At a screening of the Chinese blockbuster film HERO last week, the NSW attorney general Bob Debus announced that a NSW fund used to attract traditional film projects will now also be available to digital production. Animal Logic welcomed the incentive and applauded the government for recognizing the importance of digital production to the future of international filmmaking.
Animal Logics director of communications & public affairs, Greg Smith said, This is an encouraging step forward for the government to acknowledge that the international filmmaking community work with digital production companies as a part of the overall filmmaking process, and not just a part of post-production. Digital production companies such as Animal Logic work with the filmmakers from as early as the script development stage, and do not rely on the production shooting locally to do the work. In order for us to compete more effectively in the international market for the work, an incentive such as the one offered by the NSW government is valuable.
As technology becomes more advanced, digital production companies can send and receive work internationally via a cable connection and the realities of modern filmmaking become very real. Australian digital production companies now more than ever, have the ability to compete for work that may be shooting in any location in the world.
Animal Logic was the lead visual effects house that worked on HERO, directed by the acclaimed Chinese director Zhang Yimou. HERO was released in Australia on Nov. 4, and spent its first week at the top of the Australian box office. When it released in North America in August this year, it also went straight to number one.
Animal Logic sent a crew of visual effects specialists to work on set with Yimou in remote regions of China in order to collaborate with the production team shooting the live action. This team included visual effects supervisors Chris Godfrey, Andy Brown and David Dulac. "With little more than 10 minutes notice we might be summoned to the set to deal with a spontaneous creative idea had by the director," offered Brown. "Often this was outside the existing storyboards. We had to respond on the spot with workable solutions as to how an effect could be achieved."
After shooting had wrapped, a team of animators and visual effects artists set to work on completing the complex effects sequences at Animal Logics facility in Sydney. Animal Logics work can be seen in four key sequences of the film the Forest Fight (color: red), the Library Brush (color: white), the Lake Sequence (color: blue) and the Palace Exterior (the final sequence of the film), as well as in many backgrounds where Animal Logics matte painters created visually stunning, realistic environments, based on still photographs taken by senior vfx supervisor Godfrey when he was on location in China.
Yimou chose to work with Animal Logic again on his follow-up martial arts film HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS.
Animal Logic (www.animallogic.com) is a digital production company comprised of four business units: Animal Logic Commercials, Animal Logic Film, Animal Logic Play and Animal Logic Research. Established in 1991, Animal Logic's core business has traditionally been the design and production of high-end visual effects for commercials and television series. The experience gained in these media was transferred to film and in 1997 Animal Logic Film was invited to join the establishment of Fox Studios Australia. In 2000, a design and interactive division was created, translating the skills amassed across these image industries to new media forms. At the base of each of these production units sits Animal Logic Research, an R&D division that provides a wealth of intellectual property and proprietary development to the entire Animal Logic Group.