Indy on blu-ray, and more

fxguide’s own Mike Seymour recently had the opportunity to sit down with actor John Rhys-Davies – Sallah from the first and third Indiana Jones films, and also Gimli from The Lord of the Rings – as part of the release of the Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures blu-ray. Check out the interview below along with a look at some  effects featurettes in other recent blu-ray and DVD releases.

Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures

John Rhys-Davies discusses working on Indiana Jones, plus hear about the approach to the series’ VFX by ILM’s Dennis Muren.

For visual effects aficionados, the five disc blu-ray Indy set contains a couple of featurettes, including ‘The Light and Magic of Indiana Jones’ and ‘Raiders: The Melting Face’, plus ‘The Effects of Indy’ covering ILM’s work for Crystal Skull – as well as several other behind the scenes docos.

And we’ll have more at fxguide and fxphd on old-school practical effects and more from John Rhys-Davies following our fx2012 course at 32TEN Studios taking place at the start of October (for the new term at

The Avengers

Releasing on September 25th, The Avengers blu-ray’s main VFX feature is ‘A Visual Journey’, which is a wide-ranging making of doco. Check out the excerpt below in which director Joss Whedon talks about the Helicarrier.


Battleship on blu-ray was released on August 28th. The effects, led by ILM, are featured heavily on the release, of course, in a featurette called ‘The Visual Effects of Battleship’, to 3D models of the aliens and shredders, and an alternative ending previs.

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games, with visual effects supervised by the wonderful fxphd prof Sheena Duggal, is now on blu-ray, with a general making of doco called ‘The World is Watching: Making of The Hunger Games’, plus a more specific ‘Controlling the Games’ featurette looking at Hybride’s work for the control center (see the clip below).


Steven Spielberg’s Jaws was released on blu-ray on August 14th as part of Universal 100th anniversary series. On the blu-ray are a couple of docos such as ‘The Shark is Still Working: The Impact & Legacy of JAWS’ and an interesting restoration featurette following the process of restoring the movie. Check some of it out below.

Grimm – Season 1

On the Grimm season 1 DVD is a pretty cool ‘Making Monsters’ featurette that goes through the makeup effects and digital work in the show and features interviews with Hive FX artists about the monsters and morphing shots in the show. See below. And also check out the work by Bent Image Lab who did a substantial amount of shots for the series. They have some great Grimm reels on their website.

See the Hive FX team discuss the animals and morphing effects in Grimm.

Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection

Released on September 7th was a 31 disc collection for the Harry Potter series. It contains several docos, including this one below on production design and effects.

Watch a featurette on the production design and fx in Harry Potter.

Sense of Scale

We covered this modelmakers doco by Berton Pierce when it was screened at the Sci-Fi London Film Festival (and also featured an exclusive deleted scene about Total Recall). Now the film is available on DVD. Head to for more details and watch the trailer below.

Starship Troopers: Invasion

Starship Troopers: Invasion is the latest in the ST series – this incarnation is a feature-length animated film by Sola Digital Arts from director Shinji Aramaki. The film was released on August 28th. Check out an exclusive making of clip below.

Watch a making of clip from Starship Troopers: Invasion.

“We were aiming for ‘photo-real’ look, balanced with some anime visual dynamics,” Aramaki told fxguide. “The goal was to appeal to both the first Starship Troopers’ fans as well as Heinlein fans. We also went to Sony Pictures’ archive room to obtain reference from the first film’s concept work, prop, and customs as well to pick up some visual cues that got reflected in our film’s overall design too.”

A Vicon MX40 setup of 28 cameras was used for motion capture, with animation created in Motionbuilder and XSI. Maya and Max (with RealFlow and FumeFX) were relied on for effects work, and Mental Ray used for rendering. Compositing was done in After Effects.

Apart from recreating the signature ‘bugs’ seen in the original film and the rest of the series, one particularly challenging shot in the film involved a ship crashing into Earth. “That presented a huge challenge both in size and scope of things to do,” says Aramaki. “We were able to dodge somewhat by compromising that the space ship would scrape above Paris, and into a desolate uninhabited wilderness! Even then, we had to clear the copyright of the city landscape (we did not know that the lit-up Eiffel Tower at night was a copyrighted sight), and create the futuristic Paris cityscape, while managing the logistics of creating a burning space ship hurtling through the sky above covered with debris and flames.”

Upcoming Releases

We’re also looking out also for blu-ray and DVDs releases for Prometheus, The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises. And keep an eye out for a special fxguidetv episode where John Montgomery explores the restoration and new VFX work behind the Star Trek: Next Generation DVD releases!

1 thought on “Indy on blu-ray, and more”

  1. For more Behind the Scene content or VFX Breakdowns, let’s take a look at wiki-fx ! It’s a new website I created a few days ago in order to collect a maximum of ressources about the use of VFX in movies, TV series, advertisements and so on…

    I’ve already created more than 80 pages ! Hope you like it !
    Enjoy ! 🙂

Comments are closed.