News 06.12.22

BAZ LUHRMANN’S ELVIS NABS BEST VISUAL EFFECTS AWARD AT THIS MONTH’S AACTA CEREMONY

Warner Bros. and Bazmark Productions’ Elvis was honoured with the Best Visual Effects Award at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards. The Industry Luncheon was held on Monday, December 5th in Sydney, Australia. Recipients of the award were Tom Wood, Fiona Crawford, Julian Hutchens (RSP), Joshua Simmonds (Framestore) and Adam Hammond (Luma).

Ausfilm congratulates all the nominees and winners, including our talented members who contributed to building the exceptional visual effects work on Warner Bros’ Elvis; Rising Sun Pictures, Fin Design + Effects​, Luma, MPC, Framestore/Method Studios, Slatevfx, Cumulus VFX & Resin.

Nominated in the category included first-rate visual effects teams for DC League of Super-Pets, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Thor: Love and Thunder and Three Thousand Years of Longing, with Elvis ultimately taking home the win.

FRAMESTORE

VFX Supervisor Josh Simmonds and the Method Studios team (now part of Framestore) delivered an intricate and intensely-researched suite of work for their latest Baz Luhrmann collaboration.

Working on the Beale Street scenes and Elvis’s historic Russwood Park concert the team built stunning, historically-accurate environments that were populated by hundreds of digital extras clad in period-specific clothing. For the concert, comp and lighting were particular challenges given the flashes, flares and need to create an exciting, authentic stadium feel. 

“It’s great to see a group of Australian VFX businesses, marshalled by Tom Wood and Fiona Crawford, being acknowledged for their work. Framestore thanks Tom and Fiona for the opportunity and congratulates all vendors involved. But in particular, well done to our fabulous team led by VFX Supervisor Josh Simmonds.”

Simon Rosenthal, Head of VFX, Framestore

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LUMA

The Luma Melbourne team, led by DFX Supervisor Adam Hammond, handled major environmental work for recreations of the Hollywood sign in the Hollywood Hills and Graceland.

Luma artists worked with reference photography and data captured on-site to bring these iconic settings to life in a way that was both artistic and true to the period. Because these settings carry such a rich, storied history, Luma’s art department and VFX team were tasked with a tightrope act, maintaining historical accuracy while still evoking the fantastical, legendary nature of these locations.

“It was a great honor to attend the AACTA Awards in Sydney to collect the award for Best Visual Effects on Elvis on behalf of the Luma Pictures team. We competed against truly stellar work in this category, and I’m proud of our team’s contribution to the film and the quality of work we achieved in recreating two iconic locations”

Adam Hammond, Luma DFX Supervisor on Elvis

Luma’s VP/Head of Digital Studio Vincent Cirelli said, “It’s an honour for Luma to be recognized by the Australian film industry once again. We’re so proud of the team for their outstanding work on Elvis and helping Baz Luhrmann achieve his vision. A huge thank you to Tom Wood, Fiona Crawford, and Warner Bros. for placing their trust in us.” 

Read more about Luma’s work on Elvis.

RISING SUN PICTURES

As a key visual effects provider and creative partner for Elvis¸ RSP produced more than 160 shots, including large-scale, historic reproductions of the Las Vegas Strip and the Daytona Beach Boardwalk. Hutchens called it a magnificent project for him and the whole RSP team.

“Baz Luhrmann always brings a very lavish visual palette to the screen, He has a unique storytelling style and it was a fantastic opportunity to contribute to his vision. The moment I read the script, I knew how wonderful this film was going to be…the camerawork, editing, costumes, art direction, music and visual effects, blending together in a rich tapestry to tell the story of Elvis.”

Julian Hutchens, VFX Supervisor, Rising Sun Pictures

“RSP contributed significantly to this project and the incredible result was due to the work of our very talented team of artists, production, technical specialists and support staff” said RSP President Jennie Zeiher. “It is a great privilege to have their creativity and efforts recognised by their peers in the Australian film community. We are grateful to Warner Bros., Director Baz Luhrmann and VFX Supervisor Tom Wood and VFX Producer Fiona Crawford for entrusting RSP with their extraordinary vision, and the Academy and its members for this unique honour, and huge congratulations to Julian on his recognition for such an outstanding achievement!” 

Read more about RSP’s AACTA celebrations

CUMULUS VFX

With the film shot primarily on sound stages, Cumulus was tasked with producing a historically accurate re-creation of Memphis in the 1950s. From period-appropriate cars, to swaying cornfields, to the quality of the tungsten street lighting hitting a rainy sidewalk – everything was considered.

Visual effects supervisor on Elvis, Tom Wood proclaimed his appreciation for working with the Cumulus team, “Cumulus were instrumental in shaping the look of Elvis. It’s inconceivable to think we could have achieved a completed director’s cut in the contractual 10 weeks, with the highest quality post viz without Will [Gammon] and the team producing such incredible work so fast. Their final composites and 3D environments were exceptional for old Memphis, the rural road convoy to the diner. Cumulus always went the extra mile with detail.”

“As a home-grown Independent VFX facility, we were humbled by the chance to work on a Baz Luhrmann film and apply the agility and innovation we’ve developed in-house to meet the challenges of an A-grade Hollywood feature film. Our crew loved working under the guidance of Tom Wood and Fiona Crawford (VFX Supervisor/Producer respectively) to help create this award-winning film.

William Gammon, CEO

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FIN DESIGN + EFFECTS

Working closely with VFX Supervisor Tom Wood, the team at Fin created CG environments and digital crowds across 180 shots in 3 sequences for Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis.

FIN’s biggest challenge was the jet sequence that occurs at Los Angeles Airport. FIN CG Supervisor Juri Mejan-Fripp explains, “The Lisa Marie jet digital asset required extensive research and the team went to considerable lengths to achieve realism. Using blueprints of the Convair 880 as well as the photographic material of the Lisa Marie jet. We went through and built all the details to see the plane in all her glory.” Working on the Elvis project has generated immense pride by all at FIN.”

“We were tasked with a large body of work on Elvis that needed considerable creative and technical input, the work was varied in its scope and required all aspects of FIN’s artistry to produce.”

Alastair Stephen, Head of Visual Effects at FIN

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MPC

MPC was tasked with looking after the builds and sequences taking place during Elvis’s legendary time performing at the International Hotel Ballroom in Las Vegas. This included full CG crowds and digital environment enhancements.

“We’re so proud to have had the opportunity to contribute to Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, the well-deserved winner of the AACTA Award for Best Visual Effects. Our team relished the opportunity to recreate Elvis’s legendary time performing at the International Hotel Ballroom in Las Vegas.

Thank you to Tom Wood, Fiona Crawford, and Warner Bros. for the opportunity, and a huge congratulations to all our colleagues who worked on this special project.”

Alexandra Daunt Watney, Senior Vice President, MPC Adelaide

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RESIN

Resin loved every moment of working on Elvis. The opportunity to collaborate with the film’s director, Baz Luhrmann, and his brilliant VFX team, including Australian VFX Supervisor Tom Wood and VFX Producer Fiona Crawford, was an absolute pleasure for the Adelaide-based studio.

Over a period of approximately 12 months, Resin provided pre-visualisation for several hundred shots and then moved on to produce 200+ VFX shots and various assets. They worked on key sequences of the film including Colonel Tom Parker’s dream sequence, the famous CBS Studios and the final hero shot of the film.

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SLATEVFX

SLATEVFX was proud to have worked on Elvis and we congratulate the team on such a successful film.

Read more about SlateVFX’s work on Elvis.


Feature image (l-r): Tom Wood, Adam Hammond, Julian Hutchens, Joshua Simmonds and Fiona Crawford.