I.E. Effects Making Movies Work for Michigan
“We try to balance the workload between L.A. and Traverse City about 50/50,” explained I.E. Effects’ visual effects supervisor Dennis Michel. “When you do 2D-to-stereo conversion, there’s always missing information. Your left eye will see around an object on one side, and your right will see around the other side, and that requires a lot of subtle painting work, and a process called ‘rotoscoping.’ Our Michigan facility did an excellent job. Audiences for Gulliver’s Travels and Green Lantern would have no idea that this work was done behind the scenes. And that’s how it should be!”
The film incentives in Michigan are currently being debated with proposals to cap the program at $25 million per year, but David Kenneth and his team remain hopeful. The Traverse City facility employed 12 artists for the work on Gulliver’s Travels and Green Lantern and studio interest suggests even some existing film franchises could provide permanent jobs for years to come.
“Some kind of cap on tax credits is reasonable, but we all need to understand that capping the credits means capping the amount of business we can bring to the state,” explained Kenneth. “We have a facility here and the means to bring work in on an ongoing basis. The incentive model is a huge success in other regions and we’ve shown that it can work here too.”
For Michigan, and Traverse City in particular, I.E. Effects has already had an impact. “The new 3D technologies are a growth industry and fit in perfectly with the kind of economy and jobs we have been developing here,” said Doug DeYoung, senior director of government relations at the Traverse City Chamber of Commerce. “We’re thrilled that I.E. Effects chose our community. Their vision is like our vision: stereo 3D, visual effects and postproduction put businesses into our community and provide well-paying, highly-skilled jobs, 365 days a year. That’s why they belong here.”
“Many film companies outsource their postproduction work overseas,” noted Kenneth, “but that is not our approach. We always have an eye to local, state and national economies as we develop our business model.”
About I.E. Effects
With offices in Culver City, California and Traverse City, Michigan, I.E. Effects is a full-service production, post-production, and visual effects stereoscopic 3D studio with specialized divisions for the film, television, commercial, interactive, and theme park industries. Combining its proprietary 3D technology with the industry’s leading creative minds, I.E. Effects is able to develop custom solutions for their clients while delivering amazing results in a variety of genres. The company’s team has contributed to the success of projects such as Spiderman II, which won an Oscar for best visual effects, Triangle, an Emmy award-winner for best visual effects, Drag Me To Hell by director Sam Raimi, and Michael Jackson’s This Is It. For more information, visit www.ieeffects.com.