Stargate Digital Breaks New Ground with Re-do of “Highlander 2” Visual Effects
South Pasadena, CA (Jan. 27, 2004) -- Stargate Digital, the visual effects studio known for such primetime television series as “CSI,” “ER,” “Las Vegas,” “Threat Matrix” and “Jake 2.0” and which recently opened a new facility in London, is working on a top to bottom “re-do” of all the visual effects for the classic sci-fi feature film “Highlander 2,” to be released on DVD.
Ironically, “Highlander 2,” starring Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery, directed by Russell Mulcahy, produced by Peter Davis and Bill Panzer, was Stargate’s very first project 15 years ago when the company was launched by president and visual effects supervisor Sam Nicholson. A team of some 25 to 30 digital artists representing Stargate’s international pool of talent from its Los Angeles, Vancouver and London facilities will split the work on the re-do. Some of the veteran artists who worked on the original “Highlander 2” will work on the new version. The entire project will be shared over a high-speed network. 150 shots will be redone using 3D graphics and digital compositing. An additional 10-15 brand new digital shots will be produced from scratch.
“Fifteen years ago we were doing latent image matte paintings on glass, double exposing film at different times in the production and positioning miniatures in the foreground of the glass painting,” said Nicholson. “Now using 3D digital matte painting and our “virtual backlot” we can create entire cities and landscapes. We can pull back much farther from a scene and fly through CG generated buildings and arrive at the original photography which has been enhanced and finished in HD. We’re printing new high resolution scenes back to film with our Arri laser printer rather than an optical printer. A whole new level of production value can be achieved now.”
The “Highlander 2” DVD will be released this Spring through Artisan Home Entertainment as part of a two disc special edition. Jonathan Gaines of Digital Heaven will supervise for Davis-Panzer Productions and Miguel Cassillas for Artisan.