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Interview with Pierre-Simon Lebrun-Chaput Oblique FX VFX supervisor

Oblique FX has been nominated for two Canadian Screen Awards for the VFX work you continue to do on the TV series Being Human. What do you think the academy is recognizing in your work?

We try our best to make great visual effects for TV series like this one. The process is very different from film – usually much more creative and involved – but with smaller budgets so we have to work on clever ways to make it happen. I think we are being recognized for our creativity and constant aim at delivering exciting quality shots for the audience.

Being Human VFX Breakdown


Tell us about the work you’re doing for the feature film, Louis Cyr. What do you find appealing about this work?

It’s a film about the French Canadian strongman, Louis Cyr, who could lift 500 pounds with three fingers and once lifted a horse. The movie takes place around 1890 and I found the historical research and reconstruction of the era very interesting to do. We have a lot of establishing shots, in Montreal, New York, London and Lowell, Massachusetts. There are steamships, factories and ultra-slow motion CG horses. We need to deliver very realistic and grounded effects on 300 shots. This is my favorite kind of project.

Oblique works closely with the successful production company, Muse Entertainment, in Quebec. What is the state of the VFX industry in Montreal and Quebec?

I’m happy to say that it is in the best shape I’ve seen it for years! There are a lot of projects going on and many international houses are opening studios in Montreal. While the whole industry worldwide is changing and evolving, Montreal is gaining recognition and interest. I strongly feel it is a good time for VFX studios to work together to build a strong reputation for the city. We’ve seen it in the past, when everybody only works for themselves and studios are closing, it ends up hurting everyone in town. Oblique likes to share projects and resources with other studios and it’s working out great. Montreal facilities should continue to share projects – as we have in the past, with movies like Source Code – and help each other out.

What is your opinion of the state of the CG and VFX industry beyond Montreal?

Outside of Montreal, the state of the VFX industry is another matter. We’ve seen with the downfall of Digital Domain and, more recently, with Rhythm & Hues’ financial problems, that big houses are more and more difficult to run. Even though VFX movies are making more money at the box office, producers are shrinking the budgets and even the best facilities are starting to have difficulty competing. This is very sad. At least people are talking about it, but there is no clear solution to the problem. I hope big movie studios will do something about it sooner rather than later.

Do VFX artists need to be more or less specialized these days?

The tendency is to specialize because this is more efficient, and the business is all about money these days. But to keep the passion alive you need involvement, challenge and change. Oblique is deliberately small and we intend to keep it that way. We have a few specialized artists but we favor generalists who have a few areas of expertise.Oblique is not geared for volume, but we are able to turn around quickly and adapt to many different project formats. Our artists are really involved in the process and that’s one way to have more fun with what we do.


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Making of Being Human by Oblique FX

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