Disney’s not the Final Destination for FX veteran

Ariel tries 3D on FD5

Final Destination 5,” which opens August 12, features thrilling visual effects by Academy Award-nominated Filipino American FX master Ariel Velasco Shaw.

As the visual effects supervisor of the horror film franchise, Shaw oversaw the film’s many elaborate special effects, including those used for the terrifying collapse of a suspension bridge. A Hollywood veteran with over 25 films to his credit –including such blockbusters as “300,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and the first and third “Final Destination” films — Shaw is highly regarded as a visual effects pioneer whose early research in digital imaging established the foundation for today’s revolutionary digital imaging production process.

“Final Destination 5” marks Shaw’s return to the series as well as his first foray into 3D filmmaking.

Shaw has been at the forefront of the visual effects community for over 25 years, according to a press statement. His career began in 1984 when he joined the prestigious New York Institute of Technology, one of the premier computer graphics facilities in the world. His early research in digital imaging established the foundation for today’s revolutionary digital imaging production process.

In 1989, Shaw was asked to work for Walt Disney Feature Animation for the purpose of designing a digital-imaging department, which resulted in “The Rescuers Down Under,” the first full-length animated film to be digitally post-produced.

This breakthrough technology launched the highly regarded digital ink and paint system known as CAPS, Computer Animation Production System. During his tenure as the digital imaging supervisor, Shaw worked on such Disney classic feature films as “Beauty and The Beast,” “Aladdin” and “The Lion King.” His Disney career culminated in an Academy Award nomination in Visual Effects for his breakthrough work on “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

In 1994, Shaw left Disney and lent his expertise to Boss Film Studios, where he assisted in the company’s transition to a fully functioning digital effects studio. While there, Shaw supervised the feature films “True Lies,” “The Scout” and “Drop Zone.”

Shaw then segued over to Warner Digital Studios, where he worked on “Batman Forever,” “My Fellow Americans,” “Vegas Vacation” and “Contact.” Later, at Pacific Title/Mirage, Shaw handled the visual effects for “Lethal Weapon 4,” “Armageddon” and “Soldier,” and received an Emmy Award nomination for Tom Hanks’ HBO series “From the Earth to the Moon.”

Since leaving Pacific Title/Mirage, Shaw has continued to work as an independent, with credits that include “300,” “Final Destination” and “Final Destination 3,” “Bones,” “Freddy vs. Jason,” “Scary Movie 2,” “Jonah Hex” and HBO’s “Carnivàle,” for which he received a Visual Effects Society Award nomination.

In “Final Destination 5,” one man’s premonition saves a group of coworkers from a terrifying suspension bridge collapse. But this group of unsuspecting souls was never supposed to survive, and, in a terrifying race against time, the ill-fated group frantically tries to discover a way to escape Death’s sinister agenda.

One Comment

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