Ian Cope, senior visual effects producer at Australia’s Rising Sun Pictures recently celebrated his 20-year anniversary at the company. A significant accomplishment in any career, Cope’s longevity is especially impressive for someone in the visual effects industry, where employment at one studio is often measured in months, not years. And, in that time he has worked on a long list of successful films, including Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Gravity, Ford v Ferrari, and Spiderman: Far from Home, to name just a few.
Rising Sun Pictures
In its latest project for Marvel Studios, Rising Sun Pictures delivered nearly 300 visual effects shots for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. RSP’s work centered on the creation of a vast, computer-generated environment representing a village called Ta Lo and its jungle environs. In the process the company developed a novel technique for facial replacement using artificial intelligence.
Rising Sun Pictures recreated Chicago’s iconic Cabrini-Green housing project, exactly as it appeared in 1992, for Candyman, the new horror film from director Nia DaCosta, producer Jordan Peele and MGM. Artists from the studio also provided the film’s title character with his trademark hook as part of a package of more than 100 intricately detailed visual effects shots that appear throughout the film.
As a junior look development artist at Rising Sun Pictures, Bridget Dinning is part of a team responsible for the aesthetic aspects of visual effects. Her job requires highly developed technical skills and a discerning artistic eye to ensure that 3D characters, objects, environments, and other assets are consistent in terms of color, lighting, and style.
Rising Sun Pictures recreated huge swaths of Amazon rainforest with photo-real accuracy for Disney’s rollicking adventure film Jungle Cruise. The breathtaking jungle environments are used in several scenes in the film, which follows wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson) and intrepid researcher Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) as they pilot a rickety river boat upstream in search of an ancient tree with miraculous healing powers. In all, the studio delivered 300 final visual effects shots.
As a senior data wrangler at Rising Sun Pictures, Brittany Herriman helps keep the studio’s production pipeline running in high gear. Her role is to manage the vast amounts of data exchanged each day between RSP and motion pictures studios and other production partners. Media arriving at the studio must be accessible to artists working in various aspects of visual effects production. Finished work needs to be delivered on time and on spec to stakeholders around the globe.
An Adelaide native, Chelsea Mirus trained at Rising Sun Pictures in 2016 while working toward a Media Arts degree from the University of South Australia. Moving quickly into a staff position as a visual effects coordinator at RSP, she worked on a string of high-profile projects including Captain Marvel, Alita: Battle Angel, Thor: Ragnarok and Game of Thrones. Then, in 2019, she accepted a post with Important Looking Pirates, a VFX studio based in Stockholm, Sweden, and moved halfway around the globe to become part of a team attached to such hit shows as The Mandalorian, Westworld, Lost in Space and The Stand.
Rising Sun Pictures served as a principal visual effects provider for The Eight Hundred, the epic war film from director Guan Hu and Huayi Brothers Media and Haining Seventh Image Movie & Media Company. To date, the film has already earned more than $200 million in Chinese theatres alone. The film centers on the true story of the 1937 Battle of Shanghai where a Chinese battalion mounted a determined defense of the Sihang Warehouse from the invasion of the Japanese army. Working in collaboration with BangBang Pictures, Beijing, and overall VFX supervisor RSP’s Tim Crosbie, RSP contributed scores of richly detailed, seamless visual effects to support the film’s riveting combat scenes, all set around a massive warehouse complex near the city center.
Rising Sun Pictures is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month, another milestone for the visual effects studio which, from humble beginnings, has gone on to produce ground breaking work for more than 150 motion picture and series productions, including some of the most popular and critically-acclaimed films of the past two decades.
As head of business development and a member of the executive management team at Rising Sun Pictures, Jennie Zeiher leads the team responsible for the visual effects studio’s forward slate of high-quality film and series projects. Zeiher considers staying abreast of the development schedule and saying yes to opportunities as they arise to be key to her company’s success, which is not an easy feat being half a world away from Hollywood. “Over the past several years RSP’s relationships have broadened and through consistent high quality delivery we’re developing new ones,” she says. “It's a virtuous cycle.”