With the shortlist for the Visual Effects Oscar for the 84th Academy Awards announced last week, Prime Focus is proud to have contributed to five of the ten films that are in the running. The work ranged from creating complex VFX shots for Tree of Life and X-Men: First Class, to being lead 3D conversion facility on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, to completing 3D conversion and delivering stereoscopic VFX shots for Transformers: Dark of the Moon and supplying on-set equipment for Hugo. The Tree of Life was the highly anticipated return of acclaimed director Terrence Malick and saw Prime Focus deliver a number of detailed sequences including the creation of stunningly realistic dinosaurs. The film, which was based on Malick’s original screenplay, is an impressionistic story of a 1950’s mid-Western American family. It explores difficult human issues, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. The majority of the visual effects in the film come in the opening creation sequence, which features subtle images from the prehistoric era and, astronomy. The 50-strong Prime Focus team, spanning facilities in Los Angeles and Vancouver, worked closely with VFX Supervisor Dan Glass to determine the species of dinosaurs they would create as well as the environment around them. A huge amount of research was undertaken with specialist biologists and paleontologists brought in. The final outcome is a hugely impressive piece of filmmaking by Malick, a storyteller at the peak of his powers. The film picked up the prestigious Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011 and is expected to fare well in the upcoming awards season. Elsewhere Prime Focus was called in to provide VFX shots for Matthew Vaughn’s superhero adventure ‘X-Men: First Class’, with work on the Marvel and Twentieth Century Fox film being completed in London, Vancouver and Mumbai, using the Prime Focus Global Digital Pipeline. Up against a tight deadline, having this span of resources available enabled the team to deliver a number of high quality shots in a short amount of time, proving that a company with a global reach can offer significant advantages. Regarded as a leader in the 3D space, Prime Focus delivered stereoscopic 3D visual effects and converted 230 shots into 3D for Michael Bay’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Working closely with Stereographer Corey Turner, the creative control afforded through View-D, Prime Focus’ proprietary conversion process, gave the film’s Producers and Supervisors the freedom to design and sculpt the 3D according to their vision. It would go on to be the fourth highest grossing film of all time and the second highest grossing of the year, taking in over $1.12 billion. 2011’s highest grossing film was the final installment of Warner Bros’ incredibly successful Harry Potter franchise – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Prime Focus was the lead vendor in the 3D conversion of this film, and working closely with director David Yates and studio stereographer Hugh Murray, the teams in London, LA and India took on the conversion of some of the biggest and most challenging VFX sequences in the movie, delivering 400 3D shots overall. Upon completion, Yates said “Prime Focus delivered on every level and helped make our 3D conversion all that we could have hoped for and more.” As a global entertainment services group, Prime Focus offers a variety of services to filmmakers. Its London-based team were on hand to supply the Hugo production team with on-set equipment including a Baselight 8 grading system that was temporarily installed at Shepperton Studios during production. The 84th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Tuesday, January 24, with the Awards ceremony taking place on Sunday February 26 at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre. Prime Focus would like to congratulate everyone involved with these exceptional projects and wish them the best of luck with their nominations.