Sony Pictures Imageworks Leads Stellar Team To Create Out Of This World Visual Effects And Animation On "Men In Black 3"


CULVER CITY, CA (May 29, 2012) - For Men In Black™ 3, the #1 movie worldwide with an estimated holiday weekend box office of $203 million, Sony Pictures Imageworks, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, oversaw the creation of diverse and richly detailed character animation, extensive environments and extraordinary visual effects, all created with a heightened sense of realism. Visual effects legend Ken Ralston, who has won five Oscars® for his work, takes on the Visual Effects Supervisor role with Jay Redd, whose previous experience includes serving as visual effects supervisor on Imageworks' CG-animated film Monster House, on a team that included animation supervisor Spencer Cook (Spider-Man™), digital effects supervisor Kee-Suk "Ken" Hahn (Alice in Wonderland) and 3D visual effects supervisor Corey Turner (Transformers: Dark of the Moon).

In Men In Black 3, Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) are time. J has seen some inexplicable things in his 15 years with the Men in Black, but nothing, not even aliens, perplexes him as much as his wry, reticent partner. But when K's life and the fate of the planet are put at stake, Agent J will have to travel back in time to put things right. J discovers that there are secrets to the universe that K never told him -- secrets that will reveal themselves as he teams up with the young Agent K (Josh Brolin) to save his partner, the agency, and the future of humankind.

Ralston explains that though several sequences in the film represented exciting VFX challenges - from building a prison on the moon to re-creating the Apollo 11 launch - the biggest challenge of all was to achieve a look that meshed with the film Barry Sonnenfeld was directing. "Barry has a very distinct style," says Ralston. "It's very graphic, very distinctive to his movies. Our designs had to be stylized, they had to live within his world, but at the same time, it had to feel believable - even when something unbelievable was happening."

"Even though technology has changed a lot since the last Men In Black came out, we wanted to make sure we were firmly in the MIB world, and Barry allowed and encouraged us to play and bend the rules inside what is expected to be real. It's not every day you get to design and create such a wide, wacky, and challenging variety of effects and creatures, and have fun doing it. This, in no small part, is thanks to Barry's direction and whimsical take on the material and the artists who made it all come alive," says Redd.

With a mix of humor and style, the visual effects in Men In Black 3 take us back to the year 1969 with a digital creation of the Apollo 11 Rocket Launch and New York's Shea Stadium, a chronology shifting time jump, and an action-packed monocycle chase through the streets of Brooklyn. Men In Black films are known for their unusual and extraordinary alien characters and this film is no exception. Among the digital characters created for Men In Black 3 are the giant alien fish, the weasel alien, the villain alien Boris, the bowling ball headed alien known as Tony, and a return of the popular Worm Guys. Imageworks also created digital doubles for Agent J (Will Smith), Young Agent K (Josh Brolin) and Griffin (Michael Stuhlbarg). Imageworks worked closely with Oscar®-winning special effects make-up artist Rick Baker, digitally extending and recreating physical characteristics in the digital world.

In addition to Imageworks, Method, Prime Focus, E-Film and Cantina Creative also created visual effects shots for the film. Imageworks' 3D visual effects supervisor Corey Turner designed and supervised the 3D stereoscopic production. The majority of the 2D-to-3D conversion work was completed by artists at Prime Focus, with Imageworks delivering 3D stereo on their all-CG sequences and other selected shots.

Additionally, Sony Pictures Post Production Facilities worked on the film's sound mixing, design and editorial, as well as the score. Sound Supervisor Paul Ottoson, a two-time Oscar® winner, commented, "It was a fun challenge to design sound effects for the film's dual settings in both 2012 and 1969. For 1969 in particular, the effects had to seem simultaneously hi-tech, in keeping with the standards of the Men In Black franchise, yet with a retro feel."

Columbia Pictures presents in association with Hemisphere Media Capital an Amblin Entertainment production in association with Parkes+MacDonald Image Nation, a Barry Sonnenfeld film, Men In Black™ 3. The film stars Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Emma Thompson. Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. Produced by Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald. Written by Etan Cohen. Based on the Malibu Comic by Lowell Cunningham. Executive Producers are Steven Spielberg and G. Mac Brown. Director of Photography is Bill Pope, ASC. Production Designer is Bo Welch. Editor is Don Zimmerman, A.C.E. Music by Danny Elfman. Costume Designer is Mary Vogt. Alien Make-up Effects by Rick Baker. Visual Effects Supervisors are Ken Ralston and Jay Redd. Special Visual Effects by Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc. Featuring the new single "Back In Time" performed by Pitbull.

Sony Pictures Imageworks is the Academy Award® winning visual effects and animation unit of Sony Pictures Digital Productions known for live-action visual effects and character animation, all-CG animation, and stereoscopic 3D imagery. The company, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, recently completed production on MEN IN BLACK 3 (3D) and THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (3D), and is currently in production on OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (3D), the animated features HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA (3D) and CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS: REVENGE OF THE LEFTOVERS. Other recent credits include the hybrid live-action/animation film THE SMURFS (3D), THE GREEN LANTERN (3D), ALICE IN WONDERLAND (3D), and CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS (3D).

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