Camera Effects
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Superman (1978)
Main Title Sequence and Special Visual Effects Design: Denis Rich
Main Title Credits: Steve Frankfurt Communications/R. Greenberg Assoc. Inc.
Visual Effects (Academy Award): Les Bowie, Colin Chilvers, Denys N. Coop, Roy Field, Derek Meddings, Zoran Perisic (Athough by today's standards it looks a bit creaky, at the time this was cutting edge stuff!)

Denis's epic title sequence journeying from Comic book to the Daily Planet and Krypton was intended to be populated by titles made from crystal as a way of introducing us to the technology behind the doomed planet. After weeks of unsuccesful testing with perspex letters, we opted for an optical 'strobe' approach which ended on the cutting room floor in favour of R/Greenberg Associates's version - slit scan - very tasty in those days! The opening sequence (Geoffrey Unsworth dedication, curtains, comic book, ripple mix to Daily Planet and moon etc.) was put together at Camera Effects in Oxberry I.

Other memorable VFX shots were the reversing of the earth (Roy Pace's artwork - a series of reveal mattes), the Fortress of Solitude sequence together with a large mixed bag of opticals which included a variety of split screens, mix sequences etc.

Les Pace shot many elements including Jor-El's mask and the multi-plane stars using an anamorphic lens with a motorised zoom. He painted the stars by flicking whte paint from a toothbrush onto shiny black cobex sheets.

For the end roller shoot on the aerial image printer, multiple passes were needed to create the 3D effect to give the impression of slit-scan. Each run took 22 minutes to expose - 10 runs for the body, 1 face run, the star plates were added and finally the glints. All for 8.5 minutes of completed roller - a long roller in those days.

 

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Granby Elephant

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