February 4, 2009

Digiscope Pushes FX Boundaries

Santa Monica, Calif. - ­ Digiscope, a visual effects production studio, has completed more than 300 FX shots for the upcoming Summit Entertainment/Icon Productions feature film entitled, Push. For this project, Digiscope worked with UK-based Peerless Camera Company, which produced another 100 FX shots.
Push, directed by Paul McGuigan, is a sci-fi thriller slated for release Feb 6, 2009.

The film stars Dakota Fanning,Chris Evans, and Djimon Hounsou. Producers are Glenn Williamson, Bruce Davey, and Willaim Vince.  Executive Producers are David Bourla, Amy Gilliam, Michael Ohoven, Gretchen Somerfeld, David Valleau, and Stan Wlodkowski. Bourla also wrote the script.

Digiscope and its in-house supervisor Dion Hatch worked directly with Paul McGuigan and the film's VFX supervisor Kent Houston to create the FX shots.

Says Hatch: "We had a very collaborative relationship on Push with both Paul and Kent. One of their first concerns was locking down the design of the 'mover' effect. Both Nick (Chris Evans) and Victor (Neil Jackson) are 'movers;' they are adversaries with psychokinetic powers. Initially Paul wanted these move effects to be subtle. Brent Prevatt, the digital supervisor, designed dozens of different looks using a combination of 3D and 2D constructs. Paul then combined a number of these designs, ultimately favoring a very chromatic energy burst combined with a subtle ripple effect. He liked Brent's final design so much that he decided to amp up the effect as the fighting intensifies making the fights between Nick and Victor more visually powerful."

Hatch adds, "Our greatest challenge on Push was to design and build a 60-story skyscraper and drop it in the middle of downtown Hong Kong. The top of the building was designed to match the set where the final big fight scene happens between Chris Evans and the bad guys -- members of the Division. The rest of the building was to be under construction with bamboo scaffolding and covered in green netting. Kent supplied us with hundreds of textural and environmental references to complete the look. The interior of the building was also a challenge. The final moments of the film takes place with the actors fighting on an unfinished glass floor. Below them Paul wanted a large central shaft that dropped away 60 floors, creating a frightening sense of vertigo. Originally, we planned to do the void as a 2.5D projection, but in order to meet the creative changes that Paul and Kent asked for, we ended up building the void completely in 3D."