VFX Fall Preview 2010: 10 Movies to Watch
10) Skyline (Universal, Nov. 12)
Four friends return from a night of partying, only to realize they are among the sole survivors of a bizarre alien invasion that lures victims into the light and then sucks them up like a vacuum. Sounds like alien invasion fun from the Brothers Strause (Greg & Colin). The directors' Hydraulx company is doing the vfx, of course, with creature design from Tom Woodruff Jr. and Alec Gills (AVP). However, the situation is complicated by claims from Sony that the Brothers Strause "borrowed" vfx assets from their rival LA invasion movie, Battle: Los Angeles (due March 12, 2011), which Hydraulx worked on. To which, a Strause rep replied: "Any claims of impropriety are completely baseless. This is a blatant attempt by Sony to force these independent filmmakers to move a release date that has long been set by Universal and Relativity and is outside the filmmakers' control."
The fourth entry in the horror franchise directed by Paul W.S. Anderson is the first to be released in 3-D (using Sony F35 and Pace 3-D rigs). Alice (Milla Jovovich) rescues the survivors of the T-virus outbreak in LA, and they combat the head of the Umbrella Corp. (Shawn Roberts). Mr. X (under the supervision of Dennis Berardi) worked on around 300 shots, but, because of the volume of work and tight schedule, called on Montreal's Rodeo Effects, Toronto's Rocket Science and India's Anibrain for the remaining 200. Lots of zombies, of course, though much more detailed in textures and the overall experience they were going for was like the first-person shooter game. The most challenging sequence: the infection spreads throughout Tokyo's famed Shibuya Crossing and the lights go out block by block, pulling out to a cosmic view of Earth in 3-D.