Demi Lovato for FAULT Issue 19 – first look (issue is available to pre-order NOW!)

Demi Lovato- FAULT Magazine Issue 19 - reversible cover WEB

FAULT Issue 19 reversible cover star Demi Lovato was shot by Giuliano Bekor and styled by Avo Yermagyan.
Click here to pre-order your copy of this issue!

FAULT Magazine Issue 19 – the Millions Issue will feature American pop phenomenon Demi Lovato as its reversible cover star this Fall. Eminently suitable for the issue theme, Demi has over 60million fans on Facebook and Twitter alone and is one of the most influential popular culture figures in the world today.

Demi’s feature – which includes an in-depth interview and exclusive photoshoot by photographer Giuliano Bekor and stylist Avo Yermagyan – runs over 12 pages in the print issue. Demi also covers the Beauty section inside the magazine.

The shoot, based on the issue’s theme of ‘Millions’, showcases Demi as an artist whose every move has ramifications on a globally impactful scale. As a role model to millions, her words and actions are reviewed, analysed, dissected and reflected over and over again. Under those circumstances, one can only imagine what a surreal experience it must be to come face to face with the person behind the lens…

In her interview, Demi discusses the responsibility that comes with being a role model, her collaborations with people like Cher Lloyd and the Vamps, her incipient interests in philanthropy and world affairs and, of course, her music.

Demi Lovato- FAULT Magazine Issue 19 - inside 1 WEB

Production by Giuliano Bekor + Leah Blewitt

FAULT: You’ve spoken about how the album marked a real shift in sound for you, towards more dance-inspired tracks. Was that something that you deliberately wanted to create or was it something that happened organically?

Everything that happened on the album happened organically. Nothing was really planned in terms of “I want a dance song” or anything like that- it just kind of happened! It’s exciting to show people a different side of myself.

In terms of the collaborations (most recently with Cher Lloyd and The Vamps), how do they come into being?

Sometime you come up with a part in a song and you instantly know who you’re looking for. With ‘Really Don’t Care’, [her latest single], Cher instantly came to my mind. She’s got a lot of attitude and a lot of sass and was perfect for the song. Other times it just kind of happens- you meet someone and you write together and it turns out to be an awesome song.

Demi Lovato- FAULT Magazine Issue 19 - inside 2 WEB

Interview by Will Ballantyne-Reid

You’ve become an inspirational figure not just for your fans but even for those unfamiliar with your music as a result of your philanthropic projects and your work with anti-bullying campaigns and mental health awareness. How do these projects shape your career and your own creative process?

Well these projects were really born out of my relationship with my fans, where they are able to look up to me no matter what they’re going through. I really like being there for them in that way. I pride myself in being a role model but I’m not perfect- I curse like a sailor and I sometimes make mistakes but at the same time I want to be what I know my little sister and that younger generation needs.

Are there any difficulties that come with being in the public eye, and especially that ‘role model’ tag?

I use to get frustrated that just because I wanted to sing, I was automatically expected to be a role model. But I had to grow up and realise that no matter what I do I’m going to be somebody’s role model. It’s true what they say- “with great power comes great responsibility”- and everybody’s career is different but for me, I had to grow up and embrace it rather than resent it, as that only made me resent my career.

Demi Lovato- FAULT Magazine Issue 19 - inside Beauty section cover WEB

Get the full shoot and interview – only in FAULT Issue 18.
Click here to order your copy for delivery worldwide!

Going forward with your music and your philanthropy work, what do you feel is the next step?

I take my life day by day; some day I’m really involved with one charity, and another I’m really focussed on another. In this moment, I’m really dedicated to the scholarship program that I created in order to provide mental health services to people that can’t afford it on their own.

Demi’s album, DEMI, is out now

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 19 – The Millions Issue – IS AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

 *FAULT MAGAZINE IS AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY WORLDWIDE*

…Or get your copy digitally via Zinio! 1 year’s subscription = just £14.40

Usher – first look at our exclusive shoot for FAULT Issue 19’s front cover

Usher cover (web)

FAULT Issue 19 front cover star Usher was shot by Sinisha Nisevic and styled by Sammy and Judy/Cloutier Remix.
Click here to pre-order your copy of this issue!

FAULT Magazine Issue 19 – the Millions Issue will feature legendary R&B recording artist Usher as its front cover feature this Fall. Having already sold nearly 23million records in the US alone, Usher is undoubtedly one of the most instantly recognisable faces in the music industry today – just as he was after the release of his first UK number one single, ‘You Make Me Wanna’, back in 1997.

Usher’s feature – which includes an in-depth interview alongside the exclusive photoshoot by photographer Sinisha Nisevic and stylists Sammy and Judy (aka renowned LA celebrity stylists The Kids) – runs over 13 pages in the print issue. Usher also covers the Men’s Fashion section inside the magazine.

The shoot, based on the issue’s theme of ‘Millions‘, is designed to showcase two distinct sides to Usher’s character. In one sense, the shoot presents the public face of a star known and loved by ‘millions’ but, juxtaposed with this, we also see a revelatory side of a sensitive, thoughtful man. The latter gives insight into the thought process of a man who has reached the point in his career where keeping his fans happy and challenging both himself and the limits of his creativity have become his most important goals.

There is an Usher who poses happily with models and plays up to the camera and also the Usher who dances in the studio as much for his own amusement as for the sake of a great photo. The great thing for Usher, one feels, is that for him– more often than not – those two worlds are intertwined.

In his interview, entitled ‘The Man Who Can Do it All’, Usher discusses his role on ‘The Voice’, his motivations and goals for producing music that he loves, regardless of commercial success, his upcoming acting role in ‘Hands of Stone’, the biopic of famed boxer Sugar Ray Leonard and, of course, the main themes of his highly anticipated new album.

Usher - FAULT Magazine Issue 19 - inside 2 WEB

Interview by Heather Seidler

FAULT: Did you learn anything from doing ‘The Voice’ that you’ll use in your own career?

Usher: Part of the reason why I did ‘The Voice’ was so people would get a chance to see a different perception of me….The more I know about life, the more I know about people, the greater the person I am, the more understanding I have about how to make music and how to do things that will grow us as people.

[So making this album was] not about making commercial hits?

I don’t feel that I’ve got to sell out this tour, or sell crazy amounts of albums, or have the number one single. It’s great to have all those things, but that isn’t what I’m doing.

Usher - FAULT Magazine Issue 19 - inside 1 WEB

Creative Director: Andre Bato Producers: Leah Blewitt & Bryant Robinson Special Thanks: Shoshanna Stone & Team Usher

 

Let’s talk about the movie you just finished, Hands of Stone. Tell me about your role as Sugar Ray Leonard.

The film revolves around a very compelling story in history. A lot of people want to know what happened with Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard during that infamous fight. Why did he quit? Why did he walk out of the ring? No one knows the truth. We address all of that. It’s going to be a great piece of work, because of everyone involved in telling this really significant part of boxing history.

I spent time with him [Sugar Ray Elonard] in Atlanta, and here in Los Angeles. We boxed together; we chilled. He became a great friend of mine, almost like a brother to me.

Get the full shoot and interview – only in FAULT Issue 18.
Click here to order your copy for delivery worldwide!

Tell me about the new album you’re working on.

It’s still a work in progress. I’m at a place where I really just want to have fun and do what I feel is significant to me.These last three years have been the hardest times of my life. I’ve wanted to break down, I’ve wanted to quit. I’ve wanted to throw in the towel but my spirit wouldn’t allow me… The one thing the album represents is confidence. Not confidence in a cocky way, but being open about what I feel, take it or leave it. If I’m not honest about my feelings then you’ll never know how I really feel.

Who are some of the people you’ve been jamming with, who’s producing and working with you on it?

I reached out to work with people that I haven’t worked with before like Ryan Tedder, Ed Sheeran, and Skrillex. Also people who I have worked with before like Diplo…and Pharrell [Williams].

‘She Came to Give it to You’ – the new single from Usher’s upcoming album – is out on 28th September

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 19 – The Millions Issue – IS AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

 *FAULT MAGAZINE IS AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY WORLDWIDE*

…Or get your copy digitally via Zinio! 1 year’s subscription = just £14.40

FAULT Issue 19 – The Millions Issue – is now available to pre-order

We are pleased to announce that FAULT Issue 19 – The Millions Issue – is available to pre-order NOW.

Official release: 29/09/14

FAULT Issue 19 - Usher & Demi Lovato (both covers)

FAULT Issue 19 front cover star Usher was shot by Sinisha Nisevic and styled by Sammy and Judy/Cloutier Remix. Reversible cover star Demi Lovato was shot by Giuliano Bekor and styled by Avo Yermagyan.
Click here to pre-order your copy of this issue!

 

FAULT Magazine  – the Millions Issue – proudly presents exclusive shoots and interviews with:

Usher

Demi Lovato

Kevin Spacey & Uma Thurman – LA filmmaker feature w/ Jameson First Shot

Debby Ryan

Tyga

The Madden Brothers

Kimberley Cole

Kelly Oxford

Plus a FAULTless selection of the Film, Fashion, Music & Photography that reached and made an impact upon Millions around the world throughout the Summer of 2014. In a world characterized by globalization and the ideal of creating a message that will reach the greatest possible number of people, the values that drive the creative industries are not so much about “bigger is better” than “more is magnificent”.

FAULT Issue 19 specifically profiles artists whose global reach extends into the millions.

This is your FAULT

 

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 19 – The Millions Issue – IS AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

 *FAULT MAGAZINE IS AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY WORLDWIDE*

…Or get your copy digitally via Zinio! 1 year’s subscription = just £14.40

FAULT Favourite: The Hot Child jeans – a uniquely designed product specifically for men

 

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If jeans were people then we might have just made a new best friend. The Hot Child (or THC for short) label name comes across as a mix between a chilled out ’70s Cali groover and a dangerously trendy NY noughties chick. Suffice to say that this was love at first sight.

The jeans brand, founded by Octavio Silva this year (2014), is stylish, sophisticated and surprisingly personal in its approach. The Ft Lauderdale, Florida resident clearly cares about each individual product and the way his products fit and generally interact with each of his customers. Of course, part of that is synonymous with owning and operating a brand still in its infancy, but Octavio’s evangelising of his product and eagerness to see each set of jeans go to a happy home transcends a simple self-preservation business instinct.

It may have something to do with the founding principle of THC – the all-too obvious yet previously disregarded notion that perhaps, just perhaps, someone should design a pair of jeans with the male physique in mind. After all, we’ve all heard the horror stories about how tight-fitting and skinny jeans can affect fertility in men. When one really sits down and thinks about, it’s simply mind-boggling that no-one has previously thought about creating a product like the one that Octavio and THC have now pioneered.

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With patents pending internationally, THC are set to go big in the next 2-3 years. The brand is quirky, cool, and original. The playful, tongue-in-cheek JUNK tag complements the brand’s USP: its specially designed pouch in the front to hold a man’s…erm…manhood in perfect comfort. On top of all that, this is a company that cares. In a world were so-called ‘ethical’ brands are now two a penny, THC opts not to adopt the term as a label. They prefer to let their actions speak louder than words:

- A stylish product that celebrates individual body shape and prioritises individual comfort and health.

- A commitment to plant a tree for every product sold.

- An information email and follow-up contact for every customer served.

These are the sorts of things ‘ethical fashion labels’ talk about doing, while THC actually does them.

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THC’s first design, DANK, is already a sell-out success – although you can still purchase sets of their second product run via their website here – and, needless to say, a firm FAULT Favourite. We love everything about this product, right the way through from the unique design to its 98% cotton, 2% lycra selvage material. The buttons on the fly ‘pocket’ or ‘pouch’ are beautifully crafted – as indeed is the finishing all over. When these jeans turn heads, you know that it’s just as much because of their superlative quality as for their idiosyncratic design.

Now that we’ve had a chance to think about it, if jeans were people then THC probably wouldn’t be your best friend. They’d be your lover. Now head on over to www.thehotchild.com to get your hands on THC’s Junk!*

* N.B: If you can’t handle the homosexual connotations of this joke then these jeans probably aren’t for you – because you need to grow a pair!

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All images courtesy of THC

FAULT Reviews: Beacons Festival

 Environment (Medium)

To the surprise of most Londoners, BEACONS Festival is incredibly quick and direct to get to. Set in the Yorkshire Dales, BEACONS is approximately a 3 hour train journey from Kings Cross and, unlike other festival commutes, you actually get a seat on the train. Arriving in Skipton was a breath of fresh air, with beautiful scenery and welcoming locals aplenty. So welcoming, in fact, that two kind hearted villagers offered us a lift from the station to the festival site. A quick press pass collection and we managed to catch the end of the romantic-nostalgic set put on by British Sea Power (remember them?). As people lay around in the tent ,the live band, with their back to the audience, serenaded the black and white visuals, closing with a dramatic classical finish.

Raining disco balls

Raining disco balls

We took a long tour of the festival site and were instantly taken aback by how friendly everyone was. Numerous times we were approached for nothing more than a casual chat. Amazingly, the guest demographics were an equal mix of young locals, dedicated music geeks, families and mature adult couples mutually enjoying the festival. BEACONS seemed to be a proud supporter of local produce, dedicating an entire bar to independent bitters and lagers, whilst the food ranged from American BBQ Ribs to Caribbean Jerk Chicken.

Daphni (aka Caribou)

Daphni (aka Caribou)

As the day grew older the atmosphere became electrifying- everyone wanted to party. The first act of the weekend that completely blew the crowd away was Daphni (aka Dan Snaith aka Caribou) when he played Caribou’s new single ‘Can’t Do Without You’. The powerful performance set up the stage nicely for Daniel Avery’s arrival and he delivered an upbeat, fast-paced, techno driven performance, engaging the guests most with his track ‘Drone Logic’. The night went all too quickly, with an early finish of around 1:30am, but the party seemed to go on regardless – whether it was in the form of the silent disco or hidden burlesque shows.

Daniel Avery (Medium)

Daniel Avery

The next day was a beautiful one; the hot weather and bright skies making it perfect conditions for lounging around nursing hangovers. We lay near the Argyle Stage for most of the day where we could pick up quality coffees and cold pressed juices whilst listening to bands such as Years&Years. Before they even came on stage they attracted young gatherings of teenage girls screaming to the lead singer “We love you, Oli, we want your babies!”. What’s rock and roll without groupies, right? Classic…

Jack Master

Jack Master

As the day went on we scouted the area for da time activities and local organic beers. To get us in the mood for the night ahead we dropped in to Moko playing the main stage. New on the scene but claiming her rightful place as the new bringer of Soul music, Moko originates from New Cross in South East London. We were blown away by her show and, from her reaction to the crowd, she was too! Although the crowd didn’t fill the tent, they certainly made up for it in cheers and dancing.

Jon Hopkins

Jon Hopkins

After seeing Jon Hopkins a few months ago at SONAR Festival, I was really excited to see him closing the main stage on the Saturday night. The tent was jam-packed and it seemed the whole festival was in attendance. As I was stood in the press pit I saw that it was filled with huge white beach balls and after a few tracks in, security threw them into the crowd which erupted in a sea of colour! The balls were touch sensitive so that every time they encountered movement their colour changed. This, along with the soul wrenching beats, made for one of the most incredible festival performances I have ever seen.

Crowd

Crowd

 

Words and photography courtesy of Lux & Noah

Jameson First Shot : Three filmmakers win the Opportunity of a Lifetime & Make Short Film with Uma Thurman & Kevin Spacey

Uma_Thurman_profile - jameson first shot (Medium)

Uma Thurman for Jameson First Shot

FAULT Magazine has just returned from a sunny trip to Santa Monica, LA, as guests of Jameson Whisky. We flew out to view the winning films of this years Jameson First Shot Competition. It’s a once in a lifetime chance for three filmmakers to direct and produce a short film starring Hollywood legend Uma Thurman and to work closely with Kevin Spacey as both the Creative Director and Producer.

The competition is fully supported by Jameson First Shot & Trigger Street Productions and allows new talent access to Hollywood filmmaking in a creative space that was never before obtainable.

The winning films were showcased at an industry party at the YouTube Space in Los Angeles, before being released to millions of viewers on YouTube.           

The three new shorts THE MUNDANE GODDESS (writer/director: Henco J), THE GIFT (writer/director: Ivan Petukhov) and JUMP! (writer/director: Jessica Valentine) can be viewed below.

Keep an eye out for our interviews with Uma Thurman & Kevin Spacey, which will be featured in the next issue of FAULT Magazine (Issue 19).

The Mundane Goddess

 

 

JUMP

 

 

The Gift

 

Zara Martin – exclusive Focus section cover shoot for FAULT Issue 18

 

Zara Martin - FAULT Magazine Issue 18 - inside Focus cover WEB

Zara Martin was shot in London by photographer Paul Whitfield and styled by Rachel Holland exclusively for the internal Focus section cover of FAULT Issue 18
Click here to order your copy of this issue!

 

FAULT Issue 18 Focus section cover star Zara Martin never misses a VIP party. In fact, she’s usually the one who keeps it going all night when she’s spinning the tunes from behind the decks for the international glitterati crowd. Zara is also a model and TV presenter and you’ll often spot her on red carpet style lists or sitting on the front row at fashion week presentations with her countless celebrity friends, including Tali Lennox, Caroline Flack and Miquita Oliver. For FAULT’s RAW issue, we looked underneath the glamour with Zara to discuss her hidden talents, charity work and what her younger self wouldn’t believe about her now.

FAULT: Which came first: your modelling or DJing?

Zara: I started doing some work for MTV back in the day when there weren’t so many girl DJs. So it was the music connection that helped with the DJing but I’ve always had a model agency. I’m not super tall so I never did any catwalk stuff, more commercial work, so all the cool opportunities came from the DJing. The shows that I do on TV are mostly fashion or music based as well.

It’s slightly strange that my first job was given to me by Al Gore. It was really random.

So you’re a model, a DJ, a TV presenter and you’re creating a line of headphones… do you have any hidden talents?

Well, I’m working on doing some acting at the moment. I went to drama school before I got into all of this but I never finished it. So in my spare time I’m taking classes and auditioning. I’ll be in LA for pilot season and I’ve just got the trailer through for a short film I worked on with Director Wayne Che Yip called Toledo. I have an American accent in it and it’s all really weird. It’s based on a Charles Bukowski poem called ‘For The Foxes’.

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Interview by Olivia Pinnock

What new music are you really pushing at the moment?

I’ve liked Angel Haze for a really long time and it seems like she’s just blowing up at the moment [Ed: FAULT Online featured her recently]. So I’m like ‘see I told you!’ I really like her, she’s just wicked.

Other than that, I love it when acts collaborate and do something a little different like the Iggy Azalea/Charli XCX track ‘Fancy’ is amazing and it kind of reminds me of old Gwen Stefani. I still love The Weeknd, he does this cover of XO by Beyoncé that’s really good!

There are so many good artists about at the moment. It’s hard to pick just one. ..

You also manage to fit in time to be an ambassador for Women for Women International

Women for Women are the most incredible organisation. I met Brita [Fernandez Schmidt], who’s the chairwoman in the UK, and I immediately vibed with her. You know when you just meet someone with such pure energy you just have to know more about them? She’s so inspirational. Every time I see her I feel like I’m not doing enough! So I wanted to get involved. At the moment we’re just working out the best way and I’m trying to get some younger people involved in the organisation and hopefully we’ll be doing some events this year. You’ll be hearing more about it soon.

Zara Martin - FAULT Magazine Issue 18 - inside WEB 2

Get the full shoot and interview – only in FAULT Issue 18.
Click here to order your copy for delivery worldwide!

What advice would you give your younger self?

Stop messing around and do some work! I wasted a lot of time in night clubs but I have no regrets. I don’t like to live my life like that.

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 18 – THE RAW ISSUE – IS AVAILABLE TO ORDER NOW

 *FAULT MAGAZINE IS AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY WORLDWIDE*

…Or get your copy digitally via Zinio! 1 year’s subscription = just £14.40

FAULT Focus: Moving Picture Company’s VFX Maestro Sheldon Stopsack

A flaring storm of future sentinels, engineered from Mystique’s DNA and harnessed by nanotechnology, has descended upon X-Men: Days of Future Past. These sentient creations incorporate 100,835 blades and 1019 moving parts inside faces that open up as extra weapons against adversaries. The forces of nature transcend into a seamless computer generated and 2D empyrean, all orchestrated by the Moving Picture Company: a portal from the ultimate heights of technological potential to the world at large.

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Close-up still shot of a Sentinel in X-Men: Days of Future Past

MPC is a global, feature film VFX (visual effects) studio that has recently worked on heavyweight, large-scale international productions including the X-Men trilogy, The Hunger Games, and Guardians of the Galaxy. Powered by technology right the way through from initial concept art to final compositing and stereoscopic workflow, and punctuated by a labyrinth of seemingly-supernatural forces and immersive interactive systems, MPC has been awarded a prestigious Gold Lion in Cannes, an Academy Award for its contribution to Ang Lee’s Life of Pi and a myriad BAFTA and Emmy awards.

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Sheldon Stopsack, VFX Supervisor at MPC

This week’s FAULT Focus interviewee is Sheldon Stopsack, VFX Supervisor at MPC. Since he first started in the industry back in 2002, Sheldon has progressed from his speciality in Lighting to oversee a combined symphony of R&D, CG modeling, Animation, FX and Lighting in his current role. Integrating bespoke and highly complex VFX has led to him managing multi-site projects for the likes of Skyfall, Harry Potter: the Deathly Hollows I and II, X-Men: First Class and The Chronicles of Narnia while he has also simultaneously spearheaded the company’s technological development projects (ACES implementation, Katana adaptation, etc) in London, Vancouver and Bangalore.

FAULT: Sheldon, you worked as CG supervisor on recent projects for MPC like the most recent X-Men film and Guardians of the Galaxy – and have since been promoted to VFX Supervisor for various upcoming projects.   X-Men: Days of Future Past marks MPC’s second return to the Marvel based franchise. The CG sequences, make-up effects and pre-visualization was initially headed up by 12 different VFX studios – after it was originally engineered with 528 shots by MPC. Tell us about the challenges associated with the production stage of the ‘future Sentinel’ sequences?

Sheldon: The development of the future Sentinel was probably the biggest challenge MPC faced during the production of X-Men Days of Future Past. We were involved with the design of the Sentinels from an early stage. Our in-house Art Department provided a wide range of concept work for the killing machines.

The final design of the sentinel incorporated the idea of having hundreds and thousands of individual blades, similar to Mystique’s shape-shifting ability. The biggest hurdle there was the pure complexity of the asset, [all the] while maintaining flexibility. We needed to have control over each blade to allow flaring, transforming, swapping for varying blade instances and shader variations.

At the beginning we looked into existing technology that could be adapted for our needs. MPC’sin-house fur and feather system called Furtility was one of them, however it became quickly obvious that we would need to develop a new system that scaled better for our needs. We ended up developing a new system for which we build a low resolution version of the sentinel.

Individual blades were represented by a much simpler five sided geometrical shape that acted as a proxy. These were rigged up in a traditional way, ensuring optimal performance for animators. From the blade proximity we then cached out point cloud data for position and orientation. But also blade ID and various other primVars.

At render time, we then swapped out the proxy representation for a full scale render model. Dependent on the state of the sentinel at that time we could use different blade types (eg, damaged blades) or use primVars to drive various shader attributes to change the sentinel appearance (eg refracted ice for Iceman or glowing hot as Sunspot).

A sentinel attacks Storm (played by Halle Berry)

A sentinel attacks Storm (played by Halle Berry) in X-Men: Days of Future Past

The X-Jet, Cerebro’s crimson-hued virtual world where Xavier searches for mutants and Sunspot’s confrontation with the sentinels were all orchestrated in a CG environment by MPC. Tell me about the collaborative process with [Animation Supervisor] Benoit Dubuc and [VFX Supervisor] Richard Stammers – from concept to final composite? How were the fight sequences between the mutants and the Sentinels developed?

The orchestration of the sentinel fighting our hero mutants was an important part for us and, of course, for the client. Benoit handled this part incredible well. The challenge was introducing the correct mix of agility without competing with the scale and weight of each sentinel. Richard had a clear idea of what the character of these sentinel was supposed to be. Throughout the process Benoit and his team blocked out each individual shot and went through various iterations of animation. The challenge here is to find a consistent language. Even though the Sentinels are impersonal futuristic killing machines, it was important to have a uniform and distinct characteristic.

Sheldon and MPC’s work on display in Guardians of the Galaxy

Sheldon and MPC’s work on display in Guardians of the Galaxy

Your work on Skyfall was an altogether different challenge – a hybrid approach that included over 1300 visual effects shots ranging from the MI6 building’s explosion, the Komodo Dragon casino attack, the Merlin helicopter crash at the manor and the London Underground encounter. What was your methodology with regards to the CG sequences and explosions for Skyfall? How did you manage the workflow amongst the various VFX offices?

Projects like Skyfall are very different from a typical VFX project that requires unreal effects work. The goal here was almost to hide that fact that any visual effects work were used and to provide the audience with an experience that they don’t question – or ideally even notice. Even though realism always plays a key role in our work, it is much less forgiving on something like Skyfall where our work needs to blend in with the non VFX surroundings.

On Skyfall we had the pleasure to work with Steve Begg as the client VFX Supervisor. Steve is a real veteran in the business and planned the helicopter crash into the Manor as a miniature shoot. The resulting plates gave us a great basis to work from.

To add more realism to the crash we decided to replace larger parts of the helicopter adding more natural movement, vibration and crumbling. We re-projected the plates onto a roto-animated version which was matching the miniature shoot perfectly. This re-projection then got baked out into a texture pass and which we partly reused on the enhanced animated version.

Newly revealed areas or destructed parts were filled in with a full CG version of the helicopter, which obviously had to blend in perfectly. A similar approach was used for the Lodge itself. We had to sell the impact with a lot more fx simulated destruction with explosions, fire and smoke. In addition we spiced up the plates with a lot atmospherics such as wind and downdraft.

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Voldemort’s killer spell in action, as visualized by MPC

How did you transform the fantasy world of wizards in the climactic showdown with Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort as Lighting Supervisor for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows I & II?

As Lighting Supervisor at the time I was overseeing the entire processes from Look Development of all character and assets to final Lighting all shots MPC was involved in.

It was a great experience to be involved in the last two Potter Movies which brought the series to an end. MPC obviously had a long history with the Potter Franchise and we wanted to finish it with a spectacularly high quality of VFX. Even though both parts were worked on almost simultaneously, we took a huge leap between the two by introducing a complete new shader library, which was a further step for us into the physical based direction. This made it a bit more difficult to re-use existing Look Development that was done for the first part, but the benefit of having a more accurate shading and lighting result made it worth the effort.

With the last two Potter movies we were also facing a new level of complexity when it came to fx rendering – and it certainly gave us a taste of which direction the industry was going and what future requirements would need to tackle.

Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy L to R: Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) and Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) Ph: Film Frame ©Marvel 2014

Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy
L to R: Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) and Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt)
Ph: Film Frame ©Marvel 2014

What other projects can we expect from you and MPC in the near future?

MPC just finished working on The Guardians of the Galaxy and it has a wide range of new projects already lined up, including Disney’s The Jungle Book, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Night at the Museum 3, Frankenstein, Into the Woods, Cinderella and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 1.

I am currently preparing my next gig, which is Terminator: Genesis

Interview: Rocio Frausto
Edit: Nick Artsruni
Images: Courtesy of MPC (unless otherwise stated)