Rising Sun Pictures Wins AACTA Visual Effects Award for “The Eight Hundred”

Studio receives Australia’s highest honour for cinematic achievement for its riveting combat scenes.

Adelaide, South Australia— Rising Sun Pictures (RSP) today won the 2020 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Award for Best Visual Effects or Animation for its work on the Chinese World War II epic The Eight Hundred. The Adelaide-based studio helped to recreate the 1937 Battle of Shanghai, where a small Chinese army mounted a determined defence against a larger invading army. Directed by Guan Hu and produced by Haining Seventh Image Movie & Media Co Ltd, The Eight Hundred is among the most successful Chinese movies ever made, and the highest grossing film globally for 2020, having earned $US446 million (RMB 3.02 billion) in total box office.

“This was a remarkable project for RSP and the result of inspired work from our very talented team of artists, producers, technical specialists and support staff” said RSP Managing Director Tony Clark. “It is a great privilege to have their creativity and efforts recognised by their peers in the Australian film community. We are grateful to the filmmakers for entrusting RSP with their extraordinary vision, and the Academy and its members for this unique honour.”

RSP’s Tim Crosbie was the overall VFX Supervisor for the film and spent two and a half years overseeing the project in China. Back in the Adelaide studio, RSP’s team was led by VFX Supervisor Tom Wood, Executive Producer Gill Howe, CG Supervisor Julian Hutchens, Compositing Supervisor Guido Wolter and VFX Producer Arwen Munro.

As one of the principal visual effects providers for the film, RSP contributed scores of richly detailed, seamless visual effects to support the film’s riveting combat scenes, all set around a warehouse complex near Shanghai’s city centre. Highlights of the studio’s work included a lengthy sequence representing the battle’s decisive third day, when Japanese forces unleashed an aerial attack on Chinese soldiers stationed on the roof of the massive warehouse.

Another scene involved a dreamlike flashback to an ancient Chinese battleground, a reference to an event in history that’s very well known in Chinese culture. With the exception of a single warrior on horseback, the scene is entirely computer generated including the environment and army of soldiers.

The studio’s team created CG set-extensions, showing the ruined city of Shanghai to augment production footage of the practical warehouse set. This included thousands of individual buildings and other structures, many in ruins, as well as debris, fire, smoke, snow and other atmospheric elements. Additionally, RSP created fighter aircraft and an airship as well as a CG horse running through the interior of the warehouse.

RSP was also nominated for an AACTA Award for its work on Ford v Ferrari, from 20th Century Studios and directed by James Mangold. The team, led by VFX supervisor Malte Sarnes, produced 223 visual effects shots for the film, the majority for an 8-minute sequence depicting the first “24 Hours of Daytona” race in 1966. Artists created a historically accurate digital replica of the famous speedway and filled it with cheering fans.

About Rising Sun Pictures:

For over 25 years, RSP has been delighting and inspiring audiences worldwide. The studio, which is home to more than 170 exceptional artists, creates world-class visual effects for its clients and produces some of the world’s most memorable screen moments.

With a reputation for producing only the highest quality and innovative solutions, RSP has an extremely flexible custom pipeline, which allows the company to scale up quickly and adjust its workflow to meet the  audience’s demand for ever more spectacular visuals.

The studio enjoys the advantage of being located in Adelaide, one of the world’s most liveable cities. That, combined with its sterling reputation, and access to one of the most competitive and reliable rebates, has made it a magnet for film-makers worldwide. This has propelled RSP to continued success and enabled them to contribute to a range of projects including Black Widow, The Boys, Jungle Cruise, Ford V Ferrari, Spider-Man: Far From Home, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Captain Marvel, Dumbo, The Predator, Tomb Raider, Peter Rabbit, Animal World, Thor: Ragnarok, Logan, Pan, the X-Men franchise and Game of Thrones.

RSP’s unique training program, delivered in partnership with the University of South Australia, is busily turning out a new generation of skilled and enthusiastic artists. This ensures RSP continues to enjoy a steady influx of capable talent, and comfortably have the capacity to take on multiple projects at one time.

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