Los Angeles-based Zoic Studios, along with motion-capture specialists at Motion Analysis Studios (MAS) and Nexus Digital Studios, have created the epic effects for the show finale of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, airing May 20, 2003 at 8:00 pm on UPN. Zoic co-founder Loni Peristere has been working closely with BUFFY creator Joss Whedon since the first season. Along with his Zoic Studios and fellow digital effects supervisor Patti Gannon, Peristere and Whedon have been batting around ideas for the historic last episode for months.
Category: Visual Effects
When the earth stops rotating in Paramount's sci-fi drama THE CORE, it sets off a chain of disastrous events that kept visual effects houses like ComputerCafé busy creating digital mayhem. The Santa Maria, California-based VFX house (www.computercafe.com), had to burn up the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge loaded with commuters locked in gridlock, complete with melting automobile tires, exploding gasoline tanks, cracking the roadbed, snapping suspension cables and ultimately bring down the bridge itself.
News that Eastman Kodak is phasing out its Cinesite visual effects division in Hollywood put a bit of a damper on vfx professionals attending the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 2002 Scientific and Technical Awards gala in Beverly Hills on Saturday, February 28, 2003. Attendees became visibly downcast as they talked about the second vfx group to close in the past couple months. (Centropolis Effects in Los Angeles lost its work on THE MATRIX sequels when its parent company Das Werk in Germany filed for bankruptcy.) AWN asked some of the pros:
Sony Pictures Imageworks, Inc. (SPI) has hired Diane St. Clair and Jana Day as recruiting consultants for its Culver City, California facility. The studio is gearing up an intensive 2003-2004 production slate, requiring artists and technicians to create visual effects and CG animation for such films as THE MATRIX RELOADED, CHARLIES ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE, BAD BOYS II, THE POLAR EXPRESS, HAUNTED MANSION, BIG FISH and THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, in addition to upcoming projects from Sony Pictures Animation. Formerly St.
Digital effects and design studio Ring of Fire launches into 2003 with a newly expanded space, as well as new projects, including the feature film LOOSELY BASED ON A TRUE LOVE STORY, directed by Rob Reiner, TV sitcoms THE DREW CAREY SHOW and GEORGE LOPEZ, Super Bowl spots for Bud Light and another campaign for Saturn following the success of "Sheet Metal," CREATIVITY magazines 2002 Spot of the Year.
Astropolitan director Steven Wagner recently completed a new music video for electronic duo DJ? Acucracks track, So To Speak, which was shot and finished at full resolution in the 24p HDTV format, a first for music videos. Incorporating live-action, 3D, motion-capture and miniatures, the music video for this club-hit track is a glimpse into the dark side of a future city.
Hollywoods Look! Effects has announced their work creating one of the signature effects for Renny Harlins film, DRIVEN, starring Sylvester Stallone. The visual, which recurs throughout the film, was part of a large package of effects created for the film by the digital boutique. Look! Effects' visual effects team worked directly with Harlin and visual effects supervisor Brian Jennings in developing the look of what became known as the Driver Vision effect.
Shepperton, England-based The Magic Camera Company has produced 92 digitaleffect shots for the 19th James Bond film, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH. One ofthe effects sequences done by Magic involves Bond (Pierce Brosnan) andChristmas (Denise Richards) hurtling through miles of unused oil pipelineon board a service Rpig' (a trolley-like vehicle used to safety check theinside of the pipeline) while chasing another one. Shooting the tunnel as aminiature was not a viable option, so Magic Camera was given the task of
Dream Quest Images, the visual effects division of The Walt Disney Companysince 1996, will join creative forces with Disney's in-house FeatureAnimation computer graphics unit to form a new entity called The Secret Lab(TSL). The Secret Lab, which will be based at Feature Animation's Northsidefacility in Burbank, California, will provide state-of-the-art CGIcharacter animation and visual effects for a variety of the Studio'slive-action projects in addition to producing computer-animated features.
Toronto, Canada-based TOPIX/MAD DOG has completed the visual effects forMary J. Blige's music video "All That I Can Say." Shot on location in NewYork City, the dreamscape for the music video integrates live-action, timelapse photography, stock footage, and 3D clouds which were modeled andrendered in 3D Studio Max. Softimage artist Sean Montgomery created andanimated orbs in which Mary and the city are reflected. In addition,TOPIX/Mad Dog composited the singer into scenes featuring Times Square, a
Santa Monica, California-based effects studio METHOD completed the visualeffects for Lauryn Hill's music video, "Everything is Everything."Supervised by senior visual effects artist Alex Frisch, the Method teammade New York City rotate around the Empire State Building like a spinningvinyl record, and one of the city's bridges was transformed into a giantarm that descends from the skies. Method used CGI to create the arm's giantshadow, and Maya software to create all the wide shots of the spinning
Dream Quest Images, the feature film visual effects division of The WaltDisney Company, has wrapped production on more than 300 visual effectsshots for INSPECTOR GADGET, Walt Disney Pictures' live-action version ofthe '80s Saturday morning cartoon. The film follows the escapades ofInspector Gadget, the bumbling bionic detective, played by MatthewBroderick and his nemesis, the villainous Claw, played by Rupert Everett.The film is directed by David Kellogg and produced by Jordan Kerner, Roger
Cyclotron has completed a new open for CBS' "Late Show with DavidLetterman." It features a sweeping night view of the illuminated StatenIsland Ferry, the Manhattan skyline, and the newly renovated Grand CentralStation. It was shot on High-Def in preparation for future broadcasts ofthe show in HD. On-set supervision was conducted by Visual Effects ProducerRobert Buganza and Digital Composite Artist Tim Farrell during shoots ofthe Staten Island Ferry, the Manhattan Skyline and Grand Central Station to