People Behind the Pixels

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Thad Beier

  • All
  • PDI/DreamWorks
  • PDI
  • Thad Beier left Johns Hopkins at the age of 18, and started working at New York Institute of Technology Computer Graphics Lab in 1978. He spent five years there doing innovative CG software and animation. Thad then went to Pacific Data Image (PDI) as they were just starting doing computer graphics commercial work, again writing software and creating animation, and began leading teams in both of those fields. He then started Hammerhead Productions to do VFX work in Hollywood, eventually became a VFX supervisor on a dozen films. His last VFX work was a Digital Domain, and now is at Dolby Laboratories doing high-dynamic-range content creation.

  • Working on Fast and Furious (the 4th F&F film) and a big section of the film were cars driving through tunnels. The production had planned to actually shoot the content in Guanajuato, which had a lot of deep, narrow tunnels, and I thought it was too dangerous. If we had car accidents, as often happens, it could be much more deadly. So, I recommended we shoot the cars in a large simple box, and then build the tunnels in VFX. ...

  • Fast & Furious 4 story

    Working on Fast and Furious (the 4th F&F film) and a big section of the film were cars driving through tunnels. The production had planned to actually shoot the content in Guanajuato, which had a lot of deep, narrow tunnels, and I thought it was too dangerous. If we had car accidents, as often happens, it could be much more deadly. So, I recommended we shoot the cars in a large simple box, and then build the tunnels in VFX. The studio refused...and literally the next day while filming Casino Royal, a driver got killed in a tunnel, so the team immediately adopted my plan, and it worked out beautifully.