Category Archives: Movies

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Super Bowl 2015

It’s that time of year again! There’s a chill in the air, snow falls lightly on the ground…  Everyone’s favorite holiday is upon us.  That’s right, THE SUPER BOWL! (Or as some know it, Commercial Bowl.)  Once again, Legacy is kicking off this monumental event with several spots that are sure to thrill and entertain all you sports fans out there.  It’s the only time of year people actually want to watch commercials.  Thanks, Super Bowl!

 
Bud Light: Pac-Man

Waka Waka Waka Waka…  No, that’s not the sound of Fozzie Bear stuck in a loop.  It’s the sound of the Chairman of the Video Gameboard, Pac-Man!  This year, the ad wizards at Bud Light went big with a larger than life, live version of Pac-Man in downtown LA.  One unsuspecting fan scored the chance of a lifetime to run the digital gauntlet and receive a refreshing Bud Light upon its completion.  A game of Pac-Man wouldn’t be a challenge without those menacing ghosts, Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde, and that’s where Legacy glides into play.  Check out how we brought the digital g-g-g-ghosts to “life”.

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Pac-Man turns 35 this year, and what better way to celebrate than creating a life-sized Pac-Man maze and running a surprised, beer-thirsty civilian through it?  Rewarding that civilian with an icy-cold beer is a pretty good way to finish that off.  Bud Light worked tirelessly and sectioned off a part of downtown LA to create the larger than life-size labyrinth, complete with power pellets, 8-bit cherries and the ghosts themselves.  Well, Legacy had something to do with the latter.  We went “old school” to create these pesky poltergeists, staying true to the pixelated form.

 

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These ghoulies are a lot of fun to make. They are completely people powered, with a network of LED light strips running throughout.  Each ghost is constructed of a lightweight frame covered in a white fabric and fitted with a back rig that will attach to the performer inside.  We made 5 (1 as a back up) of the same ghost and rigged the lights to flood the fabric with each ghost’s signature color.  The beauty of this method is that each ghost can be it’s own color, but with the flip of a switch can change into “panic mode” color after a power pellet is “chomped”.

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To give the ghosts their floating appearance, the performers inside will wear roller skates and glide around the maze smoothly.  However, the maze walls are only 6 feet wide, and the ghosts are 5 feet wide only giving 6” of play on each side.  These performers have to be on their game to make sure they don’t wipe out and hurt themselves.

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Check out the full commercial below, and keep reading for the other spots we worked on.

 

 

Nationwide Insurance

Nationwide Insurance launched their new “Make Safe Happen” advert this Super Bowl.  This ad features a young boy talking about all his boyhood dreams in a 47 second spot.  Legacy’s contribution to this commercial is the jet pack the little boy uses when learning to fly.

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This ad is one of the more serious to be featured during the Super Bowl, but nevertheless delivers a powerful impact on a very sensitive subject.

 

Skittles: Arm Wrasslin’

Skittles ads are some of the most over the top commercials on T.V., so when we were asked to be involved, we leapt at the chance.  This year’s spot is set in a tiny town where all of the inhabitants settle their differences with arm wrestling.  The catch is, everyone in this town has incredibly muscular right arms.  This is where Legacy lends a “hand”.

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We got straight to work sculpting and casting 50 prosthetic right arms for this spot, along with one left arm for the final shot of the ad.  Since every person is different, so is each arm.  We created arms for men, women, children and even a baby.  Each arm is treated as a unique art piece, decorated with varying flesh tones, punched hair and tattoos.

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When the arms are pulled from the molds, seams are cleaned and touched up, and skin color and details are applied at the paint stage.  The arms are cast in foam latex (*site), which look, move and even flex like real skin.  Expert painting, hair and detail work make the arms look like an actual part of the performer.

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Check out the full commercial below and taste the rainbow!

 

 

BONUS:  In addition to the Big Game ads, our work is featured in this summer’s biggest blockbusters, including Avengers: Age of Ultron; Terminator Genisys; and Jurassic World.  View the next set of trailers released during the Super Bowl below, and get in line to see these films now!

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Legacy Effects Featured At Stan Lee’s Comikaze Convention

Greetings, true believers!!  The 3rd annual Comikaze event in LA just wrapped up, and WOW what a time it was.  This event has grown from 35,000 people in 2011 to 50,000 plus!  With scores of pop culture celebrities on hand; from Elvira to Weird Al, this con has it all, including a little Legacy.  We even had our own panel where members of the Legacy team were interviewed about the state of modern practical effects.

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We had an AWESOME time, and got to show uber fans some of the coolest Marvel props and effects we have had the pleasure to work on.  Marvel suits, characters and maquettes based on Stan Lee’s work on display at the Comikaze Con.  Including Legacy Effects work from “Iron-Man” “Iron-Man 2” “Thor” “The Avengers” “Iron-Man 3” and “Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier”.  The WIRED Mech even made a guest appearance and interacted with the crowd.  Don’t worry, he didn’t try to destroy too many people this time.

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And, who’s this gigantic fellow?  No, not the green guy, the big “hulking” guy standing next to him.  Don’t make him angry, you wouldn’t like him when he gets angry.

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We even had staff artist Jamie Grove doing a painting demo in collaboration with the Stan Winston School at their booth next to our Legacy booth.  The WIRED Mech hung out in the background to make sure Jamie didn’t screw up.

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It was so cool to be part of such an amazing event with such an iconic industry legend.  We can’t wait for next year!  Thanks Stan!

 

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Check out the video below for some behind the scenes with Stan at the Legacy studio.  Thanks for stopping by!  Excelsior!!!

-LegacyEFX

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World War Z

We <3 zombies!  The very thought of these creatures inspires mixed emotions, from fear to fascination.  A genre arguably perfected by George A. Romero, fans of zombie films are almost as rabid as the zombies themselves.  Therefore, being true to the lineage is vital.  One of 2013’s biggest films, World War Z, is the newest installment of the popular horror canon, and Legacy was chosen to add our expertise.  The particular virus that takes over these poor souls is quick and brutal, and you would not want a horde of them running you down an alley, that’s for sure.  Because these baddies move so fast, you don’t always get a clear shot of them in the film.  Let’s slow these buggers down and give you a good, close look without getting your face bitten off.  The preceding images in this post are all from a series of test make-ups we did for the film.  View at your own risk.

 

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GAAAAAHH!!!  That picture above says it all!  These creatures don’t even need to lunge at your throat to make your blood run cold.  The transformation of these zombies is simple but effective.  We sculpted some vein work onto each zombie application around the neck and throughout the face.  You can practically see the deadly virus coursing through their veins, consuming their entire being.  Spots of patchy discolored skin show the rapid decay, along with raised cheekbone applications with paint and shading around the eyes to make the face appear as if it is caving in.  Cataract and lightened iris contact lenses are added to give the look of a soulless maniacal killer.  On the business end of the zombies, we’ve added gnarled teeth that look as if they have been damaged from chewing remorselessly through sinew and bone.

 

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Voilà! You just got a close up look at some of the most terrifying zombie creations ever to hit the silver screen.  World War Z has quickly made its way into being one of the best zombie movies of all time, and the opportunity to add our special touch to the undead is an amazing treat.  We hope you enjoy this look into the making of these groovy ghoulies.  We hope you’re dying to come back all month long for more gory posts.

 

-Legacy EFX

 

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Iron Man 3: The Suits

Iron Man 3 – What more do we need to say?  It is probably the biggest film of 2013, and Legacy has been honored to be a part of this amazing franchise.  As the creators of every live-action Iron Man suit since the first Iron Man, as well as The Avengers, Legacy can’t wait for people to see what this next installment has in store.  And now, we are privileged to show you some behind-the-scenes glimpses of this blockbuster film.

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Every suit starts with a design, and that design comes straight from Marvel’s visual development department’s Ryan Meinerding, Phil Saunders and crew.  Once all the designs are approved through the many tiers of production, it is then up to us to make the design a reality and fit the actors inside the suit.  Each design is fully built in a 3D program, piece by piece.  But how do we fit Robert Downey Jr. or Don Cheadle into a digital model?  Easy–we scan the actors into 3D models too!  That way we have their exact dimensions and can tailor the suit to fit them perfectly.  We can actually place a digital version of Downey inside the digital suit and see where his form may break through it, and vice-versa.  Then it’s a matter of a some more alterations for a nice, snug fitted metal suit.  Mmmm….. comfy.

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The funny thing is, not much of the final suit is actually metal.  In fact, they are comprised of many different materials, such as fiberglass, plastic and silicone.  In addition to making these suits as convincing as possible as metal machines, our goal is to make sure the actors are comfortable inside them.  The suit can’t look stiff or respond to the actor’s movements in a clunky way.  They need to offer a full range of movement, and comfort so as not to inhibit the actor’s performance.  Each piece of the suit is then grown on our 3D printer, and sent to the shop for molding and casting.

 

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Once we decide what pieces get cast in what material, it is time to paint them up and make them camera ready.  This is quite a tedious process due to the many different materials involved.  One material may react differently to the paint application than others will.  This can be troublesome because it all needs to look uniform, rather than looking piecemealed together.  Luckily, our painting wizards have ways of figuring this out, and we put it into their very capable hands.

 

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During the whole fabrication process we need to be doing some fitting tests as well.  Dressing the mannequins is good for visuals, but we really need to see how these suits react to movement.  Sadly, the actors are not available at our beck and call, as they have more important places to be.  Fortunately for us, we have some very willing volunteers on staff to test these suits.  Who would turn down being Iron Man, even if only for a few minutes?  These fittings are very important because they allow us to gauge the comfort levels and the mobility of each suit.  Plus, we can see if there will be any wear and tear from pieces rubbing together, or places that may reveal the actors body.

 

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Not only do we get to suit up Tony Stark, but we’ve also been honored to populate his hall of armor with several replicas of the previous suits from the first two films.  Because these suits do not need to be worn, they can basically be hollow props for set decoration.   Also, sad to say, these beauties need to be fitted with several explosives for one of the larger action moments where Tony’s entire armory is destroyed.   Sometimes it is a little sad to see our work blown to bits, but deep down …it’s pretty damn cool.

 

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This series has been an amazing ride for us, and we’ve been honored to be a part of the Marvel team.  As long as there are Iron Man films, and we are invited to contribute, we will be there to make the most amazing suits the big screen can handle.  We are so excited to have shared this experience with you, and we hope you enjoy the brief glimpse into the making of this epic.  Thanks for checking in, and we’ll hopefully see you on the next one!

 

-Legacy EFX