Celebrating 30 years of Digital Domain

VFX supes Kelly Port and Matthew Butler, who started in the very early days at Digital Domain, reflect on the visual effects studio’s longevity, which began with films like True Lies and Apollo 13.

This week on the befores & afters podcast we’re celebrating 30 years of Digital Domain. The visual effects studio started in 1993 – back then it was founded by James Cameron, Stan Winston and Scott Ross. Since, it’s been through several incarnations but remains one of the powerhouse VFX companies around.

I talk to VFX supervisors Kelly Port and Matthew Butler, who began at DD very early on in 1994, and rose to become senior production VFX supes. Kelly oversaw Spider-Man: No Way Home for Marvel, for example, and Matthew was the production VFX supervisor on Morbius.

They have a long history with DD, starting all the way back with films like Apollo 13 and Titanic. We talk about those early productions, what it was like at the VFX studio, and about some of the big leaps and bounds in art and tech there, including digital humans and machine learning. I even learnt just before we started recording that Kelly and Matt might have even started at DD on the same day.

This episode is sponsored by VFX asset library software das element, the smart solution to organize your VFX elements. The tool is fully customizable and adapts existing workflows as well as naming conventions. Check out www.das-element.com for more info or a personal live demo.

Check out the podcast below, and a fun gallery of images of Kelly and Matt. Plus, a quick look back at DD’s 30th anniversary reel.

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I note this is of course just the memories of two Digital Domain artists, please chime in at the comments section for your memories of working at the studio!

3 Replies to “Celebrating 30 years of Digital Domain

  1. I held many roles over the years and have so many memories. I knew it was a special place and I tried to soak up everything I could! I was always buzzing around visiting people all over the facility trying to learn what I could. I watched people do storyboards in the art department, and would run over to the model shop or stages as often as possible to watch them work – I saw them build sets in the parking lot for Bud Frogs commercial, blow rockets up for Apollo, light greenscreens for True Lies, and watch the master Stan Winston at work melting animatronic puppets of Tom Cruise for Interview with the Vampire.

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