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June 2014

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4 Post • June 2014 Bits & Pieces Audio Network continues its US expansion V ANCOUVER — MPC (www.moving-picture. com) served as the primary visual effects house for director Gareth Edwards' new fea- ture, Godzilla. The Warner Bros. release brings the mega monster to the big screen in a scale never before achieved, and it took MPC's Vancouver, London and Bangalore studios, working in combination, to pull off the film's VFX demands. Godzilla alone consists of a half-million polygons and took nearly seven months for the studio to model and texture. Guillaume Rocheron is a VFX supervisor at MPC, and detailed to Post just how demanding the film's VFX were for the studio. MPC, estimates Rocheron, created 350 shots for the film. Double Negative was also a large contributor. And while that shot count may not initially seem overwhelming, Rocheron says it was the length of so many shots that created the pressure. Many films, he notes, make use of quick cuts and :03 or :04 effects shots, but some of Godzilla's VFX shots were as long as :15. MPC was responsible for developing the lead charac- ter, as well as for the two insect-like MUTOs that Godzilla does battle with — one, a winged, four-legged male creature, and the other, a larger, crawling, six-legged female. The studio also created the HALO jump, with the military parachute team and their red signal flares, as well as the entire third act of the film, in which Godzilla destroys the better part of San Francisco, starting with the Golden Gate Bridge and continuing on into the city. This represented 40 minutes on its own! An MPC team of 400 artists contributed their tal- ents. Godzilla was modeled in Autodesk Maya, but was truly given his incredible detail using Zbrush. The studio uses Linux PCs and has a render farm with hundreds of processors. "The design was interesting," says Rocheron of the film's star. "Gareth wanted the movie to be grounded in reality. The principal of Godzilla is that he is a cre- ation of nature. It's not fantasy. That's an aspect we worked on. We studied animals, bears fighting, reptiles. It needed to be a living and breathing creature, created by nature, but there was nothing in the real world to copy or replicate." The MUTOs also presented challenges. While their insect-like designs are more simplistic than Godzilla's, Rocheron says they still had to have believable detail, as they were to appear to be 250-feet tall. While their limbs have a certain slickness to them, Rocheron says the team gave them a thick, organic skin, much like that of a Killer Whale. How Godzilla and the MUTOs interacted with each other, and their surroundings (lots of destruction) also helped create a sense of scale. All of San Francisco, for example, was digital. Live action was actually shot in Vancouver using Arri Alexa cameras. The digital city allowed the director flexibility in how he could light the film's climactic scenes, which took place at night, in the rain, with three very dark mega monsters. By hav- ing debris from crumbling buildings fall from the sky slowly, the audience gets the impression that it is rain- ing down from great heights. "Gareth has very strong visual style," notes Roche- ron. "It's picturesque — how he shapes frames with contrast — it's strong and vivid. His goal was to have strong and iconic visuals, and to make sure the action was exposed clearly. It wasn't done through shaky cameras. It was a very interesting process. He worked with us and VFX to create virtual cinematography. We never gave the audience a feeling that it was artificial. The scale was massive, so there were no impossible camera moves." By Marc Loftus N EW YORK — Audio Network (http://, an internation- al music company specializing in music for film, television and video, recently made a number of key announcements surrounding the company's continued growth in the US, including the promotion of Ian Ginsberg to VP of sales, as well as a number of strategic appointments to bolster its US sales team and copyright department. The company also recently opened an LA office, lead by Cheryl Frohlich, head of business devel- opment, to further expand its reach from the east to west coasts. According to Juliette Squair, managing director of Audio Network, "The opening of our Los Angeles office is an important mile- stone for the company and signals our vision and ambition to further accelerate the growth of our core business internationally. We're looking forward to bringing our unique blend of the highest quality music and exceptional service to the West Coast." These moves coincide with the contin- ued growth of Audio Network's music cata- logue, focusing on authentically-produced American music, including a series of collec- tions specifically produced for the US market. "We have very high standards for what we include in our library," adds Ginsberg. He explains that for the US market, the com- pany is "as authentic as possible. If we need a Nashville collection, we'll go to Nashville and work with the local musicians." The company first launched in 1999 on a farm in the UK, and now has two facilities in the US, as well as offices in London, Sydney, Toronto, Munich and Amsterdam. An MPC team of 400 artists created 350 shots; and brought title character Godzilla to life using Maya and Zbrush. Audio Network's Manhattan facility. MPC artists take on Godzilla

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