Michelle 'Shelley' Smith
Visual Effects Supervisor
“My first job in the movie business was working on Toy Story. It was a heady experience seeing a new technology being willed into existence at the service of the ancient craft of telling a story.
Directing Mr Spam Gets a New Hat with DNEG, using the Epic game engine, had that same heady feeling. We were telling a story with a technology that we believed can change things. And we found that our belief was well founded.
The Epic game engine helped us rethink our production process and enabled us to move much faster and more intuitively. There were many times when I felt as though I were on a live action shoot. Our sets were built and lit, our characters designed and able to move while we were still storyboarding and before layout. We were able to move the camera in real time to block out scenes, camera movement, lighting, timing and even discover additional work on the sets to achieve the shots we needed. This was a great help to the board artists and made layout more precise and immediate than I’ve ever experienced. It was frankly a thrilling way to work. And this excitement echoed out to every aspect of production. We were able to achieve a quality of lighting that I’ve been hoping for since I began my career.
DNEG put together a flawless crew that were up for challenges and eager to embrace the opportunities. But all of this new wizardry was tailored to help us with the oldest challenge of the job: to tell a story with clarity and feeling and to get our vision up on the screen. I’ve been doing animation for 30 years and working this way was completely intoxicating. A fever dream come true.”
– Bill Joyce, Director, Mr. Spam Gets A New Hat