Iron Man 3
Rough Around the Edges
Article by Jody Duncan
Following two highly successful Iron Man outings helmed by Jon Favreau, director Shane Black deftly picks up the reins to deliver a third film in Marvel Studios' popular franchise. For the newest installment, in which Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) sees his personal world shattered at the hands of a terrorist who knows no bounds, visual effects supervisor Christopher Townsend orchestrated state-of-the-art effects with the help of artists at 17 effects facilities from around the world, including Weta Digital, Digital Domain, Scanline VFX, Luma Pictures, Framestore, Method Studios, Trixter Film, capital T and Cantina Creative.
Star Trek Into Darkness
Dark Side of the Earth
Article by Joe Fordham
Director J.J. Abrams returns for a second tour of duty aboard the starship Enterprise, reprising characters from Gene Roddenberry's beloved television series, and this time sending Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) off on an intergalactic manhunt for a genetically superior villain (Benedict Cumberbatch). Visual effects supervisor Roger Guyett, visual effects producer Ron Ames and special effects supervisor Burt Dalton conjured 23rd-century technology and strange new worlds in collaboration with makeup effects supervisor David Leroy Anderson and visual effects artists at Industrial Light & Magic, Pixomondo and Atomic Fiction.
Last Man Standing
Article by Joe Fordham
Resurrecting a project conceived years earlier, director Joseph Kosinski fashions a futuristic tale set sixty years after alien invaders have ransacked Earth, leaving drone maintenance technician Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) as the cleanup crew on the ravaged planet. Production designer Darren Gilford, conceptual designer Daniel Simon and visual effects supervisor Eric Barba collaborated with artists at Digital Domain and Pixomondo to bring to life the film's post-apocalyptic vistas and sophisticated space exploration technology. Special effects were overseen by Michael Meinardus.
White House Down
To the Rescue
Article by Barbara Robertson
Director Roland Emmerich, whose alien invaders blew up the White House in Independence Day, wreaks havoc on it yet again in White House Down, an action adventure in which Secret Service applicant John Cale (Channing Tatum) finds himself rescuing the President of the United States (Jamie Foxx) when a ruthless paramilitary group lays siege to the White House as he and his young daughter are on a tour. Action sequences relied heavily on visual effects overseen by longtime Emmerich collaborators Volker Engel and Marc Weigert of Uncharted Territory, with help from an array of vendors, including Method Studios, LUXX Studios, Hybride, Scanline VFX, Prime Focus VFX, Crazy Horse Effects and Mokko Studios.
Q&A: Eli Sasich
Interview by Jody Duncan
Aspiring filmmaker Eli Sasich discusses the challenges of bringing his low-budget and highly ambitious 21-minute science fiction short, HENRi, to fruition with a little help from his friends, including veteran effects practitioner Clark Schaffer, director of miniature photography Tim Angulo, producer Jefferson Richard and visual effects supervisor Matt Hoffman of BluFire Studios.
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