Boss films : Who ya going to call ?

Next on vfxshow we are going to tackle Ghostbusters, but from the point of view of examining the end of the era of optical effects – ” pre-digital” films. If you were to map a timeline of when digital arrived in film making it falls right between Ghostbusters 1 and 2.

The company at the pointy end of that change from the mid 80s? Boss Films. VFX supervisor of Ghostbusters and founder of Boss films,

3 thoughts on “Boss films : Who ya going to call ?”

  1. I recalled reading an interview with Richard Edlund and he also stated that not only was the Digital a revolution in how fast it got embraced but it was very cost prohibitve as well. I think that the compositing side of digital provided more options for smaller houses but for character animation the learning curve and cost curve were way high. Both hardware and software were expensive and you need a lot of both to be able to get the jobs and deliver. Boss Studios had great talent but they needed deep pockets to compete and stay ahead.

    And as we see today, only a few “big” survived. Mainly because they could and did write a lot of their code themselves? And I guess they struggled as well. PDI, ILM, Pixar, Blue Sky and Sony…

    Now, both hardware and software are relative very cheap along and can provide opportunities for small production houses. And don’t forget what the interweb has done!


  2. actually at first it was those companies who did NOT write their own software that survived in VFX. Companies like PDI – which became PDI – Dreamworks – all went well as they used off the shelf h/w and s/w and then added mel scripts and other things to it.

    Pixar is a bit different as it is a studio owning he content and not a gun for hire like say ILM or DD.

    I wrote a piece on valuing post houses a while ago
    you might find it interesting


  3. Sorry Mike, PDI did indeed write their own software. They were well known for that fact at the time. They even got some technical awards if I remember correctly.

    I think that PDI has dropped from peoples mind since they got brought into Dreamworks and started to produce their own content.

    Also, it would be nice if you guys could discuss commercials as well as movies. There are a lot of vfx and techniques developed for commercials that is later used in features…


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