Pixel Magic Perms 48 Effects for "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde"
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Toluca Lake, CA (Jul. 11, 2003) -- Pixel Magic today announced that it was responsible for 48 effect shots in "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde", the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) sequel to the 2001 comedy hit "Legally Blonde". "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde" is being released on July 2nd, 2003.

Premise of Story: Sassy post grad Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) is all about animal rights. In fact, she puts her nuptial plans on hold to head to Washington D.C. to get an anti-animal testing bill passed. Her building's doorman (Bob Newhart) quickly shows her the ways and workings of our nation's capital.

In this sequel, Reese Witherspoon has a three and a half-minute sequence comprised of 36 shots in the Lincoln Memorial without her actually being there. The production company never traveled to Washington D.C. for the following reasons: the movie is set in springtime but snow would be everywhere during principal photography. Secondly, filming permits were extremely difficult to obtain due to the heightened security alert triggered by the impending war in Iraq.

Pixel Magic was called upon to recreate the interior of the Lincoln Memorial. With the threat of war, there were police positioned at all the monuments. Visual Effects Supervisor Raymond McIntyre Jr. "visited" the Lincoln Memorial several times in the early morning hours (before the police would begin their watch) thus avoiding tourists and/or Memorial employees. Raymond photographed the interior of the Lincoln Memorial with a digital still camera and shot the live action against a blue screen. Due to the extreme low light levels inside the actual Lincoln Memorial, McIntyre used his tripod to obtain proper exposures.

Another issue was the Library of Congress shot. In the script, Witherspoon is supposed to be reading inside the Library of Congress. Since the crew never went to D.C. and filming is not allowed in the Library of Congress, this presented a similar problem. Witherspoon was shot against a green screen during principal photography. A permit was granted for a two hour still camera shoot (no actors) inside the Library of Congress. The still images were ultimately composited with the live action green screen footage, and a digital camera move added to give the illusion that the scene was filmed at the location.

The Million Dog March sequence required the need for visual effects. In the script, thousands of demonstrators march on the National Mall. Again, since nothing was shot in D.C., extras were filmed in Los Angeles against a green screen, and duplicated to create a large crowd. Pixel Magic then shot 35mm footage (no actors) on the National Mall in early springtime for leaves and springtime-like conditions. This element was composited with the green screen crowd. Detailed rotoscoping was necessary to place the marchers into the newly created surroundings. Additional trees, the Washington Monument and a street were added in proper position to create the appearance of a demonstration on the National Mall.

In the Million Dog March sequence, the production company discovered that Emmett (Luke Wilson) was overlooked and not filmed during the principal photography. Pixel Magic was asked to include Wilson in both the medium close up and a wide shot of the procession. Wilson was shot against a green screen using video playback to obtain the exact timing of his movements. This was also necessary for his "Save Bruiser's mom" dialogue verbalized over and over in unison with the others from the principal photography footage. The green screen element of Wilson was seamlessly composited with the original, live action footage. Detailed rotoscoping was required to insert Wilson into the line of marchers.

About Pixel Magic:

Pixel Magic, a division of OCS/Freeze Frame, spans two generations of expertise in the creation of visual effects for film and television. Services include compositing, 3D & character animation, wire & rig removal, digital film & hi-def restoration, matte painting, main titles, digital opticals, digital trailers, HD/tape to film transfers, scanning and recording.

Pixel Magic is currently working on Sony Pictures' SWAT and 20th Century Fox's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Most recently, they have completed visual effects for a number of films including 20th Century Fox's Daredevil, Paramount's How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and New Line Cinema's Final Destination 2.

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