Two New VFX Featurettes for STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Courtesy of ILM

by     Posted 258 days ago


ILM has released two new VFX featurettes for Star Trek Into Darkness, which is on the short list for a Visual Effects Oscar.  The first one is more of a montage of VFX shots that takes viewers behind the scenes of the opening action sequence that takes place on the vibrantly colored planet that just so happens to house an active volcano, a breakdown of the Enterprise’s hangar, and a wormhole space chase.  The second video takes a more in-depth look into the action sequence on the red planet, so keep an eye out for future featurettes that further explore the movie’s most intense scenes.  Hit the jump to watch.

Darren Aronofsky Talks NOAH Special Effects; Says ILM Did Most Complicated Rendering in Its History on the Animals

by     Posted 348 days ago

noah darren aronofsky

Darren Aronofsky’s biblical epic Noah has already become epic behind the scenes.  The story will focus on the familiar story of Noah and his ark, but with a more realistic bent that eschews the typical “guy in robe and sandals stands at the head of a boat flanked by zoo animals”.  The movie will have tons of special effects, and Aronofksy recently told DGA that he feels he has more control over Noah than any of his previous movies.  “Increasingly, the images are coming out of a computer,” says Aronofsky, “but that means you can change anything and have more control.”  However, he added that a large amount of preparation was required because “[you] have faith that your collaborators are going to breathe life into what you aren’t photographing. You have to trust that down the road things are going to come alive.”

Hit the jump for more including Aronofsky’s “badge of honor” when it came to creating some of the more complicated effects.  The film stars Russell Crowe, Emma Watson, Jennifer Connelly, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth, Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Kevin Durand, Martin Csokas, and Mark MargolisNoah opens March 28, 2014.

Visual Effects Supervisor Jeff White Talks THE AVENGERS, Collaborating with Joss Whedon, TRANSFORMERS 4, TRANSFORMERS: THE RIDE, More

by     Posted 1 year, 228 days ago


As part of the team nominated for Best Visual Effects at this year’s Academy Awards, Jeff White was the Visual Effects Supervisor at ILM on Marvel’s The Avengers, having worked on a little over 700 shots in the film.  After working as a Creature Technical Director on such films as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and Lemony Snicket’s: A Series of Unfortunate Events, White served as Digital Production Supervisor on Transformers, and then was elevated to Association Visual Effects Supervisor on the subsequent sequels Revenge of the Fallen and Dark of the Moon.

During this recent exclusive interview with Collider, Jeff White talked about how incredible the Oscar recognition is, which sequences ILM was involved with, collaborating with director Joss Whedon and Marvel, how he ended up working at ILM, and the shots that he’s most proud of pulling off.  He also talked about starting pre-production on Transformers 4, which he says has some really exciting stuff in it, his hopes to be involved with The Avengers 2, and what it’s been like to be involved with Transformers: The Ride, which is at Universal Studios Hollywood.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Watch a Behind-the-Scenes Visual Effects Sizzle Reel for Oscar Nominee THE AVENGERS

by     Posted 1 year, 254 days ago


When the Academy Awards nominations were announced yesterday, some were a tad surprised to see that Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises was completely shut out of the race.  The superhero movie that did make the cut, however, is Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, which is nominated for the Best Visual Effects Oscar.  Industrial Light & Magic has released a video that’s basically a “best of” for the film’s visual effects, and it quickly shows how some of the film’s visual trickery was pulled off.  This is likely the video that was shown to Academy voters when they were considering the contenders in the Best Visual Effects category, and it’s a neat compilation of how some of the film’s more impressive visuals were put together.

Hit the jump to watch the video.  The 85th Academy Awards will be held on February 24th. 

Associate Visual Effects Supervisor Jason Smith Talks THE AVENGERS, Designing Stark Tower, Easter Eggs, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 358 days ago


With Joss Whedon‘s The Avengers hitting Blu-ray and DVD this week (click here to buy in on Amazon), I recently got to visit ILM in San Francisco to talk with some of the visual effect supervisors. While many movies have amazing effects, it’s only when you combine them with a great story and interesting characters that you get something special, like The Avengers.

During my interview with Associate Visual Effects Supervisor Jason Smith, we talked about what it was like to work on The Avengers, the biggest challenge in bringing New York City to life, easter eggs, what effects they did on The Avengers that haven’t been done before, designing Stark Tower, deleted scenes, The Avengers sequel, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Animation Director Marc Chu Talks THE AVENGERS

by     Posted 1 year, 361 days ago


With Joss Whedon‘s The Avengers hitting Blu-ray and DVD this week (click here to buy in on Amazon), I recently got to visit ILM in San Francisco to talk with some of the visual effect supervisors. While many movies have amazing effects, it’s only when you combine them with a great story and interesting characters that you get something special, like The Avengers.

During my interview with Animation Director Marc Chu, we talked about what it was like to work on The Avengers, creating the Hulk transformation, Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean, what Hulk effects they will be able to do in The Avengers sequel that they couldn’t accomplish in the first film, the length of time he spends on a project, deleted scenes, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

THE AVENGERS Visual Effects Supervisor Jeff White Talks Hulk CG and What They Might Be Able to Do in THE AVENGERS Sequel

by     Posted 1 year, 363 days ago


With Joss Whedon‘s The Avengers hitting Blu-ray and DVD this week (click here to buy in on Amazon), I recently got to visit ILM in San Francisco to talk with some of the visual effect supervisors.  While many movies have amazing effects, it’s only when you combine them with a great story and interesting characters that you get something special, like The Avengers.

During my interview with Visual Effects Supervisor Jeff White, we talked about how they brought this version of the Hulk to life, whether they spent any extra time on the Hulk/Loki or Hulk/Thor scenes, how much the project and effects changed during production, what Hulk effects they will be able to do in The Avengers sequel that they couldn’t accomplish in the first film, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Visual Effects Supervisors Grady Cofer and Pablo Helman Talk about BATTLESHIP, Turning Pegs into Weapons, Sinking a Battleship, and More

by     Posted 2 years, 31 days ago


Earlier this summer, Universal invited us to go to Industrial Light & Magic, the effects studio behind Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and other classic blockbusters.  With the upcoming release of Battleship on Blu-ray, we spoke with visual effects supervisors Grady Cofer and Pablo Helman.  When we look at visual effects, we tend to notice the in-your-face stuff, but the true magic is in effects you never see or immediately think about: the water droplets, the weight of objects, etc.  This is fascinating stuff, and in my interview with Cofer and Helman, we spoke about the challenges of animating water, how they translated the board game pegs into weapons, the sinking of the USS John Paul Jones, creating the shredder, and more.

Hit the jump to check out the interview.  Battleship hits Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Download on August 28th.

VFX Men Aaron McBride and Ben Snow Talk PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES; Plus 15 Things I Learned on My Visit to ILM

by     Posted 2 years, 330 days ago



Recently, I was invited to visit the ILM Campus in the Bay Area to discuss the development of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and see some of the new Blu-ray features that Disney has developed for the disc. While touring the effects house, I got to talk to visual effects art director Aaron McBride and visual effects supervisor Ben Snow.

During the interviews, Snow and McBride told me about how pirate maps influence the design of the films, why they can’t reuse digital armatures, what it’s like to be nominated for an Oscar, how the director influences the effects work, and more.  Read on for the complete interviews and a list of the 15 things I learned.


by     Posted 2 years, 338 days ago


Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was a very different film than its three predecessors. Whereas Gore Verbinski’s trilogy traded on the charm of Johnny Depp’s anti-hero swashbuckling his way through some of the biggest effects ever committed to film, this latest entry took a more intimate approach, focusing on the love story of a mermaid and a young missionary who fights to protect her.

Read on to find out why what became of the most extreme monsters.


by     Posted 2 years, 339 days ago


To promote the upcoming Blu-Ray release of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, hitting stores on October 18, Disney invited myself and a few other journalists up to the Bay Area to visit the Industrial Light and Magic campus and see how the film was made.

During my visit, I got to tour ILM, see concept art, some of which differs wildly from the finished product, and interview visual effects supervisor Ben Snow and visual effects director Aaron McBride. We’ll have write ups on the disc’s unique iPad-based interactive features as well as the interviews everyday this week, but today I just want to tell you about what it’s like to walk through the halls of ILM.  Hit the jump for the full story.

ILM Releases Cool Special Effects Featurette for TRANSFORMERS

by     Posted 3 years, 128 days ago


Good news people, we are only a month and a half away from the release of Transformers: Dark Of The Moon. Very soon cinephiles from around the world will be able to celebrate the universal appeal of watching big robots go boom. Michael Bay has even seen fit to offer a $25,000 reward for anyone who can spot the racist robots from the last Transformers flick, so there’s really no reason not to be excited now that there’s a potential cash award involved. In celebration of this sure to be earth shattering cinematic event, a rather impressive special effects video from the first Transformers that Industrial Light & Magic posted has gone online. Though not a great deal of thought may have gone into the writing of these movies, the artistry behind the special effects is undeniably impressive. Hit the jump to see the massive scale model used for a single stunning shot in the greatest giant robot movie Michael Bay has made so far.

Director Kevin Munroe Talks DYLAN DOG and Secret CGI Movie at Lucasfilm

by     Posted 3 years, 169 days ago

Kevin Munroe interview DYLAN DOG and Secret CGI Movie LucasFilm WonderCon slice

With director Kevin Munroe’s Dylan Dog getting released April 29, stars Brandon Routh, Sam Huntington and Munroe were at WonderCon to premiere footage and also answer fan questions.  If you’re not familiar with Dylan Dog, the film blends horror and humor and it’s set in the backstreets of New Orleans.  From the synopsis, “the story revolves around Dylan Dog, the world’s only private investigator of the undead with a business card that features his slogan, “investigator of the paranormal:  no pulse, no problem.”  Along with his assistant Marcus, Dylan will go where the living dare not — facing down friend and foe alike, until justice is done.”

Before the panel, I sat down with Routh and Huntington for a very loose interview.  You can watch it here.  I also got to speak with Munroe. During our extended conversation, we talked about being at WonderCon, how he got attached to Dylan Dog and the long road to release, how his CGI background helped with production, what are his go-to karaoke songs, editing, and he revealed that he’s working on a secret movie project at Lucasfilm that’s all CGI and not related to Star Wars.  Keep in mind, ILM animated Rango. Watch what he had to say after the jump.

RANGO Post-Production Visit: Director Gore Verbinski Q&A, the Trailer and Clips, and a Studio Tour

by     Posted 4 years, 85 days ago


Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit Blind Wink Productions where director Gore Verbinski is hard at work on his latest film Rango. I expected to only see an early look at the film’s trailer and participate in a Q&A with Verbinski. Instead the other journalists and I were given a full tour of the studio, saw countless character design sketches and watched a featurette, clips and the trailer. We were able to speak freely with Verbinski during the tour with a more traditional Q&A after we saw the footage. I knew almost nothing about the film when I walked into the building and I left incredibly excited for the movie. Everything we saw was fantastic.

For a full description of everything I saw and heard, a description of the featurette and clips, and some quotes from Verbinski describing the film’s plot and production, hit the jump. Also, make sure to check out the awesome new trailer. Rango hits theaters March 4, 2011.

RED TAILS Re-shoot Drama: George Lucas Not Doing Significant Touchups?

by     Posted 4 years, 205 days ago


A week ago, the online community was in a tizzy when reports that the African American WWII airplane drama Red Tails was in a tailspin and that George Lucas would step it to make a hefty overhaul of the film in place of director Anthony Hemingway. Now, according to Nicole Sperling in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly [via The Playlist], much of that was grossly exaggerated.  Sperling reports that the reshoots are quite normal and this is nothing out of the ordinary. Of course, how Lucas and company plan to get the cast back together is something of a mystery, if in fact these reshoots weren’t worked into the schedule beforehand.

For a deeper explanation of the madness and why this story might not quite be finished, hit the jump.

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