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Cinema 1 Film & FX Premieres: String Theory By Fox

Aileen LeBlanc

Wynn Ponder – Creative Director/ Cinematographer

“The original assignment on this was from the Wichita Art Museum to do a color party, this year’s theme is midnight. The assignment is to create something that communicates the passage of time with midnight being the central theme. They want it to feel uncomfortable, the malleability of time, they wanted to show motif and repetition and they wanted us to create something that involved the viewer very much.“

“Video production and marketing in general usually happen at the last minute. Clients don’t always understand what a huge undertaking it is to go out and gather the footage, put it in the computer and creatively manipulate footage for their story. When we add CG animation, compositing, modeling, etc., that gets about five times as big.”

Credit Aileen LeBlanc
Ryan Todd, VFX Supervisor

CG Work in Wichita

“As Ang Lee was accepting his Oscar for Life of Pi, Rhythm and Hues, the company that did all the CG work on, they bid it so low. They were closing their doors at that same time that Lee was getting the Oscar. The thing about Wichita is we can still work in LA, shooting files back and forth on fiber optic lines. And it’s a slower lifestyle; the folks who have come in here and work with us now are glad to not have to drive two hours on the LA freeway in order to get to work.”

Credit Aileen LeBlanc
Michael Raphaelovich, Matchmoving Supervisor and Compositing Lead

Green Screen - Michael Raphaelovich Compositing Supervisor.

“We started off with this shot of her walking on a treadmill. And what I did was I went into the computer and, using some math and some techniques we use as compositors, we eventually ended up with a black and white image representation of her. For computers, we need those black and white images to tell the computer what is transparent and what is opaque. So for example, where it’s black, then the computer will know that it’s transparent and when it’s white, then the computer knows okay this is opaque. And it’s not easy as just turning one image into black and white because there’s a lot of transparency going on and there’s a lot of hair details for example going on. And now, after I’ve done the black and white image what I did is I took that black and white image and punched a hole to get rid of all the green.

“I think of this as a cookie cutter where I cut a template and after I cut the template I get rid of all the green and all the stuff that was around her to get just her.”

The guys from Cinema 1 describe just a few of the many pieces that go into this level of production:

(Footage by Aileen LeBlanc with additional content courtesy Wynn Ponder and Cinema 1 Film + FX  - edited by Fletcher Powell)

The finished product:

(Cinema 1 Film + FX)


Lance Ponder - AKA Fox - Music composer & producer

Amanda Blackmon - Vocalist/actress

Alexander Schneider - Actor

Crew: Wynn Ponder - Director/Cinematographer

Jill Sandberg - Assistant Director

Ryan Todd - VFX Supervisor

Brittney Owens - Animator

Michael Raphaelovich - Compositing and Matchmoving

Colby Turybury - Compositing and Matchmoving

Assistant Camera:

Max Krubsack Trevory

Macy Production


Dave Roberts

Laura Scholl

Unit Photographer - Douglas Hahn

This story originally aired on Morning Edition on June 27, 2014