Some Very Good LORD OF THE RINGS News!
Well I received a phone call today from a bloke who is hanging out at SIGGRAPH that the word is that Mark Stetson has just signed on to be the Visual Effects Supervisor for the entire LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy.
Who is this Mark Stetson bloke? Well, as best as I can tell he started off as Chief Model Maker on BLADE RUNNER, then worked his way on through the business. In recent years Stetson has been doing what I consider to be some fantastic work at DIGITAL DOMAIN. He was the Visual Effects Supervisor on THE FIFTH ELEMENT. Most recently he's been at work on SUPERNOVA, the troubled MGM film that is now at the splicing table of Francis Ford Coppola. On that film, I hear that the effects work rivals and surpasses the space work done in CONTACT, though the film itself suffers from some script issues.
I've been waiting to hear who Peter and crew would bring on as their VES, but Stetson really is a wonderful choice. One of the aspects that really has me excited about Stetson is his work on BATMAN RETURNS. He was one of those folks responsible for the small level of A.I. that enabled the mass scenes of penguins. I'm sure he'll be injecting some of his expertise into the further development of the CG tools that WETA is wielding like MASSIVE to better create battle scenes the likes of which have not been seen on the silver screen.