Monday, March 1, 2010

Meet Matt Rhodes... the master of special effects

In 2004 and 2005 I lost two of my beloved Aunties to cancer. Feeling helpless and craving somewhere to focus my energies, I joined the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training and spent four years doing triathlons and raising money to help cure blood cancers.

For my 2006 triathlon team I was voted Honoree Captain and had the great honor of scheduling the inspiring talks from people who were struggling with cancer. One of our honorees was Matt Rhodes, a Stage 4 leukemia survivor. We had a great season training together and his journey was motivating to all of us. Plus, he made me laugh, loved eating cheeseburgers after working out, and mixed up some tasty cocktails. With his wife Claire we all went to Hawaii and competed in the most amazing Olympic level triathlon on the beach in Maui. We had some great bike rides together too, and the best part is that you can actually see Claire and Matt cheering me on as I crossed the finished line. (Yes, that means they were pretty much done while I was still slogging along...) I figured it was a sign of our brotherhood/sisterhood/familyhood.

I was working on a video for the Alaska Federation of Natives and knew Matt did some film and video work, so I hired him to create the animated effects and educational sequences to insert within the program.  Later, when my favorite rock band, Two Sticks, wanted to make a video, we called Matt to help us edit it together, and included a photo of Claire in the infamous jean jacket for the DVD cover.... 'cause Matt and Claire are "like peas 'n carrots" (in Forrest Gump talk). Using footage from four cameras, I'm amazed at how creative he is and what he was able to come up with. So of course he had to be on the Bridal Film team. He specializes in special effects and has a great eye.

In January we met at the Marin Brewing Company to catch up, talk about the movie, and download footage from scenes for special effects. It's always memorable with Matt. Not only did we have a great time, but my car got hit in the parking lot, door folded like the page of a book, in the pouring rain, by two women going to 24-Hour Fitness in a red car with Louisiana license plates. It's another sign of our family bond. The Bridal Film team is lucky to have him and I'm excited to see what he's going to do with our hallucination sequences. Plus, now I have an excuse to hang out over at their house more. I'm adopting them both.

MATT RHODES, Special Effects

Matt Rhodes started Motivated Pixels in 1999 as a way to provide his services and experience to various marketplaces, including the interactive community, the game industry and the visual effects industry. With Santa Barbara Studios, Matt wrote custom software tools for the production of An American Werewolf in Paris. Working with the head of Research and Development, Matt wrote a portion of Santa Barbara Studio's hair renderer, now licensed to Alias. He was also responsible for creating most of the in-house Softimage plug-ins, mental ray shaders and custom tools needed for the Werewolf production. Matt continued with this role during the productions of Spawn, Parasite Eve (video game), and Paulie. 

As the head of software at Santa Barbara Studios during the production of Star Trek: Insurrection, Matt wrote tools, plug-ins and shaders for Maya, RenderMan, and mental ray. His volumetric shader was used to create 3D cloudy shapes for the film’s briar patch sequence.

* Photos of Matt doing the robot across the finish line at the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon.

You can learn more about what Matt does on his website for his company, Motivated Pixels. Or better yet, check out his personal videos. Like I said, he's a funny guy. Plus, he looks pretty cool with all those cookis in his mouth.

1 comment:

  1. Lots of fun keeping up with this project.

    I wish I could have been part of it! Maybe the next one?

    -Mike Padua