Stargate Digital, which recently opened a new facility in London, is currently revamping of all the visual effects for Highlander 2, to be released on DVD this spring through Artisan Home Ent.
Ironically, HIGHLANDER 2, starring Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery, and directed by Russell Mulcahy, was Stargate's very first project 15 years ago when the company was launched by president and visual effects supervisor Sam Nicholson. A team of some 25 to 30 digital artists representing Stargate's international pool of talent from its Los Angeles, Vancouver and London facilities will split the work on the re-do. Some of the veteran artists who worked on the original HIGHLANDER 2 will work on the new version. The entire project will be shared over a high-speed network. 150 shots will be redone using 3D graphics and digital compositing. An additional 10-15 brand new digital shots will be produced from scratch.
"Fifteen years ago we were doing latent image matte paintings on glass, double exposing film at different times in the production and positioning miniatures in the foreground of the glass painting," said Nicholson. "Now using 3D digital matte painting and our 'virtual backlot' we can create entire cities and landscapes. We can pull back much farther from a scene and fly through CG generated buildings and arrive at the original photography, which has been enhanced and finished in HD. We're printing new high-resolution scenes back to film with our Arri laser printer rather than an optical printer. A whole new level of production value can be achieved now."
The two-disc DVD special edition will be supervised by Jonathan Gaines of Digital Heaven for Davis-Panzer Prods. and Miguel Cassillas for Artisan.
Stargate Digital (www.stargatefilms.com) of South Pasadena is well known for the design and production of signature visual effects for such primetime TV series as CSI, ER, LAS VEGAS, WEST WING, THREAT MATRIX, DEAD ZONE, CROSSING JORDAN and THIRD WATCH. It also provided visual effects for USA Network's TRAFFIC miniseries.