Inverse does some fun retro pieces, especially when a new film is coming out. I was stoked they asked me to write a brief history of visual effectsbrief history of visual effects used in King Kong movies.
For Inverse, I jumped into the best practical and digital make-up and animatronics and prosthetics work from the Star Wars films. Such innovation amongst these.
Inverse asked me to check out the transition from miniatures to digital in Rogue One and ILM’s John Knoll had made some awesome comments about what they were doing with the Death Star and spaceships. Check it out here.
With Fantastic Beasts out, Inverse asked me to write a retrospective on the best Harry Potter vfx scenes from the franchise so far. It was HARD to choose, but here they are.
I also managed to grab some extra info from Jim Mitchell, the vfx supe for Goblet of Fire about the creation of the Hungarian Horntail dragon in particular:
What I remember most about the dragon sequence or rather the 1st task of the Tri-wizard tournament was how much it evolved from the book and script which were very brief descriptions of the fire-breathing dragon guarding the golden egg from Harry in this confined rocky arena.
There never was any of the chase around Hogwarts castle but one day when I was checking out the huge physical model of the castle for some establishing shots, I thought how cool would it be see Harry and the dragon flying through its deep ravines, under bridges and past these giant, stoned structures.
I imagined the dragon landing on one of the steep towers and roaring like King Kong on the Empire state building. Mike Newell and the producers liked the idea and so the sequence grew to include the chase. I think it opened the sequence up and made it more perilous and exciting than it originally was. ILM did a great job with the animation and look of the bat-like dragon making it as real as any dragon I’ve seen.
Hacksaw Ridge is great, and its practical effects are fantastic. I talked to special effects supervisor Dan Oliver about the work, for Inverse.
Shin Godzilla is having a run in U.S. cinemas, so the guys at Inverse asked me to look back at where the franchise has used special effects. Loved revisiting the man-in-suit, miniatures and CG work.
Tim Burton’s newest film Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is out soon, and it made me think just how many of the director’s films are either huge VFX blockbusters or do a great job of using subtle – but a lot – of effects. So I wrote about it for Inverse.
The best commercials are more art projects, right? I think most of what Spike Jonze makes is exactly that, which is why his latest perfume spot for KENZO is so watchable. And it also happens to have a bunch of seamless vfx from Digital Domain, which I wrote about at Inverse.
Here’s a preview of the nominees for VFX Emmys this year, which I wrote about on Inverse.
Inverse had me ask a bunch of visual effects supervisors what the best direction was they had received from directors they’ve worked with. Check out their responses for some pretty cool insights from directors like Sam Raimi, Barry Sonnenfeld, Ang Lee and others. And thanks to Todd Vaziri for the idea behind this one. Link to the story.
Laika’s work on Kubo was just incredible, and although it hasn’t been a huge success, it showed off the magic that still exists in stop-motion animation. So I took at look at some present and previous innovations in the field, for Inverse.
I noticed researcher Hao Li was behind a new startup called Pinscreen which seemed to be doing some mysterious face tracking and AR app. So I talked to him about it for Inverse.
Inverse asked me to explore the history of dragons in vfx, so I went from stop motion to CG in this retrospective.
For Inverse, I wrote about some of the big developments, like original models, the first CG sequence in a feature film, TV VFX and the newest warp speed stuff for Beyond.
How the vfx team on Ghostbusters brought back Slimer, Stay Puft and used new innovations to make the ghosts possible (like LED’s on set). A new piece for Inverse.
They’re all big! Here’s a new article for Inverse on just some of the alien invasion kick-ass VFX shots in the film. More to come on IDR, too.