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Reel FX Completes 140 VFX Shots For ‘Parkland’

Digital studio Reel FX (Dallas/Santa Monica) revisits 1963 Air Force One for Playtone and Exclusive Media’s feature film, Parkland. Reel FX completed 140 visual effects shots in addition to the titles, main-on-ends and epilogue for the film directed by Peter Landesman and starring Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton, Zac Effron, James Badge Dale, Jacki Weaver and Marcia Gay Harden. Parkland recounts the chaotic events that occurred at Dallas’ Parkland Hospital on the day U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The film premiered at the 70th Venice International Film Festival, screened at the ’13 Toronto International Film Festival and hit theaters nationwide October 4th.

Courtesy of Exclusive Media Entertainment

Prior to the commencement of filming in Dallas and Austin earlier this year, film producers tapped Reel FX’s Pete Herzog and Scott Gordon to oversee the film’s visual effects, which included sequences surrounding a CG Air Force One, set extensions, background replacements and additional work to transform modern-day Austin into 1963 Dallas. From the onset of shooting, weather was a major factor in VFX shot planning, tasking the team to execute extensive background replacements to make dark, rainy shoot days appear more like the historically accurate sunny day of Nov. 22, 1963. With heavy winds on the day of the Air Force One shoot, the nimble VFX team made the decision to rework their green screen approach, instead utilizing actual backdrop and sky, and doing extensive cleanup in post-production. A physical aircraft door over a small mock-up of the aircraft interior was all that sat atop the air stair — the rest of Air Force One was created digitally by Reel FX.

Notes Gordon, “During post-production, additional visual effects shots poured in and our ability to easily augment what had been filmed became clear. We removed the rain from the scenes shot in foul weather and provided additional set extensions, enhancements to the trauma room, matte paintings, TV burn-ins, and also cleaned up archival footage, re-timed shots, and additional paint work — everything from replacing burned-out car headlights to removing unwanted reflections.”

Reel FX Credits:

Titles and Visual Effects By: Reel FX

Visual Effects Supervisor: Scott Gordon

Executive Producer/Creative Director: Pete Herzog

Production Managers: Molli Leggitt, Neil Weathersbee

Associate Production Manager: Michael Adrian

Lead Visual Effects Artists: Kevin Althans, Will Nicholson

Digital Artists: Jared Brower, Rachel Bradley, Lyn Caudle, Jason Cunningham, Jeff Goldman, Manuel H. Guizar, Crystal Leal, Phillip Moses, Laychin Lee, Chas Naylor, James Rowell, Mike Roy, Karissa Sloan, Patton Tunstall, Shannon Walsh

3D Modeling / Texture Artist: Mike Fischer

Technical Director: Jon Speer

Visual Effects Editors: Justin Gladd, Matt Pittman

Dailies Editor: Michael Sharp

Production Assistants: John O’Brien, Megan Petasky

October 8, 2013