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Oscar winner talks about visual effects

What are visual effects? Visual effects (abbreviated as VFX) refers to the process of creating or manipulating images outside of the live-action environment in a film production, usually through the fusion of live-action capture and CG footage to create realistic images.


Early film pioneer Georges Méliès experimented with multiple exposures, time-lapse photography, dissolves, and hand-painting in his short films to manipulate and alter reality. His most famous film, A Trip to the Moon (1902), is a whimsical parody of Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon, combining live action and animation, as well as numerous tiny models and matte paintings.

The shot of the capsule hitting the face on the moon is the earliest known stop-motion animation

Mike Fink, a former head of the film production department at the USC School of Film and an Academy Award winner, said when accepting his teaching position at the USC School of Film(the George Méliès Endowed Chair in Visual Effects), It's only fitting to name this position after 'Georges Méliès,' who started everything in our field as the father of visual effects. I will continue to promote visual effects in my teaching in the future.


And now, VFX is used in almost every film, helping to create stunning fictional universes and stunts that could never be filmed in the real world. For example, one of the highest grossing films, The Avengers: Endgame (2019), made extensive use of VFX and CGI.

Breaking countless box office records "Avengers: Endgame"

VFX is now not just for sci-fi blockbusters, it has long been integrated into filmmaking and storytelling, and can also help achieve more subtle and realistic effects in more grounded feature films.


VFX has become an integral part of filmmaking, with visual effects supervisors and production staff often involved in the design of the film in the early stages, working closely with the producer and director to achieve better results. In this event, Academy Award winner Professor Mike Fink of USC School of Film will share his experience in VFX from the forefront of the industry and reveal the story behind the VFX spectacle.

Date & Time

March 30, 2021 

12:00 - 13:30

Event Format

Online ZOOM meeting


English, with translation


Michael Fink is the Georges Méliès Chair in Visual Effects at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. He has been a pioneer in the field of visual effects for film. He is known for his work on Star Trek, Blade Runner, Batman Returns, The Golden Compass, Avatar and The Fantasticks of Youngblood. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Visual Effects for Batman Returns in 1993 and won an Academy Award in that category for The Golden Compass in 2008. Michael is still working in the industry as a second unit director (for the visual effects portion of the shoot), visual effects supervisor, and consulting on visual effects, animation, and 3D projects.

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