Sunday, 16 January 2011

Visual Effects

February 2010 is the month when Stormhouse, my new horror feature film, is set to be completed.
Which means we are nearly there now.
It's been the hardest film I've ever worked on. Not in terms of it being unpleasant, but in terms of it's technical complexity.
With over 140 visual effects shots realised by many different vfx artists it's a tremendous learning process as I sit and work through them as they come in for me to approve.

Visual effects, in case you don't know, is the term given to effects that are created for shots during the post production process. Often, these days, using computer software tools.

I think people often think that you just "put a bit of CGI" on a shot or "just remove that wire". If only...

When you edit a film it's usually without any visual effects in place, so you have to imagine how they work and guess the timings of when it will work.
When you finally get the completed visual effect shot back, it can often change the dynamic of a scene. Whether it's the artists interpretation, or simply having the Actual effect in front of you, it very rarely just slots back in the edit. You need to have a rethink and make sure the scene works how you originally envisioned it.

Over the last 3 months I have seen some brilliant vfx work being delivered.
As a fan of genre films myself I want to see visual effects that are cool, as well as those that help me buy into the impossible made real.
I think we have a good balance of visual effects that help tell the story, but also effects that people will scratch their heads and wonder how the hell we did it.

Visual effects cannot make a film great, but they sure can help!


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