Hitting theaters today is Argo, the latest directorial effort from Ben Affleck (The Town, Gone Baby Gone). The film is based on the true story of a 1979 C.I.A. mission to rescue a group of American hostages in Iran, and stars Affleck in the lead as a government operative.
Early reviews have praised the level of filmmaking craft on display, and working behind the scenes to help bring this project to life were a group of Full Sail alumni in different roles. Among them was 2011 Computer Animation grad Nha Hoan Le, who contributed to the film’s visual effects as a digital tracking/match move artist at Method Studio.
We caught up with her shortly before Argo‘s release to learn more about the production of this ambitious political thriller.
Full Sail: Can you describe what your responsibilities are as a digital tracking/match move artist?
Nha Hoan Le: Digital tracking/match moving is the first step of the process of inserting the CG elements into live action footage with correct position, scale, orientation, and motion relative to the photographed objects in the shot.
Full Sail: You’ve previously handled that role on big action/science fiction films like The Avengers and Prometheus, what was it like to work on a more realistic project like Argo?
NHL: My work on Argo was the most difficult because they used different types of cameras to give the film a documentary look. I worked on shots for this embassy sequence, where the camera was held by a person who was running with a crowd. Everything was blurry and chaotic which made it impossible to use the tracking software, so I had to animate the camera based on some lines and dots on the wall and the ground. It was a tedious process.
FS: What stands out most about your experience on Argo?
NHL: My favorite part was trouble shooting to deal with different types of camera formats and focal lengths. I’ve learned a lot of new techniques after working on this project.
FS: Do you think audiences are going to respond well to the film?
NHL: I think Argo is an interesting movie with good story and casting. Especially after I’ve just worked on some heavy action and visual effect movies like The Avengers, Underworld: Awakening, and G.I. Joe: Retaliation, I think Argo will offer a welcome change for people at the box office.