IAN FAILES | FXGUIDE | MARCH 5, 2012 | Original Article
In our continuing series on invisible and seamless visual effects work, we take a look at some recent films – War Horse, Safe House, Big Miracle and Underworld: Awakening – where the VFX made a crucial difference in enhancing the director’s vision on screen.
Visual effects studio Image Engine recently had what they considered was a unique opportunity to enhance the story in Daniel Espinosa’s Safe House. For the film – which tells the story of a CIA rookie tasked with protecting a fugitive in Cape Town, South Africa – visual effects supervisor Simon Hughes knew his team would be responsible for certain shots, including crowd replication in a soccer stadium and after car chase shots. But after shooting wrapped and the director delivered an initial edit, Image Engine was called upon to pick certain moments in the film where visual effects could enhance some key moments.
“The director basically handed us the film,” recalls Hughes. “He said, ‘Right, we have a visual effects budget, but what I want you to do is go through the whole film and look for any opportunities to improve on the sense of danger and excitement.’ It was such a fantastic opportunity that doesn’t happen much, really. Often in visual effects you’re just handed a very small part of the film and kept out of the loop and you don’t always get a feel for things holistically.”
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