From The Earth to the Moon

The opening credits to E2M with a couple of my shots.

I'd like to say a few words about the last few years of my career in LA. The best work I had was with Tony Alderson and Frank Isaacs at AI, Effects. It will be a long time, if ever, that I will be as respected and appreciated by a boss as I was by them. Tony was a stickler for details and would work on a scene until it was perfect. Some of the shots he did in "From the Earth to the Moon" were masterpieces. But he had other interests as well. Tony's work with the stereoscopic discipline is profound. Just do a google search on Tony's name and you'll find yourself with a list of technical articles to read. This is all above my head but it was good to know there was a mighty smart person in the office! And when I did a shot well and Tony made a subtle acknowledgment, it was more valuable than any public award. You can read more about Tony's amazing career and acomplishments here.

Frank was an incredibly nice guy. He was the best boss anyone could ask for. He tended to be a happy person, but even when he was stressed, it didn't last long. And he was generous. Almost everytime we had a "big" job he would announce that I would get a raise. I never cared how much - he just took care of it all. I could always rely on getting a check every Friday. I love NOT having to worry about getting paid. It means I can concentrate on being creative. The atmosphere at the office was relaxed and stressfree. All I had to do was show up and work. It was Perfect! Frank loved toys and delighted in showing off a new find. He loved to share whatever happiness there was around with everyone. If there was something to celebrate, then we were all invited. Knowing that I need to drink alot of water he made sure the office was well stocked in bottled water. Frank was always paying attention to the little details: in work as well as life.

Frank was easy to collaborate with. He had experience as an assistant CO and knew what a shot needed and was always clear on what I had to do. And there's nothing like locating all the pieces of a shot with Frank and then, after I start to assemble them, Frank would walk past me and, looking at the screen would say, "wow!" in a completely sincere exclamation. I knew I was doing it it right when that happened.

Thanks Tony. Thanks Frank. Thanks for making some of the best highlights of my life!

As a tribute and rememberance I have tried my best to duplicate the AIFX site. I should have done this sooner, but better late than never. Anyway, what Tony said about From the Earth to the Moon is found here.

Here's some Earth To the Moon links:

All 2D compositing with the capsule
(which was a model)

The stars and moon were rendered in Lightwave.
The Earth Pictures were stills.
Everything was composited in AfterEffects.
Mike Hoover added the Thruster effects in LW after.

16mm footage of Grissom's funeral
Left is original. On the right is where I added the actors.
The actors - shot on blue screen - had to be color corrected to match 16mm film.
Tony was very impressed with my work on this shot.

1st pic: Made Matte for truck on right so Tony could insert the Saturn rocket
2nd pic: Tony's masterpiece - done all in Lightwave, 3rd and 4th pics: Mike's masterpiece's, also LW.
Tony and Mike worked together on modeling the rocket and gantry.


3- D effects by Tony Alderson (Seduction of The Innocent 3-D , comix books) Vol 2 No. 2 Issue 06 1998 Apr-May (page 13 in paper mag, page 15 on pdf) has AI Effects mention Area 51 and AI work on "From the Earth to the Moon"