SPY Creates Integrated Visual Effects and DI Pipeline for "Twixt"

News

Facility Also Executed 3D Conversion for Coppola’s Mixed-Media Movie Experience

Last Updated: September 22, 2011 8:08 pm GMT
(San Francisco, California--September 22, 2011) SPY, a FotoKem company offering visual effects and post services in the Bay Area, recently contributed hundreds of visual effects shots, the digital intermediate, and 3D conversion services to Francis Ford Coppola’s latest feature film, "Twixt", which recently screened at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival. SPY’s contribution broke new ground in a number of ways, including an unprecedented integration of visual effects and color grading in the conception and design of ghost effects that play an important role in the film.



“Director of photography Mihai Malaimare, Jr. worked simultaneously with SPY's digital artists and DI colorist Chris Martin to develop the ghost effect that Coppola envisioned,” says Executive Producer Amy Wixson of SPY. “Because they could easily experiment and play off of each other’s work on the fly, a perfectly integrated effect was designed much more efficiently.”

SPY’s team collaborated with Malaimare on the development of the ghost effect, fine tuning the illusion by desaturating the colors and adjusting the quality of the moonlight. The result is a convincing ghost that fully inhabits the environment. The work encompassed approximately 400 visual effects shots for the film.

The full DI was completed with Martin under Malaimare’s supervision as well. In addition to color grading, the DI was used to match effect shots, and to desaturate and perfect extensive day-for-night scenes.

SPY’s creative services with American Zoetrope also extended to the 3D aspects of the film. Coppola designed two 3D sequences into the film that were shot by Malaimare on multiple digital camera formats. SPY devised and executed the technical strategy for marrying the 2D to the 3D material. The 3D material makes up 10 percent of the final film. SPY also provided specific, unique materials needed for the new technique Coppola developed to give him the ability to change how the film plays out on demand in a screening environment. Coppola intends to execute this creative prowess in a live show, making creative choices in real time to the storyline and ending based on his sense of the live audience’s reactions. He utilized this capability via an iPad during 2011’s Comic-Con screening to huge applause, and is planning to continue this unique storytelling feature at subsequent road show screenings.

“Collaborating with an iconic director like Francis Ford Coppola is a dream come true for us at SPY,” says Martin. “Francis and Mihai pushed the technology and inventively came up with new ways to tell a story. We loved the new challenges and opportunities that created. Our goal, as always, was to enable new ideas for the filmmakers with technology. This type of collaborative work continues to blur the lines between traditional categories like vfx and color grading, and the result is enhanced creative freedom for our clients.”

Mike Brodersen, VP of FotoKem, adds, “SPY supported American Zoetrope with a full range of post production capabilities in a bold moviemaking experiment, and we are proud of the team for their accomplishments, both technical and creative.”


About FotoKem
FotoKem is a family-owned, full-service post production facility that has become the go-to resource for the worldwide creative community. Since 1963, the company has serviced every corner of the entertainment market, providing unmatched expertise, high-end solutions and innovative technologies for content creation. The company's systems approach to the imaging chain assists filmmakers in successfully bridging production and post, and supports them in navigating the many formats and choices for telling stories. FotoKem offers a broad spectrum of services, including file-based workflows, 3D digital intermediates, digital cinema packages, mobile dailies, global data delivery, film and video finishing, audio mixing and mastering, visual effects, restoration, and production rentals. FotoKem has expanded over the years with the acquisition of SPY Post, Keep Me Posted, L.A. Studios, and Margarita Mix.

For more information, go to http://www.fotokem.com

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