Before inspiring legions of fans and winning critical acclaim for his television shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse, Joss Whedon worked as a screenwriter and script doctor on a variety of big-screen productions. The projects he worked on in vary from a handful of animated features (Titan AE, Atlantis : The Lost Empire, and notably the first Toy Story film) to action spectacles (Speed, Twister, Waterworld, and the first X-Men movie).
Whedon was involved in each of these films to a different degree, but two original scripts written by him during this early stage of his career are notable for having a very big impact on his later acclaimed works. Interestingly, the fact that both scripts suffered from poor execution made Whedon revisit many of their ideas and themes in his later works : he wanted to see them realized properly. The first of these two scripts is the teen horror-comedy feature Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which was directed by Fran Rubel Kuzui and released in 1992, later revised by Whedon into his first successful television show. Shortly before working on the show, Whedon completed another script that echoes strongly in his acclaimed television works–the script for Alien Resurrection, the fourth installment in the Alien film franchise. This article examines how the work on this script helped shaping many elements that dominate Whedon’s works to this very day.
“There are probably around 2200 ‘real’ VFX shots in the final picture,” states Janek Sirrs. “But the stereo conversion also meant that we had to pre-render all the traditional optical [digital these days] effects – dissolves, re-times – as well, so they also ended going through the VFX pipeline. Ultimately, it felt like the majority of the movie had some sort of VFX component to it.” The cinematic predecessors featuring Avenger team members Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and Black Widow influenced the look of the epic comic book movie. “It was more important that the characters had some sort of continuity with those seen in the previous movies than the VFX work per se. Marvel has very definite plans for their superheroes, both in their own individual movies, and in the ensemble pieces such asThe Avengersthat we need to make sure that we’re supporting. That said it was invaluable being able to use the earlier movies as glorified ‘test material’ for The Avengers, and being able to discuss pros and cons of various techniques with their respective supervisors; this meant we didn’t waste precious time and resources reinventing the wheel, or choosing approaches that ultimately wouldn’t prove fruitful. For myself, my time onIron Man 2 was a great help in understanding stylistically what could be achieved successfully with the Iron Man suit.”