A Tale of Two Cities
Article by Joe Fordham
For his follow-up to District 9, filmmaker Neill Blomkamp presents another dystopian future in which Earth's cities have degenerated, through disease and overpopulation, into giant slums patrolled by robot militia, while the rich and powerful reside in grand mansions on a gleaming orbital space station. To furnish the futuristic environments for both the ravaged Earth and the utopian Elysium, visual effects supervisor Peter Muyzers and visual effects producer Shawn Walsh reteamed with Image Engine, aided by effects artists at Whiskytree, MPC, The Embassy VFX, Method Studios and Industrial Light & Magic. Practical effects were provided by Weta Workshop and Kerner Optical.
World War Z
Zombie Wars
Article by Jody Duncan
Brad Pitt stars as a United Nations worker who combats a worldwide pandemic that threatens mankind by transforming the living into undead, mindless killers, in a film adaptation of Max Brooks' apocalyptic zombie invasion novel. Director Marc Forster called upon production visual effects supervisor Scott Farrar to oversee the effects work, produced by Framestore, Cinesite and MPC. In-camera zombie effects were realized by prosthetic makeup designer Mark Coulier, Legacy Effects design supervisor John Rosengrant, and animatronics supervisor Darren Robinson, while Neil Corbould served as special effects supervisor.
Pacific Rim
Kaiju Dynasty
Article by Joe Fordham
When giant monsters, known as 'Kaiju,' emerge from a subterranean crevice beneath the Pacific Ocean in director Guillermo del Toro's latest sci-fi thriller, nations respond with an international fleet of skyscraper-high robots, 'Jaegers,' controlled by pilots using neural controls. Visual effects supervisor John Knoll led the effects initiative to create the creatures and robots, working with Industrial Light & Magic and an array of supporting vendors that included Mirada Studios, 32TEN Studio, Ghost VFX, Hybride, Rodeo FX, Base FX and Mr. X. Special effects supervisors Laird McMurray, Clay Pinney and Rocco Larizza supplied on-set practical effects, while Spectral Motion and Legacy Effects provided specific robot, makeup and animatronics effects.
Man of Steel
Burnished Steel
Article by Jody Duncan
In Man of Steel, producer Christopher Nolan and director Zack Snyder bring to the screen the first major retelling of the Superman origin tale since Richard Donner's classic 1978 Superman. A new story twist involving an attack on earth by members of Superman's own alien race, intent on rebuilding their doomed planet, called for an ambitious slate of visual effects that were state-of-the-art, but also firmly grounded in seven decades of comic book lore. Leading the effort was visual effects supervisor John DesJardin, aided by principal effects houses Weta Digital, MPC, Scanline VFX and Double Negative, while special effects supervisors Joel Whist and Allen Hall, along with crews at Weta Workshop, handled all manner of practical, in-camera effects.
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