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Scott Stewart, the Director of „Legion“ has been working in the VFX Industry a long time before starting directing. How was the collaboration with someone “who knows”?
Thats it! he knows exactly what he wants and talks our language. We receive concise answers and direction. This allows us to really focus without any guesswork. I had the pleasure to work with Scott as on-set supervisor for the end sequence and it was all about trust and respect for VFX. He gave me everything I needed to get my elements and data.
It really results in a much better and efficient VFX driven production.
You are working at -Spin VFX, Canada-. Are there any german (or other nationalities)  Artists in your Team? (If yes, is it difficult for you and them to get an work permit, how are their Skills?)
Yes, we’ve worked with Germans and many other nationalities now and in the past, from the UK, Australia, Mexico, Asia.  Providing they will hold a senior position, it’s easy to get a work permit.  We just need to prove to the Canadian Government that there is no one else available in Toronto to fill the position. They have to have a very specialized skill.  We do this type of Immigration work ourselves.

Working as a VFX Supervisor. Do you still work on Shots Yourself?

I like to be hands on not only to keep up my skills but to be able demonstarte, test and develop ideas. Im a visual guy. I find it easier to show what I want rather than describe it.
I use an Autodesk Inferno and Maya. I usually do as many shots that I can. I’ll do development and finishing of shots in Inferno and I use Maya for blocking and setting poses.  My most notable shot in Legion was an all CG Granny that could climb walls like a cockroach. The CG Granny has to interact with window blinds and other surfaces and so we ended up building the whole shot in CG. This also enabled multiple camera angle options to better compliment the performance Scott did ask to put Audrey, played by Willa Holland, in the shot for continuity so, I found a take of her from another plate and managed to morph her to work with the shot.

You are a Member of the  “Visual Effects Society”. Could You please explain to our readers what the “Visual Efects Society” stands for does?

Yes, I am a member. The Visual Effects Society (VES) is a non-profit professional, honorary society, dedicated to advancing the arts, sciences, and applications of visual effects and to improving the welfare of its members by providing professional enrichment and education, fostering community, and promoting industry recognition.

Subject “Stereoscopic Movies”  How do stereoscopy-movies change the Work of an  Vfx Supervisor, regarding establishing workflows, Ideas , what are the new challenges etc.? (did you get in touch with this technology on a project)
Depends if you want to use it to enhance the visual experience (wow factor) or just for the sake of having a Stereo release. I say this because there are two schools of thought. There is the side that will design the shots and the edit with stereoscopic and viewer consideration and then there is the other side I see where the creatives involved do not want anything to do with Stereoscopy. They want to tell the story as usual without stereo interfering with the creative process. I have been involved in both sides.
The Stereo, wow factor movies are the ones effecting or pipeline the most. I adds another level of approval which is the special relationship. This is how objects in screen space are place in relation to the edit and to where you want the viewer to focus.   These shots are challenging in many ways. Fixing vertical miss alignment of camera rigs, Rig removal and paint fix matching in both eyes, to be easier on the viewers eyes- shots are longer,  all fx elements CG, shots take 2.5 to 3 times longer to do, pipeline upgrade to double storage/rendering capabilities just to name a few.
Other Story driven stereo films do not effect our pipeline because it is a post-post effect. We do our shots as usual and after we finish final delivery, the stereo conversion is done. We may then be asked to provide mattes and second eye passes to the conversion vendor.

What Projects will you work on in the near future (Or currently working on)?
We have an exciting slate of projects lined up for 2010!  Including another really cool project with director Scott Stewart called Priest and Columbia Pictures Battle LA.  It’s going to be a great year for all of us at Spin.
Thanks for the interview.

(I told him i am from Cologne, Seb.)By the way I love Cologne. You have the most amazing Cathedral. I did a couple tours in Germany in my band The Forgotten Rebels. We’re an old school punk band that provides a great creative outlet from me on weekends. Screaming into a mic to vent does wonders.

Jeff Campbell

Thank You Jeff for the Interview!


All Images courtesy of: SPIN VFX – Screen Gems – (c) Sony Pictures Digital Inc. All Rights Reserved – Bold Films

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