Godzilla 2014. Who’s responsible for special effects production as this movie, the hoped-for American improvement to that disaster of a so-called Godzilla movie of 1998, speeds toward a Summer 2014 release? Well, after some digging by this blogger, the Godzilla 2014 special effects team consists of: WETA, MPC, Double Negative, CafeFX, Amalgamated Dynamics Inc., and The Third Floor.
Video Note: The Godzilla Encounter Wows At Comic Con 2013:
WETA was involved early, and was responsible for the overall design of the Godzilla creature up to 2012, and before giving way to MPC, or Moving-Picture Company, later that year. (UPDATE: Now for those of you asking why WETA gave way to MPC, I do not know the answer to that question, and I’m reluctant to speculate without some kernal of information.)
The question is, will WETA’s early involvement give way to an eventual listing in the movie’s credits? As of this writing, there’s no mention of WETA in the official Godzilla credits for Godzilla 2014 on the IMDB Database, either in WETA’s profile, or for the Godzilla movie itself.
For Godzilla, Jim Rygiel, the three-time Oscar-winning special effects master known for his work on Lord Of The Rings, is managing visual effects. This is a correction and adjustment to the involvement of MPC. It appears that MPC stepped in to add staff to its workload for Godzilla, after WETA. But what complicates the who’s doing what is the freelance nature of the modern visual effects business. Jim Rygiel is listed as a freelance worker on his Linkedin page, and not officially with WETA or MPC. Mr. Rygiel is a hired gun.
MPC’s Guillaume Rocheron is serving as VFX Supervisor for their work, according to the MPC website, which has a special page on Godzilla. Mr. Rocheron served in a similar role for Legendary Pictures’ Man Of Steel. MPC’s overall roll is as coordinator for the efforts of the other vfx houses.
The company was also working on a trailer for Godzilla, as far back as December 2012, and while reports to this blogger were that it was to be released for the Super Bowl, it has not been shown because of legal issues with the family of the late J. Robert Oppenheimer, who’s quote “I am become death..” was to be employed to what was rumored to be “frightening effect” in the trailer and was seen to a smaller degree at Comic Con 2012, but the legal squabble has put that on hold, for now.
Regarding the remainder of the team of over 200 vfx professionals, this is what I wrote regarding the roles of the firms before:
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.
Justin Thomas Billings Social Media Accounts Killed
After this blogger pointed to Justin Thomas Billings’s Twitter and Instagram accounts as the source for information on Godzilla hats, and as a key or easter egg to more information on Godzilla 2014, guess what? Justin Thomas Billings’s pages were deleted! That’s the best form of confirmation of content a blogger can get! The point is, you can’t stop a good blogger – got that, Dennis Higgins of Warner Bros?
That said, I personally want Godzilla to be awesome and also successful from a social media marketing perspective. To date, “Godzilla” has not hit either Twitter or Google Trends, since the announcement of Godzilla 2014, and that’s shameful.
Warner Bros’ “corporate” approach to Godzilla marketing, and it’s ham-handed handling of bloggers, vloggers, and social media, is a major headache to the producers of the film and to Legendary Pictures as a whole, and to Godzilla’s long-suffering fans, many who are far more technically savvy than the people at the WB, know how to keep secrets, and just want to lend a helping hand. Why not? It’s to the benefit of everyone involved.