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Published on March 27th, 2018 | by Genevieve Mc Bride

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Sights & Sounds of Animation, CG, and VFX: Wondercon 2018

Anaheim, CA – On day two of WonderCon 2018, seven of the top TV, film, and video game behind the scenes talent came together for the first ever “Sights & Sounds of Animation, CG, and VFX” panel. The discussion featured Formosa Features supervising sound editor Peter Brown (Fast & Furious, Star Trek: Beyond), Senior VP of Formosa Interactive Paul Lipson (Halo Wars 2, Uncharted: Lost Legacy), CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Bleeding Fingers Music Russell Emanuel (The Simpsons, Blue Planet II), immersive media strategist & cinematographer Andrew Shulkind (The Ritual, NBA: Follow My Lead), art director Jordan Crockett, visual effects supervisor at Scanline VFX Bryan Grill (Captain America: Winter Soldier, Black Panther), and supervising director Mike Hollingsworth (BoJack Horseman, Tuca & Bertie.)

The conversation began with the panelists’ favorite highlights from their recent projects. Mike Hollingsworth had the WonderCon audience laughing with calling out the character “Bradley Hitler Smith,” the full name of one of BoJack’s minor characters. “That wasn’t in the script. One of our directors, Henry Long, came up with it. Some of the best things are made up in the moment.”

Bryan Grill chimed in, describing his enthusiasm for the creation of the iconic Wakandan falls in Black Panther. “The director wanted to take a traditional coronation and incorporate technological advance with the ship. We took a sound-based approach to create its movement, which you can see in the ripples of the water.” Peter Brown had a favorite moment of another sort. “For Star Trek: Beyond, the director had a foosball round robin tournament. The prize was your face on a poster in the film. If you go back in, you can see our assistant editor’s face in the background of one of the scenes. Just a little example of how great it is to work for a great person.”

From there, the conversation turned to the importance of collaboration. Jordan Crockett commented, “60% of my job is hidden in research and collaboration. The biggest part of our jobs is constant collaboration.” A key on set, according to Crockett, is finding a crew who can work towards the same vision. Russell Emanuel agreed, and described the formation of Bleeding Fingers. “Composers are historically solitary creatures. We saw all this young and exciting talent coming up, and sought a way to harness it. At Bleeding Fingers, composers are surgically picked to collaborate, and we feel this process yields some of the best scoring around.”

At this point, the panel opened up to question from the audience. One guest asked about the future of entertainment, joking of the imminent creation of a “holodeck.” “I think we’re on the brink of a very different type of content from what we’ve seen before,” answered Andrew Shulkind. “We have to utilize old methods and push them in new directions. We are taking the best of the past, and marrying it with the power of CG imaging and other technologies.”

Another audience member brought up the possibility of recreating actors’ voices and performances post-mortem. Peter Brown brought up a recent example. “We in The Fast & The Furious were tasked with recreating Paul Walker in the last film from old footage for the latest film. We had no preparation for that task, and we were lucky to have the recent technology to handle this challenge from a sound perspective.”

In summary, Paul Lipson concluded, “There is a lot of cool stuff coming in the next five years. It’s going to change the way we consume media. I’ve been in games for decades, and these interactive experiences now-a-days involve such a large amount of content and sound. I think the potential is limitless.”

Photo Credit: Sam Kolber
Poster Credit: Impact24 PR

 

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