February 16, 2007

Framestore CFC, Weta Digital Score Imagina Award for VFX Work

Monte Carlo - This year's Imagina Awards recognized the VFX work in X-Men: The Last Stand with the prize for Best Special Effects jointly awarded to Framestore CFC and Weta Digital Ltd.
The award -- one of Imagina's famous glass teapots -- was accepted on behalf of the company by Joint CEO William Sargent. X-Men: The Last Stand opened in May 2006 around the world, breaking many box-office records. Directed by Brett Ratner and starring Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, and Patrick Stewart, the film is a 20th Century Fox production. The film's VFX Supervisor was John Bruno.

Chief among Framestore CFC's contributions to the film's VFX are the Bridge Sequence - wherein one of the mutant groups use their telekinetic powers to wrench San Francisco's famous Golden Gate Bridge from it's foundations and redirect it to form a link with the island of Alcatraz. Framestore CFC's VFX Supervisor for the project was Craig Lyn, who had personal reasons for wanting to win the bid for the Bridge sequence. "Our VFX Producer on this project, Mei Ming Casino, and I had both lived in the (San Francisco) Bay area," he says, "And we both have very fond memories of it. The chance to play with one of the world's most famous bridges in a location we loved was just too good to miss." The company's VFX team also gave CG wings to Angel, a character new to the mutant pantheon, as well as replacing him in some shots with a full digital double. In addition, the team handled a sequence where a fountain and pond are instantaneously frozen. Altogether, Framestore CFC provided the production with 175 VFX shots. The Imagina Awards - part of the European Digital Content Creation Festival - have won a reputation over the years as the benchmark for worldwide computer graphics and special effects production. They have become a significant competition, synonymous with creativity, discovery and diversity. The awards are given to the best graphic works animated using digital technology, based not only on their technical qualities but also on the emotions they generate.