News 25.05.20

A PEEK AT METHOD’S VFX CATCH-UP



Simon Rosenthal, Method Melbourne’s Head of VFX chats with VFX Supervisors Glenn Melenhorst and Josh Simmonds.

Every Tuesday afternoon, the gang of three catches up for a check-in and chat. Last week Simon interviewed Glenn and Josh for Ausfilm. Here’s the edited transcript of the conversation exploring their creative motivation, the seamless VFX they admire from their industry peers and what Directors they’d love to work with.

Simon: What motivates you as a creative?

Glenn: The fact that you’re always learning – you never do the same thing twice. Working with collaborative people who bring new things to the table.

Josh: Never a dull moment – we’re always finding new sources of inspiration. And being surrounded by so many talented people who make you think about things differently.

Simon: What beyond talent makes a great VFX house?

Glenn: Nothing – it’s all about the talent. It starts and stops with the talent and it’s across the board from artists to production, IT to administration, everyone plays a part.

Josh: I know you want to hear something about margins but beyond that and talent, being organised and nimble is incredibly important. Culture plays a big part – you want people to be inspired, and you can usually see that people care and love what they do through the work they produce.

Simon: What was the best VFX you’ve seen that we didn’t work on?

Josh: Smart Hulk but you haven’t given me any thinking time! The seamlessness of the performance and the way this giant green dude sits in the scene is beautifully done. But my first answer is never the right answer. Can I have more time?

Simon: Nope answer is locked in.

Glenn: The stuff that’s simply observed. I couldn’t believe the chimp in The Umbrella Academy – it amazed the hell out of me. He looked so ‘in the scene’ and the nuanced performance was extraordinary.

Simon: Interesting you say that because I have always found Weta’s work on the Ape series as being quite extraordinary.

Josh: It’s pretty stunning, as is the work on The Lion King which is so seamless – just the sheer scale of it is insane.

Simon: Is there anyone you’d particularly like to work with?

Glenn: We have worked with some pretty amazing directors, supervisors and producers over the years. Knowing we’re doing a film for Bob Zemeckis at the moment is pretty wild. Putting my popular culture hat – on wouldn’t it be great to work with Steven Spielberg? Just to say you had a conversation with him and talked creative with him – that would be a childhood dream.

Josh: I’d love to work on a film shot by Roger Deakins. And it would be great to work with horror film director Ari Aster. Oh, Jim Jarmusch, David Lynch… neither of whom is very VFX oriented, but it’d be so cool to observe their creative process. I guess VFX-wise, Christopher Nolan?

Simon: Anything you’d like to ask me?

Glenn: Who would you like to work with?

Simon: The Coen Bros. and Wes Anderson but they’re probably not going to provide us with our VFX needs.

Josh: We have worked with the Coen Bros.

Glenn: I suspect they don’t know we exist!

Christopher Robin

Simon: Finally, what’s the best work we have done?

Glenn: I think the best work we’ve done is a split between Christopher Robin and Game of Thrones episode Battle of the Bastards. They were both a labour of love for the whole team and I think it shows in the end results. 

Josh: I loved our Game of Thrones work, and it’s certainly some of the highest profile. Also, I really enjoyed the work we did on It: Chapter 2 – pretty messed up stuff but heaps of fun.

A scene from The Battle of the Bastards, Game of Thrones

ABOUT GLENN & JOSH

Glenn Melenhorst
Glenn has more than 30 years experience in the VFX industry and has been dubbed a creative mastermind. Glenn won an Emmy Award (among other awards) for Game of Thrones episode Battle of the Bastards and an Asian Academy Award for work on Christopher Robin. Glenn has a tight-knit bond with the artists in the studio and enjoys nothing more than sharing the accolades with the entire crew over a beer (or two). Most recently, Glenn has been supervising work for upcoming fantasy Fengshen Trilogy, family adventure The Witches, and Mortal Kombat, a martial arts action film set for 2021 release. Glenn has a lengthy list of credits. See Full Credits

Josh Simmonds
With extensive on-set experience across VFX-heavy feature film, advertising and episodic television projects, Josh is both a talented artist and valued production partner.

Josh has led many large-scale features for the studio, including Aquaman. He was also instrumental in the creation of the loot train battle sequence in The Spoils of War episode of Game of Thrones, which earned him an Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Award for Best Visual Effects. Josh helped to scare the audiences with his work on IT: Chapter Two, and whilst you might think he is typecast in the horror genre with his recent work on Candyman and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It they are a long way from the style of his work on the avalanches for Downhill and character work on soon to be released Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway. See Full Credits including Josh’s supervision credit of the Coen Bros The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.