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Opus Creates VFX for Metallica Film

Opus Visual Effects produces visual effects for 3D IMAX rock ‘n’ roll film Metallica: Through the Never.


WINNIPEG – Opus Visual Effects produced visual effects for 3D IMAX rock ‘n’ roll film Metallica: Through the Never which opens on 318 IMAX screens Friday, September 27, 2013. Nationwide rollout is Friday, October 4th.

Distributed by Picturehouse, the film was written and directed by Nimród Antal (Kontroll) and produced by former IMAX film producer Charlotte Huggins (Journey to the Center of the Earth). It stars band members Ulrich, guitarist Kirk Hammett, singer James Hetfield and bass player Robert Trujillo; Dane DeHaan (Chronicle) and thousands of Metallica fans. This concert-narrative film tells a dark fantasy of Trip (DeHann), a roadie and Metallica acolyte who's sent on a mission and runs right into seemingly post-apocalyptic circumstances that include riots and a gas-masked, horse-riding harvester of sorrow — the Death Dealer.

As expected, the other half of the film features a full-on Metallica concert, for which OpusVFX, of Manitoba, Canada, created a series of shots. Brought in near the end of the project, Opus produced a variety of effects shots that took the showy, complex work the band used on stage and “pushed it.” Using various effects and lighting techniques, the artists at Opus had to seamlessly match the complex on-stage concert lighting (spots, lasers, smoke) – and do it in stereo. They also brought the job in on-time and in-budget.

“The work we did enhanced the stage presentation,” explains OpusVFX Supervisor Mike Shand. “We did a lot of effects work that pushed what they did beyond what was feasible on-stage – exploding transformers, electrical arcs. Things like that. And we did it for stereo and IMAX. For Metallica. It was a great project to be a part of.”

"It was late in the production when we turned to the effects for the concert side of the film,” says visual effects supervisor Boyd Shermis. “I'd worked with the artists and supervisors at Opus when they were with Frantic Films - early Prime Focus - and I was confident in their abilities. We needed the work done well and with a quick turn-around. So we hired Opus. It wasn't ground-breaking work, but was tricky with the concert lighting and restrictions – and in stereo. They did a great job, of course. And everyone, including myself and the director, were very happy with what they did. I'd work with them again, certainly. Anytime."

Source: Opus Visual Effects

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.