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Cinesite Completes Effects for OMEN 666


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#1 Tim Tyler

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 04:08 PM

Cinesite created all of the digital effects and provided
visual effects supervision for the Fox remake of the original Fox classic OMEN
666, which is being released today, quite appropriately on 6/6/06.

The original 1976 horror film tells the tale of American official Robert Thorn
(Liev Schreiber) who realizes that his young son may be the devil incarnate.
The remake, also by Fox, is directed by John Moore, with cinematography by
Jonathan Sela and visual effects supervision by Cinesite's Matt Johnson.
Filming took place in Prague between October and December 2005, and the
subsequent visual effects unit shot in January 2006.

Cinesite's visual effects included a decapitation, impalement, attacking dogs,
violent gorillas, menacing atmospherics, and the creation of a series of
sinister co-incidences. Many of the visual effects involved elaborate new
takes on spectacular deaths from the original film, with cameras showing the
action up close in shocking detail.

"We wanted to take the effects from the original 1970s classic a stage
further," says Johnson. "We worked closely with John Moore to create scenarios
that used visual effects to allow for more intimate and shocking audience
perspectives."

One of the most memorable sequences from the original film is the death of
Father Brennan, who is spectacularly and shockingly impaled by a church
weather vane. In this new elaborated version, Father Brennan (Pete
Postlethwaite) is seeking sanctuary in a church undergoing renovation and
surrounded by scaffolding. As a new stained glass window is being lowered into
place, evil forces guide a lightning strike to a high scaffolding pole, which
falls through the shattering window, impaling and lacerating the priest on the
ground below. The effects in this sequence were created using a combination of
models, greenscreen, a computer generated (CG) scaffold pole, CG rain, digital
matte painting and pyrotechnics. Postlethwaite was filmed on a dry set wearing
a harness, with no rain or atmospherics. The finished, highly realistic
sequence shows him being impaled, with CG glass on the ground and in his
chest, being lashed by CG rain and leaves composited from a separate
greenscreen element.

The infamous decapitation of key character Keith Jennings (David Thewlis) is
also recreated in sudden and shocking detail. In another chain of bizarre and
devilish co-incidences, a careless workman's hammer slides away from him,
where he is working on a roof in Israel. The hammer hits and breaks the
rickety hinge of a sign, causing the sign to swing scythe-like towards
Jennings, who stands up at precisely the wrong moment. Several passes
including a clean plate, Thewlis against greenscreen, a realistic dummy made
from a cast of the actor's head, and blood splash elements were used for the
final, seamless composite. For subsequent shots in the sequence where
Jennings' body falls backwards down stone steps, a stuntman was filmed wearing
a green hood. Cinesite removed the stuntman's head and tracked a 3-D neck
stump onto the lifeless, tumbling body.

Cinesite also created the death of character Mrs. Baylock (Mia Farrow) who is
hit head on by a speeding car, turned Prague into London using digital matte
paintings to insert London landmarks into skylines, and a variety of other
highly realistic effects sequences.
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