Vfx

Below-the-Line Impact Report 2012

ROBERT LEGATO

An Oscar winner for “Hugo,” Legato says he tries to use the best available technology to let filmmakers tell their story. In addition to serving as vfx supervisor, he was also a second-unit director on “Hugo,” a dual role that he says gave him the flexibility to decide the best way to get the right shot. “By bridging the gap between visual effects and straight live-action photography, you just pick the best moments,” he says. Legato’s multiple earlier credits include James Cameron’s “Avatar” and Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island.” He also directed an episode of “C.S.I.” creator Anthony Zuiker’s online “BlackBox TV.” Legato is re-teaming with Scorsese for “The Wolf of Wall Street” as well as pitching an idea for a film he wants to direct for online distribution — a medium where “you can do some very high-quality work in a short amount of time and a lot of people can see it.”

THILO KUTHER

Kuther founded global vfx house Pixomondo and turned it into a facility with offices in multiple time zones and an international pipeline that runs 24/7. Pixomondo did 500 shots for Lucasfilm’s “Red Tails” that met ILM’s high standards, and contributed significant work to “Hugo.” Kuther also cites 300 shots for “The Amazing Spider-Man,” and work on “The Hunger Games,” “Snow White and the Huntsman” and Season Two of “Game of Thrones” as key accomplishments. Kuthur’s goal is to continue to expand Pixomondo’s global footprint, and he sees places like China and Brazil as potential markets instead of just sources of inexpensive labor. “This is not about this outsourcing thing, which is not what we are doing,” he says. “We are hiring and getting bigger (everywhere).”

ANDREW ORLOFF

As co-founder of Zoic Studios in Los Angeles, Orloff has helped make the studio one of the top TV visual effects producers. Zoic has been the main effects partner on “Falling Skies,” helping design the alien invaders and animating them well enough to hold their own with flesh-and-blood actors. He also led Zoic in developing a virtual environment technology being used to create the fairytale segments in “Once Upon a Time.” “It allows us to get a lot of material done quickly at a very high level,” he says. Looking ahead, Orloff has Zoic set for such new fall series as “Arrow,” “666 Park Place” and returning shows including “Fringe.” He’s also working from Vancouver to expand Zoic’s services to its television partners that shoot north of the border.

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