Knowledge, Experience Inspiration Shared at Creative Master Series

Scarlett Johansson plays The Major in Ghost in the Shell from Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures.

Today’s Creative Master Series sessions will offer a combination of information and inspiration. With each discussion focused on a specific project, the Creative Master series will examine the detailed post-production workflow used for blockbuster action feature “Logan,” the realization of the visuals for science-fiction thriller “Ghost in the Shell” and the artistic and technical approaches utilized on HBO fantasy series “Game of Thrones.”

The day begins at 10:30 a.m. with the session “Turning Wolverine into ‘Logan’: The Editing Team Talks Collaboration.” Produced in partnership with the American Cinema Editors (ACE), the moderator, editor Norman Hollyn, will screen clips from the film and discuss the post process with editors Dirk Westervelt, Michael McCusker, ACE, John Berri and Daniel Nussbaum.

“It was a fascinating film to work on,” said Westervelt, who intends to explore how the editors collaborated with the production and visual effects teams to perfect pacing and story development.

“We all work differently,” Westervelt continued. “I like to use Avid’s scripting tool [ScriptSync] as the cut progresses, for example. Some editors never use it and some editors overuse it. We all have our own approaches, but when multiple editors work on something, the result has to be unified.”

Of ACE’s educational initiatives, he said, “[The organizations does] great things. I take as much time as possible to be involved with educating people about the craft of editing. I was an assistant at a time when you still worked very closely with an editor.” But today, he said, “It’s more important than ever to share information with everybody, and particularly aspiring editors, about the actual process of editing.”

At 1 p.m., attendees can learn from the session “‘Ghost in the Shell’: Creating a Parallel Cyber Future.” Sponsored by the International Cinematographers Guild (ICG), this session will explore “Ghost in the Shell,” the science-fiction thriller with a futuristic look inspired by Japanese manga. Moderated by David Geffner, executive editor of ICG magazine, the panel includes cinematographer Jess Hall, BSC, VFX designer John Dykstra, ASC, production designer Jan Roelfs and Sherri Potter, senior vice president, worldwide post production services, Technicolor.

Attendees will view clips from the film and learn from Hall about the creative technical solutions he developed to capture the look and feel of the original manga books and anime films.

Among the tools utilized were: special LED panel rigs that could be controlled remotely to mix primary-colored light in unusual combinations; a customized workflow to process the ARRI Alexa 65 camera raw footage at New Zealand-based Park Road Post using P3 color space throughout for an extended color gamut; and custom lenses designed by Panavision’s Dan Sasaki.

Peter Dinklage, Nathalie Emmanuel, Emilia Clarke in “Game of Thrones”

At 2:30 p.m., moderator Geffner returns with an in-depth look at the HBO series “Game of Thrones.” This discussion, produced in collaboration with Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE), will take a multifaceted view of the show with executive producer Barnadette Caulfield, cinematographers Anette Haellmigk and Jonathan Freeman, ASC, and producer Greg Spence.

Explained Spence, who has worked extensively in features and TV, “The show’s had such a good run with its millions of fans around the world who know what ‘G.O.T.’ looks like, what it sounds like and how it feels.”

The large cast and enormous range of locations, he added, “require that we put a lot of effort into always letting audience know where they are no matter what location we cut to at any given moment. The cinematographers on the panel, both of whom made a significant contribution to the show’s signature looks, can discuss that.”

Spence will also consider the value of concept art and pre-visualization for the show’s successful execution. “People can be standing around a table talking about a frog,” he said, “but when somebody draws the actual frog, you realize everybody’s talking about something different. The pre-vis team starts work in Belfast 10 weeks before principal photography, and that helps the crew move really efficiently. And it enables us to deliver visual effects and production value on a feature scale with a television budget and schedule. “

Wrapping up this information-packed day at 4 p.m. will be “VFX Titans Talk Yesterday Through Tomorrow — VES 20th Anniversary.” Moderated by Visual Effects Society (VES) board of directors chair Mike Chambers, the session will gather giants of the industry, including multiple Oscar-winners Phil Tippet (“Jurassic Park,” “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi”), and Rob Legato (“Titanic,” “The Jungle Book”) about their decades-long careers breaking boundaries and achieving the impossible.

The Visual Effects Society, Chambers explained, “started with fewer than 50 people and now has almost 3,500 around the world. This panel is a great way to help people learn about our organization and to share with the audience information about visual effects — not just in feature films, but for television, games, commercials, VR and even far outside the entertainment industry, with important work being done in medical imaging and space exploration.”