Wednesday, January 21, 2015
DMAE Film Series
LSU , Digital Media Center (DMC), Baton Rouge
“Bill Paxton, Helen Hunt and Carey Elwes may be billed as the stars of Twister, but the film’s real attractions are the cyclones themselves. Best experienced in a theater, the nail-biting, blow-the-audience-out-of-their-seats computer generated graphics, cutting edge sound and other special effects are designed to take viewers straight into the roaring funnel of a gigantic tornado. In order to focus on special effects and action, the story is simple and the characters are drawn in broad strokes…” - Sandra Brennan, Rovi
Twister was nominated for Best Visual Effects at the academy awards and represents CG generated cutting edge particle effects for the time period that it was produced. We are happy to have DMAE’s latest faculty member, Ken Wesley talk about working on this important film. Ken began his history of working with Computer Graphic Imagery in 1981 as a research scientist at one of its birthplaces: the Computer Animation Laboratory on the Old Westbury campus of the New York Institute of Technology. There Ken helped create one of the first appearances of CGI in a motion picture film (“Lensman: Secret of the Lens”, 1984) and went on to help pioneer its use in music videos, concert performances, dance theater, and network TV. He was one of the select few who developed animation for Sony’s prototype HD equipment in the early 1990’s. Later, while working at George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic, Ken contributed to the cutting-edge effects of films such as “Twister”, “Star Trek: First Contact”, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”, and several films of the Star Wars franchise. Ken continued to expand his creative and technical horizons over the years by working at several more effects houses, with his more recent work appearing in Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland”, “Oz: the Great and Powerful”, “Smurfs 2”, and the latest of the Hunger Games films, “Mockingjay”.