Rules of Robotics
Article by Jody Duncan
Starring Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver and Sharlto Copley, District 9 director Neill Blomkamp offers this action/thriller story about a robot child prodigy kidnapped by criminals and raised within their dysfunctional family. Weta Workshop provided practical props and effects, along with special effects supervisor Max Poolman. Visual effects were created by Image Engine, Ollin VFX Studio and The Embassy VFX.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
King Under the Mountain
Article by Joe Fordham
Hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) arrives at the climax of his adventure, leading a company of dwarves to the Lonely Mountain, where the dragon Smaug unleashes his wrath on the citizens of Lake-town, the dwarf leader Thorin (Richard Armitage) seeks the precious ancestral Arkenstone, and dark forces gather for an epic battle that threatens the future of Middle-earth. Director Peter Jackson concludes his 20-year filmmaking journey through J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy landscape, along with visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri, special makeup and creature designer Richard Taylor, armies of artists at Weta Digital and Weta Workshop, and NZFX special effects supervisor Steve Ingram.
Jupiter Ascending
Imperial Earth
Article by Joe Fordham
In this exotic science fiction fantasy, a genetically engineered superman (Channing Tatum) arrives on Earth to help an unsuspecting young cleaning lady (Mila Kunis) realize her destiny as the leader of an intergalactic super race. Visual effects supervisor Dan Glass reunites with The Matrix filmmakers Andy and Lana Wachowski to realize science fiction action and spectacular cosmic realms assisted by visual effects consultant John Gaeta, and artisans at Method Studios, Double Negative, Framestore, One Of Us, BlueBolt, The Aaron Sims Company, Halon Entertainment, Mokko Studio, Rodeo FX, BUF and The Third Floor. Special effects supervisor Trevor Wood, makeup effects supervisor Jeremy Woodhead and Ironhead Studios supplied practical effects.
The Long Run
Article by Jody Duncan
Louis Zamperini, an American long-distance runner and Olympian, joined the Army Air Forces as a B-24 bombardier during World War II, was shot down over the Pacific, survived on a raft for 47 days, only to be rescued, incarcerated and relentlessly tortured by his Japanese captors. In presenting this true tale of boundless courage and survival on screen, director Angelina Jolie engaged effect artists at Industrial Light & Magic, Rodeo FX, Animal Logic, Ghost VFX, Hybride and Lola VFX to replicate the 1936 Berlin Olympic venues and create intense sequences of aerial combat and the sea and land ordeals that followed.
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