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n n n n VFX•Animation did a lot of large-scale rigs and camera setups to achieve everything.” Larranaga notes that the effect of suspend- ing a character in midair was achieved in the Matrix movies, but Inception took it to an entirely different level. “We get the whole movement in zero gravity,” he says. “Te way they used that effect to create a dreamlike state and feeling was really something differ- ent. Going three layers deep into the film and keeping the audience in the story was also a big accomplishment.” Okun says that watching the city of Paris fold Clash of the Titans Release date: April 2 Production companies: Legendary Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Thunder Road Pictures, The Zanuck Company It’s tough to remake a classic visual effects film and get the approval of the VFX crowd, especially those who revered the original Ray Harryhausen version. “Tis was a film that we loved in our childhood,” says David Dozoretz, founder/CEO of Persistence of Vision. Saints LA visual effects supervisor/owner Mark Larranaga and SWAY visual effects super- visor Aaron Powell both especially enjoyed the scorpion battle. “It felt so real, and the effects were really great,” Powell says. “All the battle scenes were aggressive and, of course, every- thing had to be CGI.” Larranaga and Powell also both liked the twist on the character Medusa. “Medusa with the longer snake tail was cool,” says Larranaga. Powell notes that they made Medusa “more badass” by giving the audience the sense that she didn’t just try to turn people into stone, but “that she was a great archer and moved quickly.” Look FX co-owner/senior visual ef- fects supervisor Anthony “Max” Ivins points out that, among the good VFX, were all the water effects. “Tat’s all hard to do well,” he notes. Tis movie had a 3D stereo conversion, however, that a few VFX experts felt was too rushed. “In order to do a conversion correctly, you have to spend time on it,” says Dozoretz. Okun notes that the filmmakers didn’t initially know it would be converted to 3D. “It’s not a failure of the process, but of the reprocessing,” he says. “Prime Focus did a great job. But I have to agree with James Cameron that it was actually 2.8D.” Click for in-depth feature story on this film. 22 December 2010 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Release date: November 19 Production companies: Warner Bros. Pictures, Heyday Films Adapting a book—especially a beloved one—is extremely difficult, but that is where the Harry Potter franchise has shone. “I expect it to be great,” says Ivins, who declares him- self “a big fan” of all the Harry Potter films. “Te work is always completely solid,” says Dozoretz. “Te entire franchise is brilliant.” Also a huge fan is Kern Optical executive producer Rose Duignan. “Te work is always so outstanding, always A+,” she says. “It’s also a great story with great characters.” Although Okun doesn’t consid- er himself a fan of fantasy movies, he’s looking forward to seeing the film. “Te work in the stories has progressed at a phenomenal pace,” he says. “Te story is getting tight, and I’m looking forward to see- ing what they do.” Okun applauded the decision to hold off on a 3D version. “If you’re going to shoot something new and in stereo, shoot it in stereo,” adds Do- zoretz. “Only convert library titles. I’m a big pro- ponent of that.” Inception Release date: July 16 Production companies: Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures, Syncopy Tis feature film had a lot of critics and fans talking, and with its unusual folding and ex- ploding cityscapes, was a big hit among visual effects experts. “Tis was my favorite movie this year,” says Ivins. “It wasn’t easy to figure out how they did the weightlessness. Tere were a lot of ‘hmmm’ moments in the film. Aside from building everything in 3D, they over was the coolest visual effect he’s seen. “Not only was the work stunningly great, but it was transparent to the story,” he says. “Te work was all in service of the story, and the story was so fresh and new that it allowed the VFX folks to stretch and come up with stunning visuals that were justified for the story.” Rising Sun Pic- tures co-founder/visual effects supervisor Tony Clark agrees, saying, “It was one of the most original story lines of the season; the film got me thinking. It was fantastic work, helped by the fact that the film itself is so strong.” Zoic Studios senior VFX supervisor of features Rocco Passionino notes that the visual effects were so seamless that many view- ers might not realize the extent that they were incorporated. “Framestore did a fantastic job,” he says. “It’s a perfect example of integration of visual effects into a very creative story where they melded together perfectly.” Duignan notes the work of New Deal Studios in creat- ing a complex miniature sequence when the hideout slides down the mountain. “Tey did great work,” she says. “Hats off to them.” For Duignan, it’s about “the heart and soul” of a movie. “Tat still matters,” she says. “Tis movie transported you from the first frame to the last.” “Inception was totally cool,” says Digital Domain animation director David Andrews. “I had to suspend my disbelief a bit of the way, but I didn’t care. It was really engrossing and captivating to me, story-wise. It was a success- ful weaving of story and effects.” A new aesthetic that played around with re- ality was what intrigued Dozoretz. “Te visual

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