Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Blockbusters take toll on f/x shops

Good/scary article @ Variety
Some highlights:

  • If the visual effects industry had its way, the Disney tentpole that sailed into theaters May 25 might have been named "Pirates of the Caribbean: At Wits' End."
  • Industrial Light & Magic topper Chrissie England, who's seen many blockbusters come through her shop, calls the editing/post-production race to the pic's delivery deadline "about the scariest thing I've ever seen." The film's vfx supervisor, John Knoll, calls it "a freakin' miracle" that the film was done on time.
  • One producer, according to a story making the rounds of vfx shops, is reported to have said, "If I don't put a visual effects shop out of business (on my movie), I'm not doing my job."
  • "Pirates" helmer Gore Verbinski was working nearly around the clock to cut the film and had to lock some reels before other reels were even edited. This has become common practice on action-adventure films.

    "He never had the chance to run the movie for a test audience, reflect on it and make adjustments," Knoll says.

  • Worse, says de Faria, producers aren't just asking for the "War of the Worlds" sked.

    "What I'm hearing now is 'Can you do the '300' budget?" he says, referring to the modestly budgeted all-greenscreen sword-and-sandals pic.