July 25, 2006

Cinesite creates environments and effects for 'STORMBREAKER'

Cinesite has completed visual effects for the Weinstein Company's film STORMBREAKER, which opened in the UK on ...

which opened in the UK on July 21 and is slated for an August 18 release in the US.

Based on the best-selling series of books by Anthony Horowitz, STORMBREAKER introduces the reluctant teenage super-spy Alex Rider (Alex Pettyfer) to cinema audiences. After the death of his uncle, the 14-year-old hero is forced by the Special Operations Division of Britain's secret intelligence service, MI6, to undertake a mission that will save millions of lives.

In one key sequence, Rider is lured to the underground headquarters of MI6 from a photo booth in Liverpool Street Station. He descends through a huge open atrium in a glass elevator, as surrounding office levels whiz past.

Visual effects supervisor Tom Debenham and director Geoffrey Sax wanted the shots to give an impression of the vast space hidden below ground, housing the high-tech offices of MI6. Cinesite visual effects supervisor Sue Rowe oversaw the team of artists as they developed architecture to achieve this, using plans of other MI6 sets and artwork supplied by the production.

Cinesite also took still photographs of office interiors to adapt into a convincing population of the offices. Cinesite's effects team added the background and interactive lighting to a live-action plate of the two actors, which was composited to create the lift interior.

Other sequences involved adding the CG atrium into the background of several shots, animating graphics for various monitor inserts, bullet hits, explosion composites, digital matte paintings and seamlessly adding London into the background of bluescreen helicopter shots for the climax of the film.