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Article by Todd Vaziri

The visual effects teams for ALIEN RESURRECTION worked through countless obstacles to create cinematic illusions. The list is staggering, with the crews running into challenges concerning time, money, technology, language barriers, even geological phenomena.

A strong group of dedicated professionals rose to these challenges, and produced some fantastic work. Under the pressure of creating visual effects for a film, whose predecessors each had been awarded for their visual effects (ALIEN and ALIENS won the Academy Award for visual effects, while ALIEN 3 was nominated), the effects team created images both setting themselves apart from its predecessors, while mainaining the integrity and quality of the previous films.

Among those who contributed to this behind the scenes look are visual effects supervisor Erik Henry, visual effects coordinator Kerry Shea, miniature supervisors Ian Hunter and Matthew Gratzner, Blue Sky digital effects supervisor Mitch Kopelman and motion control supervisor Joe Lewis.

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Worth visiting is the ALIEN Digizine, the official Fox web site devoted to the film. The following links lead to interviews with key personnel on the visual effects team. Some interviews are in-depth and highly informative (especially the Rick Fichter piece), but others are a bit simplistic and self-congratulatory. Especially notable and unforgivable is the near-complete absence of references to Pitof and Duboi, the house that provided 150 visual effects shots to ALIEN RESURRECTION. Interestingly, the site contains no less than four interviews with individuals from Fox-owned VIFX, which provided a total of 7 shots to the film.

ALIEN Digizine Interview Links:
  • Rick Fichter, Miniature Director of Photography
  • Erik Henry, Visual Effects Supervisor
  • Ian Hunter, Miniatures Co-Supervisor
  • Jan Carlee, Blue Sky Director of Animation
  • Richard Hollander, VIFX Supervisor
  • Antoine Durr, VIFX Digital Effects Supervisor
  • Dave Gutman, VIFX Animator
  • Michael LaFave, VIFX Technical Director
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