and Stan Winston Studio, designers of the original endoskeletons, to create an array of killer robots that provided continuity with those seen in the earlier films, while Asylum Effects and Matte World Digital provided post-apocalyptic environments.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Blood Brothers
Article by Jody Duncan
Wolverine, the edgiest and most popular of the X-Men superheroes is given his due in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the fourth film in the franchise about a society of mutant outcasts, based on the Marvel Comics series. Director Gavin Hood explores Wolverine's violent past and ascendancy to membership in the X-Men, with help from visual effects supervisor Patrick McClung, who led a team of 17 vendors charged with digital mutant effects, and with bringing the story's dynamic action to life. Amalgamated Dynamics Incorporated provided practical makeup effects.
Angels & Demons
Infernal Designs
Article by Joe Fordham
In Angels & Demons, the second film based on novelist Dan Brown's runaway bestsellers exploring papal politics and intrigue, director Ron Howard and actor Tom Hanks return to follow Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon as he attempts to uncover a secret plot by an ancient society to destroy the Vatican. Returning visual effects supervisor Angus Bickerton led a team of vendors that included Double Negative, CIS Vancouver, The Moving Picture Company and The Senate in extending production designer Allan Cameron's expansive sets to create photorealistic Vatican interiors and exteriors.
Moon Madness
Article by Estelle Shay
An astronaut encounters a clone of himself as he prepares to return to earth following a three-year stint manning an energy mining operation based on the moon, in the low-budget indie film Moon. Inventive visual effects by Cinesite and miniatures by model supervisor Bill Pearson enabled first-time feature-film director Duncan Jones to bring the effects-intensive small film to the screen in a big way.
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