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Reel FX Completes Visual Effects for 'Parkland'

Reel FX completes 140 visual effects shots, titles, main-on-ends, and the epilogue for Playtone and Exclusive Media’s Parkland.

Dallas, TX -- Digital studio Reel FX (Dallas/Santa Monica) revisits 1963 Air Force One for Playtone and Exclusive Media’s feature film, Parkland. Reel FX completed 140 visual effects shots in addition to the titles, main-on-ends and epilogue for the film directed by Peter Landesman and starring Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton, Zac Effron, James Badge Dale, Jacki Weaver and Marcia Gay Harden. Parkland recounts the chaotic events that occurred at Dallas’ Parkland Hospital on the day U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The film premiered at the 70th Venice International Film Festival, screened at the ‘13 Toronto International Film Festival and hits theatres nationwide October 4th.

Prior to the commencement of filming in Dallas and Austin earlier this year, film producers tapped Reel FX’s Pete Herzog and Scott Gordon to oversee the film’s visual effects, which included sequences surrounding a CG Air Force One, set extensions, background replacements and additional work to transform modern-day Austin into 1963 Dallas. From the onset of shooting, weather was a major factor in VFX shot planning, tasking the team to execute extensive background replacements to make dark, rainy shoot days appear more like the historically accurate sunny day of November 22nd, 1963. With heavy winds on the day of the Air Force One shoot, the nimble VFX team made the decision to rework their green screen approach, instead utilizing actual backdrop and sky, and doing extensive cleanup in post-production. A physical aircraft door over a small mock-up of the aircraft interior was all that sat atop the air stair—the rest of Air Force One was created digitally by Reel FX.

Notes Gordon, “During post-production, additional visual effects shots poured in and our ability to easily augment what had been filmed became clear. We removed the rain from the scenes shot in foul weather and provided additional set extensions, enhancements to the trauma room, matte paintings, TV burn-ins, and also cleaned up archival footage, re-timed shots, and additional paint work—everything from replacing burned-out car headlights to removing unwanted reflections.”

Source: Reel FX

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Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.