On perhaps far too many occasions we have been bombarded with almost all screen CGI productions. In many of them, not too subtle either. Computer Generated Imaging is becoming a standard in film because it provides a clean scenario of infinite possibilities; but most importantly, cheaper than going into deep ocean or outer space.

But it’s not only on sci-fi movies that we get to use CGI. Even low-key home movies use computer technology to simply alter the scenario around the actors and make it look like it is somewhere else, or sometime else. There are times when, one could argue, the real value of location scooping is being undermined by computer graphics. Or is it a natural evolution that technology professionals in film are getting so great that the make believe is easier, more comfortable and faster to produce than actually filming on site?

These are some examples of fantastic technology and brains put to work for the sole purpose of story telling and entertainment. And it is not only Computer Generated Graphics, there are also big mechanic structures involved, electronic devices and creative coding going on here.

The film they thought could never be made

For Alfonso Cuarón’s space thriller Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki-Chivo (cinematographer) and Tim Webber (visual effects supervisor), created an entire light box with three main moving elements: the rig moving the camera, the lights and the tilt rig with the actor in. The groundbreaking techniques (including the Light Box, which was one of Time’s inventions of the year), for which Webber won a VFX Bafta and Oscar, was used all over the film entirely based in space and zero gravity.

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Tim Webber joined Framestore in 1988 after an outstanding academic record in Maths, Physics and Art and has been guiding the company in new directions while supervising some of the most technically and artistically challenging projects. These include, the CG baby in Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men, Two-Face Harvey Dent in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, Spike Jonze’s highly original CG characters in Where the Wild Things Are, James Cameron’s incredible Avatar, and the Medusa in Louis Leterrier’s Clash of the Titans.

Tim Webber being awarded the Progress Medal and Honorary Fellowship in 2014:

There are currently 95 open career positions at Framestore. Go on tech folks, apply! I wish we were told more about these on the early stages of engineering school.





Related: along with Framestore I have also previously talked about another VFX company, Brainstorm Digital [here]

Author: Bea Cabrera

Freelance Filmmaker with a passion for big cities, snowboard, cinema and a weakness for the smell of freshly ground coffee. Engineer & Graphic Designer in a previous life, loving and living both: art and technology.  

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