VFX Supervisor Dustin Solomon: From Post-House Startup to Feature Film Compositing

VFX Supervisor Dustin Solomon: From Post-House Startup to Feature Film Compositing

July 3, 2018
Luke Thompson

In this article, we'll get an inside look into the history of this boutique post-house and see how one of their latest feature films has utilized our VFX stock assets.

Entertainment has always been about escapism for me. A chance to go somewhere I have never been and see something that I have never seen. I grew up on Star Wars and Jurassic park and that gave my imagination the fuel it needed and it was something that has always stuck with me. I remember early on being dissuaded by how analog the process was and almost considered getting out of post production, but then along came the computer, NLEs and 3D and it was the magic sauce.

via Gfycat

As I got older, I found myself doing commercial work that just wasn’t getting my juices flowing. So, in 2009 I jumped ship and supervised my first film, "Return to the Hiding Place", and absolutely fell in love with the industry. 

However, life had pinned me to my home in Northwest Arkansas and I wasn't able to follow the work, but I was determined to not let that stop me from getting into what I loved to do. In 2011 I started Mutiny FX in Bentonville, AR and for the first year and a half it was just me and my computer. Work consisted of ultra low budget films, taking it slow and deciding how to build a company that could adapt to the increased demand for low cost/high volume VFX work.
Since then, we have built a team of six and have completed over 50 films, keeping our services light and fast with a focus on pipeline and creative solutions, steering away from cumbersome and expensive policies.  

As my team kept getting bigger, our films became even bigger. One of my recent films, “God’s Not Dead 3” had close to 300 shots. Most of this was just cleanup, but there was a complicated sequence where a church catches on fire. The film was shot in a historic building where no smoke or and practical elements of any kind were allowed in the building. So our compositor went in search of elements that looked as real as possible.

If it wasn’t for ActionVFX premium VFX stock footage library, we would of had to work more than we needed to. Their fire stock footage is great. It is a realistic scale that works much better than trying to slow down and scale up small fires. The options of surface and obstacle interaction really sells it in the composite.

via Gfycat

Some of the things I truly appreciate from ActionVFX is:
  • Their 4k images are shot at high speed so that the scale and speed of the elements have a much greater flexibility.
  • The creators definitely understand how it is intended to be used and shoot angles and interactive elements in a way that doesn't take a lot of work to get it to match up and integrate.
  • The footage is as close to source material as possible.
  • There is a great variety and depth to the element libraries.
As I move along in this amazing career, I began to realize that the VFX industry is going through some hard times. There is a real demand on the talent to produce quality content quickly and affordably. Artists do not have the luxury of creating custom elements.

ActionVFX is providing a much needed service of creating elements designed specifically for the industry with an incredibly professional attention to detail that allows artists to do what they love and be proud of their work with little compromise. 

First time here? ActionVFX creates action stock footage for VFX and filmmaking. (We also have some great free stuff!)

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