Press Release from Entity FX
Santa Monica, CA (November 2, 2009) - Film, television and commercial visual effects company Entity FX congratulates the makers of Michael Jackson's This Is It on the film's powerful worldwide debut. The documentary movie, directed by Kenny Ortega and distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures, is a behind-the-scenes look at Michael Jackson as he rehearses for his final concert. It includes complex visual effects sequences originally part of a series of mini-movies directed and VFX-supervised by Bruce Jones. These mini-movies were ultimately intended to be displayed -- some in stereoscopic 3D -- on a giant screen behind the live performers. Entity FX helped to create a number of these moments.
Among the effects Entity FX completed is a fantastical parade ground in which thousands of soldiers dance with military precision as the camera dollies by them. Entity FX digitally created the environment and turned nine dancers into multitudes while also co-directing the shooting of the necessary elements. Another vignette has Michael's character jumping through a window in a hail of broken glass as bullets whiz past him in super slow motion. In further shot, Michael and his dancers cast huge shadows on a stylized 1930s city skyline as they perform their routine. These giant silhouettes were intended to serve as a projected background for live dancers during the performance. Other shots include additional synthetic environments and pyro effects (e.g. an exploding theater marquee and a little girl's final storybook embrace of the world).
This Is It incorporates these visual effects sequences as it follows Michael Jackson through the development of the This Is It tour, a planned series of 50 concerts for The O2 arena in London. Because the concert-film is currently being released in traditional mono, a mono version of the 3D footage is included.
Entity FX worked with a variety of tools to complete the project. Maya was used for 3D modeling and animation while Nuke, After Effects and Inferno were used for compositing and image effects. Stereo projection was accomplished with Real D active glasses and RV playback software on Entity FX-built hardware. Entity FX credits include: Mat Beck, Senior VFX Supervisor; Brian Harding, VFX Supervisor; Daniel Rucinski, VFX Executive Producer; Ellyn Lewis, General Manager; Trent Smith, VFX Producer; Krista Maryanski, VFX Producer; Jack Lilburn, VFX Associate Producer; Bob Hamel, VFX Coordinator; Eli Jarra, and Dave Franks, Senior Compositors; David Alexander, 3D Lead/Compositor; Rob Reinhart, Jeremy Renteria, Robb Ozaeta, Brandon Flyte, Brandy Handelman, Paul Santagada, and Martha Soehendra, Compositors; Mike "Pharoah" Barrett, Rik Panero, Kaz Yoshida, Junji Hirano and Andrea Shear, 3D Artists; Viet Nguyen, Systems Engineering; and Nate Smalley and Aaron Leichter, Data I/O.
About Entity FX
Entity FX specializes in visual effects for feature film, television and commercials. With facilities in Santa Monica, California, and Vancouver, British
Columbia, Entity FX delivers creativity on the demands of today's production with a range of services in pre-visualization, on-set supervision, virtual backgrounds, matte painting, environmental effects, compositing, CG animation, specialty photography and more.