PAUL HELLARD | CG SOCIETY | FEBRUARY 20, 2012 | Original Article
Universal Pictures’ Safe House is the story of a young CIA agent (Ryan Reynolds) who is looking after a fugitive (Denzel Washington) in what is called a safe house. For complex story reasons the house is attacked, and the agent is forced to escape with his charge, pursued by unknown assailants. Action ensues, (read: guns, cars and heavily graded tension) and the need for a great deal of invisible effects is paramount.
For the 371 shots required from Image-Engine, the sole VFX vendor for the production, Simon Hughes, Image Engine Visual Effects Supervisor helmed the project, alongside Steve Garrad, Visual Effects Executive Producer and Geoff Anderson, Visual Effects Producer. They worked closely with director Daniel Espinosa, Richard Pearson, editor of The Bourne Supremacy and Iron Man 2, VFX editor Kevin Hickman and Universal Pictures personnel. The most challenging invisible effects in Safe House was having to fill Greenpoint Stadium in Cape Town with a couple of crowd shots.
The crew spent many full days shooting the plates of crowds and field action and many other elements that would be patched together later, bringing together the active background. But the sequence itself wasn’t about the football or the football stadium. “It was very much just background filling where the CIA agent (Ryan Reynolds) is having a meeting, which happens to be in this football stadium, during a game,” explains Steve Garrad.
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