As Godzilla 2014 speeds head toward it’s eventual Summer 2014 release (where I’m looking forward to San Francisco getting smashed by Big G), and after months of pre-production work and production filming, is clearly in a post production mode. So much so that, on Thursday, the Godzilla Visual Effects Team took delivery of cool hats like the one you see in the photo.
This news comes from the Twitter and Instagram pages of one Justin Thomas Billings. Mr. Billings, who goes by “JT Billings” left a cool Godzilla social media easter egg of a Twitter tweet out for anyone to see if they used the right search terms – I did. This is what came up:
— JT (@justinthomasb) August 8, 2013
And then I found JT’s Instagram entry here!
So a little social media digging revealed that Justin Thomas Billings has an IMDB page, which lists his many gigs over the years, including this one:
Visual Effects (2 titles)
2014 Godzilla (production assistant: visual effects) (post-production)
2013 The Smurfs 2 (production assistant: visual effects)
I also learned that Justin Thomas Billings is part of an enormous team of visual effects people – about 126 by my count. And that does not include another 17 people in the visual effects department, and another 38 people in the art department. That’s 181 people working on visual and special effects and related art for Godzilla.
And who’s heading special effects? The late Stan Winston’s Amalgamated Dynamics Inc. specializes in in animatronics and prosthetic make-up, so we can guess what’s going to be used for some of Godzilla’s scenes. (And I met Mr. Winston’s son Matt at Comic Con, here, while he introduced Giant Robot:)
Then there’s London’s three-time Oscar-winning vfx house Double Negative, who has Peter Chiang and Katrina Navassartian as the visual effects supervisors, and has worked on movies like The Hunger Games and is teamed with CafeFX, who’s is doing the animation, as it has done for a large number of movies from Alice in Wonderland to G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
The previsualization work is handled by a company called The Third Floor, who’s movie credits include a number of blockbusters in production now, including The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Edge of Tomorrow, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Hercules: The Thracian Wars, and Poltergeist. Past films where The Third Floor has headed special effects include White House Down, Oblivion, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, and an uncredited role in the making of Flight. With all that, it’s fair to say The Third Floor is the hot vfx previsualization firm right now.
And pay attention to these words “post-production” and this other Instagram photo that was posted on June 26th, and with the words “It’s almost the weekend…” and showing his MacBook Pro with the “Godzilla” movie word logo displayed for all to see.
So, putting two and two together, we find that Godzilla 2014 is now two weeks into post-production, which officially started on July 26th. Remember that at Comic Con 2013, Gareth Edwards explained that the crew has just wrapped up filming on Wednesday, July 16th, then flew to San Diego for Comic Con.
Mr. Edwards arrived Thursday night at 9:30 PM PST and to The Omni Hotel just three blocks from the San Diego Convention Center. I know this because I happened to be sitting on a bench in front of the The Omni Hotel’s entrance when he arrived in a large airport limo shuttle, but my studio exec tipster told me “not to rush the bus” – as if I’m into that sort of thing.
A Digression On Warner Bros Publicity Head Dennis Higgins
What I wanted was for Warner Bros Domestic Publicity Head Dennis Higgins to invite me in to cover the panel, as was done for others. Instead, and after emailing him three days in advance, I got a weird email saying “Unfortunately we don’t have any access to the presentation or the convention available at this time.” And Mr. Higgins apparently was not paying attention to my explanation that I’ve covered Comic Con for the last four years in row and thus was already in the damn convention.
Plus, the whole space excuse is a damn lie commonly used by Hollywood publicists who use gatekeeping to make up for the fact that they don’t know how to evaluate media, and I know it. In other words, they’ll invite their friends, or media brands they’ve heard of, rather than ask for social media statistics or coverage information.
Now, you know what I get from Warner Bros after the Higgins crap? Press items on black-themed films on DVD. I’m serious. I don’t mind openly saying I’m still vexed with Dennis Higgins – publicists must know they don’t go around pissing off bloggers – and so my singular intent is to punk Godzilla coverage to teach him a lesson. Especially since Legendary’s people were kind enough to point me in his direction and give me his email for Comic Con. There’s more to that Legendary v Warner Bros deal too.
Back To The Main Story
Edwards joined Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Olsen for the Godzilla panel on Saturday July 20th. So from JT Billings’ info, the next week seems to have been spent planning for post-production, then things got rolling that following weekend.
That explains why we don’t have a Godzilla trailer, and also gives me more reason to believe the Godzilla 2014 release date will be moved back from May 16th 2014. They’re just getting started and into post-production, and figuring that a post-production schedule for a big budget, live-action, special-effects-laden movie like Godzilla is about 7-8 months, the crew should wrap it up by January 26th 2014.
Plus, Warner Bros will be dropped as a partner with Legendary Pictures by 2014, and the new dance partner, NBC / Universal, will have its own marketing plans and budget to work out with Legendary for Godzilla – something that should have been done by now, or in the next month.
If things get complicated in post-production, and that schedule extends out by another month or two, then the Godzilla release date will be pushed back at some point. But right now, the general idea of having a May 16th, 2014 release date for Godzilla is to get the movie out, and let it make its money, before the other big films get going. With that, Spider-Man 2‘s release date is still ahead of it by about two weeks, or May 2, 2014.
So, isn’t it fun what you can find with one little social media easter egg?