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Hulk Blu-ray Smashes Standard Def

13 Oct, 2008 By: Fred Topel

The visual effects artists who brought The Incredible Hulk to life showed off some of their work to a select group of journalists invited to the Rhythm & Hues studio in Marina Del Rey, Calif. The Hulk DVD and Blu-ray Disc street Oct. 21, and the artists behind the film’s visual wonders were sensitive about its hi-def exhibition.

Visual effects producer and supervisor Kurt Williams said that fans could pick any frame from the Incredible Hulk Blu-ray Disc and observe top-quality images.

“I will say people are becoming more and more sensitive to the ability in Blu-ray to stop and start,” Williams said. “That was a challenge for us, especially with [director] Louis [Leterrier] and Marvel [Studios]. It was very important that from frame one to the end frame of this movie that you could stop anywhere you want and it’s real.”

As fans of visual effects themselves, the artists know the competition to which they must measure. Matt Derksen, a character-rigging supervisor, sees where other artists have failed.

“I just got a big *ss TV and hi-def system at home,” Derksen said. “Every night I watch effects films on it and it scares the sh*t out of me. We lose a lot more sleep because of Blu-ray.”

Williams also acknowledged that Blu-ray raises the standards for their work. “You do think about it a little more. You think about it a little differently because they’re seeing a higher definition image at home than we’ve ever seen in the history of filmmaking. Once again, there’s nowhere to hide.”

Visual effects supervisor Betsy Paterson was confident her work would hold up. “Well, we work in hi-res anyway,” Paterson said. “We do all our work in higher than HD resolution. Hopefully it should just be fine.”

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