Has anyone ever yelled out 'Who you gonna call?' without someone answering 'Ghostbusters'? The iconic comedy from 1984 is such a classic that news of a reboot was met with internet outrage. Yet as the film found an audience, many felt it was great to see a new take and very different version with women in the lead roles.
While any film that works in the shadow of a classic is required to cover similar ground, there are quite different sequences in the new Ghostbusters, all of which were approached with the benefit of new digital VFX approaches.
The original Ghostbusters had special effects from Richard Edlund, ex ILM, via Douglas Trumbull's Entertainment Effects Group, which jointly became Boss Film Studios. The special effects at Boss (EEG) were done in just ten months with cloud tanks, mechanical animatronics and latex. ILM then led the special effects on Ghostbusters 2 in 1989, along with Apogee, Stargate and VCE.
This time, under the VFX supervision of Pete Travers, rubber and wires has given way to volumetric deep comp pipelines and procedural Houdini photon beams from digitally replaced positron colliders. We spoke to the teams at Sony Pictures Imageworks, MPC, Zero VFX and Iloura about their 'ungodly' work.
One of our Houdini guys just did that, and I saw it and said - that's cool, do it a lot more, now go overboard, go nuts- this is a comedy, - so he added a lot more and made it red hot when it hits and drip to dark goop when it was done. And that is now one of my favorite shots in our entire body of work for the film. It's super cool.