The film directed by Peter Landesman recounts the chaotic events that occurred at Dallas’ Parkland Hospital on the day U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The film premiered at the 70th Venice International Film Festival, screened at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and will be released nationwide Oct. 4.
Prior to shooting in Dallas and Austin earlier this year, film producers tapped Reel FX’s Pete Herzog and Scott Gordon to oversee the film’s visual effects, which included sequences with a CG Air Force One, set extensions, background replacements and additional work to transform modern-day Austin into 1963 Dallas. During the shoot, weather was a major factor in VFX shot planning, forcing the VFX artists to execute extensive background replacements to make dark, rainy shoot days appear more like the historically accurate sunny day of Nov. 22, 1963.
With heavy winds on the day of the Air Force One shoot, the VFX team made the decision to rework their greenscreen approach, instead using actual backdrop and sky, and doing extensive cleanup in postproduction.
“During postproduction, additional visual effects shots poured in and our ability to easily augment what had been filmed became clear,” Gordon said. “We removed the rain from the scenes shot in foul weather and provided additional set extensions, enhancements to the trauma room, matte paintings, TV burn-ins, and also cleaned up archival footage, re-timed shots, and additional paint work – everything from replacing burned-out car headlights to removing unwanted reflections.”