‘X-Men’ recruits Cinesite, Rhythm & Hues

Firms will contribute well over 400 shots to pic

This article was corrected on July 10, 2002.

Cinesite and Rhythm & Hues have been tapped to create a large portion of the f/x for 20th Century Fox’s superhero sequel “X-Men 2.”

Kodak-backed Cinesite will create roughly 300 shots for the comic book actioner, which has already begun production in Vancouver with Bryan Singer returning to helm. That’s far more than the 100 computer-generated shots the facility created for the first installment and represents two-thirds of the f/x sequences expected to appear in the pic.

Rhythm & Hues will create 150 shots, including key sequences, with f/x vet Richard Hollander (“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”) overseeing the work for the company. Other shops, including Kleiser-Walczak, Grant McCune Design and Frantic Films also are expected to provide visuals.

Most of Cinesite’s shots will comprise 3-D character animation, an area into which Cinesite has been trying to expand since it created an integral digital robot character for Warner Bros.’ “Red Planet.”

“We’ve added additional creative talent, proprietary software and faster, better hardware and increased our throughput, all of which makes us very well suited to handle this showcase movie,” said Ruth Scovill, Cinesite prexy and chief operating officer.

Inside track

Cinesite’s landing “X-Men 2” doesn’t come as that big of a surprise, however, considering that the pic’s visual f/x supervisor, Mike Fink, is based at Cinesite. He also held that position on the original “X-Men” pic.

Joining Cinesite for the production are visual f/x supervisor Stephen Rosenbaum (“Forrest Gump,” “The Perfect Storm,” “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”) and visual f/x producer Ralph Horan, former veep and head of production at Sony Pictures Imageworks, who will spearhead the facility’s work, reporting to Fink.

Cinesite recently finished creating f/x shots for the DreamWorks/Fox co-production “Road to Perdition” and is now working on MGM’s James Bond actioner “Die Another Day,” Fox’s “Solaris,” U’s “Red Dragon” and Dimension’s “Spy Kids 2.”

Rhythm & Hues is on a roll this year, fresh off of Par’s “The Sum of All Fears,” Warners’ “Scooby-Doo” and Sony’s “Men in Black II.” It is now tackling Fox’s “Daredevil.”

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