Tuesday, May 12, 2015

VFX on a Shoestring

The big L.A. visual effects studios -- Digital Domain, Rhythm and Hues -- are history now, and the big ticket action features now get their effects created someplace else. But what's often overlooked is a lot of vfx is now done in Los Angeles County on small budgets and tight schedules. For example:

...[ TV's] “The Flash” has depicted a particle accelerator exploding, a tornado, a nuclear blast, a freeze ray, a human fireball, a train wreck and the villainous Gorilla Grodd, not to mention the Flash himself, a man (Gustin) who can run faster than sound. The mastermind behind these spectacles is visual effects supervisor Armen V. Kevorkian, whose credits include “Star Trek: Enterprise,” “Star Trek: Voyager,” “Alias” and “The Tomorrow People.” ...

Kevorkian: {we created a gorilla] early in the show. ... Normally you get a TV script, you get seven or eight days of prep, you shoot for seven or eight days, and two weeks later you get the footage. We did have a heads up of, there’s something big coming, so start thinking about it. ...

There’s a lot of ... invisible effects that go into the show. Because of the nature of the show, everything is pretty much an effect. Our villains have effects, Flash has effects, some of the things that happen, even if it’s with real plates, like him running water, is a combination of shooting footage and adding our effects on top of it. ...

Over the past few years, smaller effects houses in Burbank, Santa Monica, and other municipalities have scaled up to do visual effects on an array of cable broadcast television shows. They haven't replaced the giants that have gone away, but they've kept some of the Los Angeles talent pool employed.

As state subsidies for visual effects work kick in, the expectation is that these smaller outposts will grow in size, and California will reclaim some of its former glory. In a year or two we should know.


1 comments:

Harold Buchman said...

How did they do a gorilla without Andy Serkis?

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