The Nutcracker, Children of Men, The Deaths of Ian and Primeval illustrate calibre of projects secured by pioneering new VFX company .
Formed less that 18 months ago by former facility producers Antony Bluff and Piers Hampton, UK-based VFX house The Bluff Hampton Company looks set for a busy and exciting year ahead, with visual effects for a major feature film nearing completion, an ambitious new drama series airing and a big budget feature about to commence principal photography.
The highly sought-after team is completing visual effects work on the chilling supernatural horror movie The Deaths of Ian, in collaboration with US-based Academy Award-winning Stan Winston Productions. Produced by Stan Winston Productions and the UK Odyssey Entertainment with Isle of Man Film, the film stars hot young Hollywood talent Mike Vogel (Poseidon) in the ultimate cinematic nightmare where the hero, Ian Stone (Vogel) endures a violent death every day, only to return to die the very next. The Bluff Hampton Company worked on behalf of SW Digital Mike Pryor to provide some of the stunning visual effects on the feature, which will open in the UK through Entertainment Film Distributors in 2007.
Primeval the hotly anticipated new drama series starring Douglas Henshall as a world renowned evolutionary scientist recruited by the government to investigate a series of dinosaur sightings, marks The Bluff Hampton Company first collaboration with Impossible Pictures (award-winning creators of Walking with Dinosaurs, Walking with Beasts, Walking with Monster). Primeval is currently airing on Saturday nights on ITV1.
The Bluff Hampton Company is also prepping The Nutcracker, a feature film version of the timeless classic. Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky, The Nutcracker commences twelve weeks of principal photography in Hungary in May 2007 and is scheduled for a Christmas 2008 global release.
The Bluff Hampton Company recruitment arm also allows international facilities to tap into a talent pool that is second to none, offering hand-picked access to leading specialists.
With headquarters in London Soho, The Bluff Hampton Company has recently opened an office in The Isle of Man to facilitate VFX services on behalf of the growing number of Manx-based productions.
Their shared philosophy and enviable joint track record brought Bluff and Hampton together in 2005. The Bluff Hampton Company expertise in the field of visual effects offers independent VFX services to all levels of production and the company is uniquely placed to provide total solutions from concept through picture delivery, ensuring production values are enhanced on time and on budget.
Antony Bluff started his career with The Moving Picture Company and went on to work with some off the most established production companies, advertising agencies and clients, latterly specializing in projects containing elements of visual effects. In 1996 he was hired as visual effects co-ordinator and model unit production manager on Muppet Treasure Island for The Jim Henson Company and Sony Pictures. A brief foray into the music business followed when he produced motion graphics for Oasis as well as the long form film for Mr Children, a Japanese pop band. Bluff went on to join the VFX crew for New Line Cinema Lost in Space; as one of three VFX producers overseeing all the London facilities on the $15million, 800 visual effects shot project. Double Negative then hired Bluff to oversee the completion of Randall and Hopkirk Deceased Part 1, which resulted in a continuing relationship on Nutty Professor 2, Enemy at the Gate, Anita and Me and Randall and Hopkirk Deceased Part 2. A three year stint at The Jim Henson Company in London followed, where Bluff was key to the expansion of the digital department as well as working at a VFX producer and marketing the Helix in-house performance system.
Piers Hampton started his career in advertising. In 1996 following a short stint as a photography student he joined Jim Henson Creature Shop as a producer for The Shop numerous TV commercials projects and went on to work exclusively on film and TV projects, overseeing all business and logistics in providing effects for production globally. In this role, Hampton was responsible for P&L, scheduling, pitching new business, contract negotiation, managing budgets, crews and project development on both independent and studio productions. Clients included Amblin, Hallmark, Universal and Canal + on such productions as Flintstones II: Viva Rock Vegas, Pacte Des Loupe and Dinotopia as well as supervising the Emmy Award-winning productions Jack and the Beanstalk ?‚àö√ë‚àö¬® The Real Story and NBC/Hallmark Alice in Wonderland. Hampton then took on the role of visual effects producer for Framestore-CFC, Europe largest visual effects facility, where he produced effects on Mrs Henderson Presents for Stephen Frears, Lajos Koltai acclaimed directorial debut Fateless and The Libertine starring Johnny Depp.
Commenting on the success of the company first year in operation, Piers Hampton said ‘If you start a company working in visual effects and work with Alfonso Cuaron, Stan Winston and Impossible Pictures in year one it certainly puts you on the map, the key is to build on that sensibly and keep delivering work we can be genuinely proud of ‘ Antony Bluff added ‘We’sre really excited by the second year, producer like what we are doing and hopefully with some expansion we can cover a little more ground’
Producer Brian Gilbert of Stan Winston Productions paid tribute to The Bluff Hampton Company work on The Deaths of Ian:’Piers and Antony were able to provide our production with a situation that resulted in extremely high quality work that was manufactured within the constraints of our budget and schedule, saving me hours of sleepless anxiety’.