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VFX Collaboration Brings Legendary Video Game Characters to Life on the Big Screen!

CULVER CITY, Calif., July 31, 2015 -- Sony Pictures Imageworks (SPI) has proudly collaborated with acclaimed Director Chris Columbus to take audiences back to the 80's with many of the world's favorite classic video game characters – completing exciting VFX sequences for Columbia Pictures' highly-anticipated action-comedy, Pixels, now in theaters nationwide.

Bringing the colorful and beloved video game characters to life on the big screen, alongside live-action stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Mongahan, Peter Dinklage and more, Sony Pictures Imageworks—the Academy Award® winning visual effects and animation company—completed 246 shots for the film and worked in tandem with lead VFX facility Digital Domain and nine other effects facilities.

VFX shot work by Sony Pictures Imageworks included the creation of characters, environments, elements and processes. This included leadership on an all-star line-up of classics including Q*bert™, Frogger, Space Invaders, Robotron, Tetris, the Galaga Mothership, Joust and the Dig Dug Dragon. Imageworks shared CG work with Digital Domain on the Centipede® and Centipede Spider. FX Elements and Process work spearheaded by Imageworks included 'voxelization' for all characters (creating the "pixelated" look); providing'light energy' for all characters (both general and velocity/impact based) and developing a voxelated destruction for buildings and vehicles.

One of the most challenging sequences for Imageworks was creating a 3D photo real version of the Washington Monument and the entire surrounding environment, including the White House and Capitol Building. Allowed only to capture perimeter helicopter footage, due to security restrictions, the team had to acquire panoramas and hundreds of stills of these landmark buildings for reference. Once these digital assets were assembled the team then went to work on creating the dramatic pixelated deconstruction of the Washington Monument by the Joust arcade characters.

Sony Pictures Imageworks contributions to the film were completed by teams in both Culver City and Vancouver, B.C., under the leadership of Imageworks VFX Supervisor Daniel Kramer."Bringing the classic video game world to the big screen was a fun challenge," said Kramer. "We quickly developed a strong relationship with Chris Columbus and Matthew Butler (production side VFX supervisor) as we worked together to bring a unique look to these classic video game characters. I'm proud of what our team accomplished on Pixels and hope audiences have a lot of fun watching it."

About Pixels
As kids in the 1980s, Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler), Will Cooper (Kevin James), Ludlow Lamonsoff (Josh Gad), and Eddie "The Fire Blaster" Plant (Peter Dinklage) saved the world thousands of times – at 25 cents a game in the video arcades. Now, they're going to have to do it for real. In Pixels, when intergalactic aliens discover video feeds of classic arcade games and misinterpret them as a declaration of war, they attack the Earth, using the video games as the models for their assaults -- and now-U.S. President Cooper must call on his old-school arcade friends to save the world from being destroyed by PAC-MAN, Donkey Kong, Galaga, Centipede, and Space Invaders. Joining them is Lt. Col. Violet Van Patten (Michelle Monaghan), a specialist supplying the arcaders with unique weapons to fight the aliens.

About Sony Pictures Imageworks
Sony Pictures Imageworks is the Academy Award®-winning visual effects and animation unit of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group known for live-action visual effects, dynamic creature and character animation and all-CG animation. The company, headquartered in Vancouver, B.C., recently completed work on Columbia Pictures' PIXELS, Clint Eastwood's feature film AMERICAN SNIPER, Columbia Pictures' FURY, Marvel Studios' GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, the Warner Bros. feature EDGE OF TOMORROW and THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 for Columbia Pictures. Sony Pictures Imageworks is currently in production on the ANGRY BIRDS movie for Rovio, Disney's ALICE IN WONDERLAND: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, the Warner Bros. live-action feature SUICIDE SQUAD and STORKS for Warner Animation Group. The company is also working on the animated features HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 and the UNTITLED SMURFS MOVIE (working title) for Sony Pictures Animation. Other notable work includes, Disney's OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, MEN IN BLACK 3, Sony Pictures Animation's CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2 and HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA as well as Disney's ALICE IN WONDERLAND.

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