Zoic Creates New Worlds For Joss Whedon's Firefly
Newly formed visual effects studio Zoic is providing effects for FIREFLY, a new adventure drama series created by Joss Whedon (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and ANGEL) debuting on FOX, Friday, September 20, 2002 at 8:00 pm. Loni Peristere, Zoic co-founder and visual effects supervisor, has been working with Joss Whedon for six years, on both BUFFY and ANGEL. "Loni Peristere is a mad genius, which, apart from his endless attempts to destroy Metropolis, is useful," said Whedon. "He and Zoic have provided the best digital effects I've ever seen on TV, which is VERY useful. They've been integral in creating a look, a stylein point of fact, a world [for FIREFLY]. I couldn't imagine having done it without them." Loni Peristere added, "Unlike most other television projects, with FIREFLY the animation and visual effects team has been involved from the very beginning. We built a library of new, digital spaceships, planets and effectsall of which came from collaborating with Joss. Overall, he wanted the show to reflect the notion of living on a frontieralbeit one in outer space. What we have created together is very exciting and unique." Set 500 years in the future in the wake of a universal civil war to unite the planets, FIREFLY follows the adventures of Serenity, a small transport spaceship whose crew members will take on any joblegal or not to survive in the frontier-like conditions found on the fringes of the universe. In a major action sequence created for the series premiere episode "The Train Job," crew member Jayne (Adam Baldwin), jumps from Serenitys bomb bay doors to the top of a moving train. The stunt was created entirely in post, compositing the actor into a completely CG environment including the train and ship. The environment was shot using bracketed exposures in Sedona, Arizona, then mapped into image-based landscapes. Zoics CG supervisor Emile E. Smith noted, "One of the original designs we came up with for this episode was a hover-train. We wanted to keep it old school, but high tech. So we designed it with an art-deco/Jules Verne feel which everyone was extremely happy with." This was just one of many shots and sequences for which Zoic was responsible. As the season unfolds, the Zoic team will be working in close collaboration with Joss Whedon and the entire FIREFLY production crew at FOX.