Ian Cope, senior visual effects producer at Australia’s Rising Sun Pictures recently celebrated his 20-year anniversary at the company. A significant accomplishment in any career, Cope’s longevity is especially impressive for someone in the visual effects industry, where employment at one studio is often measured in months, not years. And, in that time he has worked on a long list of successful films, including Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Gravity, Ford v Ferrari, and Spiderman: Far from Home, to name just a few.
Benefitting from a worldwide boom in film and series production, Adelaide-based Rising Sun Pictures has opened a visual effects production studio in Brisbane. Visual effects supervisor Marc Varisco and compositing supervisor Matt Greig are leading the studio’s artist team. Veteran visual effects producer Jayne Herrmann is overseeing production.
Art of the Hollywood Backdrop: Cinema’s Creative Legacy opens April 20th at the Boca Raton Museum of Art in Boca Raton, Florida. The exhibit honors the unsung heroes who created these monumental canvases for the camera, going back almost 100 years. These artists were the backbone of the film industry. This is the first museum show dedicated to Hollywood’s painted backdrops, the grandest illusions ever created for the movies. These rarely seen masterpieces were never meant to be viewed by the public this way. They were kept secret by the Hollywood studios, meant only for the eye of the camera lens.
Fancy VFX, a sister company to Goldcrest Post, New York, recently teamed with the advertising agency BBDO and production company Biscuit to tell the fictional story of an NFL star who unwittingly turns a small business into an overnight sensation in a new spot for FedEx.
As film and television productions continue to expand into Oklahoma, Cherokee Nation is helping prepare Native Americans to join the rapidly growing industry. The tribe’s film office recently partnered with Tulsa artist Tate Steinsiek to introduce students to the special effects field. The Cherokee Nation Film Office supplied full scholarships for Native American students interested in attending Steinsiek’s Introduction to FX Gore and Blood Gags for Film course.
Nice Shoes has hired John Koltai creative director with a focus on innovative motion graphic design for film, television, advertising, and other media. Koltai is a multidisciplinary creative director, designer and animator with experience spanning virtually all forms of visual media. He is also a specialist in future user interfaces and other future tech graphics for film, with credits including Spider-Man: Far from Home, Spies in Disguise, Thor: Ragnarok and Iron Man 2 & 3.
Visual effects studio Digital Domain has received two nominations in the category of Best Visual Effects for the upcoming 94th annual Academy Awards. The nominations highlight Digital Domain’s work on both 20th Century Fox’s Free Guy, and Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man: No Way Home. The winners will be announced on Sunday, March 24. The honorees named in each are: Free Guy: Swen Gillberg, Nikos Kalaitzidis, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick; and Spider-Man: No Way Home: Kelly Port, Scott Edelstein, Chris Waegner and Dan Sudic.
Rising Sun Pictures produced nearly 200 visual effects shots for the new Marvel Studios series Hawkeye, which recently debuted on Disney+. The studio’s work included the reproduction of an actual New York City neighborhood visible outside an apartment where much of the series takes place. Rendered in extraordinary detail, the urban exterior is seen in daytime and nighttime contexts and under varying weather conditions, including a snowstorm.
The Madrid-based digital post-production company Twin Pines was responsible for the visual effects in La Fortuna, the new Movistar+ series directed by Alejandro Amenábar. Overall, the series contains around one thousand digitally retouched shots which called for a year’s work to recreate underwater scenes, an epic naval battle, and a road journey in the United States, among many other sequences.
The American Society of Cinematographers has completed its Standard Evaluation Material II project. The short film is an initiative by the organization to provide standardized viewing material designed to aid in the development and calibration of technology impacting the modern imaging chain. StEM2 test packages will be available in early 2022 to download for free in all common theatrical and home TV formats.