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Whodoo EFX ?Perfects VFX for Stepford WivesCreated FX for more than 85 shots on Paramount/Dreamworks? film (June 14, 2004)
Whodoo EFX completed visual effects for Paramount Pictures new film, ?The Stepford Wives. A subversive and comic look at rampant consumerism and the quest for perfection, the film exposes what it really means to be human by looking beneath the perfect veneer of an idyllic community nestled in our very imperfect world. Featuring an extraordinary cast, ?The Stepford Wives stars Nicole Kidman, Matthew Broderick, Bette Midler, Christopher Walken, Faith Hill and Glenn Close in a comedic thriller about a community that dares to be perfect and learns that to err is human.
Led by President/Digital Effects Artist Helena Packer and Executive Producer Mark Ritcheson, the Whodoo EFX team collaborated closely with famed comedy Director Frank Oz, Academy Award-winning Visual Effects Supervisor Richard Edlund, ASC, and Award-winning Art Director Terry Windell. According to Edlund, Packer traveled to New York with him in Fall 2003 to work closely on-set with Oz and the cast. Although the film started out having just a few visual effects shots in one sequence, the visual effects portion of the project expanded to more than 85 shots over the course of the collaboration. Whodoos Packer and Ritcheson led a team of 12 digital artists. Together, they completed the design, graphics, 3D and compositing throughout Winter and Spring 2004, finishing all of the visual effects just before the films release in early June.
Edlund and Packer have enjoyed a long-term collaboration with their working relationship dating back 15 years to feature films including ?The Last of the Mohicans and ?Airforce One, as well as commercial projects via Edlunds former Boss Films. Edlund credits Whodoo for the companys talent and flexibility. ?Movies sometimes have a life of their own, notes Edlund, who served as Visual Effects Consultant on ?The Stepford Wives. ?With this project, the visual effects sequences expanded in scope, but the films release date remained the same as it usually does. So the challenge was being able to roll with the punches, which Helena and her team definitely did. She is able to communicate very well to her artists. I have great respect for her talent and she has marvelous taste. I would be very happy to work with her again on a long feature project at the drop of a hat.
?The people of Whodoo are terrific, notes Director Frank Oz. ?The end result of our collaboration was wonderful, as was their attitude. Their main concern was always the quality of their work and how that work could best serve the story. I'm really looking forward to working with them again."
?Not only was this the largest motion picture project we have taken on to date in terms of the number of visual effects shots, explains Whodoos Packer. ?We were also responsible for a lot of the design of the visual effects. Working hand-in-hand with Richard and the director was exciting and rewarding, because we were able to be part of the process from the beginning.
?It was an honor and a pleasure working with talent like Frank Oz, Richard Edlund and Terry Windell, adds Ritcheson. ?It was an important step for Whodoo. The impact of this project takes the company to a new level in the visual effects community.
In addition to Packer, who served as Visual Effects Supervisor on the film for Whodoo EFX. The team was led by Robert Skotak, who completed a series of matte paintings of the idyllic village of Stepford, Connecticut, as well as the design of the ?neuro net in the complex laboratory sequence featuring Matthew Broderick. Jay Roth served as CGI Supervisor, and was responsible for the 3D realization of Skotaks design. Richard Lieu was Lead Compositor on numerous driving sequences, greenscreen shots, and the laboratory scene. He also completed color correction on exterior shots. Marla Carter served as Visual Effects Artist.
Richard Edlund also brought Terry Windell (?Poltergeist, ?Star Trek) onto the film to serve as Visual Effects Designer. Windell storyboarded and completed the animation design for the lab sequence. The visual effects completed by Whodoo worked in tandem with the prosthetic special effects completed by the Phil Tippett Studio in Berkeley, California.
About Whodoo EFX
Whodoo EFX is a visual effects company, specializing in the creation of special effects from concept to completion. Because of the Whodoo teams understanding of all types of effects, including 3D and practical effects, the company is able to approach each project in the most cost-effective and creative way. This integrated knowledge of special effects is the culmination of over 17 years of experience. Whodoo comprises a pool of successful and award-winning professionals. Helena Packer, Robert Skotak, Jay Roth and Mark Ritcheson have garnered numerous awards, including Oscars and Clios. Their backgrounds include feature films, episodic TV, commercials and rock videos. Whodoo was established five years ago to develop a creative environment where clients and artists work together to develop new and exciting visual effects.
Whodoo EFX is located at 1335 4th Street, 2nd Floor, Santa Monica, CA 90401. tel: (310) 899-1314. fax: (310) 451-1066.
For more information visit www.whodooefx.com.
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