News 24.09.21

THE RECENT RELEASE OF CANDYMAN HAS US SWARMING ON METHOD STUDIOS’ JOSH SIMMONDS



Method Melbourne’s VFX Supervisor Josh Simmonds talks blood, bees and life in lockdown

Tell us a bit about you, and how you got started in VFX, Josh?

I grew up in rural Tasmania where we had to make our own fun. When the often rainy weather took us inside, my idea of fun involved lots of art projects – painting and airbrushing, as well as coding simple games on our TRS-80 clone (it had wood panelling!). Fast forward to high school in the late 80s and my Mum was studying post-grad computer graphics and I was hooked. I studied industrial design which was a great combination of art and tech but I was drawn towards animation and CG. I landed my first VFX gig making commercials in the early 90s and haven’t looked back!

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on recently? Can you tell us anything about them?

It’s been a busy time – we wrapped on Peter Rabbit 2 and I was on-set for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings just as Covid hit. Along the way there’s also been The Conjuring 3, Candyman and The Tomorrow War so I’ve barely had a chance to come up for air! Currently, I’m working on Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic [which filmed in Queensland].

Some project highlights: JW Rooster II for Peter Rabbit 2 was one of the most entertaining characters I’ve had the pleasure to work on and David’s exorcism on The Conjuring 3. All of the scary creature work, cool environments and things we got to blow up on The Tomorrow War. Huge, complex fight scenes on Shang-Chi and bee swarms and blood for Candyman.

The release of Candyman has been hotly anticipated – can you tell us more?

This Candyman is a modern interpretation, rather than a remake. We did a lot of work to extend the Chicago environments, along with the bee creation and some of the more visceral hook and gore work. There was lots of augmentation of prosthetics, especially discomforting for the trypophobes out there. And a couple of things we really can’t talk about due to spoilers! I’ve been pretty happy to see that none of the reviews I’ve read mentioned the VFX; that means we did our job well!

What are the best things about being a VFX Supervisor?

Getting to work with so many insanely talented people, and being excited to see what they’ll come up with every day!

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced over the past 18 months?

Like everyone, the shift in the way we work has been huge. We’re all WFH and have been since the start. It did take some getting used to, but most of the crew love it so we’ll probably pursue a hybrid model going forward. I think scheduling has been tough, especially with production delays early on, and now the demand for our service has really exploded.

What’s the best thing about working from home?

Definitely spending more time with people I love, and less time with other commuters!

What VFX work have you seen recently that you admire?

Sadly, we haven’t been able to get to the cinema in Melbourne due to lockdowns, but I recently watched Marvel’s Loki. I remember a time when the standard of VFX in TV was definitely the poor cousin to film, but that time has long passed! The production quality of Loki is amazing, from the design and cinematography right through to the execution of the VFX. Lots of fun to watch, and the VFX serves the story beautifully.

Head over to Method Studios for additional information on their work and productions.

Featured Image: Candyman. Image Credit Universal Studios