Not many studios out there are utilizing visual effects to the extent that Marvel Studios has been in the last 8 years. Whether the story calls for Iron Man soaring through the skies, or a certain talking raccoon hitching a ride on his walking, talking, tree sidekick, Marvel’s VFX is there to bring it to life.
Victoria Alonso, Marvel Studio’s Executive vice president, physical production, is the person that makes all the magic happen. She recently sat down with Cartoon Brew to give some insight on her work. When asked how projects get shared between the different VFX industries for Marvel’s films, she had this to say:
“For us, what was incredibly important was I didn’t want to do something that was right for one company and then not be able to do it with another company. It has to be completely seamless.” “Clearly you can still do things twice or one-and-a-half times because the rigging approach might be something you don’t share, or there are proprietary things you don’t share. But just being able to take an asset and not having to do it three times over is a huge issue for us. Time is a big deal.”
A “seamless” approach to VFX will be important in the coming years, with Marvel to begin releasing 3 films a year in 2017, and onward. With each film more ambitious than the last, it is only fair to assume that the technology is expanding as fast as it’s being put to use. Alonso went on to comment on the “latest tech” and it’s involvement in getting a picture done in time.
“The funny thing is, people ask us all the time about technology. We have visual effects in our movies because the story needs it. It’s not because we want to have visual effects. If that particular story point needs the latest technology, then that’s what we’ll do. We don’t seek out technology for technology’s sake. That’s never been the goal of the company. We could be doing a lot of crazy things that don’t tell the story point and people would be writing, ‘It’s really cool, but it made no sense and has no place in the movie.’ What I would hope people write is, ‘I have no idea how they did that, but at that moment in the story it blew my mind.’ That is our consistent thought for us as we ventured into twisting New York, for instance, in Doctor Strange.”
While effects are a strong area of Marvel’s films, it is nice to hear from one of the EVPs at Marvel reiterate the importance of each film’s story. As for what it takes to be an effects supervisor at on of the biggest studio/ production company in the world, Alonso commented saying:
Not sleeping is one… No, being open with what’s to come and knowing that it’s coming. We make the movie three times, right? We make it in prep, we shoot it, and then we make it in post. I think if you’re one of those supervisors that is incredibly rigid about your process, you will find that our way of working is painful. So it’s being open to the possibilities, which is very much a Doctor Strange message.
Speaking of Doctor Strange, you can check it out in theaters now!
Source: Cartoon Brew