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Mechanism Finds Creative Alternatives to Big Budget FX Spends

cost-saving solutions for filmmakers

Mechanism Digital is celebrating its 23rd year of producing VFX/CGI for New York’s film and television community and has been growing at a rapid clip with new hires and new locations.

“I’ve known MD’s President, Lucien Harriot, for several years and always admired MD’s work – they were just too busy doing it to tell anyone about it. So I look forward to bringing them into more and more projects, while of course continuing to serve the creative community as a whole through the PNYA.”

Stephanie McGann has been added as Production Coordinator, coming from a background as a pre-production coordinator on series for CBS, MTV, VH1 and the History Channel.

MD has teamed up with Blue Table Post in Brooklyn. “We know a lot of our clients live in Brooklyn, and more and more production and post is happening there, so it was a natural fit for us to have a footprint within a great facility like Blue Table.”

Projects of note include MD’s third season of TBS series The Detour starring Jason Jones, and hundreds of shots on an upcoming ABC series. And fingers are crossed for one of 2017’s highlights, The Big Sick, which is nominated for an Academy Award. Additionally, Come Sunday and Hereditary were at Sundance and Hereditary, Wild Nights With Emily and Galveston are headed to SXSW.

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A compelling case study of how Mechanism leverages its years of experience into money-saving solutions for filmmakers is that of the comedy feature Sushi Tushi, Or How Asia Butted Into American Pro Football. The challenge was to use VFX/CGI to fill an empty pro football stadium with thousands of screaming fans, while staying within an indie budget.

“CGI audience creation and duplication through crowd tiling weren’t going to work, so we had to find a novel solution,” says Harriot. “So we worked together with Executive Producer/Writer Richard Castellane to come up with the idea to create animated, dreamlike sequences! And producer Robert Altman loved it. The tracking still had to be rock solid, but the keying and color matching were much more forgiving. This reduced the shot count down to 443, and kept the production level high and the cost down.”

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“MD was a blast to work with,” said Altman. “From the planning meetings, to the background shoot at the Buffalo Bills Stadium, all the way through delivery. Lucien has a great team.”

Originally posted in the Post NY Alliance Newsletter

Originally published: 03/15/2018

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