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FX Mogul Interview

An interview with Frederic St-Arnaud

Hello Frederic thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions on FXMogul, could you please tell us about you and a little bit of history of yourself?

FREDERIC: I was born in the province of Quebec in Canada in the mid seventies, my passion for drawing was distinct at a very early age. Originally, I intended to pursue my life as a movie make-up effects artist while I was a teenager. My inspirations at his moment was drawn from a wide range of movies, comic books and TV series, fantasy, horror and science-fiction genres. During high school I worked on many theater plays, doing backgrounds, lightings, props and make-up effects. At the same time I did different expositions of watercolor, acrylics and oil paintings. I did my first serious illustration contract at 12 years old. From what I remember, everything since my birth was more or less related to Arts.

Which accomplishments have you done so far in your a career?

FREDERIC: I have contributed to more than 25 feature films, dozens of commercials for television and a few TV series. My film credits include Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Death Race, Babel, Silent Hill, Sin City, Sky captain and the world of tomorrow, Once upon a time in Mexico, Spy kids 2 & 3, The Golden Compass which won the best visual effects Academy Awards in 2008 and more.

From the list of movies you have worked on, which one is the most memorable?

FREDERIC: My contribution to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was a very challenging project. The world wide famous VFX company Industrial Light and Magic (aka ILM) needed extra help in order to finish the movie on time. Rodeo FX (where I work) had a dozen of shots of the Peruvian jungle sequence. 2 of them required matte paintings. The most complicated shot was a set extention of a tropical forrest combined with a sunset ambiance. This is when the Indiana Jones army duck land on a huge ants hill. The shot was camera lock and we had around a month to finish it, including the compositing. Creating the trees and vegetation layers was a long step but the most complicated part was to do all the separate lens flare layers according to the particular anamorphic lights effects. Anamorphic widescreen is a videographic technique utilizing rectangular pixels to store a widescreen image to standard 4:3 aspect ratio. Directors such as Stephen Spielberg like to use this technique to enhance the visual look for instance. It was also a challenge to find a way to export these lens flare layers from matte painting to compositing department since we work in different softwares that react differently to blending modes we use to simulate light and lens effects.

See the rest on FX Mogul:

artspire_interview_01.jpg cg_arena_oct_2009.jpg cgtantra_mp_challenges.jpg FXmogul_interview.jpg quiver_interview_thumbnail.jpg templates_interview_02_sept_08.jpg cg_cookie_interview_cover.jpg
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