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Jonathan Rothbart — VFX Supervisor, John Wick: Chapter 4

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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.  

Links:

Jonathan Rothbart on IMDb >

Jonathan Rothbart on LinkedIn >


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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"

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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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