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  • Sherri

    VFX Legion Completes Effects for ‘Superfly’ Re

    July 10, 2018, 11:08 am
    Producer Joel Silver and Director X Call on the LA Studio to Tackle 100+ Shots Designed to Amp Up the Impact of the Action and Raw Violence in Sony’s Reboot of the Iconic ‘70’s Film


    Title_Image_Superfly.jpg

    VFX Legion created over 100 digital effects for ‘Superfly,’ Sony’s highly anticipated remake of the iconic ‘70’s Blaxploitation film.  The deadline was only five weeks away, and the visual effects for key action sequences had yet to be assigned when producer Joel Silver and Director X brought the LA studio onboard. Legion’s team was tasked with producing a complex mix of shots designed to heighten the visual impact and visceral feel of the violence in the film’s two pivotal shootout scenes.  

    The reboot of ‘Superfly’ puts a modern, stylish spin on the original 1972 film about a Harlem drug dealer trying to score one last deal before getting out of ‘the game.’  Set in present-day Atlanta, the Mecca of today’s popping music scene, the action is driven by a hip-hop soundtrack curated by Future. The city’s distinctive style is the backdrop for a new generation of affluent, extravagant drug kingpins that takes violence to the extreme.  

    VFX Legion’s founder, CD and senior visual effects supervisor, James David Hattin, and VFX producer, Nate Smalley, stepped into the project during an edit session where they were brought up to speed by Silver, (The Matrix Trilogy, 'Lethal Weapon' series, 'Die Hard,' 'Predator,') Future (rapper, producer,) and music-video auteur, Director X, a.k.a. Julien Christian Lutz, (Usher, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Drake, Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj.)

    “Joel Silver is a very hands-on producer, renowned for his work in the action film genre,” says Hattin.  “He had a very particular vision of how he wanted the visual effects to augment the footage. Nate and I left the session with a clear understanding of the digital assets that the movie required.” 

    The mix of visual effects that Legion produced for the two main shootout sequences in ‘Superfly’ magnify the intensity of the carnage during these face-offs and brings home the ferocity and violence at the core of the film.

    Superfly_Muzzle_Flash_Damage_Before_Frame.jpgSuperfly_Muzzle_Flash_Damage_After_Frame.jpg
    Computer-generated muzzle fashes enhance live-action footage

    “Joel wanted to capture the ‘big’ feel of the 1999 'Matrix' film,” says Hattin. “To take the shoot-out scenes to that extreme, we created thousands of digital particles flying from bullet hits and blasts of debris that tore the drywall to shreds.”

    Legion’s Houdini artist, Eric Ebling, created numerous simulations of debris from the walls that blended with the look and texture of the practical footage. These caches were lit and rendered in Redshift, and then integrated into the scenes. Muzzle flashes were digitally 

    The studio's team augmented squibs from bullet hits with computer-generated blood that streams out of wounds, puddles on the floor and splatters in realistic patterns. Residue left by the squibs was digitally removed.

    During the production of ‘Superfly,’ a number fires were shot on-set that ended up being used as starting points for the much larger and more dramatic CG blazes that Legion’s team designed. Nick Guth and Dan Short, two of the studio’s lead compositors, created the wall of fire that the main characters run through, followed by the rival gang leader jumping through the flames in pursuit -  all with the help of digital effects.

    Layering in multiple stock photographs of fire elements and 3D tracking of the camera in Syntheyes, enabled the company’s Nuke artists to produce shots with a photorealistic look 
    and seamlessly sync them with the footage.

    Superfly_FireJump_Before_Frame.jpg
    Superfly_FireJump_After_Frame.jpg
    Fire in practical footage above, digital augmented to wall of fire with a fierce blaze 

    “Legion’s team was thrilled to have the opportunity to work on Sony’s remake of ‘Superfly,'” says Hattin.  “Our enthusiasm for the project, along with our experience, efficient pipeline, and technical ingenuity, enabled us to turn the large workload of shots around well ahead of schedule, leaving time for us to take on some additional work on the movie.”

    “The visual effects that VFX Legion created were all about amplifying the impact of the violence captured with practical footage and Intensifying the spectacle of the film to achieve the look that the director and producer envisioned,” adds Hattin.

    About VFX Legion:
    VFX Legion is a Burbank-based company specializing in providing episodic television shows and feature films with high-quality visual effects that get the most out of every budget.

    Launched in 2013 with a pioneering pipeline at its core, founder, CD, senior visual effects supervisor, James David Hattin, and the studio’s veteran management team, support staff, and collective of 70+ skilled VFX artists work as an efficient unit, meeting the challenge of high shot counts and tight deadlines for multiple projects with ease.

    Legion’s TV work includes series, such as ‘How to Get Away with Murder,’ ‘Madam Secretary,’ ‘Suits,’ ‘El Chapo,’ ‘Eye Candy,’ ‘Revolution, and ‘Gone,’ to name a few. ‘Hardcore Henry,’ ‘Sinister 2,’ ‘The Purge: Election Year’ and ‘The Purge: Anarchy’ are among the studio’s film credits.

    VFX Legion is currently readying to begin work on its fourth season of the Shonda Rhimes’ series, ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ while wrapping up effects created for the highly anticipated hundred-million-dollar epic film, ‘Asura,’ and beginning work on a new film out of Blumhouse Productions.
    For more information about VFX Legion visit http://VFXlegion.com.

    CREDITS:
    Project: ‘Superfly’ (2018/Feature Film)
    Client: Sony Pictures

    Director: Director X (Jules Christian Lutz)
    Executive Producer: Matthew Hirsch
    Producer: Joel Silver
    Producer/Music Curator: Future
    Producer: Palak Patel
    Cinematographer: Amir Mokri
    Screenplay by:  Alex Tse
    Talent: Trevor Jackson, Jason Mitchell, Lex Scott Davia

    Production Companies:
    Columbia Pictures
     Silver Pictures
     Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE)

    VFX Company: VFX Legion /LA
    VFX Supervisor: James David Hattin
    VFX Executive Producer: Reid Burns
    VFX Producer: Nate Smalley
    VFX Production Manager: Andrew Turner
    CG Supervisor: Rommel S. Calderon
    VFX Coordinator: Lexi Sloan
    CG Artist: Eric Ebling
    CG Artist: Alex Keller
    Camera Tracking: Ruy Delgado
    Compositor: Nick Guth
    Compositor: Brad Moylan
    Compositor: Eugen Olsen
    Compositor: Kevin Shawley
    Compositor: Dan Short
    Bookkeeping: Michaela O’Brien


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  • Other Postings By Member

    • Sherri
      VFX

      VFX Legion Expands it Team of Senior Artists

      October 25, 2018, 11:39 am
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    • Sherri
      VFX

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      September 27, 2018, 4:10 pm
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    • Sherri
      VFX

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      September 27, 2018, 4:04 pm
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    • Sherri
      VFX

      VFX Legion Breakdown Reel, ‘Madam Secretary’ S

      May 31, 2018, 6:43 am
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    • Sherri
      VFX

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    • Sherri
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    • Sherri
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    • Sherri
      VFX

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    • Sherri
      EDITING

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