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MARCH 2010
LipSync brings New York City to life in 'Kick-Ass'
March 29, 2010 18:28

LipSync has completed over 300 VFX shots on the highly anticipated action-comedy adventure movie Kick-Ass. The film, directed by Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake, Stardust) and based on the eponymous best-selling comic book by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr., represents the largest project to go through LipSync’s dedicated VFX department to date.

LipSync completed 305 out of a total of 800 vfx shots, 75% of which were completed in just seven weeks, with around 30 crew working on the project at its peak. LipSync had worked with Matthew Vaughn previously on the fantasy film Stardust; however, it was the VFX team’s work on How To Lose Friends and Alienate People that really clinched the deal for KICK ASS, in particular the sequences that recreated New York skylines on greenscreen windows.

Tarquin Pack, the Producer of Kick-Ass, said, “Having worked with LipSync before, we knew that they would provide us with the excellent work we have come to expect from them. LipSync’s ‘invisible’ work is vital to allow audiences to believe that the action really is in New York, or in a moving car, or that Hit Girl really is that hard. The team’s proven talent and skills have created utterly believable images and really brought the story to life. Matthew and I thank the LipSync team for their hard work and look forward to working with them again very soon.”


The bulk of LipSync’s work on Kick-Ass centres around the well-appointed apartment of chief bad guy Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong) which has picture windows overlooking Manhattan. LipSync composited matte paintings onto the windows showing New York skyscrapers at different times of day and night, and added animated elements such as cloud textures, flags moving in the wind, and lights switching on and off to bring the exterior to life.

VFX Supervisor Mattias Lindahl (Double Negative) provided various 270° Digital Matte Painting cycloramas and a CG model of the apartment which established the layout and correct perspectives as the action moved around each room. LipSync rendered out the correct view of the DMP via Maya and RenderMan and applied further adjustments such as sky and building replacements, animated traffic at street level, day for night relighting and grading in comp to marry the live action interior with the rendered exterior.

The action-packed finale takes place in Frank’s apartment, and the VFX team added innumerable muzzle flashes, wounds and blood spurts to enhance the comic book violence.

LipSync also handled the greenscreen driving sequences, ensuring that the exteriors blended immaculately with the foreground interiors. This required extensive retiming, smoothing and stabilising of plates to match the movements of the car, adding reflections in the windows and correcting lighting for the car interiors. The VFX team also had to seamlessly match footage from the original shoot with material that was reshot some six months later.

A notable and complex sequence also saw the team composite Dexter Fletcher’s character into a car, from several angles, as it gets crushed in a car-crusher. Other elements included retiming work, removal of elements such as safety mats and security cameras, and adding a realistic smouldering effect to Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) after he has been set on fire.

“It was great to work with Matthew again, and on such an exciting and edgy project – kind of Superbad meets Layer Cake meets Spiderman. As soon as we saw some of the early assembled scenes we knew we had to work on it,” said Stefan Drury, Head of Visual Effects, LipSync. “Working on an ‘independent’ budget with very tight deadlines, we completed a huge volume and variety of shots with a relatively small crew, and we were able to achieve this thanks to our incredibly efficient infrastructure and pipeline – plus, of course, an immensely talented VFX team. I’m really proud of the results, I think the film is going to be a tremendous hit and have a huge cult following."

Kick-Ass is in theatres in the UK from 26 March 2010, distributed by Universal Pictures International (UPI), and is released in the US on 16 April 2010 by Lionsgate.

LipSync Films 'Kick-Ass' and 'Mr Nice' premiere at SXSW Festival
March 15, 2010 13:02

Two LipSync films have premiered this week at the South by Southwest Festival in Texas.

Headlining the festival is Matthew Vaughn's Kick-Ass which premiered yesterday to rave reviews ahead of its March 26 UK release date. LipSync completed over 300 VFX shots on the film.

Also due to premiere at the festival is biopic Mr Nice, starring Rhys Ifans. The film, a LipSync co-production, received the full post treatment at LipSync, including VFX, grading, scanning, sound and titles.

Full coverage of the South by Southwest Festivals film section can be found here.


Latest Greenzone trailer features LipSync shots!
March 3, 2010 18:09

The latest trailer for Paul Greengrass' Greenzone has been released and features a number of helicopter shots completed by LipSync VFX.

Greenzone is released across the UK on the 12th of March.

You can view the latest trailer here.

2010 set to be LipSync's busiest year ever!
March 2, 2010 16:50

2010 is shaping up to be LipSync Post's biggest year ever with confirmation of a slate of upcoming film projects.

First among them is the spooky children's film The Great Ghost Rescue, a dark comedy about a family of ghosts searching for a new haunting ground. Along with full post, the film includes the creation of a fully CG character to be created by LipSync's VFX department and is the largest single award of work to date for LipSync.

Also coming up is the latest adaptation of Jane Eyre starring Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland), as well as the darkly comic Flutter from director Giles Borg.