Sky Captain Reports for Duty

Pulp fiction, 1930s serials and modern 3D animation come together to create one of the summer’s most original entries, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. The sci-fi action-adventure flick opens across North America today with a mission to shoot down Resident Evil: Apocalypse and claim box office victory for Paramount.

Shot entirely in front of a blue screen, Sky Captain blends live actors with computer-generated environments and animated elements like giant flying, Fleischer-style robots. The project has been a labor of love for writer/director Kerry Conran, who spent six years animating a short demo of the film, which he planned to make as a low-budget indie using his own effects studio, WOT. The demo got the attention of producer Jon Avnet and stars Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie. Paramount picked up the project and brought in an army of additional effects houses, including ILM, Stan Winston Digital, Café FX, Gray Matter FX, The Orphanage, Pacific Title Digital, Pixel Liberation Front, Ring of Fire, R!OT, Rising Sun Pictures, Hybride Technologies, Engine Room, EFilm, Luma Pictures and Rising Sun Pictures.

The film is set in a very stylized version of the 1930s and stars Paltrow as a New York City newspaper reporter investigating the mysterious disappearances of top scientists. Jude Law takes on the title role of Sky Captain, a hotshot fighter pilot who swings into action when and army of mechanical monstrosities invades. For an in-depth look at the making of this groundbreaking effect thriller, pick up the August issue of Animation Magazine.