VFXShow 256: Black Widow


In 1995, super-soldier Alexei Shostakov and Black Widow Melina Vostokoff, both Russian undercover agents, pose as a family in Ohio with their surrogate daughters Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova. After finishing their mission to steal S.H.I.E.L.D. intel, they escape to Cuba and rendezvous with their boss, General Dreykov, who has Romanoff and Belova taken to the Red Room for training.

Behind the scenes

The years pass –  Romanoff defects to S.H.I.E.L.D, she then Avengers various things until we catch up with her in 2016. Romanoff is now a fugitive on the run for violating the Sokovia Accords, and so begins Marvel’s Black Widow. Scarlett Johansson once again plays (perhaps for the last time) Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow. Florence Pugh is Yelena Belova, and Alexei Shostakov is played by David Harbour. Shostakov is the Red Guardian, Russian super-soldier counterpart to Captain America and the father-figure to Romanoff and Belova.


The film was directed by Cate Shortland. Visual Effects Supervisor Geoffrey Baumann and VFX Producer Lisa Marra.The VFX team included (in no order):

  • Industrial Light & Magic. Visual effects supervisor Craig Hammack
  • Digital Domain: Visual effects supervisor Dave Hodgins
  • Weta Digital: Visual effects supervisor Sean Walker
  • Cinesite: VFX Supervisor: Ben White
  • SSVFX: De-ageing of Alexei (David Harbour) and Melina (Rachel Weisz)
  • Rising Sun Pictures: VFX Supervisor Dennis Jones
  • Trixter: VFX Supervisor: Dominik Zimmerle

The Widows for this episode in the Red Room are:

  • Ms Matt Wallin         @mattwallin               www.mattwallin.com
  • Ms Jason Diamond  @jasondiamond      www.thediamondbros.com
  • Ms Mike Seymour   @mikeseymour.           www.fxguide.com


And just for old-time sake, … watch Black Widow Peak:


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