Visualization services company, OPSIS, called on VFX Legion to lend its talents to Songbird, director Adam Mason’s newdystopian thriller from producer Michael Bay. As the film’s primary visual effects vendor, OPSIS provided end-to-end services for Songbird – from Previs, Postvis, and finalizing VFX shots, to assembling the talent for the job. Integrating Legion into its team, OPSIS tapped the pioneering remote company’s experience and ‘deep bench’ of home-based senior talent.
Spearheaded by OPSIS’ VFX supervisor Michael Jackson and VFX producer Lena Bahrs, Legion created over 200 photoreal visual effects for Songbird. VFX supervisor James David Hattin and VFX producer Nate Smalley in LA, and Dylan Yastremski, Head of Production in B.C., led their diverse team of talent. Drawing from Legion’s global collective of remote-savvy artists, they assembled and helmed a workforce with the expertise needed to efficiently craft the mix of high-quality visual effects that the film demanded.
“OPSIS explored creative options, integrating conceptual artwork into Postvis, getting sign-
offs on ‘looks,’ and delivering final layouts for most visual effects before the post process began,” says Hattin. “They provided us with a blueprint for each shot, as well the timing and beats eliminating the need for endless versions. OPSIS’ approach enabled our artists to cost-effectively turn around large volumes of complex shots on very tight deadlines with ease.”
Songbird is set in 2024, as a much more deadly mutation of the coronavirus spreads throughout the world. The story unfolds in LA, where strict rules are enforced by the military. The infected are identifies with compulsory scanning, forced from their homes and transported to quarantine camps. The sci-fi thriller centers on a handful of people and their plight to survive the pandemic and navigate the oppressive totalitarian system.
While safety concern kept most people off the streets during production, creating the apocalyptic look of a city ravaged by a deadly pathogen and oppressive conditions required the help of digital imagery. Legion crafted photoreal visual effects and CG environments for OPSIS that seamlessly blend with practical footage to bring the director’s vision to life.
Artists applied a range of skillsets, including CGI, animation,compositing, camera tracking, and rotoscoping to create a variety of visual effects. VFX Legion crafted fully digital backdrops of Los Angeles, from wide sweeping shots of the city to virtual cityscapes and skyline. Animated CG helicopters and an ominous armed surveillance drone that monitors the city appear in several live-action and virtual shots.
Songbird was an ideal candidate for OPSIS’ visualization services and Legion’s road-tested remote approach. Both the production’s timeline and bottom line benefited from OPSIS’ efficient management and execution a wide range of complex visual effects for the film.
Along with changing the dynamics of productions, the pandemic has had a significant impact on the collaborative process of creating visual effects. Helmed by industry veterans, OPSIS’ in-depth knowledge of VFX and the industry’s players keep the company ahead of the curve.
“Having Legion as part of our team allowed us to get a jump start in allocating artists and technologists while working safely and remotely. They’ve been operating with distributed teams and a deep bench of home-based senior talent for years,” says Henrik Fett, OPSIS’ CEO. “Legion’s tremendous experience managing remote VFX productions and experienced artists really makes a difference.”
“It is refreshing to work with people who know the important value they bring to a project while embracing being part of a bigger group,” Fett adds. “All of our partners and collaborators are established in their field, and we are excited to have assembled such an all-star team for Songbird!”
“We appreciate OPSIS’ leaderships throughout the production, and the oportunity to play a role in helping them make this film a successful project for everyone,” says Hattin.
For additional information about OPSIS and the company’s creative visualization services, visit www.opsis-hq.com, email email@example.com or call 323.314.3816.
Genre: Sci-Fi Thriller
Release: December 11, 2020
Written by – Adam Mason, Simon Boyes
Directed by – Adam Mason
Produced by – Michael Bay, Marcei A. Brown, Jason Clark, Jeanette Volturno, Adam Goodman, Andrew Sugerman, Eben Davidson
STX Films (presents)
Catchlight Films (as Catchlight Studios)
Editor: Geoffrey O’Brien
Production Side/VFX Supervisor/Producer: Dan Levitan
Primary Visual Effects Vendor: OPSIS, LA
Henrik Fett – Executive Producer
Michael Jackson – VFX Supervisor
Lena Bahrs – VFX Producer
VISUAL EFFECTS by:VFX Legion, LA/B.C.
James David Hattin – VFX Supervisor
Nate Smalley – VFX Producer
Dylan Yastremski – Head of Production
Joe Soloway – VFX Coordinator
Brad Moyland – Compositor
Eugen Olsen – Compositor
Milton Muller – Compositor
Rafael Perez – Compositor
Patrick Conaty – Compositor
John Mcconnell – Compositor
Nick Guth – Compositor
Tyler Nathan – Compositor
Matthias Lowry – Compositor
Dan Molina – Compositor
Lauren Morimoto – Rotoscoping
Rommel S. Calderon – CG Artist
Bryan Shepperd – CG Artist
Blake Anderson – CG Artists
Chris Derochie – Animation Supervisor
Ruy S. Delgado – Camera Tracker
CAST: KJ Apa, Sofia Carson, Craig Robinson, Bradley Whitford, Demi Moore, Paul Walter Hauser, Peter Stormare, Alexandra Daddario