Since the surprising news of Mark Stetson being “let go” everybody was wondering who will be brought in his place. Well, now we have the answer:
The new visual effects supervisor for Lord of the Rings is Jim Rygiel.
His film credits go back into the 80s, and he can surely be considered among the pioneers of computer graphics for films. He worked first as a technical director/digital effects supervisor on a film called “The Last Starfighter” in 1984, the very first movie to feature extensive computer generated space ships, over 230 shots and 20 minutes of on-screen computer generated effects. The company where Mr. Rygiel started went on to produce visual effects shots from “2010”, film on which Mark Stetson also worked.
In the following years, Jim Rygiel worked as digital effects supervisor on movies such as “Ghost”, “Alien 3” and “Batman Returns”. This last movie was made while he was employed at Boss Film Studios, where he also worked later on as visual effects supervisor on “Outbreak” and “Starship Troopers”.
Other notable movies were “Species” in 1995 as visual effects co-supervisor and “Star Trek: Insurrection” as visual effects supervisor (for Blue Sky/VIFX). His last project before “Lord of The Rings” was “102 Dalmatians” for Walt Disney Pictures at Secret Lab, where he and his team had to tackle the problem of creating a believable fully synthetic puppy from the bones up (literally).
More info coming soon.
Thanks to TORN Staffer Amyd from our SFX Section for hleping us out with this story!