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CINEFEX
... The Journal Of Cinematic Illusions


- First issue: 1980
Special effects
From 1980, it explains the way special effects are made.
Only covers 2-3 films in every issue with many details and behind the scenes photos.
Publisher: Don Shay Editor: Jody Duncan
A quarterly publication. 112 colour A5 pages.
- Published by Cinefex
- Website: www.cinefex.com

Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Technical
Bimonthly
Magazine
from
Riverside
United States
Last updated:
18 October 2017

Special thanks for this page goes to:
Scott Matheson
Garry Malvern
CONTENTS: 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 GALLERIES: 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 All DATABASE INFO
155 listed issue(s)
Full listing

Issue 155
October 2017



Issue 154
August 2017



Issue 153
June/July 2017



Issue 152
April/May 2017



Issue 151
February/March 2017



Issue 150
December 2016



Issue 149
October/November 2016



Issue 148
August/September 2016



Issue 147
June/July 2016



Issue 146
April/May 2016

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: When Gods Collide
Director Zack Snyder sets the stage for combat with production designer Patrick Tatopoulos, visual effects supervisor John DesJardin and special effects supervisor Joel Whist, with other practical effects supplied by Ironhead Studio, Film Illusions and Vehicle Effects, along with visual effects pugilists at Scanline VFX, MPC, Weta Digital, Double Negative, Shade VFX, Teamworks Digital, The Resistance VFX and Gentle Giant Studios.
Deadpool: Smart-Mouthed Glory
In his feature directing debut, Tim Miller helms Deadpool, starring Ryan Reynolds as Marvel's outrageous anti-hero, who gains accelerated healing powers following an unauthorized military experiment. Deadpool's unique blend of violent action and dark humor is brought to the screen with the help of artists at Luma Pictures, Image Engine, Digital Domain, Rodeo FX, Ollin VFX, Atomic Fiction and Digiscope, under the supervision of visual effects supervisor Jonathan Rothbart, with practical duties performed on set by special effects supervisor Alex Burdett and makeup effects supervisor Bill Corso.
Hail, Caesar! :History in the Making
Directors Joel and Ethan Coen transport audiences to the Technicolor world of the 1950s with the quirky Hail, Caesar!, in which Hollywood fixer Eddie Mannix tries everything in his power to keep a movie studio's wayward stars in line. With an all-star cast including George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum, Hail, Caesar! sees visual effects supervisor Dan Schrecker and artists at Psyop, together with special effects supervisor Steve Cremin, using effects techniques both old and new to re-create the cinematic magic of a bygone era.
The 5th Wave: Cassie's World
Sony Pictures Entertainment and director J Blakeson bring author Rick Yancey's popular novel series to the screen. Starring Chloë Grace Moretz and Liev Schreiber, the film follows Cassie Sullivan, a young woman struggling to survive the latest in the waves of alien invasion as she searches for her lost brother. The production required interesting special makeup effects by Mark James Ross, as well as a variety of high-end visual effects by Shade VFX, Scanline VFX, Spin VFX, Clearcut FX, Method Studios, The Embassy and Mammal Studios.
Gods of Egypt: Q&A: Eric Durst
Visionary director Alex Proyas conjures a magical world inspired by the mythology of Ancient Egypt. In this special Q&A, visual effects supervisor Eric Durst talks gods, monsters and the truly monumental 2,550-shot workload shared between Iloura, Rising Sun Pictures, Cinesite, Tippett Studio, Rodeo FX, Fin VFX, Raynault VFX, UPP, Makeshift VFX, Comen VFX and Crafty Apes, working from extensive previs by Proof, Inc.


Issue 145
February/March 2016



Issue 144
December 2015

The Martian An Abundant Solitude Article by Jody Duncan,
Director Ridley Scott helms 20th Century Fox's screen adaptation of The Martian, the bestselling novel by Andy Weir. In the story, astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead by his crew and left stranded alone on the surface of Mars. Exhibiting extraordinary courage and ingenuity, Watney manages to stay alive on the hostile planet and, eventually, to resume contact with NASA, which — working with agencies around the world — launches an ambitious and high-risk mission to bring Watney home. Visual effects supervisor Richard Stammers oversaw the film's 1,100-shot visual effects assignment, which called upon the concerted efforts of MPC, Framestore, The Senate and others to create alien Red Planet environments, large-scale dust storms, various earthbound locations, and suspenseful, dynamic space shots. Special effects supervisor Neil Corbould orchestrated the film's practical, in-camera effects.
In the Heart of the Sea High Seas Drifter Article by Jody Duncan
Ron Howard directs this film, starring Chris Hemsworth, about the attack of the whaling ship Essex by a monstrously large and aggressive sperm whale that results in the loss of the ship and most of her crew. The true and tragic tale was the inspiration for Herman Melville's 19th century classic, Moby-Dick. The film's big whale and seafaring action were realized, in part, through visual effects supervised by Jody Johnson and delivered by Double Negative, while Rodeo FX extended art department sets representing 19th century Nantucket, Massachusetts. Special effects supervisor Mark Holt engineered gimbals to simulate a full-scale Essex set at sea, and also created in-camera storm effects, augmented to a raging squall by Scanline.
Crimson Peak A Monstrous Love Article by Joe Fordham
Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro brings his stylish take to a Gothic horror story, set in a crumbling mansion in Victorian northern England, where a young newlywed (Mia Wasikowska) discovers that her charming, sophisticated husband (Tom Hiddleston) and his cold-hearted sister (Jessica Chastain) are harboring supernatural secrets. Special effects supervisor Laird McMurray provided practical on-set effects, along with makeup effects supervisor David Marti and DDT Efectos Especiales. Visual effects supervisor Dennis Berardi and visual effects producer Jo Hughes supplied apparitions and otherworldly phenomena at Toronto visual effects studio, Mr. X.
Everest The Death Zone Article by Joe Fordham
Universal Pictures presents a gripping account of a mountain-climbing expedition that, in 1996, attempted to scale the world's tallest peak and instead met with tragedy and terror. Director Baltasar Kormákur retraced the ill-fated journey on locations in the Himalayas and the Dolomites, and studios in Rome and London. Makeup and hair designer Jan Sewell and special effects supervisor Richard Van Den Bergh assisted the production with visual effects supervisor Dađi Einarsson, visual effects producer Roma O'Connor and artists at Reykjavík Visual Effects, Framestore, Important Looking Pirates, One of Us, Union Visual Effects, Milk VFX and Stereo D.


Issue 143
Fall 2015

Ant-Man
Microcosmos
Article by Joe Fordham
Disney and Marvel Studios introduce the latest character to the Marvel Comics Universe with biochemist Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), a former crimefighter who recruits cat burglar Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) to battle a rival weapons manufacturer in the development of a serum that can shrink a protagonist to ant size, imbuing microscopic combatants with super powers. Visual effects supervisor Jake Morrison and visual effects producer Diana Giorgiutti explored Lang's action-packed adventures in the microcosm along with artists at Double Negative, Method Studios, Luma Pictures, Industrial Light & Magic, Cinesite, Lola VFX and The Third Floor.

Terminator Genisys
Wrinkles in Time
Article by Jody Duncan
Alan Taylor directs the fifth entry in the Terminator franchise launched by James Cameron in 1984. In the new film, an alternate timeline reunites characters Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), her son John Conner (Jason Clarke) and Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney). At the heart of the action/adventure are dueling Terminators, including the aging T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) from the first two Terminator films. Visual effects supervisor Janek Sirrs oversaw approximately 1,200 visual effects shots generated at Double Negative, MPC, Lola VFX, One of Us, and Method Studios. Special effects supervisor Mark Hawker provided on-set effects, while Legacy Effects continued its long history with the franchise, building practical endoskeletons.

Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation
Keeping it Real
Article by Jody Duncan
Tom Cruise returns as IMF agent Ethan Hunt in this fifth entry in the phenomenally successful run of Mission Impossible films, based on the '60s-era television series. In the film, written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, the IMF team is targeted for destruction by an equally ingenious and well-trained 'Syndicate,' requiring its most audacious feats of espionage and daring to date — matched by stunts and effects orchestrated by stunt coordinator Wade Eastwood and special effects supervisor Dominic Tuohy. Double Negative generated visual effects, under the guidance and direction of visual effects supervisor David Vickery.

The Walk
Skywalker
Article by Joe Fordham
Sony Pictures and Columbia Tristar present filmmaker Robert Zemeckis' gripping dramatization of the true story of Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a French high-wire artist who in 1974 attempted to walk a steel cable strung between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Visual effects supervisor Kevin Baillie and special effects supervisor Ryal Cosgrove provided enhancements to wire-walking environments, which Zemeckis and his production team conjured in IMAX 3D, assisted by visual effects artists at Atomic Fiction, Rodeo FX and UPP, and vertiginous stereographic conversions handled at Legend 3D.



Issue 142
July/August/September 2015



Issue 141
April/May/June 2015



Issue 140
January/February/March 2015

Interstellar: That Our Feet May Leave
Article by Jody Duncan
Christopher Nolan directs Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain in an adventure story about interstellar space travel. Co-written by Nolan and brother Jonathan, the film is a journey of discovery, realized in part through stunning visual effects images created by Double Negative. As he had with the Dark Knight Trilogy and other films, however, Nolan sought to capture as much action as possible in-camera, with on-set special effects orchestrated by Scott Fisher, and other practical effects by New Deal Studios.
Exodus: Gods and Kings: Gods and Kings
Article by Jody Duncan
Christian Bale, Sigourney Weaver and Aaron Paul star in director Ridley Scott's retelling of the biblical account of Moses leading the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt. Spain and Mexico stood in for Egypt throughout filming. Double Negative provided visual effects to imbue the film with a grandeur and epic scale befitting its source material, with additional effects support from MPC, The Senate, Method Studios and The Third Floor.
The Zero Theorem: Nowhere Man
Article by Joe Fordham
A neurotic computer genius (Christoph Waltz), employed by a vast futuristic company named Mancrom, attempts to find a mathematical formula that may lead to the meaning of life, but instead falls in love with a beautiful avatar (Mélanie Thierry) and slowly loses his mind. Filmmaker Terry Gilliam brings his idiosyncratic visual flair to create a nightmarish technological world and phantasmagoric landscapes working with production designer David Warren, special effects supervisor Nick Allder, and visual effects supervisors Felix Lepadatu, Jonah Loop and Fredrik Nord at LenscareFX, Haymaker, The Chimney Pot Group and Bold Turtle Productions.
Q&A: Tom Woodruff Jr. and Alec Gillis
Article by Joe Fordham
An in-depth look into the history and more recent adventures of special makeup effects designers and creature creators Tom Woodruff Jr. and Alec Gillis, co-founders of Amalgamated Dynamics, Incorporated. Woodruff and Gillis discuss their backgrounds in the burgeoning 1980s creature effects industry, early assignments at Stan Winston Studio, and their creative partnership that has spanned 25 years, encompassing Death Becomes Her, Starship Troopers, Tremors, multiple Alien films, and more recently Fire City: The Interpreter of Signs and Harbinger Down — a pair of independent monster movies, wrought with passion and 'crowdfunded' resources, that mark Woodruff's and Gillis' feature directing debuts.


Issue 139
October/November/December 2014



Issue 138
July/August/September 2014



Issue 137
April/May/June 2014

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Pete's Dragon
Article by Joe Fordham
Filmmaker Peter Jackson continues his epic trilogy, following plucky hobbit Bilbo Baggins to his fateful encounter with Smaug the Terrible, an ancient dragon that resides in the dwarf kingdom of Erebor. Special effects supervisor Steve Ingram, Weta Workshop creature designer Richard Taylor, senior visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri and crews at Weta Digital return to the Middle-earth of J.R.R. Tolkien, creating skin-shifter Beorn, giant arachnid denizens of Mirkwood, elven woodland realms, the Lake-town of Esgaroth and the subterranean terrors of the Lonely Mountain.
Game of Thrones
Songs of Ice and Fire
Article by Jody Duncan
Based on the bestselling books by George R.R. Martin, the award-winning HBO series has won legions of fans with its multi-faceted tale of power won and lost in the fictional land of Westeros. The show's epic environments and mythical creatures required visual effects of a scope and level of excellence rarely seen in episodic television. Interviews with visual effects supervisor Joe Bauer and artists from Pixomondo, BlueBolt, Screen Scene, Spin VFX, Gradient VFX, Entity VFX, Look Effects and Peanut FX take you behind the scenes of the Game of Thrones phenomenon.
RoboCop
RoboCop Retooled
Article by Jody Duncan
Twenty-seven years after director Paul Verhoeven introduced the futuristic cyborg crime-fighter, Robocop, director José Padilha tackles a retelling of the story. Whereas the original featured only old-school optical and practical effects, the updated Robocop relies on an artful combination of masterful practical suits and makeup effects by Legacy Effects, and visually stunning digital effects shots executed by Framestore, Method Studios, Soho VFX, Mr. X, Modus FX yU+Co and Cinesite.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Beautiful Dreamer
Article by Joe Fordham
Humorist James Thurbe's slender tale of daydreaming underachiever Walter Mitty, previously filmed in 1947 as a zany romp starring Danny Kaye, is updated as a wry and charming modern-day romantic fantasy starring and directed by Ben Stiller. Visual effects supervisor Guillaume Rocheron and special effects supervisor Mark Hawker bring Mitty's whimsies to life with a wealth of vendors, including Framestore, MPC, LOOK Effects, Hydraulx, Soho VFX, Hatch, Lola Visual Effects, Mr. X, Method Studios, Rhythm & Hues, Phosphene, Company 3 and Blind Squirrel. Mike Marino's Prosthetic Renaissance provided special makeup effects.


Issue 136
January/February/March 2014



Issue 135
October/November/December 2013



Issue 134
July/August/September 2013



Issue 133
April/May/June 2013

Oz: The Great and Powerful: Tempests and Teapots
Article by Jody Duncan
In this prequel to The Wizard of Oz, a conman's illusionist powers are put to the test when he is magically transported to the enchanted Emerald City, and runs afoul of three witches. Director Sam Raimi shot the film entirely on sound stages with help from special effects supervisor John Frazier, while visual effects supervisor Scott Stokdyk brought magical realms to life with the aid of Sony Pictures Imageworks, Luma Pictures, Evil Eye and Digiscope.
Jack the Giant Slayer: Giant Steps
Article by Joe Fordham
Director Bryan Singer rejuvenates an ancient English folktale in this film about a medieval farmboy who unwittingly causes a gargantuan beanstalk to grow up into the clouds, unleashing a fearsome race of giants who inhabit a vast floating island in the sky. Visual effects supervisor Hoyt Yeatman worked with Digital Domain to realize the giants with state-of-the-art performance capture, and with MPC, Rodeo FX, Soho VFX and Hatch to create fantasy environments and other effects.
Skyfall: Old Dog, New Tricks
Article by Joe Fordham
James Bond returns for his 23rd screen adventure in this high-octane caper involving a sinister cyber-terrorist with a grudge against the international spy community. Director Sam Mendes energized the film with a bold blend of full-scale practical effects engineered by special effects supervisor Chris Corbould, along with miniature and digital effects provided by visual effects supervisor Steven Begg and a host of vendors that included MPC, Cinesite, Double Negative, Framestore, Peerless Camera Company and others.
Les Misérables: At the Barricade
Article by Jody Duncan
A beloved stage musical is given new life on the big screen in this film adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic novel Les Misérables. Director Tom Hooper imbued the film with a gritty realism rarely exhibited in the musical genre, calling upon artists at Double Negative, The Mill and Utopia VFX to expand the scope of the production by digitally extending stage sets to authentically replicate 18th-century Parisian street scenes and other period settings.


Issue 132
January/February/March 2013

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
There and Back Again
Article by Jody Duncan
In this first installment in a planned three-part prequel, director Peter Jackson takes us back to J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth and a young Bilbo Baggins, who joins up with 13 dwarves in a quest to reclaim stolen treasure from the dragon Smaug. As he did in Lord of the Rings, Jackson collaborated closely with his effects teams at Weta Digital and Weta Workshop, with the latter providing dwarf designs and prosthetics, while the former offered up extensive digital environments for the film’s many fantasy settings, as well as dwarf scale effects and a state-of-the-art Gollum that benefitted from improvements in on-set performance capture and other technological advances in animation.
Cloud Atlas
Causes and Consequences
Article by Barbara Robertson
Adapted by filmmakers Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer from a from a sprawling novel by David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas covers six intersecting stories, and spans continents and time periods as it follows the transformation of a single soul through many lifetimes. The film's sweeping storyline relied on prosthetic makeup effects by Jeremy Woodhead and Daniel Parker, as well as countless visual effects divided among fifteen vendors worldwide, led by visual effects supervisors Dan Glass and Stephane Ceretti, who provided everything from set extensions and enhancements to full CG environments for a futuristic metropolis.
Life of Pi
The Calculus of Pi
Article by Jody Duncan
Ang Lee directs the film adaptation of Yann Martel’s award-winning novel about an Indian boy, Pi Patel, who, as sole survivor of a shipwreck that takes the life of his entire family, finds himself adrift at sea for many months in a small lifeboat shared with a Bengal tiger. Visual effects supervisors Bill Westenhofer worked with animation experts at Rhythm & Hues to achieve an utterly convincing computer generated tiger, who progresses from healthy to emaciated, while Legacy Effects provided animatronics support. Other contributing vendors included MPC, Crazy Horse Effects, LOOK Effects, Christov Effects, Buf, Lola VFX and Halon Entertainment.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Q&A: Ray Tintori
Interview by Janine Pourroy
In this in-depth Q&A, special effects unit director Ray Tintori sheds light on how the makers of this Cannes and Sundance Film Festival favorite, about a young child who fights to survive poverty and Mother Nature on a storm-threatened atoll, realized the film's principal effect — the mythical ‘aurochs’ beasts — on a shoestring budget, through the use of creative and quirky practical solutions.


Issue 131
October/November/December 2012

The Dark Knight Rises: A Farewell to Arms
Article by Jody Duncan
For the final dazzling installment of his epic 'Dark Knight Trilogy,' director Christopher Nolan pulls out all the stops as Batman faces a ruthless mercenary and his most formidable opponent in an existential battle for Gotham. Relying heavily on in-camera effects, Nolan called upon special effects veteran Chris Corbould to orchestrate a range of spectacular effects sequences for the film, while Double Negative, under the guidance of visual effects supervisor Paul Franklin, contributed equally stunning imagery to realize Batman’s complex world.
The Amazing Spider-Man: Return of the Webslinger
Article by Joe Fordham
In this reboot of the popular franchise featuring Marvel Comics’ web-slinging superhero, director Marc Webb steps in with an all-new cast to explore Spider-Man's origins as Peter Parker, and his entanglements with a reptilian shape-shifter known as The Lizard. Sony Pictures Imageworks reprised its role as lead visual effects house on the film, with oversight from senior visual effects supervisor Jerome Chen and animation supervisor Randall William Cook, and a host of supporting visual effects vendors. In-camera illusions were the work of special effects supervisor John Frazier, stunt coordinator Vic Armstrong and Legacy Effects.
Total Recall: Recall Redux
Article by Jody Duncan
Colin Farrell assumes Arnold Schwarzenegger’s role as Douglas Quaid in a remake of the 1990 blockbuster, based on a futuristic tale by Philip K. Dick about a man who discovers that his memories are not his own, but have been implanted by sinister forces. Director Len Wiseman updated the original film's optical effects with a startling digital re-imagining of a futuristic, post-Apocalyptic world, delivered by lead effects house Double Negative and a supporting array of boutique vendors that included The Senate, Baseblack, Prime Focus, Lipsync VFX and MPC. Legacy Effects provided suits for an army of robotic police.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: Slayer in Chief
Article by Joe Fordham
Director Timur Bekmambetov brings novelist Seth Grahame-Smith’s satirical take on the life and times of America's 16th president to the big screen in this tongue-in-cheek horror film depicting Lincoln as fearless slayer of an insidious vampire sect responsible for enslaving the South. Special effects supervisor Matthew Kutcher and makeup effects supervisor Greg Cannom created Civil War battles and vampire effects, while visual effects supervisors Craig Lyn and Michael Owens oversaw period enhancements and stylized monster mayhem by more than a dozen vendors worldwide, including Weta Digital, Rodeo FX, Soho VFX, Method Studios, CGF and Spin VFX.


Issue 130
July/August/September 2012

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2nd cover
The Avengers: The Avengers Initiative
Article by Jody Duncan Jesser
Six of Marvel Comics' iconic superheroes - Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Hawkeye, Thor and Black Widow - come together in a clash of egos and machismo to thwart Thor's power-hungry brother Loki, who plots to enslave Earth's inhabitants with an invading alien army. Director Joss Whedon called upon visual effects supervisor Janek Sirrs and industry powerhouses Industrial Light & Magic and Weta Digital, aided by a dozen supporting vendors around the globe, to deliver the film's delightful blend of mayhem and humor.
Prometheus: Alien Genesis
Article by Joe Fordham
Filmmaker Ridley Scott returns to the science fiction genre with Prometheus, picking up the threads of his Alien mythology with yet another nightmarish tale in which a deep-space exploration team is sent to probe the origins of life on a distant planetoid. Visual effects supervisor Richard Stammers and creature and makeup effects designers Neal Scanlan and Conor O'Sullivan joined forces with MPC, Weta Digital, Fuel VFX, Luma Pictures and other vendors to bring the alien world, its futuristic technology and terrifying inhabitants to life.
Battleship: War Games
Article by Joe Fordham
Peter Berg directs this ocean-going sci-fi war film, in which Navy seamen battle malevolent extraterrestrial spacecraft that rise from the ocean floor to wreak widespread havoc. Industrial Light & Magic visual effects supervisors Pablo Helman and Grady Cofer led the effort to create naval hardware, alien vessels and creature effects with an eye toward a gritty realism. Contributing vendors included Image Engine, Scanline VFX, New Deal Studios and The Embassy Visual Effects, while Burt Dalton handled special effects.
Snow White and the Huntsman: Grim Fairy Tale
Article by Jody Duncan Jesser
Veteran commercial director Rupert Sanders makes his feature film debut with this lush, artistic adventure based on the classic Snow White fairy tale. Relying on old-school practical techniques in combination with visual effects to realize many of the film's fantasy elements, Sanders brings his vision to the screen with the help of visual effects supervisors Cedric Nicolas-Troyan and Phil Brennan, and more than a half-dozen vendors, including Legacy Effects, Digital Domain, Double Negative, Pixomondo, Lola Visual Effects, Baseblack, The Mill and Rhythm & Hues.


Issue 129
April/May/June 2012

John Carter
Under the Moons of Mars
Article by Joe Fordham
Walt Disney Studios and director Andrew Stanton join forces for an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' pulp fiction adventure series about a Civil War veteran mysteriously whisked to Mars who becomes deeply entrenched in the affairs of its bizarre inhabitants. Legacy Effects provided creature designs and maquettes, while special effects supervisor Chris Corbould handled in-camera work. Visual effects supervisors Peter Chiang and Sue Rowe oversaw creature animation and environmental enhancements from principal vendors Double Negative, Cinesite and MPC.
Red Tails
The Long, Long War
Article by Jody Duncan Jesser
A pet project of producer George Lucas for 20 years, Red Tails is based on the real-life experiences of the Tuskegee airmen, a segregated squadron of African-American fighter pilots that distinguished itself during World War II. Industrial Light & Magic set the standard for the film's dynamic and authentic-looking aerial combat scenes, producing its own slate of shots, and coordinating the work of an international effects contingent that included Universal Production Partners, Pixomondo, Rodeo FX, Rising Sun Pictures and Ollin Studio.
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Ingenious
Article by Jody Duncan Jesser
In this fourth, and most ambitious of the 'Mission: Impossible' films, the Impossible Missions Force executes a bold plan to clear its name after being blamed for a massive explosion at the Kremlin. Director Brad Bird ramps up the action with spectacular sequences calling for state-of-the-art work from Industrial Light & Magic, Fuel VFX, Rodeo FX, AFX Studio and other vendors around the world, led by visual effects supervisor John Knoll. Adding to the thrill quotient were daring stunts by Tom Cruise, and practical effects supervised by Mike Meinardus.
The Adventures of Tintin
A Thirst for Adventure
Article by Joe Fordham
Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson join forces to present an animated take on the illustrated adventures of boy reporter Tintin and his wire-haired terrier, Snowy - iconic characters in the French-language comic strip series by Georges Remi, aka Herge. Directed by Spielberg, this first in a planned trilogy combines several Tintin tales into an origin story, realized by performers on motion capture stages and brought to life in stereographic computer animation by Weta Digital and Giant Studios.


Issue 128
January/February/March 2012

Real Steel
Steel Works
Article by Jody Duncan Jesser
To create the robotic stars of Real Steel, set in a near-future world where professional boxing has been relegated to mechanical pugilists, director Shawn Levy relied on a seamless blend of practical and digital effects, with John Rosengrant and his team at Legacy Effects providing full-size animatronic puppets, while visual effects supervisor Erik Nash and a crew at Digital Domain devised their CG counterparts. Also lending a hand were Giant Studios, which motion-captured live performers in choreographed fights to provide critical data for the animators, and Glenn Derry's Video Hawks, which supplied virtual cameras and Simulcam setups for the complex fight action.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Render Unto Ceasar
Article by Joe Fordham
In this prequel to the popular franchise inspired by Pierre Boulle's science fiction novel about intelligent apes that rise up against their human captors, director Rupert Wyatt broke with tradition, abandoning the practical simian makeups of the previous ape films in favor of an all-digital approach. Weta Digital, under the supervision of Joe Letteri and Dan Lemmon, rose to the challenge, generating super-chimp Caesar and armies of photorealistic apes with the help of on-set motion capture of ape actors led by veteran mocap performer Andy Serkis and motion choreographer Terry Notary.
Hugo
Man in the Moon
Article by Joe Fordham
For his latest film, based on Brian Selznick's illustrated children's novel about a young boy who befriends once-great cinema pioneer Georges Meli?s, now living a reclusive life as a toymaker in 1920s Paris, director Martin Scorcese reunited with frequent collaborator Robert Legato who oversaw the visual effects needed to create lush period environments in stereoscopic 3D. Pixomondo served as primary visual effects vendor, aided by Uncharted Territory, ILM, Matte World Digital, and miniature effects provider New Deal Studios. Joss Williams handled special effects.
The Tree of Life
Creationisms
Article by Jody Duncan Jesser
To achieve a 22-minute long sequence featuring the creation of the universe through a series of stunning and scientifically sound images in The Tree of Life, director Terrence Malick melded old-school techniques by filmmaking pioneer Douglas Trumbull with digital effects orchestrated by visual effects supervisor Dan Glass and crews at Prime Focus, Double Negative, One of Us and Method Studios.


Issue 127
October/November/December 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger
Soldier Blue
Article by Joe Fordham
In this spirited adaptation of Marvel Comics' World-War-II-era comic book, chronicling the transformation of a puny, but patriotic, army reject into a turbo-charged warrior tasked with thwarting the Nazis, director Joe Johnston brings to life period settings and retro high-tech gadgetry with the help of visual effects supervisor Christopher Townsend and more than a dozen vendors led by Double Negative, including Lola VFX, Matte World Digital, Luma Pictures, Framestore, Cinesite, Fuel VFX, Method Studios and The Senate VFX. Paul Corbould supervised special effects and David White guided makeup effects.
Cowboys & Aliens
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Article by Jody Duncan
Director Jon Favreau blends two classic genres to create this clever sci-fi/western hybrid in which Old West gunslingers, ranchers and Indians join forces to battle aliens from another galaxy that have invaded their small town. Favreau teamed with Industrial Light & Magic and Legacy Effects - with an assist from The Embassy, Shade VFX, New Deal Studios, Fuel VFX and Kerner Optical - to create the film's terrifying aliens, alien ships and hardware, while Daniel Sudick oversaw on-set special effects.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Wizard War
Article by Joe Fordham
For the eighth and final film in the series, based on the best-selling childrens' books by J. K. Rowling, boy wizard Harry Potter makes a final stand against his lifelong nemesis, Lord Voldemort, with the help of his many friends at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. To depict the epic battle, returning director David Yates re-teamed with special effects supervisor John Richardson, makeup effects supervisor Nick Dudman and visual effects supervisor Tim Burke, assisted by an army of effects artisans that encompassed thirteen visual effects vendors and seven facilities involved in stereoscopic conversion.
Anonymous
This Realm, This England
Article by Jody Duncan
Best known for his sci-fi/disaster films, director Roland Emmerich shuns cinematic pyrotechnics in favor of Elizabethan-era political intrigue and character-driven drama in Anonymous. To capture the film's Shakespearean-era settings, Emmerich relied on extensive use of greenscreens and cutting-edge digital technology, calling upon visual effects supervisors Marc Weigert and Volker Engel of Uncharted Territory - his filmmaking collaborators for more than two decades - to provide the photorealistic computer generated environments.


Issue 126
July/August/September 2011

X-Men: First Class
First Class Effects
Article by Jody Duncan
In this franchise 'reboot,' exploring the genesis of X-Men's warring mutant factions, director Matthew Vaughn and visual effects designer John Dykstra devised shots illustrating the super-powers of both new and returning characters, aided by a visual effects contingent comprised of MPC, Cinesite, Weta Digital, Rhythm & Hues, Luma Pictures, Digital Domain and The Senate. Complementing the visual effects were mutant makeups provided by Amalgamated Dynamics Incorporated, makeup artist David Elsey and Spectral Motion.
Thor
God of Thunder
Article by Joe Fordham
Director Kenneth Branagh brings the hammer-wielding Norse deity to life in this action-packed tale based on the popular Marvel Comics series. Under supervisor Wesley Sewell, seven vendors handled the visual effects work, including Whiskytree, BUF Compagnie and Digital Domain, which devised the film's mythic realms, and Luma Pictures, which focused on earthbound effects. Special effects were overseen by Daniel Sudick, while Legacy Effects handled special makeup effects.
Priest
Holy Warriors
Article by Jody Duncan
To depict the stark, alternate-reality world of Priest - the setting for this post-apocalyptic tale about a centuries-long war between man and vampires - director Scott Charles Stewart called upon visual effects supervisor Jonathan Rothbart to oversee the creation of vampires and environments in some 800 shots, divided among an array of effect facilities including Svengali FX, Tippett Studio, The Senate, Spin VFX and Zoic Studios. KNB EFX Group contributed vampire creature suits, makeup effects and dummies.
Source Code
Reality Deconstructed
Article by Joe Fordham
Following his directorial debut with Moon, filmmaker Duncan Jones returns with Source Code, a techno-thriller about a covert operation's use of immersive virtual reality to investigate a terrorist explosion onboard a Chicago commuter train. Special effects supervisor Ryal Cosgrove, makeup effects supervisor Adrien Morot and visual effects supervisor Louis Morin furnished reality-bending effects, with the help of Modus FX, Rodeo FX, MPC, Oblique FX, Fly Studio and Mr. X.


Issue 125
April/May/June 2011

Battle: Los Angeles
Aliens in the City of Angels
Article by Jody Duncan
In Battle: Los Angeles, a documentary-style action film that follows a squad of Marines defending the city of Los Angeles from invading hordes of extraterrestrials, director Jonathan Liebesman presents a gritty view of modern warfare, aided by visual effects supervisor Everett Burrell and an international complement of vendors that included Cinesite, Hydraulx, Luma Pictures, The Embassy, Matte World Digital, Spin VFX and Soho VFX. Makeup effects supervisor Joel Harlow and his crew contributed practical aliens.
Rango
The Good, the Bad and the Dusty
Article by Jody Duncan
Industrial Light & Magic and director Gore Verbinski, joined forces to make their computer-animated feature debut with Rango, a comical tale about a hapless chameleon-turned-hero stranded in a harsh desert environment, who ends up taking a stand against bandits to save a small western town. Verbinski called upon veteran visual effects supervisors John Knoll and Tim Alexander to head the ambitious project, and engaged celebrated concept artist Mark 'Crash' McCreery - in his first credit as production designer - to oversee the film's distinctly un-animated look.
Black Swan
Metamorphosis
Article by Joe Fordham
Director Darren Aronofsky charts the descent into madness of a young prima ballerina, who succumbs to backstage pressures and rivalries during a production of Swan Lake in Black Swan. Using surreal and disturbing imagery to create the manifestations of Nina's hallucinatory decline, Aronofsky called upon frequent collaborator Dan Schrecker to oversee visual effects, and Mike Marino at Prosthetic Renaissance to handle makeup effects. LOOK Effects provided visual effects for the film.
Sucker Punch
Nightmares and Dreamscapes
Article by Jody Duncan
To realize filmmaker Zack Snyder's exotic fantasy Sucker Punch, about a young woman wrongfully incarcerated in a mental asylum who escapes into a succession of alternate realities, production designer Rick Carter and visual effects supervisor John DesJardin brought to life settings both real and imagined, with the help of key vendors Animal Logic, The Moving Picture Company, Pixomondo and Prime Focus. Also assisting in the creation of creatures and effects were special effects supervisor Joel Whist and prosthetic artists at Quantum Creation.


Issue 124
January/February/March 2011

TRON: Legacy
Legacy System
Article by Jody Duncan
For TRON: Legacy, the long-overdue sequel to the 1982 cult favorite, TRON, about a computer programmer who becomes trapped within a videogame's virtual realms, director Joseph Kosinski and visual effects supervisor Eric Barba took advantage of sophisticated digital and stereoscopic imaging techniques to give the film its modern spin. Teams at Digital Domain, Mr. X, Ollin Studio, Prime Focus and Whiskytree generated the spectacular visuals of the sequel's computer gaming world, while Quantum Creation built specialty costumes featuring cutting-edge lighting technology.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
The Last Enemy
Article by Joe Fordham
In this first of a two-part climax, adapted from the seventh and final volume of J.K. Rowling's hugely popular children's book series, wizard Harry Potter and his two best friends roam beyond the walls of Hogwarts in search of the scattered fragments of the evil Lord Voldemort's soul. Returning director David Yates reunited with visual effects supervisor Tim Burke, special effects supervisor John Richardson and makeup effects supervisor Nick Dudman to bring the newest and darkest film in the franchise to fruition. Lending a hand were series veterans Double Negative, The Moving Picture Company, Framestore, Cinesite, Rising Sun Pictures and Baseblack.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Sea Quest
Article by Joe Fordham
Director Michael Apted took the helm of the third film based on the C.S. Lewis' fantasy novels, as the narrative picks up with the Pevensie children joining King Caspian and a band of mythological creatures on a sea voyage to save Narnia. Makeup effects artists at KNB EFX Group and special effects supervisor Brian Cox collaborated with visual effects supervisor Angus Bickerton and teams at The Moving Picture Company, Framestore, Cinesite, The Mill and The Senate to create an array of all-new creatures, fantasy environments and nautical settings.
Hereafter
Visions of the Hereafter
Article by Jody Duncan
To realize an intense and breathtaking simulation of a massive tsunami that destroys an ocean-front resort town in the opening of Hereafter, director Clint Eastwood relied on the expertise of visual effects supervisor Michael Owens, and the work of artists at Scanline, led by visual effects supervisors Stephan Trojansky and Bryan Grill. The effects teams also provided artful glimpses into the afterlife, the exploration of which is the unifying theme of the film's interwoven storylines.


Issue 123
October/November/December 2010

Inception
In Dreams
Article by Joe Fordham
In this sophisticated science fiction thriller, written and directed by Christopher Nolan, a group of covert operatives infiltrates the dreams of unsuspecting victims for the purposes of corporate espionage. The film's extensive use of mind-bending dreamscapes and enhanced realities was achieved through a combination of practical effects by special effects supervisor Chris Corbould, miniatures by New Deal Studio, and digital work by Double Negative, under the guidance of visual effects supervisor Paul Franklin.
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
Arabian Fantasy
Article by Joe Fordham
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Mike Newell teamed to create Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, a lavish adventure-fantasy set in 6th-century Persia, and based on the popular 1980s Ubisoft videogame. To achieve the film's magical time-bending effects and exotic fantasy realms, Newell turned to special effects supervisor Trevor Wood, who oversaw live-action set pieces, and to visual effects supervisor Tom Wood, who oversaw the work of multiple vendors, including Double Negative, The Moving Picture Company, Cinesite and Framestore.
The A-Team
Plan "A"
Article by Jody Duncan
Adapted from a popular '80s-era television show, and filled with explosive, over-the-top action, The A-Team follows the exploits of a quartet of dishonorably discharged Army Rangers who become a crack covert fighting unit. Director Joe Carnahan relied on visual effects supervisor Jamie Price and an array of vendors that included Rhythm & Hues, Digital Domain, Weta Digital and Hydraulx to ramp up the action in the air and on the ground, in concert with special effects supervisor Mike Vezina's practical gags.
The Last Airbender
Braving the Elements
Article by Jody Duncan
In The Last Airbender, M. Night Shyamalan's live-action feature adaptation of an animated television series, a young boy, equipped with the power to manipulate the elemental forces of air, water, earth and fire, attempts to restore order and balance to a war-ravaged world. Visual effects supervisor Pablo Helman and his team at Industrial Light & Magic served up a vast and wide-ranging menu of digital effects for the mystical fantasy, with an assis


Issue 122
July/August/September 2010

Iron Man 2: Iron Clad Article by Jody Duncan
In Iron Man 2, the much-anticipated follow-up to his 2008 blockbuster, director Jon Favreau reteamed with artists at Stan Winston Studio - now Legacy Effects - and Industrial Light & Magic to create a new and improved Iron Man, who, joined by War Machine, combats a rogue army of military drones and a fearsome adversary, Whiplash. Double Negative contributed a major action sequence at the Monaco Grand Prix, while Fuel VFX and other vendors provided visual effects support.
Alice in Wonderland: Down the Rabbit Hole Article by Joe Fordham
Director Tim Burton put his unique stamp on this fantasy sequel to Lewis Carroll's timeless tale, in which a now-grown Alice tumbles down the rabbit hole to reunite with her childhood friends and save their Underland from the machinations of the evil Red Queen. Visual effects supervisor Ken Ralston collaborated with Burton and production designer Robert Stromberg to create the fantasy environment and characters, depicted in stereoscopic 3D through a combination of greenscreen sets and computer generated imagery spearheaded by Sony Pictures Imageworks.
Clash of the Titans: Gods and Monsters Article by Jody Duncan
In this remake of the 1981 Ray Harryhausen classic, director Louis Letterier relied on state-of-the-art digital effects to retell the story of mythical hero Perseus, son of Zeus, who embarks on a quest to slay the Kraken, a fearsome underwater beast. Visual effects supervisor Nick Davis, working with artists at The Moving Picture Company, Framestore and Cinesite, oversaw the ambitious task, which entailed some 900 effects shots and included a postproduction conversion to transform the 2D movie to 3D. Neil Corbould handled special effects.
Splice: 1 + 1 = 3 Article by Joe Fordham
Husband-and-wife geneticists cross ethical boundaries when they embark on a cutting-edge genetic engineering experiment that soon gets out of hand, in Splice, directed by Vincenzo Natali. The modestly-budgeted, independently-produced Sundance festival favorite marked Natali's fourth collaboration with visual effects supervisor Bob Munroe, who oversaw the visual effects work at C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures, with an assist from Paris vendors BUF Compagnie, Chez Eddy and Mac Guff. KNB EFX Group provided practical creature effects.


Issue 121
April/May/June 2010

The Wolfman: Curse of the Werewolf
Article by Joe Fordham
Universal Studios dipped once again into its treasure trove of classic movie monsters with The Wolfman, starring Benicio Del Toro as a haunted nobleman who returns to his ancestral homeland to confront a terrible destiny. Director Joe Johnston called upon Oscar-winning makeup effects designer Rick Baker for prosthetic makeups that captured the spirit of the original Lon Chaney, Jr. Wolf Man, while The Moving Picture Company, Double Negative and Rhythm & Hues, under visual effects supervisor Steve Begg, re-created Victorian England and melded Del Toro's performance with digital wolfman effects that lent a terrifying verisimilitude to the iconic character's transformations.
The Tippett Touch
Article by Jody Duncan
From its humble beginnings in a garage to state-of-the-art facility at the forefront of the much-changed visual effects industry, Tippett Studio, recently observed its quarter-century anniversary. Now Cinefex honors that milestone with a career retrospective of its renowned founder, Phil Tippett, who first distinguished himself as a stop-motion animator in the Star Wars and Robocop series, before exploring the short-lived go-motion process with Dragonslayer, and then plunging into computer animation with the groundbreaking Jurassic Park and dozens of subsequent films ranging from Starship Troopers and Hellboy to Cloverfield and, most recently, The Twilight Saga.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus: Through the Looking Glass
Article by Joe Fordham
Director Terry Gilliam reunited with screenwriter Charles McKeown, his collaborator on Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, to concoct a fantasy involving an ancient vagabond storyteller who rolls into modern-day London in a carnival wagon, seeking lost souls to fulfill a Faustian pact with the devil. Joining forces to bring Gilliam's unique and phantasmagoric vision to fruition were visual effects supervisors John Paul Docherty and Richard Bain at Peerless Camera Company, model supervisor Leigh Took of Mattes and Miniatures, and Lola Post.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief: Q&A with Kevin Mack
Interview by Joe Fordham
Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Kevin Mack discusses the challenges of putting a modern spin on ancient Greek mythology in Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, a cinema fantasy based on the best-selling children's novel series by Rick Riordan. Mack worked with more than a dozen visual effects vendors - including Digital Domain, The Moving Picture Company and Luma Pictures - to realize the film's intermingling of mythological creatures with present-day settings.


Issue 120
January/February/March 2010

Avatar: The Seduction of Reality; Article by Jody Duncan
Twelve years after his blockbuster film Titanic broke all boxoffice records, filmmaker James Cameron returned to the big screen with Avatar, a science fiction fantasy set on another world, and shot entirely in stereo 3D. Working with a dedicated technical team, Cameron spent four years developing new filmmaking paradigms designed to push the boundaries of performance capture and virtual character creation to unprecedented levels of artistry and sophistication. Weta Digital led the groundbreaking visual effects effort, with support from Industrial Light & Magic, Framestore, Frantic Films, Hybride, Weta Workshop and Stan Winston Studio.
2010: Gotterdammerung; Article by Joe Fordham
Envisioning the grandest disaster scenario ever, writer/director Roland Emmerich set his sights on no less than total planetary destruction in the film 2012, featuring a story inspired by an ancient Mayan prediction of impending global cataclysm in that fateful year. Joining Emmerich were longtime collaborators Volker Engel and Marc Weigert, whose studio, Uncharted Territory, served as in-house visual effects unit for the production, and as production hub for the multiple vendors, including Digital Domain, Double Negative, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Scanline, Hydraulx, Crazy Horse and Pixomondo. Special effects supervisor Michael Vezina provided large-scale mechanical effects.
The Road: Road to Nowhere; Article by Joe Fordham
In The Road, based on Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, a man and his young son embark on a cross-country journey as they struggle to survive the brutal circumstances brought about by an apocalyptic event that has devastated the planet and destroyed the very fabric of civilization. Director John Hillcoat turned to visual effects supervisor Mark Forker, visual effects studios Dive and Crazy Horse, and a handful of supporting vendors to create the film's stark, post-apocalyptic environments.


Issue 119
October/November/December 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: Heavy Metal; Article by Jody Duncan
In Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, a sequel to the 2007 hit about an age-old war between two races of giant alien robots, director Michael Bay raises the bar on visual effects with 40 new robots, more dynamic battle sequences and large-scale robot destruction, and the use of high-resolution IMAX cameras. Industrial Light & Magic and Digital Domain led the visual onslaught.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: Military Maneuvers; Article by Jody Duncan
An elite G.I. Joe combat unit confronts a malevolent criminal organization intent on world domination in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, directed by Stephen Sommers and inspired by the popular Hasbro toy line. Visual effects supervisor Boyd Shermis led a team of ten vendors charged with depicting the film's exotic, globe-spanning locales, futuristic weaponry, and nonstop, high-octane action. Stan Winston Studio contributed an array of practical effects.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Earth, Wind and Fire; Article by Joe Fordham
For this sixth installment in the blockbuster film franchise, wizard-in-training Harry Potter survives teen angst, Death Eater attacks, and a dangerous mission aimed at defeating the Dark Lord Voldemort. Returning director David Yates reunited with visual effects supervisor Tim Burke and vendors in London, California and Australia to realize the magical mayhem. Also re-joining the team were series regulars John Richardson, in charge of special effects, and Nick Dudman, who oversaw creature designs.
District 9: Slumdog Aliens; Article by Joe Fordham
First-time features director Neil Blomkamp combines alien visitation with the gritty realities of poverty, racism and life in a Third World ghetto, for District 9, a science-fiction film about downtrodden extraterrestrials living in slums on the outskirts of Johannesburg. Backed by producer Peter Jackson, Blomkamp called upon Weta Workshop for conceptual designs, while Image Engine and The Embassy generated the insect-like aliens, mothership and alien hardware.
G-Force: Animal Action; Article by Joe Fordham
An unlikely team of crime-fighting guinea pigs and rodents brings down an evil inventor with illusions of grandeur in G-Force, a live-action comedy conceived and directed by veteran visual effects supervisor Hoyt Yeatman. Sony Pictures Imageworks created the digitally animated creatures and visual effects generated in stereoscopic 3D.


Issue 118
July/August/September 2009

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: 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.


Issue 117
April/May/June 2009

Watchmen: The Manhattan Project; Article by Joe Fordham
Adapted from the darkly complex graphic novel considered the finest and most influential of its genre, Watchmen, directed by Zack Snyder, called for a seamless blending of practical and visual effects, makeup and miniatures to bring the story's band of misfit superheroes and villains to the big screen. Visual effects supervisor John 'DJ' DesJardin oversaw the work at Sony Pictures Imageworks, The Moving Picture Company, Intelligent Creatures and CIS Hollywood, while Joel Whist supervised special effects. Greg Cannom's Drac Studios contributed prosthetic makeups, and Global Effects fabricated custom suits.
Coraline: A Handmade World; Article by Joe Fordham
In Coraline, director Henry Selick returns to the genre of stop-motion animation with a fantasy feature - his first to be shot in 3D - based on a novella by Neil Gaiman about an inquisitive young girl who walks through a secret door in her new home and discovers an alternate version of her life that seems more attractive than the real one. Puppetry and animation on a grand scale was provided by Laika Entertainment, making its theatrical film debut. Director of photography Pete Kozachik captured the stereoscopic effects, and visual effects supervisor Brian Van't Hul oversaw extensive postproduction work.
The Spirit: Summoning the Spirit; Article by George Mo?se
Master graphic novelist Frank Miller, in his solo directing debut, taps into the oeuvre of renowned 1940s-era comic-book artist Will Eisner for his adaptation of The Spirit, a crime story about a rookie cop who returns from the dead as a masked vigilante. Told in the signature style of Miller's Sin City and 300, The Spirit's hybrid live-action/CG approach featured stark, noir-ish, all-CG environments composited into minimalist greenscreen sets. Visual effects supervisor Stu Maschwitz led the work at The Orphanage, Digital Dimension, Rising Sun Pictures and six other supporting companies. Changeling: Urban Renewal; Article by Jody Duncan
Visual effects supervisor Michael Owens discusses the challenges of re-creating 1920s Los Angeles for director Clint Eastwood's period drama Changeling, based on the true story of a woman who takes on the corrupt Los Angeles Police Department following the abduction of her young son by a pedophile serial killer.
Inkheart: Into Inkworld; Article by Jody Duncan
A bookbinder has the power to conjure characters in and out of books through the act of reading them aloud in the fantasy adventure Inkheart, directed by Iain Softley. Seeking photorealism, Softley and visual effects supervisor Angus Bickerton made judicious use of visual effects by Double Negative, The Senate, Cinesite, Rainmaker and Peerless Camera Company, while relying heavily on practical effects by special effects supervisor Paul Corbould, and miniatures by Mattes & Miniatures.


Issue 116
January/February/March 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: The Unusual Birth of Benjamin Button:
Article by Jody Duncan
More than a decade in development, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, about a man who ages in reverse, led director David Fincher, visual effects supervisor Eric Barba and technical wizards at Digital Domain to major breakthroughs in CG animation, rendering and tracking techniques required to convincingly age actor Brad Pitt in scenes of Benjamin's early years. Other effects involving the film's many period settings were the work of Matte World Digital, Asylum and Hydraulx, while Lola VFX performed 'youthening' effects on Pitt and Cate Blanchett, as Benjamin's lifelong love.
The Day the Earth Stood Still: Global Warning:
Article by Bill Butler
In The Day the Earth Stood Still, a modern-day remake of a classic 1951 science-fiction film in which an intergalactic emissary arrives on earth with a warning for earth's leaders, director Scott Derrickson charged visual effects supervisor Jeffrey Okun with updating the film's core effects while still paying homage to the original. Weta Digital, Cinesite, Flash Film Works and CosFX, along with a handful of supporting vendors, were enlisted to put a new spin on such iconic elements as the alien Klaatu, his robot companion Gort, and their mode of interplanetary transport. Special creature effects were the work of Todd Masters of Masters FX.
Quantum of Solace: Quantum Leap:
Article by Joe Fordham
The ever-popular Bond franchise returns with Quantum Leap, starring Daniel Craig as secret agent 007 in an edgy tale of revenge as Bond, on a trail of intrigue and corruption, sets out to even the score following the death of his former lover. To realize the film's ambitious action - which spanned the globe and encompassed land, sea and air - director Marc Forster and frequent collaborator and visual effects designer Kevin Tod Haug called upon Double Negative, The Moving Picture Company, Framestore, Machine and MK12, to join forces with special effects supervisor and franchise veteran Chris Corbould in a perfect marriage of visual and physical effects.
City of Ember: Countdown to Doomsday:
Article by Joe Fordham
Physical effects by Kit West and digital set extensions by BUF Compagnie and Luma Pictures lend verisimilitude to subterranean settings in City of Ember, about the inhabitants of an underground city who learn that their singular existence is owing to a long-ago nuclear war that destroyed everything above-ground.
Stuart Freeborn:
Profile by Mark Burman
Legendary makeup artist Stuart Freeborn - a veteran of 2001: A Space Odyssey and the Star Wars franchise - discusses his remarkable and prolific career in this special Cinefex retrospective.

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