Final Fantasy VII Resurgence: Filmmaker Chris Connor's ActionVFX Story

Final Fantasy VII Resurgence: Filmmaker Chris Connor's ActionVFX Story

April 4, 2024
David Lugo

Learn about key VFX insights for independent filmmakers from Chris Connor's work on Final Fantasy VII Resurgence.

One of the privileges of working in a supporting role for the VFX industry is that we get to meet talented artists across the VFX industry. Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with filmmaker Chris Connor to discuss his journey in the VFX industry, and how ActionVFX has supported him along the way.

Chris’s Story: From VFX to Filmmaking

Chris is a full time filmmaker working on motorsport commercials and independent short films. In addition to running a YouTube channel that creates educational and entertainment content focused on filmmaking, Chris created Guerilla Filmmaking, an advanced filmmaking course library.

When Chris entered the filmmaking industry, he began by first learning and understanding VFX. This approach gives him a unique perspective on filmmaking–one centered around visual effects. “I know what I can pull off in post-production before I start crafting a story and hitting record.”

"My favorite aspect of VFX is the ability to unlock one’s filmmaking creativity and bring images to life that can spark the viewer’s imagination and immerse them into a world and story."

Reflecting on the influence of video games on his craft, Chris reminisced, "Since I was a kid and got my hands on a PlayStation 1 back in the 90’s, I was instantly captivated by the stories and worlds of video games." This passion culminated in his recent short film inspired by Final Fantasy.

The VFX Behind Final Fantasy VII Resurgence

Final Fantasy VII Resurgence is an original independent short film based on the beloved characters and world of Final Fantasy VII created by Square Enix. The production of Final Fantasy VII Resurgence posed a unique set of challenges for Chris, particularly given the intricate world-building and fantastical elements inherent to the franchise. Since translating the franchise into live action demanded a heavy use of VFX, Chris’s background in post-production served him well.

“I had to meticulously create a story, environments, characters and events that take place in the short film that could be brought to life with limited resources and budget while staying true to the source material.”

Chris pointed to ActionVFX's assets as crucial in overcoming these hurdles, enabling the realization of complex VFX with a high degree of authenticity and cinematic realism. Specifically, Chris highlighted how the realism of ActionVFX assets alongside a customer-oriented UI facilitated the post-production process. Additionally, they allowed for meticulous pre-visualization during pre-production, significantly economizing both time and resources.

For instance, using several ActionVFX fire collections allowed Chris to create a realistic inferno scene:

Watch Chris's breakdown of this inferno shot:

In another scene, Chris used ActionVFX Scorch Marks, Ground Cracks, Energy Vortexes, and Spark Bursts:

This full VFX breakdown of the short film highlights several more ActionVFX collections:

VFX for Filmmakers

For filmmakers like Chris Connor, VFX is not just an enhancement but the backbone of storytelling. It enables the visualization of fantastical elements and immersive worlds that would otherwise be impossible to realize.

When asked about the innovative applications of VFX in his projects, Chris emphasized the transformative power of VFX for filmmakers. "VFX is one of the filmmaking tools that can visually differentiate one’s work from others... ActionVFX assets enabled me to bring various aspects of Final Fantasy VII to live action under unique scenarios," he stated.

Watch the full short film by Chris Connor:

Key Takeaways for Independent Filmmakers

Chris Connor's insights highlight several key takeaways for filmmakers navigating the increasingly VFX-driven landscape of cinema.

1. Filmmakers Should Understand VFX

A foundational understanding of VFX not only enriches the storytelling process but also empowers filmmakers to envision and execute narratives that push creative boundaries. Connor’s experience underscores the value of pre-visualization and the strategic use of assets in pre-production to streamline workflows and ensure authenticity to the source material.

Here are some resources on inexpensively learning VFX from home.

2. VFX Allows Filmmakers to Tell More Compelling Stories

Chris Connor’s work highlights a broader industry shift that is critical for filmmakers. As audiences crave more intricate and visually compelling narratives, filmmakers must increasingly rely on VFX not only to meet these expectations but to push the boundaries of what cinema can achieve.

3. VFX Gives Filmmakers a Competitive Edge

The use of VFX assets becomes a strategic advantage, particularly for filmmakers working within tight budget constraints. ActionVFX offers a treasure trove of high-quality, ready-to-use VFX elements that can drastically enhance the visual narrative of any project.

The key to maximizing their potential lies in early integration during the pre-visualization stage. You should design your shots with a clear understanding of how VFX will enhance the final product. This forward-thinking approach not only ensures a seamless blend between live-action footage and digital effects but also significantly reduces post-production time and expense.

As Chris told us, "ActionVFX enables the filmmaker to craft specific scenes in a story during the pre-production phase since they can view, choose, compose, and test a VFX shot beforehand, enabling them to have certainty in their approach to VFX scenes as well as saving a lot of time from having to worry about finding or simulating assets from scratch."

If you are an independent filmmaker interested in VFX, feel free to check out the variety of resources available:

Chris Connor - YouTube

ActionVFX Practice Footage Library

ActionVFX Tutorials

VFX Assets for Professional Filmmakers

Are you curious about what makes ActionVFX assets stand out? Check out our selection of free VFX elements and see the difference personally! We are committed to creating production-quality assets, and this extends to our free VFX elements, so try them out!

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