Effects Supervisors & Art Director From Marvel and Star Trek Films Share Insights into Creating the Blockbusters

WonderCon has a wide variety of panels that highlight behind the scenes of comics and movies, and even when those are combined.  At the Sights and Sounds of Animation, CG, and VFX, panelists described work they do and how it comes together.

Among the panelists were Bryan Grill and Jordan Crockett who have worked on Marvel films, and Peter Brown who has worked on Star Trek: Beyond in sound editing.  Brown is the Supervising Sound Editor at Formosa Features. He has a wide background with various companies before landing at Formosa, and has an MFA in film production from USC.  Besides Star Trek: Beyond he has been Sound Supervisor for 6 of the 8 Fast and the Furious films as well as the “Paranormal Activity” franchise.

Grill is a Visual Effects Supervisor at Scanline, and has worked on The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and most recently Black Panther.  He has received several awards and an Academy Award nomination.  He has also been Supervisor for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.

Crockett is an art director that has worked for Disney, Warner Brothers, and Marvel Studios.  Among the Marvel films he has worked on are Thor: The Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, and the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War.

During the panel they got to share some of their highlights from some of these films.  Jordan Crockett liked describing the way the Hong Kong environment came together in Doctor Strange, even pointing out how massive the set was.  One of the things he emphasized about the making of the films is the collaboration that happens between all departments of the film.

Bryan Grill was able to share about the coronation scene in Black Panther and how that came together.  It was going to have the visually stunning effects that it ended up having.  The idea of whirlpools carrying out the water was something he and his team had to come up with for the film.  One thing he likes about doing VFX for films is taking the practical sets to the next level, and pushing reality as far as it needs to go.

Peter Brown described the process of his job as doing one craft at a time.  He used the example of engines from the Fast and the Furious franchise and that it’s first about getting an engine to sound right.  Then it is about getting the tire sounds down.  And it goes on from there.

Hearing about how much goes into details of the film like effects and sounds was amazing!  There is so much we, the audience, take for granted.  I’m sure anyone reading can say that things like the waterfall in Black Panther, the planet environments in Guardians of the Galaxy, and hearing iconic sounds brought to modern times in Star Trek make the movie experience that much more realistic.  The amount of work that all these guys do is remarkable, and they deserve much more credit than they are given.

I was able to interview them and hear more of their stories.  It is a great treat to know what goes on with all these departments, so be sure to watch the videos!

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