2011 VFX Preview
David Yates helms the thrilling conclusion to Harry's battle with Lord Voldermort for control of the wizarding world and closure for our conflicted hero. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) return to Hogwarts to seek and destroy the final horcruxes. London's VFX industry in Soho has come of age with Potter, and it will be a treat to witness the final achievements of Double Negative, MPC, Framestore and Cinesite along with great support by Baseblack and Rising Sun (under Tim Burke's overall supervision once again).
Another Marvel superhero comes to the big screen under the direction of Joe Johnston (The Wolfman, Jurassic Park III): Chris Evans plays Steve Rogers, who turns into Captain America, the country's defender, after volunteering for a secret research project that goes awry. Samuel Jackson reprises his role as Nick Fury and Hugo Weaving co-stars as The Red Skull. Christopher Townsend is the overall supervisor with Double Negative as the lead vendor and Matte World Digital providing additional contributions, among others.
Jon Favreau (Iron Man) tackles a supernatural western with Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde and Sam Rockwell: Craig lands in Absolution, Arizona, in 1873 with a loss of memory and a mysterious shackle around one wrist, who teams up with hard-nosed Ford in combating marauders from the sky bent on taking over the planet. ILM, Legacy Effects and others provide the vfx mayhem.
Martin Scorsese's first film shot in 3-D is an adaptation of Brian Selznick's bestseller about an orphan boy (Asa Butterfield) living a secret life in the walls of a Paris train station in the 1930s and a mysterious encounter with Georges Melies (Ben Kingsley), the father of special effects. Scorsese told The Guardian: "Every shot is rethinking cinema, rethinking narrative -- how to tell a story with a picture. Now, I'm not saying we have to keep throwing javelins at the camera, I'm not saying we use it as a gimmick, but it's liberating. It's literally a Rubik's Cube every time you go out to design a shot, and work out a camera move, or a crane move. But it has a beauty to it also. People look like… like moving statues. They move like sculpture, as if sculpture is moving in a way. Like dancers…" Rob Legato (Shutter Island) serves as overall supervisor; Pixomondo LA is the lead vendor. Legato tells AWN/VFXWorld, "The Melies recreations are stunning looking. In some cases impossible for the trained eye to see what might have been restored from what was recreated. First choice, of course, is restoration but we have recreated some moments and the behind-the-scenes shooting of the same. We recreated the glass house studio and the painted backdrops and fantastic costumes. A treat for film lovers."
Bill Desowitz is senior editor of AWN & VFXWorld.