From Scott Cooper, the critically-acclaimed writer and director of Crazy Heart, comes Out Of The Furnace, a gritty, blue-collar drama about family, fate, circumstance, and justice. Set in America’s economically depressed ‘Rust Belt’, the story follows a fundamentally decent man’s descent into violence and retribution as he seeks justice for his brother. The impressive cast includes Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Forest Whitaker, Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard and Willem Dafoe.

Russell Baze (Christian Bale) has a rough life: he works a dead-end job at the local steel mill by day, and cares for his terminally ill father by night. Driving home from a bar one night, he hits another car, killing all inside, and the drunken manslaughter charge leads to a brutal prison stay. Russell's brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) entered the military to escape the mills, and experiences his own horrors overseas. When he returns home from serving time in Iraq, he is lured into one of the most ruthless crime-rings in the Northeast and mysteriously disappears. The police fail to crack the case, so – released from jail now and with nothing left to lose - Russell takes matters into his own hands.

Prime Focus World’s VFX facilities in Vancouver and Mumbai came together to deliver a range of visual effects work for the film, working directly with client-side VFX supervisor Raymond Gieringer.

“I’ve worked with Raymond personally in the past, and we delivered work for him on Tarsem Singh’s Immortals, so it was good to see him back,” offered Jon Cowley, senior VFX supervisor, Prime Focus World. “The main body of the work we completed for him on Out Of The Furnace was invisible visual effects work.”

As the film is a period piece, some of PFW’s work included the removal of incongruous modern-day elements from shots, as well as other invisible effects work such as removal of blood squibs, sky enhancements, rig removal, monitor inserts and the like.

Obviously, the goal of this type of VFX work is that the audience never knows that it is there – which can sometimes lead to challenging sequences.

“There was one key sequence for which we were required to merge seamlessly between two different takes,” said Vishal Kapoor, PFW VFX supervisor, Mumbai. “The challenge was to re-time one of the takes to match the other, which was further complicated by the fact that the foreground layer (tall grass and bushes moving in the wind) had to be stabilized and match-moved back onto the background layer.”

“Perhaps the biggest sequence we completed comes at the end of the film,” added Jon Cowley. “We had a massive camera pull-out, which becomes very, very wide by the end of the shot. We had camera gear, set gear and crew to clean up off the set, as well as a moving camera and parallax to deal with. It was a complicated shot.”

Jon Cowley supervised the show from Vancouver for Prime Focus World, with about three-quarters of the shots completed by the Mumbai office, overseen by VFX supervisor Vishal Kapoor and Head of VFX Production Shome Dasgupta. In total, PFW delivered 40 shots for the movie, which releases on 6 December 2013 in the US and 31 January 2014 in the UK.

RELEASE: December 6, 2013

Director: Scott Cooper
Producers: Michael Costigan, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Kavanaugh, Jennifer Davisson Killoran, Ridley Scott, Tony Scott 
Studio / Distributor: Relativity Media

PFW Supervisor: Jon Cowley
PFW Producer: Justin Gladden
PFW Scope of Work: VFX, 41 shots (WIP, tbd)
PFW Lead Facility: Vancouver
PFW Associate Team(s): Mumbai