Wētā FX Experts To Take Thanos Fans Behind The Scenes Of Marvel
Wētā FX’s award-winning team will relive key moments from Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame and reveal how they brought Marvel super villain Thanos to life at a one-off late-night talk hosted alongside Wellington’s Marvel: Earth’s Mightiest Exhibition next week.
Avengers Infinity War - Thanos 3
Wētā FX’s Matt Aitken and Sidney Kombo-Kintombo will take a deep dive into Thanos at Tākina next Friday at the R18 event, which features after-hours exhibition entry and a live DJ.
Miramar based Wētā FX has won several awards for its work on key battle scenes in the Avengers films featuring Thanos, including sequences on his home planet, Titan, in Avengers: Infinity War where Thanos goes to retrieve the Time Stone, and Avengers: Endgame’s climatic battle scene. Matt Aitken says this type of work is hugely technically demanding, requiring the highest quality work from everyone in their digital performance teams.
“These sequences required Thanos to fight our heroes, demonstrating all of his power, including pulling a moon down onto Iron Man in Avengers: Infinity War. But we also needed to show him exhibiting a wide range of emotions, from contemplation through frustration, anger and pain, all often in extreme close-ups,” he says.
Thanos made his first appearance in 1973 in Invincible Iron Man #55 by Jim Starlin, Mike Friedrich, and John Costanza, and has since gone on to be one of Marvel’s most formidable and iconic characters. Marvel: Earth’s Mightiest Exhibition features numerous nods to Thanos and his role as the last of the Eternal Titans in the Marvel Universe, including original comic art of Thanos from the 90s that inspired his modern cinematic depiction, along with the Infinity Gauntlet used as a prop on set in Avengers: Infinity War.
Sidney Kombo-Kintombo says their work on Thanos led to their team winning a number of awards, including Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature at the 2019 VES Awards, the foremost international awards dedicated to honouring the best visual effects work of the previous year.
“These awards recognised our work integrating a computer-generated Thanos into filmed elements of the cast and the high levels of technical skill and artistry that went into the dynamic simulation work in the film, including the effects generated by Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet,” he says.
Patrick A Reed, Marvel: Earth’s Mightiest Exhibition co-curator, says “Thanos is a fascinating character. He’s complex and nuanced, nihilistic yet romantic, enamoured with the very essence of death – this depth allows creators to take him in unique directions.
“This, coupled with a unique visual design, has made him one of the most enduring villains in the Marvel Universe, one who has battled practically every major Marvel hero and been central in a number of giant cosmos-spanning storylines.”
Matt Aitken and Sidney Kombo-Kintombo’s talk will focus on Wētā FX’s innovation in digital performance and how they created the blockbuster battle scenes.
“Digital performance work is generally recognised as one of the most challenging areas of work in contemporary digital visual effects. Creating a believable digital character that can exist alongside live-action actors and help carry the story in a way that isn’t jarring and doesn’t take the audience out of the picture is an area of work still in active development throughout our industry.
“We’re looking forward to going behind the scenes to explain in detail the combination of technology and creativity that went into bringing Thanos to the screen”.
Marvel: Earth’s Mightiest Exhibition is in Wellington for a limited season until 28 April 2024. It features some of Marvel’s earliest comic art, costumes from the likes of Black Panther and Thor: Love & Thunder, props from Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, and immersive Marvel experiences. Tickets to next week’s late night event can be purchased here. General entry starts from $17.50 for children, $29.50 for concessions and $34.50 for adults and can be purchased from Ticketmaster.
For more information, visit www.semmel-exhibitions.com, www.wellingtonnz.com/MarvelExhibition and discover more here about Tākina.