Production manager/producer Impact: He followed up “Inception” with Ben Affleck’s “Argo.”
Upcoming: Darren Aronofsky’s biblical epic “Noah,” which shot in New York and in Iceland, “where we had to react to 80 mph winds,” he says. He’ll re-team with Affleck for “Live by Night.”
Producer Impact: He spent three years grappling with water tanks, complex vfx and tricky Taiwan locations on director Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi.” “What makes Ang’s work so special is that he’s a jazz player,” says Womark, who previously worked with Lee on 2003’s “Hulk.” “He hears the notes and anticipates things.”
Unit production manager/producer Impact: He had the title executive producer on “Zero Dark Thirty,” a credit he also carried on “Avatar.” He came out the editorial department to become a UPM, earning producer credit on five films for Steven Spielberg and other high-profile pics.
Upcoming: A untitled Imagine Films Pele biopic shooting in Rio, directed by brothers Jeff and Michael Zimbalist.
Editing Impact: He cut two films based on CIA-centric true stories set in the Middle East — “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Argo” — winning an Oscar, BAFTA and ACE Eddie for “Argo” and noms for “Zero Dark Thirty.” “The biggest challenge was finding all the tonal elements in ‘Argo,’ while in ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ it was the raid that took 16 hours a day for a month to get it right,” he says.
Upcoming: The next “Transformers”
Editing Impact: Taking over after the original cut of “World War Z” had been made wasn’t easy, but he was aided by the film’s temporary hiatus. “That gave me a lot of time to sit with the movie, and figure out how to recut it,” he says. “We ultimately found a pacing that did not allow the audience to rest.” Other recent credits: “The Grey” and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.”
Editing Impact: He’s earned kudos for cutting big projects for the smallscreen: an Emmy win for miniseries “The Kennedys” and an ACE Award nom for “Hatfields & McCoys.” With minis, “you have more time to tell the stories, so you can let the characters develop,” he says. He also edited five episodes of Netflix horror series “Hemlock Grove.”
Upcoming: Season two of History’s “Vikings”
Editing Impact: Long paired with J.J. Abrams for both TV (“Alias” earned her an Emmy nom) and film (two “Star Trek” films), she had to be particularly imaginative in splicing together complex space scenes — sans vfx — for “Star Trek Into Darkness.” “You use your imagination to dictate what pieces you’re going to use,” she says. “J.J. and I have a shared set of standards — we want things to make sense.”
Vfx supervisor Impact: He and his team at Rhythm & Hues created the jaw-dropping photorealistic tiger and ocean environments for “Life of Pi.” His earlier Oscar was for “The Golden Compass.” Upcoming: The Warner Bros. live-action adaptation of vidgame “Warcraft,” due in 2015
Senior vfx supervisor, Weta Digital Impact: Added “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and “Man of Steel” to his credits. “The challenge,” he says, “is finding the personality in the characters.” With a new character like Smaug, the enjoyment is in seeing him come alive for the first time.”
Upcoming: “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”; “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”
Chief creative officer/vfx supervisor, ILM Impact: After a career creating ground-breaking vfx and software, Knoll was named to his new post at ILM in May. He crafted the effects of “Pacific Rim,” the latest of many projects, including decades of influential work on such franchises as “Star Wars,” “Star Trek,” “Mission: Impossible” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.” His fascination with computer graphics led him to a collaboration with his brother that developed Photoshop in 1987.