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Jonathan Rothbart — VFX Supervisor, John Wick: Chapter 4


Jonathan Rothbart’s illustrious career in VFX includes credits on everything from Men In Black to Superman Returns and The Predator. He was a founding member of John Knoll’s Rebel Mac Unit at ILM, he established The Orphanage, where he delivered the HUD shots for Iron Man, and then became a sought-after VFX supervisor for movies including Deadpool and John Wick: Chapter 4

In this in-depth podcast, Jonathan tells Chris some of the amazing stories from his big-screen adventures, including how adding a small addition to a Star Wars Episode I starfighter got him in big trouble, how he got through one of Hellboy’s trickiest shots, and how After Earth’s production took him on helicopter rides and mountainous hikes.  


Jonathan Rothbart on IMDb >

Jonathan Rothbart on LinkedIn >


0:04:38 How Jonathan was inspired to get into 3D by a screensaver

0:09:18 Joining a gaming company and animating in Photoshop

0:14:44 Making the leap to ILM's previz department

0:20:31 Electric Image and learning from John Knoll

0:24:19 The birth of the generalist pipeline

0:29:26 Creating the egg screens for "Men in Black"

0:34:52 on the front line with the Rebel Macs

0:38:58 The secrets of Episode I's starfighters

0:47:14 Starting The Orphanage with Scott Stuart

0:55:45 "Hellboy" and an excruciating shot

1:00:15 "Day After Tomorrow" and "Jeepers Creepers 2"

1:04:44 Pitching a sequence and designing the HUD for "Iron Man"

1:12:25 Finishing The Orphanage

1:15:15 "Avatar" and avoiding becoming a zombie

1:21:22 Why he loves VFX supervision

1:27:42 Travelling Earth for "After Earth"

1:36:18 The joy of "Deadpool"

1:43:12 Working with Chad on "John Wick 4"

About the author

Christopher Nichols

Chris is a CG industry veteran and Director of Chaos Labs. He can also be heard regularly as the host of the CG Garage podcast which attracts 20,000 weekly listeners. With a background in both VFX and Design, Chris has worked for Gensler, Digital Domain, Imageworks and Method Studios. His credits include Maleficent, Oblivion and Tron: Legacy.

Originally published: September 11, 2023.
© Škoda Design

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