Holiday Reading (Part 6): Recreating the Recent Past

Environment Wireframe for Zodiac
An environment wireframe for Zodiac
Final shot in Zodiac
The final scene as it appears in the film

Memories of Murder: VFX for Zodiac (the movie)

When most people think of visual effects (aka VFX) in movies, images of spaceships destroying the built environment in a plethora of huge explosions, would be a typical thought. However there is a growing sector where the visual effects are totally invisible to the viewer.

Creating visual effects for the “recent past” (ie. 1960-1980s) was essential for the film Zodiac (directed by David Fincher) as it is entirely set in a 1970s urban context in San Francisco where the built environment is subtly different from today. Fincher, being both a detail fanatic and an adopter of new techniques/technologies could obviously see the benefits and level of control by ‘adjusting’ real locations to enhance the context of the story.

These type of visual effects require a keen eye for detail and rigour to ensure a convincing portrayal on screen.

After reading the article, check out the video slideshow of the “Memories of Murder: VFX for Zodiac” article.

[This is the final in the Holiday Reading series. To read the previous parts, start here.]